Melville is an affluent hamlet in Huntington, Suffolk County, New York.
The Native Americans once called the place Sunsquams, before the Europeans named it Samuel Ketcham’s Valley in the 17th century.
Then, the area changed its name to Sweet Hollow until the people changed it again to Melville around 1854.
Its name, Melville, comes from the Latin word for honey; the area has an abundance of honey bees, which also explains the origin of its previous name, Sweet Hollow.
Today, Melville is a quaint suburban area 42 minutes east of New York City, making it an ideal day trip destination from the Big Apple.
If you’re looking for a quick getaway from NYC, here are some of the best things to do in Melville, NY:
Enjoy a Picnic Lunch at Arboretum Park
Arboretum Park is the perfect spot in Melville for a relaxing picnic lunch, located in a quiet and safe area along Wilmington Drive.
Also known as the Anne Frank Memorial Garden, the park has several plaques with quotes from her diary and images of children’s handprints in honor of Anne Frank and other children murdered in the Holocaust.
Pack a couple of sandwiches, cakes, and refreshments, and head to Arboretum Park for a picnic lunch on a balmy or warm day and enjoy the tranquility of your surroundings.
Kids can also enjoy playing and running at the small playground, which features a tire swing, monkey bars, and slides.
With its tree-lined surroundings, the park is also beautiful in fall, framed by trees and plants in striking gold, red, yellow, and orange hues.
Spend the Day at White Post Farms of Melville
The White Post Farms of Melville is your one-stop family-friendly destination, located along Old Country Road, Melville.
The farm offers several acres of farmlands, including a zoo, farmer’s market, greenhouse, and more.
For kids and kids at heart, visit the petting zoo and meet and feed giraffes, lorikeets, ponies, marmosets, and more.
Stop by the farmer’s market and shop for locally sourced produce and food items like their best-selling pies and banana bread.
Visit the greenhouse and marvel at all the colorful plants and flowers you can use for your home garden or landscape.
During the fall, don’t miss the chance to celebrate the season at White Post Farms of Melville.
Pick and paint pumpkins, watch fun shows, go on a hayride, and bring home a pot of their colorful mums.
Savor Latin and Italian Dishes at the Refuge
The Refuge takes pride in its reputation as one of the most sought-after dining spots in Melville and the whole of Long Island.
Offering delicious Latin and Italian cuisine, the restaurant has a cozy ambiance, featuring an indoor and outdoor dining area and several rooms where you can host events.
The restaurant is a favorite among locals and tourists for its brunch menu, featuring specials like French toast, steak and egg burrito, and huevos rancheros, a usual mid-morning meal in rural Mexico.
You can also try their lunch and dinner menu and feast on mouthwatering pizza, pasta, burgers, seafood, and traditional Latin and Italian dishes paired with wine or your choice of cocktail.
For guests with allergies and special dietary requirements, the Refuge offers a vegan menu, including plant-based chicken fingers, spicy tacos, ravioli, and meatballs.
Visit the Reckner Greenhouses & Farms
For plant enthusiasts and those with a green thumb, visit different greeneries in Melville and check out their homegrown plants and flowers.
Visit Reckner Greenhouses & Farms, one of the oldest family-owned greenhouses in Melville, and see their extensive collection of flowering plants and herbs.
M&F Farms is another family-run greenhouse that has existed for three generations, proof of their dedication and quality of work.
You can also visit Sunshine Gardens Nursery and Greenhouse, Plant Nursery and Greenhouse, Woodbourne Cultural Nurseries, and Kurt Weiss Greenhouses, Inc.
Explore the greenhouses and nurseries, and purchase a pot or two of your favorite plant or herb to bring home.
Go for a Hike at Pine Ridge Conservation Area
Pine Ridge Conservation Area is a relatively secluded green space near the border between Melville and Old Bethpage.
Despite its unassuming appearance, the park draws many hikers, bikers, and joggers looking to break a sweat.
The Pine Ridge Conservation Area Loop is a 4.2-kilometer trail ideal for biking, hiking, and trail running.
Although easy and safe for beginners and kids, the trail is unmarked, so tourists might want to avoid staying until dark.
If you don’t plan on running or bringing your bike, you can enjoy a relaxing stroll through the woods and the park’s solitary atmosphere.
Reach New Heights at the Gravity Vault
The Gravity Vault is an indoor rock climbing gym with over 20,000 square feet of courses and fun obstacles.
The facility includes more than 100 rope climbing stations, several lead climbing stations, bouldering areas, a speed wall, a crack climbing area, and auto-belays.
In addition, the Gravity Vault also has a cardio training room, meditation room, and locker rooms with showers.
For beginners and children, you can join a one-hour private session or an introduction to rock climbing class to acquaint yourself with essential skills and techniques.
On the other hand, experienced climbers can purchase day passes, access the facility all day, and enjoy the bouldering areas and climb stations without assistance.
Relax at Sweet Hollow Park
Sweet Hollow Park is one of the main parks in Melville, located near West Hills Nature Preserve.
The park is perfect for children and adults and has tennis, pickleball, and basketball courts, exercise equipment, a playground, and seating areas.
Thanks to its location and easy access to its facilities, Sweet Hollow Park is a favorite hangout place for locals.
In the morning or just before sunset, head to the park for a quick exercise or a mid-run rest and relax.
Kids can enjoy the swings, slides, monkey bars, and miniature obstacle courses.
You can also go for a short walk along the gravel walking trail and find different plants and tiny wildflowers along the way.
Taste the Best Steak and Sushi at Blackstone Steakhouse
East meets West at Blackstone Steakhouse, a restaurant specializing in prime meats and mouthwatering sushi.
Located in a posh yet welcoming establishment near the highway, the steakhouse is the perfect place to chill and relax after a day’s sightseeing and exploring.
For dinner, start with an assortment of sushi or signature rolls made with king crab, crunchy lobster, or premium Wagyu beef.
As the only restaurant on Long Island certified by the Kobe Association of Japan, the Blackstone Steakhouse prepares a slab of authentic Kobe beef, best paired with a glass of Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon.
End your dinner on a sweet note with a slice of their special Blackstone chocolate cake, banana cream pie, or a classic NY-style cheesecake.
Embark on a Nature Walk at Butterfly Park
Also called Farmington Lane Park, Butterfly Park is a spacious leisure area along Bagatelle Road and Farmington Lane.
It’s a small, relatively secluded hiking spot in town and has a short 0.8-mile trail ideal for nature walks.
On your hike, spot different plant species like chestnut trees, flowering dogwood plants, red and white oak trees, and sassafras.
You may not see many butterflies, but you can catch woodpeckers, cardinals, eastern cottontails, eastern gray squirrels, raccoons, and opossums.
Note that the trail at Butterfly Park is hilly, which might challenge inexperienced hikers or those with limited mobility.
Get Lost in Nature at West Hills Nature Preserve
Located near the main highway, West Hills Nature Preserve offers a three-kilometer nature trail where you can hike, jog, or enjoy a relaxing walk.
This nature preserve holds a variety of animals like deer, rabbits, and raccoons and plant species like oak trees, sycamore trees, and colorful wildflowers.
However, some trails can get tough, so those with limited mobility might have to sit this out.
Regardless, it is a great place to walk around and escape the crowd.
West Hills Nature Preserve is also a dog-friendly trail, although you should always keep them on a leash.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Visit Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
Sagamore Hill is a sprawling estate where former US president Theodore Roosevelt lived from 1885 until he died in 1919.
Several years after his death, the estate became Sagamore Hill National Historic Site to preserve the house and its surrounding property.
From Melville, drive 24 minutes north to Oyster Bay, New York, and tour Roosevelt’s Summer White House, exploring the rooms and halls that once hosted foreign dignitaries and peace talks.
You can also learn more about Roosevelt’s life and career at the Theodore Roosevelt Museum at Old Orchard, a Georgian-style house where his son once lived.
Before leaving Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, follow a short nature trail to get to Eel Creek and catch panoramic views of Cold Spring Harbor.
Feel the Rush at Adventureland
Located in Farmingdale, New York, Adventureland offers 12 acres of thrilling amusement park rides for the whole family.
Adventureland has more than 20 rides, including roller coasters, water slides, kid-friendly slides, an outdoor arcade, a section for outdoor games, and a souvenir shop.
Bring the whole family for a day trip at Adventureland and feel the adrenaline rush as you ride the Pirate Ship, Adventure Falls, and the Lighthouse Drop Tower.
There are also small roller coasters, a merry-go-round, teacup rides, and a train for children.
After you’ve had your fill of exciting theme park rides, stop by the arcade, play some fun outdoor games, or shop for souvenirs and novelty items at Midway Market.
This amusement park is seven minutes from Melville.
Explore Belmont Lake State Park
Travel 20 minutes south of Melville and spend the day at Belmont Lake State Park in West Babylon, New York, one of the many state parks you can visit on Long Island.
Belmont Lake State Park offers more than 400 acres of green spaces, a vast lake for water activities, and trails for walking and hiking.
At the 42-acre property, rent a pedal boat, kayak, and rowboat and enjoy the view of the park from a different perspective.
You may also fish for trout, carp, summer bass, largemouth bass, and other fish species.
Back on land, follow the hiking trails around the lake, play basketball, funnel ball, or horseshoe at the courts and fields, or enjoy a relaxing picnic at the designated grounds.
Zip Past the Aerial Trails at the Adventure Park at Long Island
Located in Wheatley Heights, New York, the Adventure Park at Long Island is a fun and exhilarating forested recreational park featuring various ziplining courses and aerial trails.
The park has 49 ziplines, 14 treetop trails, and more than 200 platforms suitable for kids and adults.
You can explore the courses at the Adventure Park at Long Island on your own or follow the guide among the staff.
Choose your path among the 14 color-coded trails, or have the staff advise you on which course to take depending on the difficulty level and your fitness level.
Although you can enjoy ziplining across the forest and traversing the platforms during the day, don’t miss the chance to enjoy these activities at night, complete with LED lights and music!
Drive 11 minutes from Melville to reach this park.
Connect with Nature at Bailey Arboretum
For a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of the city, head to the landscaped gardens of Bailey Arboretum in Locust Valley, New York, located 30 minutes from Melville.
The arboretum boasts several acres of botanic gardens, walking paths, and almost 200 species of trees, including a dawn redwood tree, said to have the largest girth in the world.
Join a nature walk around Bailey Arboretum and get a deeper sense of appreciation for Mother Nature’s creations through games, activities, and other hands-on experiences.
You can also hike the woodland trails, hang out by the pond or on a bench, and enjoy the pristine environment.
Its picturesque surroundings make Bailey Arboretum the perfect backdrop for photo shoots and events.
As an affluent area on Long Island, there are plenty of things to do in Melville, New York.
Whether you’re looking for another destination to tick off your bucket list or need a quick break from city living, don’t miss a weekend getaway to this New York wonder.
Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Melville!