Pretty amazing ferry
There are a few different ways to ferry into Long Island....for me the closest way was from New London, Connecticut. Interesting town, New London. Home of the submarine building facility... and lots of commercial buildings and boats around the ferry dock. Many marine activities and various types of nautical transportation available here.
The men who work the ferry to load and unload cars and passengers are all pretty amazing. Very professional and efficient...they give you concise directions...expect you to follow them to the letter...and they have the ferry loaded in record time. When I parked on the lower deck I was astonished to see enormous trucks being loaded into the center lane...just inches from me and my car. It's quite a feat to squeeze so many cars and those huge trucks. Glad everyone knew how to drive without knocking down any steel posts.
There is a snack bar where you could find a light lunch or soft drink...as well as a lounge with full bar. Top side is a great place to sit...especially if it's a sunny day. Altho it's breezy...you have some great views of the lighthouses and interesting landmarks along the way. Check out some of my other tips for more of this.
p.s. I thought the trip was rather pricey at $44 for my car and one passenger...one way.
- Sailing and Boating
To and From the Airport
If you can, avoid taking a car service. It's way expensive. It could range anywhere between $75 and $90 without tip included. So altogether it could be over $100! Try to get someone to drop you off at the airport and pick you up. I wound up paying for the car service because my flights were delayed and I was coming and going at odd times. You can also try to have someone drop you off at the LIRR, then take that to the Airtrain in queens and transfer to go to JFK. It's much more time consuming but it will save you a few bucks.
A car will get you and your group around rather well. Being out in the suburbs most of Long Island can be pretty rural. It is a rare event where you can walk where you're going, especially for the visitor.
Better have a car!
Although trains are running in the area regularly the fastest way to discover as many attractions as possible is definitely by car.
When we were ready to drive back to NYC the snow storm started. (More snow pictures on my New York City page)
Long Island has an extensive network of bus routes. Trains also take you east and west via the Long Island Rail Road. With these combined, you can reach most points fairly easily. A private car is necessary to get everyplace else.