Best Time to Visit Long Island in 2023 (By a Long Islander)
The best time to visit Long Island is June through October, when the weather and water temperatures are warm. Spring and winter can also be good times to visit, depending on the activities you plan and what you want to see.
It’s easiest to enjoy the best things to do on Long Island during the warm season, since there’s lots to do here outdoors. But if you want to visit during the winter holiday season, there’s plenty to see and do even when it’s cold. Since we get all four seasons, the best time to visit Long Island depends on your weather preferences, as well as what you’d like to do while you’re here.
From colorful fall foliage and spring cherry blossom blooms to snowy shores and sunny beaches, there’s plenty to do on Long Island year-round.
As a born and raised Long Islander, I’m here to help you figure out the best time to visit Long Island based on what you want to do.
Table of Contents
- When is the Best Time to Visit Long Island?
- Long Island Travel Seasons
- Long Island Weather and Climate
- Tips for Visiting Long Island
- FAQs About Long Island Seasons
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When is the Best Time to Visit Long Island?
Long Island offers warm weather from summer through early autumn, making these seasons the most popular time to visit. While summer and fall offer the best weather, some people visit during colder seasons to avoid crowds.
If you’re looking for a travel destination where you can experience any of the four seasons in all their glory, Long Island is the place for you. Some of the activities on Long Island are seasonally dependent – for example, whale watching is largely a winter activity here – so choosing when to visit will depend on what you want to do.
Let’s take a deeper dive into when it’s best to visit Long Island, based on your travel goals:
When to Visit Long Island for Good Weather
On Long Island, sunny, warm weather begins during summer and trickles into fall. It can get pretty humid during high summer, as July is the hottest month. So visiting Long Island on the tail ends of this period – June, September, and early October – will give you the best weather. You can expect to enjoy temperatures mostly in the 70s and 80s.
Spring is considered our rainy season, and you can expect freezing temperatures and snowfall in winter, so stick with planning a summer or fall visit for good weather. Do keep in mind that Long Island summers are notoriously humid, so an early fall visit is likely your best bet.
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When to Visit Long Island for Sunny Beach Days
There’s nothing better than a sunny Long Island beach day. If you want to sunbathe, swim or surf in the ocean, summer and fall are the best times to visit. The ocean breeze helps alleviate the humidity, and you can cool off in the water. Summer does bring the occasional afternoon thunderstorm, so make sure to check the weather before you go.
Winter also has its fair share of sunny days, although they’re cold. It can be worth it to brave the beach during the colder months – that’s the best time of year to spot seals and whales during your beach walks.
When to Visit Long Island for Cheap Prices
As you might have guessed, it’s cheapest to visit Long Island when it’s cold. You’ll find the cheapest flights in late January, mid February, and March. Hotel prices also tend to be cheaper during this time, as well.
The average temperature during these months ranges from the 30s through the 40s. If you bundle up, you can still do a lot on Long Island! Art museums and historical sites are open through winter, and many beaches don’t charge for parking during the off season.
When to Visit Long Island to Avoid Crowds
As is the case in many places, summer draws in piles of tourists and vacationers. To avoid the crowds, consider planning your visit during fall, spring, or winter (in that order!). By fall, vacations have drawn to a close and the crowds have thinned out for the most part.
The average temperature during October and November can range from the mid 40s to the low 60s, so the weather is wonderfully pleasant. And, since the crowds have gone, you can relax and enjoy the beach, farmstands out east, arboretums, and museums – especially on weekdays.
Long Island Travel Seasons
Summer on Long Island
Thanks to warm temperatures and miles of beaches, June, July, and August are popular months to visit Long Island.
☔ Weather – Daytime temperatures average in the mid 70s with an average high of over 80, and the weather is mostly sunny with high humidity. At night, temperatures stay around the mid to high 60s.
🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – Crowds are heaviest during summer, and start to dwindle in mid September once kids return to school. Weekends are always busiest, and weekdays are a bit less crowded.
💵 Prices – Flight and hotel prices can be quite high, especially around the 4th of July and Labor Day weekends, so book well in advance if you can. Aim to book dates during weekdays to maximize your savings.
🎉 Events – Long Island Seafood Festival, Alive After 5, concerts at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Adventureland Amusement Park, Long Island Ducks baseball games, Great South Bay Music Festival
🛏️ Need a Hotel on Long Island? Hotels book up fast during the summer on Long Island. Make sure to book your hotel on Long Island ahead of time to avoid that last-minute scramble!
Fall on Long Island
With autumn comes cooler temperatures, lower humidity, lessening crowds, and warmer ocean temperatures. This makes autumn the perfect time to visit Long Island.
☔ Weather – Daytime temperatures average in the mid 50s to 60s, and the weather is mostly sunny and clear with lower humidity. At night, temperatures stay between the 40s and 50s.
🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – Crowds lessen in the fall, though popular destinations like pumpkin patches and corn mazes out east can get crowded on weekends. Visit these places on weekdays for smaller crowds.
💵 Prices – Flight and hotel prices tend to stay high through the fall. Weekday travel is usually cheaper, as are hotel prices, so try to book during the week to maximize your savings.
🎉 Events – Harbes Family Farm, Annual Halloween Boat Burning, Rock the Harvest, Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze, Hank’s Pumpkintown
Winter on Long Island
During these winter months, perceived temperatures can be well below freezing, due to wind chill – the average wind speed in January is over 14 miles per hour.
☔ Weather – Winter brings significant precipitation, including both snow and rain. During the day, highs range in the 40s with an average low in the 20s. At night, temperatures tend to drop between the teens and 20s.
🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – Crowds really thin out in winter due to the cold. Even on weekends, you’ll find outdoor spaces and even indoor spaces pretty open compared to other seasons.
💵 Prices – The upside to this cold weather is the cheap prices. Flight and hotel prices drop from January through March, and some offer holiday packages. And, lots of outdoor spaces like beaches and arboretums are free to enter during the colder months.
🎉 Events – Annual Port Jefferson Charles Dickens Festival, Long Island Winterfest, Jones Beach Light Show, Winter Craft & Gift Fair
🚗 Where to Rent a Car: Driving is the easiest way to get around on Long Island – especially when it’s cold out! Discover Cars offers great deals on rental vehicles so you and your family can stay warm and travel comfortably on your own schedule.
Spring on Long Island
Welcome to spring, Long Island’s rainy season. Along with the rain comes more moderate weather and plenty of blooming flowers.
☔ Weather – The daytime average temperature is usually in the mid 50s and 60s, and the weather can be cloudy, with significant precipitation in the form of rain. At night, temperatures range from the 30s to 40s.
🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – Crowds start to ramp up again in late spring once the weather turns. It’s still less crowded than in summer, so it’s a good time to take advantage of outdoor activities. Weekdays continue to be the least crowded.
💵 Prices – Flight and hotel prices stay cheap through the end of March, but start creeping back up as the weather warms. Book well in advance to avoid spring price hikes, and try to avoid traveling during local schools’ spring breaks.
🎉 Events – Jones Beach Air Show, Mayday Music Festival, Long Island Feast Fest, Huntington Tulip Festival, Greenport Cherry Blossom Festival, Arbor Day Festival
Long Island Weather and Climate
On Long Island, the weather varies by season:
☀️ During summer, you’ll find high humidity, light winds, temperatures in the 70s and 80s, and occasional thunderstorms.
🍂 Autumn brings moderate temperatures in the 50s and 60s, clear, crisp days, and lower humidity levels.
🌨️ Wintertime is defined by chilly temperatures in the 20s and 30s with wind chills making it feel colder, no humidity, and the occasional snowstorm.
🌷 Long Island spring tends to be rainy but not humid, with temperatures warming up to the 50s and 60s.
Tips for Visiting Long Island
Pack properly for cooler months
If you visit during winter, make sure to pack a heavy coat, gloves, scarves, hats, and anything else you’ll want to keep you warm. Don’t forget warm clothes in spring and fall, as well – the weather can fluctuate from day to day here, and you’ll be glad you brought them on those surprise chilly days!
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Use bug spray
As a mosquito magnet myself, I highly recommend using bug spray when you visit Long Island. The more mosquito and greenfly bites you prevent, the better your trip will be! And, bug spray is a must if you plan on hiking – ticks can be a problem in the woodland and grassy areas of the island.
Rent a car
While the Long Island Rail Road is great for going into NYC, when it comes to getting around on the island, renting a car is your best bet. Attractions and destinations are spread out across the island, so having a car makes it easy to hit all the sites you want to see.
Use sunscreen year-round
Summer months on Long Island are hot and sunny, and it’s easy to get sunburned. But sunlight here can be intense year-round, so apply SPF to your face no matter when you visit. It’ll help you avoid having a sunburnt nose in the middle of winter – been there, done that!
FAQs About Long Island Seasons
What is the warmest month on Long Island?
Long Island’s warmest month is July. The average high temperature on Long Island in July is 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
What is the rainiest month on Long Island?
May is the rainiest month on Long Island, with rain falling for an average of 9.3 days over the course of the month.
What is the driest month on Long Island?
February is the driest month on Long Island, with rain falling for an average of 4.7 days over the course of the month.
Is Long Island colder than NYC?
Long Island is slightly colder than NYC. New York City is closer to the mainland and Long Island is exposed to the ocean, causing warmer temperatures in New York City than on Long Island.
Does it snow on Long Island?
Long Island experiences snow a few times a year during the winter season, and sometimes spring. The average snowfall on Long Island ranges from 20 to 35 inches per year.
What is the windiest month on Long Island?
January is the windiest month on Long Island, with an average hourly wind speed of 14 miles per hour.
👉 Before you go, be sure to check out my guide to the best things to do on Long Island!
Whenever you’re planning on visiting Long Island, I hope this guide helps you choose the best time to visit Long Island for you and your travel goals. Long Island is the perfect place to experience the four seasons, and I hope you enjoy the time you spend here!
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