New York"s Long Island

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When holidaying in New York, many people think about going to the centre of town to see some of the many delights they've seen in films and on television. To the south east of the state, however, lies a number of islands with the predominant one being Long Island - so named because of its narrow but elongated shape.

Heading east into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island is technically part of four different counties - Kings County, Queens County, Nassau and Suffolk. The first two counties are part of New York City while the other two are not, but are still part of New York state.

Long Island consists mainly of residential housing and neighbourhoods, giving it a suburban feel. A small portion of the island is, however, given over to stately homes as it is seen as an isolated location for some people with affluence. The richest part of the island is known as Three Ponds and can be found in the Bridgehampton area. The 60 acre area is old farmland that has been converted into tennis courts, swimming pools and a golf course, among other luxury entertainment opportunities.

Businessmen congregate in the area and as such the largest industrial estate on America's east coast - the Happauge Industrial Park - is found on Long Island. More than 55,000 people work at Happauge for around 1300 different firms.

The key industry in Happauge is aviation and this has been the case for several decades. Grumman Aircraft made Long Island's Bethpage their home and they have been headquartered there ever since. The area also has a prominent scientific base as Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory are both situated here, as well as Stony Brook University.

Not everything in Long Island is technology based as agriculture still plays an important part in the island's economy. Much of this activity is limited to the east side of the island because of the number of houses towards the west and centre. Locals and temporary residents of New York City hotels<a/> often make the trip to the east side during the warmer months to visit some of the pick-it-yourself farms and orchards where produce such as peaches, apples and pumpkins can be harvested by visitors for a small free.

Whether you stay in Long Island on your trip or simply visit for the day, it gives a vibrant contrast to the sights and feel of Manhattan and will give you experiences and photos of your New York trip that many other travellers to New York will have missed out on.

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