So have I enticed you to visit Riverhead yet? With a few more weeks of summer and fall upon us, it is the perfect time to head east of NYC to this busy town on Long Island. I mean seriously, the kids just started school this past week, but anyone in the New York tri-state area knows that they are already off for a 4 day weekend, September 15th through 18th, and are also off September 26th and October 8th! As you know from Part One and Part Two of this series, there is no shortage of things to do with the kids . . . aquarium, Long Island Railroad Museum, kayaking , biking and hanging out with some farm animals. The nice thing though about Riverhead is that you can slip some things in for Mom and Dad too, heck you can even bring the grandparents! No matter who makes the trip, you can bet on a good time. We always do. So sift through the different ideas on the previous list and the one below and start planning what attractions, farms and outdoor activities for your own travel itinerary.
21. Enjoy a live performance – The Vail-Leavitt Music Hall which was established in 1881 and was modeled after Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. This music hall host productions from the East End Children’s Theatre Co., songwriter showcases, concerts and comedy shows. As of Dec. 31, 2012, the Suffolk Theatre will be another place to catch a live performance ranging from musical acts, plays and comedy shows. In addition the Suffolk Theatre which originally opened in 1933 will once again show films that span from popular box office movies to classic, foreign and independent films. I am so excited that this historical single screen art deco movie theater that was once compared to Radio City Music Hall will be re-opening with such a range of productions. It is located within walking distance of the Hyatt Place and there are many restaurants close by , like the Riverhead Project, that you will definitely be able to make it a night out on the town.
22. Visit a farm-stand – It is apple picking time! It’s also pumpkin picking time too! Farm stands and orchards are popular stops for families to pick up some fresh produce. Many farms also offer “pick your own” strawberries, peaches and pumpkins in season. For a list of Riverhead Farm Stands, click on this link.
23. Tea Time Cottage - This Long Island Teahouse is adorable. It is a wonderful, cozy place for a cup of tea and a warm scone or a great freshly made wrap and a cup of soup. The Tea TIme Cottage is close to Hallockville Museum Farm and the Gingerbread University, so once you are finished decorating cookies or hanging out on the farm, cap off your day with afternoon tea, minus the white gloves.
24. Hit the Golf course – If golf is your game, there is several courses where you can tee off or hit the driving range in Riverhead. The four public courses are Cherry Cree Golf Links, Long Island National Golf Club, Sandy Pond Golf Course, and The Woods At Cherry Creek.
25. Do a little fishing Flander’s Bay offers saltwater fishing where you can reel in striped bass, bluefish and snapper. If you would like to fish by boat, rentals are available and of course you can always fish by shore. The Peconic River is another great place to fish and you can also find striped bass and snapper here too. The town docks behind Main Street provide the easiest way to cast your rod and is a great place to fish with kids. Regardless of where you go fishing, don’t forget that anyone over the age of sixteen in New York needs a fishing license. You can pick one up at Sports Authority on Old Country Road or the Town of RIverhead at 200 Howell Avenue for five dollars.
26. Camp & Hike at Indian Island County Park - Open year round, camping is quite popular at Indian Island, with trailer and tent campsites. Restrooms and shower facilities are available for the comfort of all campers. Picnic tables, grills, comfortable benches make it easy to set up shop. Other features are fishing, playgrounds, hiking trails, and a bike hostel. Dogs must be leashed. If you are looking to connect with nature and get away from it all, Indian County Park is the place to escape to where you can enjoy 287 acres and views of the peaceful Flanders Bay. Click here for camp reservation information.
27. Go Antiquing- Antiques Etc. is a located in an old barn on McDermott Ave. between the Peconic River and Main Street. When I visited there were some gorgeous pieces of furniture. I fell in love with a large farm table and a mirrored chest of drawers. Too bad there is no room in my house. Another great place on Main Street is the Red Collection which is a consignment shop featuring home furnishings many made by top designers. The store is 8,000 square feet and items range from $10 to 10,000. Since my favorite channel is HGTV, all I can say is I love this place.
28. Get your history fix at the Suffolk County Historical Society Museum - There is a lot of history on Long Island. Think about it, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence , William Floyd resided in Suffolk County, the Culper Spy Ring operated in parts of Suffolk County, and being on the east coast, colonial life was largely prevalent. Of course Suffolk County also was where the first wireless signal was transmitted, where Albert Einstein spent his summer in 1939 and was the home of the first US Navy Submarine base.The museum has a vast collection that includes 20,000 historical artifacts. There are permanent and changing exhibitions. The artifact collections are broad, but mainly focus in the areas of history and the arts. The majority of the collections are from the 19th century, but Native American artifacts from the prehistoric to modern time are also represented.
29. Check out Long Island Antique Power Association - Conveniently right next door to the Hallockville Farm Museum, you will find the Long Island Antique Power Association. Here you can check out antique trucks, tractors and equipment. So if you are into cars and like to check out engines or think it would be fun to see a tractor pull, stop on by. Rumor has it that the association hopes make their operation a full-time working farm museum so the public can participate sowing wheat and planting potatoes and them harvesting them.
30. Venture out to neighboring towns – Well, if the previous 29 places were not enough, within 15 to 20 minutes from Riverhead, you can star-gaze at the Custer Institute in Southold on Saturday night or for the Annual Astronomy Jamboree October 19th- 20th. Another must see, especially for kids is to visit the Big Duck, a roadside attraction in Flanders. If you can’t wait for the Suffolk Theater to open, you can catch a live comedy show or music performance at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. You can always find a great line up here which is nice when you don’t want to head into NYC. For example, on Columbus Day weekend the Gregg Allman and Band and Bill Cosby will be performing.
Yes, the list is long, but with 30 Reasons to Vacation in Riverhead that is expected. Believe it or not there is even more places that are on the horizon in this busy town. There is an ice rink and pavilion in the works and it looks like dinosaurs will be back on Main streett. Most places that are mentioned are fairly inexpensive, but there are a few places that can be pricy, so make sure you look for discounts in the Your Local Kids Source, which is a free magazine that you can find in the hotels and restaurants. I have found coupons for the aquarium up to 30% discounts in this coupon book or you can just go to their website and create your own coupon.