A colorful creature soars high above Rocky Point's coastline. Its rainbow sail lifts, dips, and turns over sandy beaches and a blue ocean that stretches as far as the eye can see. The gliders in question belong to GMI Paragliding School, which makes its home along Rocky Point, a site insured by the United States Hang Gliding Paragliding Association. The school’s skilled instructor introduces beginners to the basics of paragliding, which include ground control, monitoring the weather, theory, and techniques to avoid attracting amorous vultures. After mastering beginner skills, new flyers can join Long Island Paragliding Club to pursue dreams of someday touching the sky’s ceiling.
Designed by legendary fairway-carver Robert Trent Jones Jr., Long Island National Golf Club Riverhead's 18-hole course layout runs along 6,838 yards of rolling terrain wreathed by farmland and vineyards. Throughout the round, each hole plots a path through a sea of knee-high fescue grass that sways in the wind atop fairway side mounds, channeling the look of golf's seminal Scottish courses. Water comes into play on four holes, promising a grim fate for wayward balls that don't speak catfish. Rated the course's hardest hole, the par 5 18th offers a dramatic end to the round, as clubbers must blast the ball 590 yards over a treacherously narrow fairway to reach the green. Alongside the grassy monolith, soaring drives lift off from a gallery of hitting stalls at the driving range, where players can smooth out herky-jerky swings and make clubs do calisthenics in preparation for their round.
Those looking to upgrade their golf garbs or replace a club damaged in a street fight with a gang of croquet mallets can head to the pro shop, which peddles apparel and equipment from top brands including Titleist, FootJoy, and Adidas. Post-round hunger meets its match at Bogey's Grill, which serves up savory grill fare and icy drinks to weary linksmen.
Course at a Glance:
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
18-hole, par-71 course
Length of 6,838 yards from the farthest tees
Four tee options
An 18-foot giraffe cranes its neck to look at passing visitors. Across the path, ring-tailed lemurs swing between the trees. Nearby, alligators thrash in a swamp, and ostriches strut through the grass. The animal handlers at Long Island Game Farm—comprising a team of veterinary students and environmental workers—care for these native and exotic species in re-creations of their natural habitats. On any regular day, they guide visitors past enclosures populated by aoudad sheep, cougars, zebras, and red kangaroos, and demonstrate the creatures’ eating habits through scheduled viewable feedings. They also let visitors feed giraffes, goats, and zebras by hand, and discuss each creature’s lifestyle without judging them by their nighttime hobbies.
A series of trails winds through woods and public picnic areas, leading to areas such as Bambiland—an enclosure for Mediterranean and native deer—and Old MacDonald's Farmyard, where visitors can bottle-feed baby animals and hang out with pigs, rabbits, goats, and ponies. Park staffers also help smaller visitors on and off the park’s carnival rides that include spinning teacups, a miniature train, and an antique carousel. In the summer, they further engage children in Camp Zoo, a one-week day camp during which an experienced instructor teaches participants about environmental conservation and divulges facts and gossip about various animals.
Safari Adventure engages energetic whippersnappers to its colorful, 11,000 square foot facility with safe playground equipment, delectable snacks, enormous inflatables, and abundant arcade games. After mandatorily sheltering toes in socks, tykes can traverse the tunnels, tubes, cargo nets, and slides of a four-level playground. Toddlers and billy goats with vertigo frolic among smaller slides and climbing stations at an adjacent play area. As nursing mothers nourish newborns in the nursing room's rocking chairs, older kids can rendezvous at the Lions Den Café to scarf down a healthy selection of value meals and snacks, such as chicken tenders, granola bars, raisins, and apple juice. Three inflatable bouncers sequester hopping youngsters. Meanwhile, an arcade enthralls joystick enthusiasts with more than 40 video and redemption games, including a plethora of racing simulants and rounds of Algebra Homework: The Game!.
Pour the Core: A Hard Cider Festival celebrates the revival of hard ciders and perries brewed from apples and pears. For the festival, the tree covered-landscape just outside of Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue fill with more than 30 local and international ciders including Peconic Bay Winery’s True Believer, Angry Orchard, and Magners from Ireland. Seminars teach patrons about all the ways to use versatile cider, from stirring into cocktails to mixing up in cupcakes and pork shoulder. A How to Make Hard Cider seminar demonstrates how to brew hard cider from nonalcoholic cider at home, covering the entire process from picking the right apples to forcing carbonation back into the opened bottles.
The Long Island Science Center seeks to promote the knowledge and love of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology in people of all ages. They adopt a “learning by doing” philosophy, which results in myriad interactive exhibits that explore subjects such as volcanoes, Egyptian hieroglyphics, the planets, and crime scenes. The museum also holds regular special and seasonal events, as well as special programs for school groups.
The Emerging Cinemas network presents world-class performing arts, recorded on-scene at internationally recognized theaters and splashes them across the big screen before popcorn-chomping American audiences. Coppélia, choreographed by Patrice Bart, is a comic tale that follows the en pointe follies of a lovesick villager whose fiancée must compete with a life-like dancing automaton to win his affections. Professionally filmed, the performance is captured by multiple cameras with a combination of sweeping angles and detailed close-ups, allowing patrons a rare view of production details blasted through Carmike Cinema's high-definition big screens and surround-sound systems. The rich cinematic experience gives audiences front-row access to each magical movement augmented by a flawless score and Morse code toe taps that convey plot points to dance-illiterate viewers.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.