15 Best Things to Do in Smithtown, NY
The beautiful town of Smithtown in Suffolk County is centrally situated along the northern shore of Long Island, New York.
The town was founded in 1665 and was initially called "Smithfield" in honor of its founder Richard Smith.
Today, the town has plenty of exciting adventures for tourists and visitors who want to get away from the big city living.
From historical and cultural attractions to lovely parks and water activities, there's always something to see and do.
To know more about the town, check out this list of the best things to do in Smithtown, New York.
Enjoy the Caleb Smith State Park Preserve
Smithtown is home to one of four state nature preserves on Long Island: Caleb Smith State Park Preserve, located on West Jericho Turnpike.
This 543-acre nature preserve has various habitats with abundant flora and fauna and offers recreational opportunities, scenic views, and a serene environment.
Visitors can enjoy both nature and history as it houses a nature museum with natural history exhibits like a red fox, great blue heron, flying squirrel, and river otters.
Hike along the nature trails and discover some of the area's rare plants, like the Indian pipe and pink lady slipper.
Besides wildlife viewing and hiking, other activities at the park also include picnicking, nature photography, fly fishing, and cross-country skiing in the winter.
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve is the perfect place for anyone who wants to take a break from the busy city life and reconnect with nature.
Learn about Local History at the Smithtown Historical Society
Also known as "Smithtown's hidden gem," the Smithtown Historical Society has preserved and shared the town's rich history with the local community since 1955.
Residents and visitors alike can take guided walking tours, which include viewing fascinating artifacts and visiting historic buildings.
The Society also hosts many exciting family-friendly events, such as the Heritage County Fair, its major event of the year celebrating American traditions and history.
That annual event includes a petting zoo, pony rides, live music, historical reenactions, and demonstrations.
You can find the Smithtown Historical Society's headquarters along East Main Street.
Catch a Show at the Smithtown Performing Arts Center
The Smithtown Performing Arts Center is a fantastic option if you're looking for exceptional entertainment, especially for your kids.
The performing arts center originally opened to the public as a 500-seat movie house in 1932.
Today, you can enjoy watching various outstanding performances, including musicals, plays, and comedies, with your family.
They also host educational classes and summer camps designed for young audiences interested in exploring theater and having a fun theatrical experience.
The Smithtown Performing Arts Center is on East Main Street.
Discover the Plants and Wildlife at the Sweetbriar Nature Center
Nestled on Eckernkamp Drive just off the Nissequogue River is the Sweetbriar Nature Center with 54 acres of woodland, field, trails, varied gardens, and wetland habitats.
The nature preserve is home to hundreds of species of plants and animals that kids and adults can see up close during their visit.
Admire a wide variety of lovely butterfly species at the butterfly vivarium, take the kids to the discovery area for fun activities, and discover the treasures in the tropical rainforest.
The nature center also hosts various events like yoga, tours, and art classes.
Dedicated to nature education and wildlife rehabilitation, the Sweetbriar Nature Center is a must-visit educational and fun destination for all ages.
Enjoy Kayaking at Paul T. Given County Park
Paul T. Given County Park is a tiny little park alongside West Main Street and the Nissequogue River.
The park is popular among locals for water activities like kayaking and canoeing.
Bring your kayak, use the launching area, start the paddling adventure, and explore the waters of the scenic Nissequogue River.
Kayak and canoe rentals are also available at Paul T. Given County Park if you don't own one.
You can also enjoy fishing, as the river is abundant in trout, bass, and bluefish.
Another activity here is having a picnic with the family since the place is quiet and peaceful with excellent views, making it an ideal place to relax.
Read a Book at the Smithtown Library
Visit The Smithtown Library, the largest library in Long Island, serving the communities of Smithtown.
The library offers an impressive selection of books in various genres for all ages, ebooks and online resources, and services like mobile hotspots, print, copy, scan, and fax.
They also have many events for children and teens, like storytimes, arts and crafts, and games.
The library's history can be traced back to Judge Lawrence Smith's law office, which houses materials in 1907 before the collection was moved to separate buildings.
Today, the Smithtown Library System has four locations: Nesconset, Commack, Kings Park, and Smithtown, which sits on North Country Road.
The Smithtown building is home to the remarkable local history archives called Long Island Room, where you can search the collection and check out exhibits and programs.
Spend a Fun Family Day at the Blydenburgh County Park
The Blydenburgh County Park is a beautiful 627-acre park, another excellent outdoor attraction for your Smithtown trip.
The park surrounds the 180-acre Stump Pond created in 1798 when the headwaters of the Nissequogue River were dammed to construct a grist mill.
Today, the park offers visitors many recreational activities, including hiking miles of trails, picnicking, fishing, boating, kayaking, camping, and horseback riding.
There's also a playground for the kids and even a fenced dog run where you can let your four-legged friends play with other pets.
The panoramic views of the pond, lush greenery, and serene atmosphere make it a perfect place to relax in nature.
With various activities to enjoy at Blydenburgh County Park, it's no wonder why it is one of the favorite places in town to spend quality time with the family.
Catch Fish at Millers Pond County Park
Test your fishing skills in a tranquil setting with a great Millers Pond County Park view.
The neighborhood park features the 21-acre Millers Pond, best known as a fishing spot.
The pond has an abundance of largemouth bass, yellow perch, sunfish, and brown bullhead.
You will also see a footbridge, a short trail, and some ducks, geese, and swans when visiting.
Millers Pond County Park is just east of Route 111 and more than half a mile south of East Main Street.
Take a Breather at Peter Nowick Sr. Memorial Park
Formerly Landing Avenue Park, Peter Nowick Sr. Memorial Park is another outdoor attraction you may want to visit.
Pay respect to the park's namesake Peter Nowick Sr., who served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.
Located along Landing Avenue, the park features picnic tables, fireplaces, benches, and freshwater fishing.
Kids will also love playing with others in the playground with slides, swings, and see-saws.
Since the Peter Nowick Sr. Memorial Park is just alongside the Nissequogue River, you may sit down, stroll, unwind, and enjoy the charming waterfront views.
Travel Back to the Past at the Blydenburgh Park Historic District
Just north of the Blydenburgh County Park lies the Blydenburgh Park Historic District, a must-visit destination for history buffs.
It is home to Smithtown's oldest buildings and structures that can be traced back to the 18th and 19th centuries, including the mill complex and the Blydenburgh Farmhouse.
Admire the charming architecture, check out the interpretive signs, see historical artifacts, and enjoy the peaceful environment when visiting.
You may join the guided tours on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. offered by the LI Greenbelt Trail Conference to dig deeper into the historic district.
The area's entrance is located at the south end of New Mill Road.
Grab a Tasty Meal at Maureen's Kitchen
Start your day with delicious comfort food at Maureen's Kitchen, the best place to have breakfast in town.
This Long Island gem is known for its top-rated simple breakfast menu and whimsical cow-themed decor and furnishings.
You have plenty of options, like the blueberry stuffed French toast, croissant French toast, pistachio pancake, and Oreo cookie-topped pancake.
The restaurant can get a long line of customers, so coming early is recommended, but it's worth the wait.
Besides breakfast, you can treat yourself and your family to a hearty lunch here!
If you want to enjoy a satisfying meal and feel relaxed in a country-style atmosphere, check out Maureen's Kitchen on Terry Road.
Play Sports at Brady Park
Brady Park is best known for having sports facilities and other recreational amenities along Maple Avenue.
You can practice or play baseball, softball, basketball, and tennis.
Likewise, there are also horseshoe pits, roller hockey, a children's playground, and picnic amenities.
Whether you want to break a sweat, have a great time with kids, or relax, this place is an excellent option to enjoy the outdoors.
Tee Up at Smithtown Landing Country Club
For a first-rate golfing experience, head north to the Smithtown Landing Country Club along Landing Avenue and the Nissequogue River.
The club features a challenging 18-hole municipal golf course and a nine-hole par three learning links course.
It also has 3,500 square foot and 6,000 square foot practice putting greens with a swing plane practice area, a practice sand trap, irons driving range, and surrounding short game shot areas.
If you're new to the game or want to improve, you may take lessons instructed by PGA Master Professional Michael Hebron and other staff.
The club also hosts their famous summer youth golf camp that might interest your kids aged seven and up.
Other Smithtown Landing Country Club facilities include a clubhouse, pro shop, pool, and catering facilities.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Spot Birds and Wildlife at Nissequogue River State Park
Nissequogue River State Park is a 521-acre park home to various habitats, including hardwood forests and tidal and freshwater wetlands.
Because its natural habitats are home to various wildlife, such as shore birds, reptiles, and amphibians, visitors can enjoy birdwatching or wildlife viewing here.
Likewise, explore and have a great time at the park through other recreational activities like kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and hiking, leading to natural scenic spots.
You will also see a soccer field here, interpretive signs, and the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center ruins.
Guided tours are also available for those who want to dig deeper into the Nissequogue River State Park.
This attraction, nestled on the banks and bluffs of the Nissequogue River, is in Kings Park, New York, only an eight-minute drive from Smithtown.
Beat the Heat at Short Beach
If you crave beach activities, drive 13 minutes north of Smithtown to reach Short Beach near Nissequogue, New York.
The lovely beach is the place for a beach family outing in the summer, as you can enjoy many activities like picnicking, swimming, surfing, kayaking, boating, and fishing.
You can even camp at Short Beach because it offers camping and fireplaces.
Walk along the shoreline and enjoy the nice breeze and great views.
Other facilities include bathhouses, showers, a refreshment stand, and a children's playground with swings, slides, and see-saws.
Smithtown is splendid if you're into nature, wildlife, history, and culture.
You will have a blast with the many exciting things to do and see with your family.
If you're planning a trip to Long Island soon, give this beautiful place a chance and save this list of the best things to do in Smithtown, New York.