15 Best Things to Do in Riverhead, NY

Riverhead, NY
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Serving as the Seat of Suffolk County since 1727, the historic town of Riverhead, New York, has a lot to offer to its visitors.

You can find this area right at the mouth of the Peconic River.

When you come here, you will find many activities to do with your family and friends.

Many of its attractions can offer a lot of fun and excitement while being laid back.

There’s a lot to discover about this charming New York town, from outdoor spaces to interactive museums.

Here are the 15 best things to do in Riverhead, New York:

Visit Railroad Museum of Long Island

View of Railroad Museum of Long Island
DanTD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Railroads and locomotives have played a massive part in the development and growth of many places in the U.S.

This includes Long Island.

When you come to Riverhead, you may find the Railroad Museum of Long Island interesting.

This place aims to preserve and restore the history and artifacts that would educate people about the importance of the railroad system in the area.

View of Railroad Museum of Long Island
DanTD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can find this exciting museum at Greenport, particularly within a freight house of the Long Island Rail Road, which was constructed in 1892.

The railroad offers several exhibits and showcases that give you a glimpse of how these railroad systems operated back in the day.

Consider adding this place to your must-visit list in Riverhead.

View of Railroad Museum of Long Island
DanTD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn About Marine Life at Long Island Aquarium

When tourists come to Riverhead, one of the first places they go to is Long Island Aquarium.

This place features one of the most extensive all-living coral reef exhibits on this side of the world.

It also has a shark tank that measures 120,000 gallons, multiple touch tanks, and over a hundred regular and interactive exhibits.

When you visit this place, you can also check out the sea lion shows they offer.

Some of the interactive experiences they offer include Shark Dive, a tour boat, a snorkeling experience, and an encounter with the sea lions.

You can also stroll through this aquarium’s stunning butterfly garden.

Spend time here with your companions, and see the wonders of marine life right at Riverhead.

Catch a Live Show at Suffolk Theater

The beautiful Suffolk Theater first opened in 1933.

Since then, it has welcomed many theatergoers both from in and outside Riverhead.

The place has undergone multiple renovations, but its original interior, designed in an art-deco style, has remained intact.

Apart from the gorgeous interior, you can also catch many shows and live performances here.

Before heading to a show, you can stop by its on-site restaurant that offers meals and cocktails.

If you love performing and like watching shows in a cozy and beautiful setting, then check out Suffolk Theater.

Watch a Thrilling Race at Riverhead Raceway

The first race to be staged in this exciting attraction happened back in 1944.

This makes Riverhead Raceway one of the oldest race tracks in the United States.

As of writing, this raceway in Riverhead is the only NASCAR track in New York.

It also attracts many racing enthusiasts to its stands.

When you come here, you can witness many different forms of vehicle-related entertainment.

Of course, these include NASCAR races, go-kart racing, and school-bus racing.

However, you can also watch demolition derbies and monster trucks here.

Experience the thrill of super fast car racing by visiting Riverhead Raceway with your family.

Discover the Area’s Farming Past at the Hallockville Museum Farm

The community on the North Fold of Long Island has seen farming as a way of life since the mid-1700s.

At Riverhead, there is a place that preserves the history of this aspect in the community.

At Hallockville Museum Farm, the people aim to preserve and showcase how the early pioneer farmers lived in the 18th century.

Here, you will find the Hallockville homestead built in 1765.

The place remained occupied until 1985.

When you come here, you can go on a guided tour of the homestead.

You can learn about what life was like for the pioneer farmers in Riverhead.

Meanwhile, you can freely explore the farm itself.

Lectures and craft demonstrations are also hosted by the museum regularly, so consider attending one to have a productive time.

Vibe With the Music at Vail-Leavitt Music Hall

Front View of Vail-Leavitt Music Hall
Americasroof, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This historic music hall has been standing in Riverhead since 1881.

If you are interested in jazz music and its role in Riverhead’s history, check out the Vail Leavitt Music Hall.

Beautiful music has always rung within the walls of this place, and you can experience it yourself.

When you come here, you can take part in the many musical events the venue hosts.

If you want to experience a bit of live music hall entertainment, similar to how they do so back in the day, consider visiting the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall.

Have a Delicious Meal at Tweeds Restaurant and Buffalo Bar

One of the most famous historic landmarks in Riverhead is also a fantastic restaurant.

When you’re in Riverhead, make sure to check out Tweeds Restaurant and Buffalo Bar.

This place has stood in this town since 1896.

Many locals and tourists flock to this place to try one of their many delicious meals.

Here, you can enjoy some tasty food while relaxing with your companions right by its elegant bar made of mahogany and marble.

Some of their signature dishes on the menu are those made with bison meat sourced from the establishment’s bison herd.

If you’re looking for a great place to eat or hang out with your buddies in Riverhead, then don’t hesitate to check this place out.

Stroll Through Cranberry Bog

For lovers of the outdoors, don’t miss out on visiting Cranberry Bog Nature Preserve.

You can find this hidden gem set among Riverheads wetlands.

The park is essentially what’s left of an abandoned cranberry-growing operation.

The nature preserve measures 165 acres, and it forms a part of the Peconic River’s drainage system.

Additionally, it serves as a natural reservoir for the freshwater supply of long island.

When you come here, you can find numerous hiking trails that you can follow.

These will lead you to places where you can witness stunning sights overlooking the Little Peconic River.

You can also find a myriad of plant life, bird species, and local wildlife when you follow these trails.

The sights and smells coming from flora and other various plants found here vary from season to season, and they’re all enjoyable for every type of outdoor lover.

Find this hidden gem in Riverhead, and make sure to explore the best that it can offer.

Learn and Play With Your Kids at Long Island Science Center

Discovering the wonders of science can be exciting for the entire family.

Here in Riverhead, you can find Long Island Science Center, which is an incredible learning museum.

This place aims to prepare children for the future that’s mainly built on technology and innovation.

This living museum wants to promote curiosity and creativity among young people through its STEAM-focused curricula, interactive exhibits, and various programs.

However, the kids won’t be the only ones having fun here as this place offers an exciting time to visitors of all ages.

When you’re in Riverhead, bring your entire family to the Long Island Science Center.

Hang Out at the Peconic Riverfront Park

View of Peconic Riverfront Park
Chumash11, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most popular recreational areas in Riverhead is the Peconic Riverfront Park.

It features numerous amenities you can use for a lovely time.

Here, you can find a large playground and a vast grassy area where your kids can run about and play.

For those who want to relax, you can hand out at the park’s pavilion right next to a quiet river.

You can also discover the unique plants and trees found here through the several walking trails in the park.

If you get hungry, there is a restaurant nearby where you can get delicious food to eat at the park.

Sit back, relax, and spend some time at the Peconic Riverfront Park.

Have Fun With the Family at Safari Adventure

Another incredible place to take your family while in Riverhead is Safari Adventure.

It is the only entertainment center for kids in Suffolk County that utilizes a combination of activities that children love the most.

Here, you can find a sizeable soft playground measuring 18 feet tall and several fantastic inflatables.

There is also an arcade here, where you and your kids can have countless hours playing fantastic video games.

Additionally, there is a hands-on play section where your kids can have the opportunity to learn while having fun.

If you or your kids get hungry, you can head on to the establishment’s in-house cafe, featuring organic and gluten-free dishes.

You can spend countless hours here with your family, so consider heading here during your holiday in Riverhead.

Play a Game at the Sandy Pond Golf Course

Playing golf can be both thrilling and relaxing at the same time.

Here at Riverhead, you can visit Sandy Pond Golf Course.

It features a 9-hole course that’s challenging enough for people to have a fun and exciting time.

It’s a great place to play for both beginners and experts of the game.

Apart from the ease or difficulty of the course, Sandy Pond Golf Course also features gorgeous views of the surrounding area.

It has fairways and greens that are well-kept, adding to your experience.

Additionally, beginners can also seek the help of the friendly staff members here, as they can assist you and give you tips on how to play the sport.

When you’re in Riverhead, make sure to try a round of golf at Sandy Pond.

Have a Picnic at Stotzky Memorial Park

Are you looking for a place to spend a lovely afternoon with your travel companions?

Make sure to check out Stotzky Memorial Park when you visit Riverhead.

This exciting park spans 12 acres and features many amenities you and your friends or family can use.

If you want to stay active, then do check out the many sports amenities here.

It has several softball and baseball fields and courts for playing tennis, handball, bocce, and basketball.

Apart from this, it also features a playground, horseshoe pits, and a street hockey rink.

For people who simply want to hang out, you can head over to the picnic area and get some snacks at the concession stand.

It’s a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon while in Riverhead.

Go Camping at the Indian Island County Park

Another amazing attraction that showcases the beauty of the outdoors is the Indian Island County Park.

You can find this at the estuarine mouth of the Peconic River that runs through the town, and it spans 275 acres.

This park is open all year round to the public, and it has amenities for a myriad of activities.

Here, you can go camping at one of the trailer sites or tent sites at the park.

For your convenience, restrooms and showers are available.

Discover what’s great about the outdoors in Riverhead by spending a night at this amazing nature park.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Take a Picture Right by the Big Duck

View of The  Big Duck
Ray Larsen / Shutterstock.com

You can find a quirky-yet-iconic roadside attraction near Riverhead in the shape of a duck.

Appropriately named The Big Duck, this attraction is located in Flanders, 6 minutes away from Riverhead.

The attraction’s design was created by the Collin Brothers, who are set designers on Broadway.

However, the structure itself was crafted by locals in 1931.

View of The  Big Duck
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

This attraction initially sat in Riverhead, and it has moved locations thrice until it settled on its location today.

The Big Duck can now be found in an aptly named area called the Big Duck Ranch.

Thanks to its cuteness, the Big Duck is an amazing place for a photo-op with your travel buddies.

When you’re in the area, make a short stop at this peculiar roadside attraction.

Final Thoughts

You can find many activities to try out when coming to Riverhead.

Given the myriad of attractions it offers, everyone will find something that they will genuinely like.

Blessed with a historic charm and natural beauty, make Riverhead your next holiday destination.