Clarion Hotel & Conference Center
3845 Veterans Memorial Highway
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
Phone: (631) 585-9500
Fax: (631) 585-9564
The Harold Malkmes Wildlife Education and Ecology Center is a wildlife preserve and educational center that is managed and maintained by the Town of Brookhaven. Located on a former landfill site, the area had to be completely revamped and repurposed. It is a treasure for all those who have keen interest in wildlife and ecology. Featuring a wildlife center, several greenhouses, and a petting zoo, it is an ideal place for younger children to learn about animals and the environment. You can also enjoy tours that take you through the entire park. Please note that visitors are expected to follow rules and regulations for safety reasons and for the protection of the animals.
On what was once a landfill now stands the Brookhaven Ecology Center, with so many activities and places to see that there really is something for everyone. There is an animal preserve, with over 100 animals to view; some domestic farm animals and others non-releasable wild animals. There is a playground, greenhouses, a fitness trail, ecology center and picnic area, ensuring that Brookhaven is a great place for families. There are free guided tours available for school classes and other organized groups. Call for more details.
The spectacular collection of conifers at Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park, including spruce, pine, cypress, and hemlock, is much appreciated by all visitors (fox, raccoon, birds, and other wildlife often join the human guests). Ponds and little streams slip between the plantings, which also feature many flowers and oak trees. Nature trails wind amongst the trees, and recreational programs are regularly scheduled.
Fire Island National Seashore is a unique environment of barrier island beaches which host a wide variety of native flora and fauna, including flocks of human beach-goers during summer months. The peaceful surroundings of waves and dunes, ancient forests and timid wildlife, are a welcome respite from the chaos of nearby New York City. To the west, historic Fire Island Lighthouse is always worth a visit, along with the mansion and grounds of the 18th century William Floyd Estate. Tours are conducted year-round (weather permitting), and activities, programs, and workshops are offered particularly for students and teachers. See website for details.
Best known and best loved, for a gorgeous series of beaches that stretch for five miles (eight kilometers) along the Atlantic Ocean, Robert Moses State Park is a great spot to swim, fish, picnic, surf, or simply to relax on a day off. It is the oldest park on Long Island, having celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2008, and currently welcomes more than three million visitors each year. The park also features an 18-hole golf course, volleyball courts, playgrounds, concession stands, and plenty of other treasures.
Encompassing a historic mansion, natural history museum, and a Planetarium with a 60-foot domed Sky Theater, the Vanderbilt is a Suffolk County attraction well worth the drive. Take a "living history" tour through the 24-room mansion, view the specimens and exhibits of the museum, and round out the day with a show as big as the sky - the Planetarium features educational explorations of outer space throughout the year and several times each day. At night, however, the show turns musical: Laser showings of classic Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin songs draw fans of all ages for an unbeatable experience. See website for programming and event details.
Boasting between three and four miles of white sand stretching along the Atlantic Ocean, Cedar Beach has lots of active fun to offer. Areas are designated for surfing, volleyball, and fishing - including a handicapped-accessible fishing dock - and there are courts for basketball and handball. During the summer, free evening concerts and volleyball tournaments welcome all guests, and lifeguards are on duty every day.
Nestled besides the South Oyster Bay, Tanner Park is among the best of its kinds in Copiague. It features athletic fields for soccer, baseball, football, lacrosse and softball, tennis and basketball courts, a band shell, marina, skateboard park, playground, picnic area, senior center and a restaurant. You can enjoy boating, fishing and swimming as well at this beautiful parkland. There is a spot to take your dog on a run or walk also.
The Southbay Sportsplex is not your average pee-wee league hangout, sports are taken very serious within these walls and just about everything you could want is at your fingertips (or mitt). The Sportsplex houses indoor soccer fields, football arena, lacrosse, and baseball training facilities as well as runs summer camps for all ages and sports leagues. This is most certainly a one-stop shop for all things athletic. Visit their website to see up-to-date information about league and practice schedules.
Come to surf, come to fish, come to picnic and play... Gilgo Beach offers seven miles of beach along the ocean, watched over by lifeguards during weekends in the spring and every day during the summer. This beach even offers handicapped accessible fishing docks, so everyone can enjoy a beloved sport. Like most beaches on Long Island, there are fees to utilize Gilgo Beach.
The erstwhile estate of Marshall Field III was the genesis of the Caumsett State Historic Park. Various bird species have made this land their habitat making it an ideal location to observe birds in their natural surroundings. The park provides outdoors enthusiasts with a range of adventure choices.
American history resides in a beautiful setting at Sagamore Hill, the home of Theodore Roosevelt for over 30 years. While he was the 26th President of the United States, this mansion was known as the "Summer White House"; today, all visitors are invited to participate in the small traditions of the place, such as the Sunday Afternoon Flag Folding. Entrance to the house is only permitted by guided tour, but the grounds are open every day from dawn until dusk. Sagamore Hill is a wonderful place to learn about American history and culture or local nature and science (equal passions of Roosevelt himself!) for students of all ages. Children can participate in a Junior Park Ranger Program to earn badges and a patch. See website for details on educational programming and visits to the site.