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Historic Day Trips in the Hamptons and North Fork

Travel back in time with these four historic day trips.

Written by Charlene Cooper

Explore Long Island's storied culture with these family-friendly day trips that spotlight the history behind things like the Montauk Point Lighthouse and the Long Island Railroad. The best part? You'll be able to get there on one tank of gas or less.

Railroad Museum of Long Island
3575 Lighthouse Rd.
Southold, NY
(631) 727-7920

Why Go? Climb on board an antique train at the Railroad Museum of Long Island. At the Riverhead site, learn about the history behind the locomotive system and explore various relics.

Must Do: 
Check out the Railroad Museum of Long Island at the Greenport site, located across the parking lot from the west end of the Greenport train platform.

Insider Tip: 
 Always call the museum beforehand to inquire about parking. For example, if you happen to visit during a busy time such as Toy Train Play Day, you may have to park outside the museum grounds.  

Fine Print:
 Hour are Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free for children 5 and under, $4 for children 5-12 and $7 for 13 and older. 


Montauk Point Lighthouse Museum
2000 New York 27
Montauk, NY
(631) 668-2544

Why Go?  At more than 200-years old, the landmark is the oldest lighthouse in New York State. 

Must Do:
 The Museum Parlor displays two original documents signed by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

Insider Tip: 
Children must meet a minimum height requirement of 4'11" to climb the lighthouse tower. 

Fine Print: 
Visiting hours to the lighthouse change throughout the year, so check before you head out. Admission is 4$ for children up to 12 years old, 9 for adults and $8 for seniors. 

Southold Indian Museum
1080 Main Bayview Rd.
Southold, NY
(631) 765-5577

Why Go? Dig up some Long Island history at the the Southold Indian Museum, where archaeology and natural history collide. Check out hunting, cooking and building tools as well as fine jewelry and stones carved out by local Algonquin Indians.

Must Do:
 The museum's Algonquin ceramic pottery exhibit is the largest collection created by Long Island's earliest inhabitants.  

Insider Tip:
 If you can't make the three-hour time slot when the museum is open on Sundays, don't fret. Visitors are allowed to stop in by appointment on other days.

Fine Print:
 The museum is open Sundays from 1:30pm to 4:30pm, with a suggested donation of $2 for children and $4 for adults.


Southampton Historical Museum
17 Meeting House Ln.
Southampton, NY
(631) 283-2494

Why Go? Made up of five properties, you can get a glimpse at sites like the Rogers Mansion, the Pelletrau Shop built in the 1600s and the Thomas Halsey Homestead.

Must Do:
 Watch an 1850s-style wedding take place before your eyes. Actors dress in costume for a reenactment of the ceremony and even encourage crowd participation.

Insider Tip:
 Bring a packed lunch and enjoy it on the benches outside.

Fine Print: 
Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; admission is donation-based.

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