Port Jefferson Village is a charming, quaint, and busy town on a picturesque harbor located on the North Shore of Suffolk County. For singles, couples, and families, there are so many great things to do in Port Jefferson Village. With its vast array of activities, stores, eateries, bars, events, and sight and sounds, visitors can spend the entire day here and still not see it all.
Port Jefferson Village features two main streets filled with eclectic shops with terrific window displays and an abundance of restaurants. Several beautiful statues all relating to sea-faring or local ship builders of the past as well as plenty of flowers and displays line the streets. The town fills up on weekends year round, and summer days and nights stay busy well into the evening hours.
Walk the marina and watch the three ferries coming and going while visitors marvel over the gorgeous boats docked. Or try a stroll around the several acre Harborfront Park located in front of the Port Jefferson Village Center. Visitors can walk along its meandering paths flanked by beach grass and low grassy dunes and take a break rest on one of the many benches while the kids play in the large grassy area. Meander out on the 350 foot pier or just sit on the sand and relax.
There’s also a small playground area for kids that features a water sprayer where they can cool off on a hot day. The area includes a few picnic tables where families often enjoy their take out or ice cream cones. At night the paths are lit by attractive outdoor lighting, making it one of the most beautiful places to watch a sunset.
Right on the green area there are “Movies on the Harbor” and scheduled concerts on summer nights. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and snacks to enjoy a fun night for free.
Take a peek inside the Port Jefferson Village Center which offers a changing display of historic photographs or local artists’ work. There’s an upstairs “living room” to relax on one of several comfortable couches and enjoy the view of the harbor in a climate controlled zone. Public bathrooms are in the Village center. Classes for kids and adults are held here regularly, and in the winter there is a popular outdoor ice rink open.
Stroll past Danford’s, a waterfront hotel and marina flanked by beautiful statues of dolphins and decorated with overflowing hanging flower baskets. Danford’s has a restaurant with an outdoor seating area, a lounge, and a spa.
Walk through the small Harborfield Square Mall to cool off in the summer. Behind the mall, take the kids to the Rocketship Park, a sand playground that is very popular with the younger set.
Eating in Port Jefferson Village
Port Jefferson Village is a food lovers delight with many international choices and an abundance of seafood. With so many options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the appetizing choices.
Check out The Steamroom, a casual family restaurant known for its seafood as well as the view. Or perhaps visit the lovely Village Way with its large outdoor seating area that provides great people watching while dining.
Wash it all down with Yogo Delish or Red Mango frozen yogurt, grab a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts, or savor a sweet treat at the old fashioned candy and ice cream bar The Port Jefferson Frigate.
East Main Street offers the artsy, bohemian health eatery Tiger Lily Cafe. Whatever dish one prefers, Port Jefferson Village has an abundance of food choices.
From hand made soaps, clothing, jewelry, shells, and souvenirs to family board games and funky chess sets at Boardwalk Games, Port Jefferson Village offers a unique shopping experience which reminds visitors of being on vacation with the convenience of getting home in time for bed.
Historic East Main Street offers a funky backstreet quieter feel. Don’t miss out on this part of the town favored by locals. Visit the new age Breathe Inspiring Gifts (the owner warmly welcomes guests as they enter) and its neighbor Greentique which offers recycled goods and fair trade items. There are also many upscale clothing and jewelry shops in this area.
Events in Port Jefferson Village
Port Jefferson Village holds many family-friendly events throughout the year. Highlights include the 4th of July parade, annual Halloween Festival, and dog costume parade.
The unique Dickens festival includes horse drawn carriage rides, old fashioned trolleys, lantern lit house tours, and beautiful seasonal decorations. Farmer’s markets with fresh local produce and live music take place on Sundays 9 am-1 pm starting on May 13th. Families also enjoy the Port Jefferson Village Regatta and Movies on the Harbor events.
Museums, Galleries and More
The Thomas Kinkade gallery is right on Main Street in the heart of the action. For children, there is the Maritime Explorium, a hands-on mini children’s museum which is open on weekends and school breaks from 1 pm-5 pm.
Port Jefferson Village is home to the new Long Island Music Hall of Fame showcasing famous musicians (there are quite a few locals can be proud of!).
If driving in, metered parking runs from March through November or look for free parking on East Main Street. Visitors can also take the ferry from Connecticut.
By Debra Ferrie