Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Smithtown, NY

  • Published 2023/01/17

Smithtown is a small, charming town just a short train ride from Manhattan Island in Suffolk County, New York.

This town on Long Island’s northern shores has been touted as one of the area’s best escapes for city dwellers who yearn for relaxation and recreation.

You can enjoy plenty of nice things in Smithtown, guaranteeing your stay there either for a day trip or a short vacation.

Historically, Smithtown has a deep history reaching back to the early 1600s, when its first settlers discovered the area.

The town’s name got it from local legend Richard Smith who rescued the daughter of the Indian chief in the area.

Because of his heroism, the Indian chief granted him a piece of land which paved the way for the town’s establishment.

Today, Smithtown remains a nice place in Long Island to explore, not just for its history but also for gorgeous sights and outdoor recreation.

Amazingly, a trip to Smithtown won’t require you to spend to have a good time.

Here are the best free things to do in Smithtown, New York, for your adventure in this charming Long Island town.

Bond with Family at the Blydenburgh County Park

The grounds of Blydenburgh County Park

Joe Trentacosti /

The Blydenburgh County Park is another worthwhile outdoor attraction you mustn’t miss visiting during your Smithtown travel adventure.

You can visit this park along Veteran’s Memorial Highway.

The park offers a beautiful place to spend time with your family or friends for a picnic or other outdoor activities.

The waters of Blydenburgh County Park

dans362, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It has a gorgeous picnic area, a children’s playground, a hiking trail, and a boat launch.

Hiking through Blydenburgh County Park’s trails take you and your family to some rich greenery and rolling hills near the headwaters of Nissequogue River.

Discover Local History with the Smithtown Historical Society

The Smithtown Historical Society, also known as “Smithtown’s hidden gem,” is a group of local historians who provide everyone a glimpse of the town’s past.

You can visit their headquarters along E. Main Street.

They are best known for preserving Smithtown’s history by identifying and maintaining the town’s historical gems for future generations.

Besides that, the group offers free guided tours and maps for those who want to explore Smithtown’s past by visiting historical sites, landmarks, and attractions.

In addition, they also organize community-related events such as the Heritage County Fair, a family-oriented event focusing on American traditions and a bit of history.

Drop by the Smithtown Historical Society to get acquainted with its rich and colorful history.

Enjoy the Gorgeous Scenery of the Caleb Smith State Park

Welcome sign of Caleb Smith State Park

DanTD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The State Caleb Smith Park is a recreational area and nature preserve along West Jericho Turnpike.

It encompasses over 543 acres of natural area.

It mainly serves as a recreational destination for locals and a thriving habitat for plenty of local flora and fauna.

It’s a nice place for you and your family to escape stressful city life.

It has a quiet and serene atmosphere, perfect for meditation or relaxation with nature.

Amazingly, you can enjoy a historical side trip at the Caleb Smith State Park since it has numerous historical sites.

On top of that, you can enjoy hiking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing at this park without spending a penny.

Catch Fish at Millers Pond County Park

Many people know Millers Pond County Park as a great place.

You can find this neighborhood park near Maple and Darling Avenues.

The park features a 21-acre lake.

It teems with sunfish, largemouth bass, yellow perch, and brown bullhead, making it an exciting spot.

Additionally, Millers Pond County Park has a picnic area, a children’s playground, and a hiking trail along the lake for other outdoor activities.

Step Back in Time at the Blydenburgh Park Historic District

Farmhouse at Blydenburgh Park Historic District

AJW1188, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Besides top-notch outdoor recreation, you can enjoy fascinating history by visiting the Blydenburgh Park Historic District.

This historic district within the Blydenburgh County Park is where you’ll see Smithtown’s oldest buildings and structures.

These buildings and structures have many fascinating backstories that date to the 1700s to 1800s.

Miller house at Blydenburgh Park Historic District

AJW1188, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Eight contributing old buildings and structures comprised of mill complexes and farmhouses are within the historic district.

Each building has interpretive signs, original furnishings, and artifacts you can see when visiting.

Besides its rich history, the Blydenburgh Park Historic District is a great place to enjoy Smithtown’s tranquil atmosphere.

A cottage at Blydenburgh Park Historic District

AJW1188, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pay Respects at Bill Richards Park

Bill Richards Park is like most of Smithtown’s parks.

It has picnic areas, playgrounds, barbeque areas, trails, and natural sceneries.

However, this park along Veterans Memorial Highway is best known for its Vietnam War Era Veterans Wall.

The wall features the names of the Vietnam War veterans from Smithtown.

Visiting the war memorial allows you to dig deeper into Smithtown’s history, especially its locals who served during the Vietnam War.

Otherwise, you can chill or enjoy plenty of outdoor activities at Bill Richards Park to make your visit there worthwhile.

Take a Dip at the Smithtown Bay Beach

Smithtown Bay Beach provides a beautiful perspective of Long Island’s gorgeous beach scenery.

You can enjoy this beach between Long Beach Town Park and Short Beach.

The beach is famous for many water activities, including swimming, boating, etc.

It’s your go-to place in Smithtown for a beach outing with your family.

Many locals love to swim at this beach, especially during summer.

During the cold months, anglers cast their lines at Smithtown Bay Beach.

Meanwhile, others bring binoculars to spot whales and dolphins.

You can also wait for seals to drop by the beach.

Try Kayaking at the Paul T. Given County Park

Bridge over the waters at Paul T. Given County Park

DanTD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Paul T. Given County Park is a one-of-a-kind park known for its water activities.

You can visit this park along W. Main Street.

Following the Nissequogue River, this park is famous among locals for kayaking, and canoeing.

If you bring your kayak, paddle through its waters and explore the Nissequogue River.

If you forgot to bring your kayak, you could cast your line to catch some bass, trout, or catfish, which are abundant in the river.

Otherwise, sit down, lay your picnic blanket on the grass, and enjoy the gorgeous view of the Paul T. Given County Park, especially with your loved ones or friends.

Sweat It Out at the Robert A. Brady Park

Robert A. Brady Park is more than your typical community park.

This park along Maple Avenue is mainly popular with locals as a place to play sports and exercise.

The park has plenty of amenities, such as baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, a roller hockey arena, and trails.

With all these amenities, you can enjoy your time outdoors, especially playing sports, or stretch your muscles to burn those calories.

Besides sports, Robert A. Brady Park is an excellent place to relax and picnic.

Regardless of your plans, this Smithtown park is an excellent place to include in your itinerary.

Cast Your Line at the New Mill Pond

New Mill Pond is an excellent place.

You can visit this pond within Blydenburgh County Park.

This pond, connected to the Nissequogue River, features a peaceful and picturesque pond with plenty of fish species.

This pond is home to popular catches such as largemouth bass, pumpkin seed, bluegill, brown bullhead, black crappie, yellow perch, and common carp.

Other Free Things to Do Nearby

Smithtown can be a start for a bigger and grander adventure since Long Island is a spectacular travel destination.

After you’ve roamed Smithtown and visited its top attractions, explore the rest of Long Island with these recommended nearby attractions.

Hike the Scenic Nissequogue River State Park

Boats on the Nissequogue River State Park water

Michael Rega /

The Nissequogue River State Park spans over 521 acres and features a variety of natural habitats and wildlife.

You can visit this natural attraction 4.3 miles or ten minutes northwest of Smithtown in Kings Park, New York.

This state park opened in 2000 and is home to various habitats, from freshwater wetlands, tidal wetlands, and hardwood forests, a haven for nature enthusiasts.

Welcome sign of Nissequogue River State Park

DanTD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

At the same time, local wildlife, such as shore birds, amphibians, and reptiles, thrive in the area, perfect for wildlife viewing.

The best way to enjoy your time at the Nissequogue River State Park is through hiking, taking you to gorgeous and scenic natural areas teeming with wildlife.

Go further into the state park to see the fascinating ruins of the old and abandoned Kings Park Psychiatric Center.

Connect with Nature at the David Weld Sanctuary

David Weld Sanctuary is a vast and pristine natural attraction, home to Long Island’s thriving flora and fauna.

This natural attraction is located in Nissequogogue, New York, 11 minutes or five miles north of Smithtown.

This place offers an impressive array of natural habitat home to local wildlife, plant, and tree species you’ll only see in Long Island.

Nature hiking is the most popular activity you can enjoy at this place.

The trail takes you to various natural habitats teeming with local wildlife.

At the same time, you’ll enjoy seeing towering cedar and tulip trees.

Adding excitement is the 50-foot bluff you need to climb to see the gorgeous overlook that features Long Island Sound.

Remember to include David Weld Sanctuary into your itinerary for a one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure with nature.

Spot Seals and Whales at Democrat Point

Democrat Point is one of Long Island’s best places to see whales and seals up close.

You can visit this place in Fire Island, New York, 34 minutes or 22.4 miles south of Smithtown.

You don’t need to rent a boat or join a cruise to enjoy the whale-watching activity at this place since plenty of whales and seals are seen regularly in the area.

Just bring a good pair of binoculars and a nice spot to get the best view of these majestic animals.

Seals are the most frequent animals you’ll see at Democrat Point.

Meanwhile, whales are seen from a distance, especially when feeding.

Besides the seals and whales, Democrat Point offers a sweeping view of Long Island and the Atlantic Ocean.

It is a perfect backdrop for a gorgeous souvenir photo.

Dig Your Toes into the Sand at Jones Beach State Park

Boat and lifeguard station at Jones Beach State Park

Joe Trentacosti /

The Jones Beach State Park is one of Long Island’s famous beach destinations.

You can visit this famous park 35 minutes southwest of Smithtown in Wantagh, New York.

The entire beach area stretches for over six miles of gorgeous sandy coastline, which can be enjoyed in various ways.

Surfing at Jones Beach State Park

Scott Heaney /

Besides swimming, many visitors love beachcombing, whale watching, and plenty more activities at this famous beach.

Watching the sunset or sunrise is some of the best ways to enjoy your time at this famous beach, especially with your partner.

You can also head to the Jones Beach State Park boardwalk to get a different perspective of its gorgeous beauty.

Gorgeous sunset at Jones Beach State Park

Scott Heaney /

Go on an Outdoor Adventure at Long Beach Town Park

The Long Beach Town Park is one of Long Island’s top tourist destinations.

This park is situated in St. James, New York, 15 minutes or seven miles north of Smithtown.

It has a gorgeous white sand beach and a beautiful park on the opposite side, making it an excellent place for an outdoor adventure with your family.

Besides sunbathing and swimming, many visitors love surfing and enjoy sand volleyball at the park.

At the same time, the park holds free concerts and events for everyone to enjoy.

Remember to list Long Beach Town Park in your itinerary for a nice family outing before capping off your Smithtown adventure.

Final Thoughts

Smithtown is a beautiful place to set a travel adventure, especially if you are interested in nature, history, and local culture.

This nicely curated list of the free things to do in Smithtown, New York, proves that you can enjoy the town without spending much money.

Bring your family and travel to Smithtown to see Long Island’s best-kept hidden gems.

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