15 Best Things to Do in Sag Harbor, NY

Yacht Sag Harbor, NY
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Nestled between the villages of East Hampton and Southampton in Suffolk County is the incorporated village known as Sag Harbor.

The village is the first commercial harbor port in the United States and holds plenty of maritime history and attractions.

Currently, the village is a hidden gem with a small-town charm and a beautiful ocean view.

Whether you're a history buff or want to enjoy a simple vacation, Sag Harbor is a great place to visit.

Interested to discover more about this place?

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

Book a Stay at the American Hotel

View of American Hotel
CaptJayRuffins, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Get a chance to get a comfy room while staying in a historical building by making a reservation at the American Hotel.

This hotel existed during the height of the whaling area, with its construction occurring in 1846.

At that time, the building was one part boarding house and one part whaling store.

There was, however, a period when the building went through decades of neglect; it only managed to receive restoration during the 1970s.

View of American Hotel
DanTD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Currently, eight rooms are open for reservations, and each one has unique antiques and fantastic decor to make your stay memorable.

In addition to the little luxuries you can find with the rooms, the hotel also has a restaurant with an excellent wine list.

You can call the hotel now for a booking, but you should know they only accept full payment with their bookings.

Make a Stop at the Old Whaler Church

Outside View of Old Whaler Church
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Also known as the First Presbyterian Church, the building is considered one of the oldest and most prominent landmarks in Sag Harbor.

Constructed in 1844, the building has Egyptian Revival Style and the Greek Revival Style elements in the architecture and features a 185-foot steeple.

The sad thing is, the steeple ended up destroyed by a hurricane in 1938.

By 1944, the church was named a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

At this time, the church holds services every Sunday, and you can take part to go with your historical exploration.

Check Out the Sag Harbor Historical Society

A prime place to visit for any historical fan in Sag Harbor is its Historical Society.

The landmark, now a museum, was once a house that belonged to Annie Cooper Boyd.

At one point, it ended up in the hands of the Historical Society’s hands and became the museum it is today.

There are multiple artifacts and displays that you can find in the museum.

From thousands of letters to hundreds of documents and even boxes worth of historical clothing, there is much to see.

If that isn’t enough, you can see a version of the whaleboat shop owned by William Cooper in the back area.

The museum also offers different options for any visitor.

You can join the public tours on Saturdays or Sundays anytime between 1 - 4 p.m., or check out the lectures and exhibits.

Watch a Show at the Bay Street Theatre

Are you looking for some entertainment while visiting Sag Harbor?

Then head on over to The Bay Street Theatre.

The Bay Street Theatre first opened in 1991 and is currently located on the Long Wharf.

Fully known as the Bay Street Theater and the Sag Harbor Center for the Arts, the center aims to develop a love for visual and performing arts within the local community.

In addition to being a theater, the center is also an arts education center and showcases local and national artists.

A few things you can enjoy with the theater are an ever-changing line of shows and a comedy club.

Stay a Night or Two at Baron's Cove

Do you want to relax in a comfortable room and enjoy a view of the harbor while also getting some pampering?

If so, then book a stay at the Baron’s Cove.

You have the option to have a room or a suite when staying at this resort.

The main difference between the two is that you can get your own deck when booking a suite.

A few features you can enjoy in this resort include a restaurant located on the second floor that features local and fresh ingredients, a lounge with a bar featuring a selection of cocktails, and a saltwater pool with different amenities.

And these are just a few perks that come with staying at the resort.

Learn Something New at the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum

Outside View of Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum
CaptJayRuffins, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Constructed in 1847 with $7,000 in building expenses, the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum aims to provide education about the historical events that put the village on the map.

Some of the displays you'll find at the museum portrays the lives of the whalers and the history of Sag Harbor before the whale trade began to dwindle.

Before it became a museum, the building was under the ownership of whaling ship owner Benjamin Huntting II and his family.

Currently, the museum is recognized as a national treasure and also features contemporary exhibitions for local culture.

Have a Bite of Fresh Seafood at the Dock House

Head over to Main Street and get a chance to eat and buy the freshest seafood at the Dock House.

You can find the restaurant at the end of the street and get a great view of the harbor with different yachts milling about.

The Dock House is currently open on Mondays, Fridays, and weekends from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If you're looking to buy some delicious seafood, Dock House offers both raw and cooked seafood by the pound.

Some of their best products would be the shellfish, especially lobsters, which you can get fresh during the summer months.

Craving for a specific type of seafood?

You can check out their chalkboard list and see the house specials and the catch of the day.

Enjoy Italian Dishes at Il Capuccino Ristorante

Il Capuccino Ristorante is the best place to go for both amazing pasta dishes and excellent wine choices.

Making its debut in 1972, the eatery is known not only for its classic dishes but also old-style décor.

Il Capuccino Ristorante opens at 5 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays, except for Sundays.

You also have the option for take-out if you’d like and pick up your meal from the curbside.

Aside from delicious dishes and wines, you can also check out their catering services and private party menu available on their website.

Get Some Burgers at LT Burger

There are plenty of great eats you can find in Sag Harbor, ranging from fresh seafood to Italian dishes.

One great eatery you will want to visit in Sag Harbor is LT Burger.

LT Burger features a variety of different burgers with different meats, along with many other great American dishes.

You can find this burger place around the middle of Main Street near the Sag Harbor shopping cove.

Some burgers you can enjoy at the eatery include turkey and even some vegetarian options.

More than burgers, LT Burger has a great selection of sides like smoked gouda fries and desserts, such as fried Oreos.

The eatery is open Sunday to Thursday from 11:45 a.m to 10 p.m.

On Fridays and Saturdays, they are open from 11:45 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Aside from these schedules, the eatery also does brunches from 11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. during weekends.

Enjoy a Meal at Estia’s Little Kitchen

Anyone who wants to try the best eats at Sag Harbor needs to head over to Estia’s Little Kitchen.

Estia’s Little Kitchen features American dishes with influences from the southwest, and you have the option to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or even brunch while there.

You can enjoy a variety of breakfast and lunch dishes every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, except Tuesdays.

If you visit the cafe on Fridays and Saturdays, you can enjoy their dinner meals from 5:00-8:00 p.m.

Estia’s Little Kitchen has a wide range of options, but certain items are not available after certain times.

There is also an excellent selection of coffee, juices, and even cocktails to choose from.

You can find the roadside cafe in the outer areas of Sag Harbor or contact the staff for their takeaway services.

Catch a Film at Sag Harbor Cinema

View of Sag Harbor Cinema
CaptJayRuffins, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Get a chance to enjoy a film while visiting a historical spot by heading to the Harbor Cinema.

The Harbor Cinema is a theater that would have been one of the older buildings in Sag Harbor if not for the fire that destroyed it back in 2016.

It took years of consultation, planning, and delays before the building reopened in June 2021.

One unique thing you'll find with the cinema, other than streaming films from different periods, is that you can become a member.

Becoming a member of Sag Harbor Cinema has all kinds of perks, and it's not just getting discounts for services.

When you are a member of the Sag Harbor, you have a chance to access certain areas, depending on the level of membership you've purchased.

Other than public screenings and memberships, the cinema also offers rentals for different events.

Go Sunbathing at Main Beach

The Main Beach is one of the different beaches you can visit in Sag Harbor.

You can find this beach within Southampton Town and what makes this beach so different is that permits are needed.

If you want a short visit to the beach, there are daily passes available during the weekdays.

Aside from daily passes, there are seasonal permits for residents, non-residents, and senior citizens that are attainable.

A good time to visit this beach would be around 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, as the lifeguards are on duty, but you can stay until 9 p.m.

When visiting this beach, you should know that there are a fair amount of restrictions.

These restrictions include the prohibitions of camping, amplified music, and bonfires.

On the plus side, the beach does allow pets except for April the 1st to October the 1st.

Explore the Marine Park

Whether you want to appreciate the harbor's beauty or dive further into the village's history, visit Marine Park.

Marine Park is not only the home for many different boats, but it also houses a memorial.

The memorial dedicates to the locals who have served during World War II, and this is not the only memorial in the park.

You can also find memorials that list those who took part in the Korean and Vietnam wars as soldiers.

Outside of the different historical sights in the park, there are many photogenic spots that you can explore.

From the beautiful sunset view from the docks to the variety in boat styles, there is plenty of photographic scenery at the park.

Take a step into Sag Harbor's historic district and check out their art scene by heading over to the Monika Olko Gallery.

Monika Olko Gallery is a great place to visit for any art enthusiasts, especially those into contemporary pieces.

From photographs to paintings and even sculptures, the gallery features multiple modern pieces created by various artists that come from all over.

What makes the gallery so striking is that it constantly changes its exhibition and represents not just veteran artists but rising stars too.

If you are interested in any piece, the gallery also offers consulting services for art purchases and commissions.

Take a Boat Ride With Sailacat Catamaran Cruises

A great way to end any visit to a harbor village is with a boat ride.

For a memorable ride, you will want to head over to Sailacat.

Sailacat offers only quality services for any guest and event, whether it involves renting a boat or a yacht.

Whether you choose a midweek service or weekend service, different pros come with either of them.

If you want the option that has a ride that lasts four hours and perks like getting to swim the ocean, you best book a weekend ride.

The other option you can take is a simple two to four-hour ride on the yacht.

Even without the weekend booking, you can still enjoy a smooth ride and beautiful view with the boat service.

Final Thoughts

As a village that sits right by a bay, Sag Harbor is the home to plenty of historical moments, especially during the whaling period.

From an old church to a house-turned museum, there is plenty of historical landmarks to visit in this charming village.

Even if you haven't come to Sag Harbor for a historical trip, there are different theaters and food delights you can partake in.

If you're looking to have a vacation where you can lounge in lovely hotels and eat great food while learning some interesting maritime history, Sag Harbor is your next destination.