How Many Islands Are In New York? Exploring The State’S Scenic Island Destinations

As an East Coast state with over 300 miles of coastline, New York is home to a fascinating collection of islands that dot its waterscapes from New York City to the Canadian border. Ranging from the skyscraper-filled Manhattan to the rugged Thousand Islands region, New York’s islands provide everything from urban escapes to outdoor adventure. If you’ve ever wondered how many islands can be found across New York State, read on for an in-depth look at the number and highlights of New York’s scenic islands.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: There are approximately 1,864 islands within the boundaries of New York State, from New York City’s Manhattan to the Thousand Islands region along the St. Lawrence River.

Famous New York Islands


When people think of New York, Manhattan is often the first island that comes to mind. Known for its iconic skyline and bustling city streets, Manhattan is a cultural, financial, and entertainment hub. It is home to famous landmarks such as Times Square, Central Park, and the Empire State Building.

With its vibrant energy and diverse neighborhoods, Manhattan attracts millions of visitors each year.

Long Island

Stretching 118 miles eastward from Manhattan, Long Island is the largest island in the contiguous United States. It is divided into two counties, Nassau and Suffolk, and is known for its beautiful beaches, vineyards, and charming coastal towns.

Long Island offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, with its picturesque landscapes and rich history. It is also home to popular destinations like the Hamptons and Montauk.

Staten Island

Located in the southwestern part of the city, Staten Island is one of the five boroughs of New York City. It is known for its suburban atmosphere and natural beauty. Staten Island offers a mix of residential neighborhoods, parks, and cultural attractions.

One of its most famous landmarks is the Staten Island Ferry, which provides stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. The Staten Island Greenbelt, a system of parks and trails, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

These three islands are just a glimpse of the many scenic and diverse destinations that New York has to offer. Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Manhattan, relaxing on the beaches of Long Island, or enjoying the suburban charm of Staten Island, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the Empire State.

Upstate New York Island Destinations

When people think of New York, they often envision the bustling streets of Manhattan or the iconic landmarks of the Big Apple. However, New York State is also home to some stunning island destinations in its upstate region.

These hidden gems offer a peaceful escape from the city and provide visitors with breathtaking natural beauty.

The Thousand Islands

One of the most famous island destinations in upstate New York is the Thousand Islands region. Located in the St. Lawrence River, this archipelago consists of over 1,800 islands, each with its own unique charm.

Some of the larger islands, such as Wellesley Island and Wolfe Island, offer a range of recreational activities, including hiking, boating, and fishing. The smaller islands are often privately owned and showcase picturesque cottages and mansions.

Visitors can explore the islands by taking a boat tour or renting a kayak to paddle through the crystal-clear waters.

Lake Erie Islands

Another group of islands worth exploring in upstate New York are the Lake Erie Islands. Located in the western part of the state, these islands offer a laid-back atmosphere and a variety of outdoor activities.

One of the most popular destinations is Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island, known for its vibrant nightlife and family-friendly attractions. Visitors can enjoy water sports, visit historical sites, or simply relax on the sandy beaches.

Kelley’s Island, Middle Bass Island, and Pelee Island are also worth a visit for their natural beauty and tranquil ambiance.

Lake Ontario Islands

For those seeking a serene island experience, the Lake Ontario Islands are a perfect choice. These islands, including the popular Sodus Bay and Chimney Bluffs State Park, offer stunning views of Lake Ontario and opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking.

The islands are known for their sandy beaches, clear waters, and charming lighthouses. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family-friendly adventure, the Lake Ontario Islands provide a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

For more information on upstate New York island destinations, you can visit the official websites of the Thousand Islands Tourism Council ( and the Lake Erie Islands and Shores Tourism Bureau (

Barrier Islands of Long Island

Long Island, located in the southeastern part of New York State, is home to several stunning barrier islands. These islands, characterized by their long stretches of sandy beaches and dunes, offer visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Fire Island

Fire Island is perhaps the most well-known barrier island in New York. With its pristine beaches, charming villages, and diverse wildlife, it attracts visitors from all over the world. One of the highlights of Fire Island is its iconic lighthouse, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, go hiking, or enjoy water sports, Fire Island has something for everyone.

Shelter Island

Located between the North and South Forks of Long Island, Shelter Island is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful retreat for those seeking solitude. With its beautiful beaches, nature preserves, and quaint villages, it’s the perfect destination for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Mashomack Preserve, a 2,039-acre nature sanctuary that’s home to a variety of plant and animal species.


Known as “The End” because of its location at the easternmost tip of Long Island, Montauk is a popular destination for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its rugged coastline, beautiful beaches, and world-class fishing make it a haven for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors.

Be sure to visit Montauk Point State Park, which is home to the historic Montauk Point Lighthouse and offers stunning panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway or an adventurous outdoor experience, the barrier islands of Long Island have something for everyone. Don’t miss out on exploring these scenic destinations and discovering the natural wonders they have to offer!

Smaller and Lesser-Known New York Islands

While most people are familiar with the famous Manhattan Island, New York is actually home to a number of smaller and lesser-known islands that offer unique and scenic destinations. These islands, scattered throughout the state, provide opportunities for outdoor activities, historical exploration, and peaceful getaways.

Islands of New York City

New York City is not just about the bustling streets and towering skyscrapers. It is also home to several islands that offer a different perspective of the city. One of the most well-known is Governors Island, located in the heart of New York Harbor.

This island, once a military outpost, is now a popular recreational destination with parks, biking trails, and stunning views of the Statue of Liberty.

Another notable island in New York City is Roosevelt Island. Situated in the East River, between Manhattan and Queens, this island is accessible by tramway or subway. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful walk along the waterfront promenade, visit the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, or take in breathtaking views of the city skyline.

Islands of the Hudson River

The Hudson River, flowing through eastern New York, is home to several picturesque islands. One of them is Pollepel Island, also known as Bannerman Island, which is located near Beacon. This island is famous for its ruins of a Scottish-style castle, built in the early 20th century.

Visitors can take guided tours to explore the castle and learn about its intriguing history.

Another notable island in the Hudson River is Iona Island, located near Bear Mountain State Park. This island is a designated National Natural Landmark and offers opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, and picnicking.

It is also home to the Iona Island Marsh, a critical habitat for various bird species.

Uninhabited State Park Islands

New York State is also home to several uninhabited islands that are part of the state park system. One example is Wellesley Island, located in the Thousand Islands region of the St. Lawrence River. This island offers camping, boating, and fishing opportunities, as well as scenic hiking trails.

Another uninhabited island worth exploring is Fire Island, located off the southern coast of Long Island. This barrier island is known for its beautiful beaches, wildlife-rich marshes, and historic lighthouse. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, hiking, and birdwatching on this idyllic island.

For more information about these smaller and lesser-known islands in New York, you can visit the New York State Parks website. It provides detailed information about each island, including activities, amenities, and directions.


From the skyscrapers of Manhattan to the rugged natural beauty of the Thousand Islands, New York State is home to approximately 1,864 islands that provide everything from urban escapes to outdoor adventure. The diversity among New York’s islands leads to endless opportunities for exploration. Whether city breaks, beach retreats or scenic hikes are calling, New York offers island destinations that can cater to any interest.

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