With its picturesque harbor and dozens of shops dotted along main street, Northport is a grand place to spend the day shopping, eating and lounging at water's edge.
Begin your trek at the west side of town, where municipal parking is free along the picturesque waterfront. It's a wonderful way to start -- and end -- your day, sitting on a bench under shade trees at Northport Memorial Park overlooking the dozens of sailboats moored in the harbor. Bonus? Public bathrooms next to the playground on the north side.
Tuesdays in August are Northport Harbor Family Nights, presented by the Northport Chamber of Commerce. Main Street is closed to traffic and replaced with classic cars and alfresco dining at the restaurants. There's also plenty of music, from jazz to child-friendly tunes. The bandstand in the park is alive with the sound of music, too, each Thursday night. A farmers market is buzzing Saturday afternoons from 1 to 4.
"It's really one of the more unique places," chamber president Debi Triola says of the village. "It's almost like going back in time."
75 Main St., 631-754-1116
As its name implies, there's plenty of jewelry to browse, from the well-selling "blessing bracelets" for $25 to 14-karat gold-over-copper pieces by La Vie Parisienne, priced $29 for a pair of earrings to $120 for the more statement -- that is, big -- necklaces.
In addition to the jewelry, owner Eileen Pinchuck has added other fun finds, such as a blue-and-white beach bag with a red sarong wrapped around the middle for $20. The shop also sells items from local artisans.
"I constantly change my merchandise," Pinchuck says.
From original oil paintings to Kincade and Seuss' "Cat in the Hat" reprints, this gallery has something for everyone and most every budget, from $200 up.
"When they come into this place, they see work by artists that show all around the world," says owner James LaMantia, whose gallery holds a series of art shows each year, most recently for noted painters Gerhard Nesvadba of Austria and Erich Paulsen of Germany.
The novelty shop is a Bohemian paradise, from the patchwork bags lining the front porch, starting at $24, to the moment one walks in the door and breathes in the scent of patchouli.
Batik-style tunics for $30 and dangling Austrian crystal earrings from $14 to $24 are a few of the items that will make you feel like you've stepped inside a store in 1970s Woodstock.
"When I do come here, I'm here for hours," says shopper Janet Siraco, 53, of East Northport.
249 Main St., 631-262-7656
After hitting all those shops, take a break at Caffe Portofino, where a hot cup of coffee or tea might be just the thing, even on a humid day. Of course, there are cold drinks and smoothies, too.
The $4.95 breakfast muffin, with cottage cheese and a soft-boiled egg in the middle, is a big seller, and many of the pastries -- ranging from $2.25 to $3.25 -- are baked on the premises.
Inside, the homey ambience is made for sitting and chatting with a friend. Even the patchwork cloth place mats look like ones your grandmother might put out for afternoon tea.
66 Main St., 631-261-2080
Formerly the Veronica Rayne Boutique, the shop looks like it belongs in downtown Manhattan.
The clothes are urban and eclectic, too. Party dresses marked at $70 or less and trendy Jeffrey Campbell shoes are big sellers. Many of the clothes have the "Made in the USA" label.
"It's very well edited picks of the season," owner Carlene Afetian says.