Out of town sights to see with public transit this summer

Although Suffolk County has a lower median household income than Nassau at $87,763, it takes more to be in the upper income bracket. According to the 2013 American Community Survey, it takes more than $150,000 to be in the top 21.9 percent of households in Suffolk. This is the Montauk Lighthouse on Nov. 20, 2009.
The Montauk Lighthouse.

Now that the summer is in full swing in New York, many denizens of the Five Boroughs will take off from the city to beaches and greener pastures.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Long Island and the calming towns north of the city by relying solely on mass transit.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a slate of deals and promotions for activities along its two commuter lines, the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North, that will let you explore outside the city without worrying about soaring gas prices!

The MTA Away packages offer discounts and tours of sights along Long Island and to the north with handy guides for the outings.

Jones Beach

The sprawling Robert Moses-era state park Jones Beach offers a scenic shoreline, swimming pools, and a two-mile boardwalk.

The LIRR offers a package deal including a rail ticket to and from Freeport station and bus transportation via NICE bus to the park.

Prices range from $17.50-$21.50 and tickets can be purchased at LIRR station ticket windows or at Gray, Green or Blue ticket machines by selecting “MTA Away Deals” and then “Long Island Deals.”

Montauk tour

Further out on the eastern tip of the island, you can take a three-stop tour of Montauk with an LIRR package deal.

The journey includes a stroll through the village, the Montauk Point Lighthouse — the first in the state and the oldest active lighthouse in the country — and a visit to Gosman’s Dock, which lies at the watery intersection of Montauk Lake and the Atlantic Ocean.

The area has shops and Gosman’s Restaurant where you can take in the boats heading out to see from the patio.

The cost of the package is $51.75 per adult, $36.25 per child, and is valid for three Saturdays on July 9, August, 6, and October 8.

Tickets can also be bought at Gray, Green or Blue ticket machines by selecting “MTA Away Deals” and then “Escorted Tours” or at ticket windows at LIRR stations.


The Metro-North also offers many scenic trips up the Hudson Valley, including to towns like Cold Springs or hiking trails like Breakneck Ridge.

An 80-minute train ride from Grand Central is the gorgeous Dia Beacon gallery, housed inside a former Nabisco box printing factory and home to an ever changing art collection spanning from the 1960s to today.

MTA offers 10% off admission tickets to the space with code MTAAWAY.