Shirley is located on the South Shore of Long Island, just 66 miles by road from New York City. The town is an ideal destination for day trippers and offers a host of interesting outdoor activities for visitors. Beach lovers can enjoy sandy beaches and great Atlantic waves at the Smith Point County Park or at Shirley Beach, where there is also a splash pad for children to enjoy. Nature lovers can spend a few hours observing a wide variety of birds and animals at the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, while history buffs will enjoy visiting the Museum Manor of St. George. For the thrill of a lifetime you can book a tandem skydive at the Long Island Skydiving Center. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Smith Point County Park
Smith Point County Park faces the Atlantic Ocean on a Long Island barrier island called Fire Island. The park is the ideal destination for beach-loving visitors who have access to a beautiful stretch of white sandy beach and several beach facilities including lifeguards and a campground. The park is also popular with off-road enthusiasts who have access to a Jeep Rd (permit required). You can book a campsite in advance – all the sites have water and many offer full electrical hook-up. Activities include swimming, sun-bathing, surfing and kite-surfing, and paddling – there are several outfitters near-by where you can hire equipment.
Smith Point County Park, 1 William Floyd Pkwy, Shirley, NY 11967, Phone: 631-852-1315
2.TWA Flight 800 Memorial, Shirley, New York
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Located in the Smith Point County Park, the TWA Flight 800 Memorial remembers the victims of a fatal airline crash which occurred on July 17th 1996. On this fateful day TWA Flight 800 inexplicably exploded and fell into the sea just 14 miles from the park. The airline had just taken off from J.F. Kennedy airport en-route to France and Italy. Sadly, all 230 passengers and crew perished. The memorial occupies a 2-acre plot next door to the main pavilion and includes manicured grounds and flags representing the 13 nations to which the victims belonged. The memorial bears the names of all the victims and a poignant black granite lighthouse, designed by the brother of one of the victims, stands over a tomb containing salvaged personal belongings
TWA Flight 800 Memorial, Smith Point County Park, 1 William Floyd Pkwy, Shirley, NY 11967, Phone: 631-852-1315
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3.Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, Shirley, New York
The Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge lies along the south shore of Long Island, where it was established to conserve the Carman’s River Estuary as a sanctuary for migratory birds. Within the refuge varied habitats like grasslands, wetlands and oak-pine woodlands attract and protect many species of wildlife including deer, osprey, fox, muskrat, turtles, fish and a wide variety of waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors. The refuge offers wildlife enthusiasts an idyllic location to spend a few hours observing and photographing nature at its best. You can get a great overview of the refuge by starting your visit at the Visitor’s Center where you can view various interactive exhibits.
Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, 340 Smith Road, Shirley, NY 11967, Phone: 631-286-0485
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4.The Museum Manor of St. George, Shirley, New York
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The Museum Manor of St. George offers visitors a fascinating insight to the life and times of generations of the William “Tangier” Smith family, who originally purchased a large tract of land on Long Island in the 17th century. During the American Revolution the house was occupied by British troops and a small fort was established there. The home overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and is “protected” from attack by two cannons facing out to sea. The homestead is furnished with original period pieces and is full of history. Admission is free and you can explore the grounds on a self-guided tour or join a guided tour of the homestead on weekends during the summer months.
Museum Manor of St. George, Neighborhood Rd and Smith Rd, Shirley, NY 11967, Phone: 631-281-5034
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5.Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library, Shirley, NY
© Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library
Shirley residents and visitors are fortunate to have access to the excellent facilities at the Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library. The library was originally established in two portable classrooms in 1975. Since those days a lot has changed and the library now has a permanent home large enough to offer a wide variety of services to the community. Of course you may borrow books, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. The library offers a variety of educational programs and events as well as arts and crafts workshops for children and adults and an inspirational Brainfuze program to help school children with their studies.
Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library, 407 William Floyd Parkway, Shirley, NY 11967, Phone: 631-399-1511
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6.Long Island Skydiving Center, Shirley, New York
The Long Island Skydiving Center offers visitors the unique opportunity to do something completely different during your visit to Shirley. Here you have the chance to enjoy an adrenalin boosting skydiving experience overlooking the Long Island Atlantic coastline, Fire Island and the wonderful Hampton Beaches, probably one of the most scenic skydiving locations in the world. If you are a first-time skydiver with zero experience you can opt for a tandem skydive, where a profession instructor will take charge of the dive and literally show you the ropes. This amazing and unforgettable experience is also suitable for disabled people and the entire dive will be videoed to ensure you never forget a moment of the fun.
Long Island Skydiving Center, 133 Dawn Drive, Shirley, NY 11967, Phone: 631-351-5867
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6 Best Things to Do in Shirley, New York
- Smith Point County Park, Photo: ni/stock.adobe.com
- TWA Flight 800 Memorial, Shirley, New York, Photo: Brandon Seidel/stock.adobe.com
- Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, Shirley, New York, Photo: Jay/stock.adobe.com
- The Museum Manor of St. George, Shirley, New York, Photo: Luca Lorenzelli/stock.adobe.com
- Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library, Shirley, NY, Photo: Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library
- Long Island Skydiving Center, Shirley, New York, Photo: 6okean/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Jay/stock.adobe.com
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