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See and Be Part of the Scene at These 8 Vibrant Downtowns

November 20, 2019

Plus an Insider’s Guide to Shopping Local at one-of-a-kind Boutiques.

8 Vibrant Downtowns on Long Island


The village of Patchogue is booming with a flurry of new up and coming restaurants, shops, and lively events that have both visitors and locals flocking to the recently revitalized town. New restaurants RHUM and Flight are the talk of the town – providing unique experiential dining options and mainstay, Toast Coffeehouse is the place to be for a ‘see and be seen’ brunch experience. If you are dreaming of a fall getaway in a charming town, with lots of lively nightlife and restaurant options then Patchogue is the place to be.  Shop local: Paper Doll Curiosity Shoppe is a fun novelty boutique and Record Stop is the ultimate vinyl destination.


The picturesque village of Stony Brook is filled to the brim with historic anecdotes from Long Island’s storied past. Whether you are a history buff looking to explore the town’s many educational and historic offerings including the Brewster House c. 1665 and Stony Brook Grist Mill c. 1751 or you are simply looking to unwind in a charming downtown filled with quaint eateries and premier shops – you are guaranteed to fall in love with Stony Brook’s old-world charm. Don’t let this quaint village fool you though- its shops are at the forefront of Long Island’s culinary scene including Brew Cheese- a cheese shop/restaurant which stocks over 60 different cheeses with an emphasis on American styles and pairs selections with an assortment of specialty IPA’s – the perfect combination of antique hinge-lidded beer steins and cheese graters. Shop Local: Cottontails is an adorable children’s specialty store with everything from books, toys, fun raincoats and party dresses.


Long Beach may be buzzing during the summers months but locals know that the city is just as popular in the offseason. Less trafficked beaches and boardwalks make for the perfect fall afternoon strolls and a lively restaurant scene keeps locals out and about late into the evening hours. Be sure to check out SWINGBELLYS in the West End serving up New York style barbeque (that’s right – New York Style BBQ!) to locals year-round. Favorites include: SWINGBELLYS Infamous Pickle Chips and the 12-hour brisket. Shop Local: Codfish Cowboy is the perfect spot to find curated handcrafted collections.


The town of Greenport is situated on Long Island’s North Fork and is attracting an eclectic, laid-back group of visitors to its seaside village.  A booming dining scene, walkable downtown village and proximity to vineyards and farmland make this town the ultimate car-free getaway. Most recently the North Fork Trolley service is providing locals and visitors alike with a seamless mode of transportation- ensuring crat beverage trail revelers can enjoy a day-long adventure on Long Island’s North Fork. Service runs through November transporting visitors along various stops from Mattituck to Southold and Southold to Greenport.  Shop Local: Hunt for antique treasures at Beall & Bell.


Port Jefferson boasts seaside charm with a walkable downtown and a booming restaurant scene year-round. Stay overnight at Danford’s Hotel & Marina, the luxurious New England style retreat has waterfront views of the Long Island Sound and dockside dinning.  During the holidays, Port Jefferson transforms into a winter wonderland during its annual Dickens Festival. Shop Local: Stop in The Crushed Olive for curated selection of olive oil and The East End Shirt Company is a go-to for Long Island branded merchandise.


Oyster Bay is home to President Theodore Roosevelt’s home Sagamore Hill, now a national historic site and museum for visitors. Known for its annual Oyster Festival every October, the seaside town has many attributes including a booming dining scene and unique shops. Shop Local: A visit to Oyster Bay isn’t complete without a stop at Billy Joel’s 20th Century Cycles.


Huntington’s chic downtown is a mecca of upscale dining options, from the harbor front steakhouse Prime to brunch hot spot Toast.  The town is also a hub of arts and culture, with The Paramount offerings concerts, comedy, and other special events throughout the year, and the Hecksher Museum of Art showcasing more than 2,500 pieces of American and European artists dating back to 1534. A visit to Huntington isn’t complete without a stop at OHEKA CASTLE, a sprawling 1920’s estate that is an active hotel and restaurant.  Shop Local: Visit an independent bookstore, Book Revue and don’t miss taking in a show at the famous Paramount theater.


With a booming restaurant and nightlife scene, Rockville Centre is a thriving downtown on Long Island’s South Shore. If you are looking for kid-friendly activities head to the Center for Science, Teaching & Learning with Dinosaur adventures, nature walks and summer camp offerings. Top-notch restaurants, a lively nightlife scene and one-of-a-kind local boutiques make this downtown a one-stop-shop for an unforgettable experience. Shop Local: Stop into Village Cheese Merchant for an artisan cheese experience and following browse the Giftologist for some one-of-a-kind local finds.

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