Located on the north shore of Long Island, just 78 miles from New York City, Riverhead is a historic small town which has a lot to offer visitors. If you are visiting with the family the primary attractions would be the Long Island Aquarium and the Riverhead Raceway, while apple picking at one of two orchards tops the list of things to do in September/October. Adults can visit a number of local craft breweries, a winery and a distillery or brush up on their history knowledge at the Hallockville Museum Farm. The Suffolk Theater and the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall add a dose of culture to the mix, while Tweeds Restaurant serves great food in a brilliant historic setting. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Long Island Aquarium
© Long Island Aquarium
The Long Island Aquarium is a brilliant attraction which promises hours of educational fun for the whole family. The aquarium skillfully sets out to convince visitors that they are in the heart of the Lost City of Atlantis and besides the normal viewing tanks, Long Island Aquarium offers a host of exciting adventure activities such as the Shark Dive and the Penguin Encounter. The facility boasts one of the largest living coral reef exhibits in the world where you can see thousands of colorful reef fish going about their business. Younger visitors will love the numerous touch tanks and the energetic and fascinating Sea Lion Show.
Long Island Aquarium, 431 East Main St, Riverhead, NY 11901, Phone: 631-208-9200
2.Jamesport Farm Brewery
These days it seems as though every village and town has their own craft brewery. What sets the Jamesport Farm Brewery apart is the fact that they brew their excellent beers using only the freshest ingredients, most of which are grown right there on the farm. The Jamesport Farm is a modern working farm which produces just about all the fresh hops, barley and wheat used in the brewery process, making this the only “Farm to Pint” brewery on Long Island. Visitors are invited to come and experience the difference at their tasting room in the old potato barn. You can also stock up on a variety of farm grown products after your tasting.
Jamesport Farm Brewery, 5873 Sound Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901, Phone: 844-532-2337
© Suffolk Theater
The Suffolk Theater first opened its doors in 1933 and is still welcoming a regular following of theater-goers almost 90 years later. Although the theater has undergone numerous renovations and restorations, much of its original art-deco interior remains intact, offering visitors a nostalgic backdrop to an-otherwise thoroughly modern performing arts venue. Today the venue can be set up to host intimate dinner-theater or can be transformed into a traditional theater to accommodate larger audiences for concerts, music performances and much more. The on-site Noah’s restaurant is ideal for pre-show supper or cocktails and provides the catering for regular dinner-theater events.
Suffolk Theater, 118 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901, Phone: 631-727-4343
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Riverhead Raceway staged its first race on a gravel figure-8 track back in 1944, making it one of the oldest racetracks in the US. Currently, Riverhead is the only NASCAR track in the New York area and attracts a steady following of petrol heads. Here you can watch anything from NASCAR races to demolition derbies, school-bus racing, monster trucks and even go-karts. The season lasts from April till October and offers fun-filled family entertainment. If you visit on July 4th you will also get to see the Kids Big Wheel Race and some brilliant fireworks. There are races every week during the summer – check their website for more information.
Riverhead Raceway, 1797 Old Country Rd, Riverhead, NY 11901, Phone: 631-842-7223
5.Twin Stills Moonshine Distillery
© Twin Stills Moonshine Distillery
Continuing a family legacy, Twin Stills Distillery makes genuine old-fashioned small-batch whiskies and delicious flavored spirits from locally grown New York corn, just like Pops and Granddad made it during the dark days of the prohibition. The distillery tasting room is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm to 6pm. If you live in the area and would like to be invited to their special monthly members-only tastings you can join the Shine Club and help them to perfect their limited edition seasonal moonshines. If you are not sure how to serve the Twin Stills range of flavored spirits you can get some inspiration from the cocktail recipes on their website.
Twin Stills Moonshine Distillery, 5506 Sound Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901, Phone: 631-779-3199
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6.Hallockville Museum Farm
© Hallockville Museum Farm
Farming has been a way of life on the North Fork of Long Island since the 18th century. In order to preserve and showcase the history of the early pioneer farmers, Hallockville Museum Farm was established. The early Hallockville homestead was built in 1765 and was continually occupied until as recently as 1985. The farm is open to the public during the summer months from the end of May to the end of October, however group tours can be arranged all year round. Entry to the homestead is restricted to guided tours but you are welcome to explore the farm grounds at your own pace. The museum offers regular lectures and craft demonstrations.
Hallockville Museum Farm, 6038 Sound Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901, Phone: 631-298-5292
© Harbes Orchard
Harbes orchard is a popular seasonal (open in September and October only) attraction for the whole family. Children will love having the chance to pick their own juicy apples – there are no fewer than 27 varieties to choose from and the orchard uses a brilliant trellis system to train their apple trees, ensuring that even younger children can reach much of the fruit. Fun fall activities include apple and pumpkin picking, hay rides and exploring the corn mazes. There are also pony rides for the children. On Saturday nights in October the corn mazes turns creepy – bring the family along to enjoy the Harbes Orchard Spooky Night Maze experience.
Harbes Orchard, 5698 Sound Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901, Phone: 631-369-1111
Visitors to Riverhead are invited to come and experience some delicious Long Island wines at the Paumanock Vineyards and Winery. Established in 1983, the 127-acre estate is densely planted with a variety of popular cultivars. The vineyards are family-tended and all the delicious wines are made on the property in a converted barn which houses the fermentation tank. The estate has a large tasting room and an open deck overlooking the beautiful vineyards – a perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine and a cheese or charcuterie platter. Tastings are conducted daily from 11am to 5pm (6pm in summer) and you are welcome to drop by without making a reservation.
Paumanock Vineyards and Winery, 1074 Main Rd, Aquebogue, NY 11931, Phone: 631-722-8800
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9.Vail-Leavitt Music Hall
The historic Vail-Leavitt Music Hall has endured unscathed since 1881, earning it the distinction of being the oldest theater in down-state New York. The grand old dame managed to escape the wrecker’s ball for several decades and underwent a thorough restoration between 1978 and 2003. The nostalgic old theater is once again a popular meeting place for Riverhead locals and visitors. The venue hosts regular Thursday Coffee and Jazz sessions as well as a calendar of cultural events, music nights and concerts throughout the year. You can check their website for details of up-coming productions and come and experience a taste of old-time Music Hall entertainment.
Vail-Leavitt Music Hall, 18 Peconic Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901, Phone: 631-727-5782
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© Woodside Orchards
Woodside Orchards started as a small family-owned apple farm back in 1982. As the Gammon family grew, so did their apple-farming business and today visitors can look forward to enjoying a variety of home-made apple delights. If you want to take part in the U-Pick apple-picking you will need to visit from Mid September through Columbus Day weekend when the harvest is in full swing. If you are interested in tasting their delicious hard cider you can visit the tasting room year round to try a flight of 4 different ciders. Once you have found your favorite you can buy a growler to take home with you. Delicious baked goods are available during the harvest season.
Woodside Orchards, 729 Main Rd, Aquebogue, Riverhead, NY 11931, Phone: 631-722-5770
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11.Tweeds Restaurant and Buffalo Bar
© Tweeds Restaurant and Buffalo Bar
Your visit to Riverhead would be incomplete without savoring at least one meal at Tweeds Restaurant and Buffalo Bar, a historic Riverhead landmark since 1896. Sidle up to the magnificent mahogany and marble bar (which was moved to the restaurant from the 1983 Exposition in Chicago) to order your favorite bourbon from the wide variety on offer. The restaurant owns their own bison herd and you will find many delicious signature bison dishes on the menu, along with a wide selection of other tempting options. Wednesday night is Date Night at Tweeds and on most weekends there is some kind of live music to entertain you while you dine.
Tweeds Restaurant and Buffalo Bar, 17 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901, Phone: 631-237-8120
11 Best Things to Do in Riverhead, NY
- Long Island Aquarium, Photo: Long Island Aquarium
- Jamesport Farm Brewery, Photo: Wasan/stock.adobe.com
- Suffolk Theater, Photo: Suffolk Theater
- Riverhead Raceway, Photo: robsonphoto/stock.adobe.com
- Twin Stills Moonshine Distillery, Photo: Twin Stills Moonshine Distillery
- Hallockville Museum Farm, Photo: Hallockville Museum Farm
- Harbes Orchard, Photo: Harbes Orchard
- Paumanock Vineyards, Photo: salahoff/stock.adobe.com
- Vail-Leavitt Music Hall, Photo: aerogondo/stock.adobe.com
- Woodside Orchards, Photo: Woodside Orchards
- Tweeds Restaurant and Buffalo Bar, Photo: Tweeds Restaurant and Buffalo Bar
- Cover Photo: Harbes Family Farm
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