9. Long Beach

Photo by Janet Kim for Untapped New York

On the South Shore, Long Beach is Nassau County’s only other city, housing a 2.25-mile boardwalk and beach, a vibrant downtown, and a diverse population. Originally inhabited by Rockaway Indians, Long Beach began to grow in the late 1800s after the creation of the New York and Long Beach Railroad in 1880, which connected it to Lynbrook. In 1906, William Reynolds planned the construction of Long Beach after developing four Brooklyn neighborhoods and Coney Island‘s Dreamland, envisioning it as “The Riviera of the East.” Buildings were constructed in an “eclectic Mediterranean style,” and homes, hotels, and a theater were built. Apparently, Reynolds brought in elephants from Coney Island to help build and publicize the boardwalk. Figures like Humphrey Bogart, Cab Calloway, and Florenz Ziegfeld lived in Long Beach for years. The city underwent urban renewal in the 1990s after many hotels and stores went out of business, and after Hurricane Sandy caused over $250 million in damage, the entire boardwalk was rebuilt and many businesses slowly reopened.

The city is divided into a number of districts including The Canals and The President Streets. Although beach access is limited to Long Beach residents only, the boardwalk is currently open to everyone with added precautions. Long Beach is home to a number of parks including Clark Street Park and Lindell Park. A number of structures like Pauline Felix House, Samuel Vaisberg House, and the Granada Towers are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Long Beach also features a number of landmarks and museums including the Long Beach Holocaust Memorial Monument, dedicated in 1987 and features a number of panels depicting figures like Janusz Korczak, and the House at 226 West Penn Street, which serves as the Long Beach Historical Museum.

Long Beach is well-known for its restaurants, including Lido Kosher Deli, Sorrento’s, and Lost and Found. Nearby Jordan Lobster Farms in Island Park is famous across Long Island for its seafood selections, while Swingbellys BBQ is well-respected for its ribs. Long Beach features a number of Asian and Asian-inspired eateries like a ramen shop named Sherry Blossom, sushi places like Nagahama and Himawari, and Southeast Asian places like Cha Ba Thai. There also a handful of Latin American restaurants as well like the Peruvian eatery Super Pollo Long Beach, Cuban eatery Corazon de Cuba, and rather hidden gems like Los Latinos Deli and Grill, which serves Spanish dishes like chicharron, pig feet, and carne guisada.