Things to do on a day trip to charming Bellport

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Classic Americana is a hallmark of Bellport, a South Shore community where Mark Twain himself might have felt at home strolling the shady lanes and historic downtown.
Bellport Lane’s preserved homes were built in the early 1800s by ship captains and shipbuilders. “Current owners preserve much of the character of the original houses such as white picket fences and cedar shakes painted white,” says Joan Kaelin, president of the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society.
Downtown’s South Country Road is also out of the past, featuring dozens of one-of-a-kind retailers, including quirky restaurants and new outlets for home furnishings and comic books. A few minutes’ walk or bike ride takes you to the village marina on a windy stretch of Great South Bay.
“It’s nice and quaint, and a lot of people like to come here instead of going further east,” says James Grucci Sr., 79, a member of the Bellport fireworks-making family who was shopping downtown on a recent September afternoon.
Among the other local attractions: sightings of international film star and Bellport resident Isabella Rossellini, who owns a local organic farm.
Here are five ways to enjoy a trip to Bellport’s slightly-off-the-grid charms.

See historic homes

Bellport is a quaint small town on the
(Credit: Allison Davis O’Keefe)

Bellport Lane’s preserved homes were built in the early 1800s by ship captains and shipbuilders. “Current owners preserve much of the character of the original houses such as white picket fences and cedar shakes painted white,” says Joan Kaelin, president of the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society.

Browse downtown shops

Copper Beech is at 133 South Country Road
(Credit: Allison Davis O’Keefe)

Copper Beech opened in July selling a variety of home furnishings and prepared as well as freshly made food items. Hanging from the vintage tin ceiling (a relic of the building’s vaudeville theater past) are new lighting fixtures by the shop’s co-owner, interior and home furnishings designer Thomas O’Brien, whose work has been featured in Architectural Digest.  (133 S. Country Rd., Bellport, 631-286-0202, aerostudios.com

On Copper Beach shelves

Cleaning supplies on sale at Copper Beech in
(Credit: Allison Davis O’Keefe)

Shop shelves at Copper Beech are stocked with imported olive oil, exotic fizzy drinks and pasta. A counter sells prepared snacks such as Mediterranean quinoa.

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Visit an artists' collective

Charlie Stravinksy, Claire Read, and Quinn Sherman pose
(Credit: Allison Davis O’Keefe)

Auto Body, a collective of eight artists, some of whom grew up in Bellport, had converted an auto body shop into a gallery, but lost their space. Through Sept. 17 the group is working out of a gallery at 12 Bell St., Bellport, open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. After that, visitors can make an appointment to meet with a member of the group. For news of upcoming shows, visit autobodybellport.com

Auto Body members, from left, Charlie Stravinksy, Claire Read, and Quinn Sherman  at the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society on Bell Street.

From the art collective

Currently on display at the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical society
(Credit: Allison Davis O’Keefe)

Currently on display at the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society is "Pothole"  a work by local artist Ida Badal. Badal is part of the art collective Auto Body.

The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society

Martha Mitchell greets curiosity seekers at the Bellport-Brookhaven
(Credit: Allison Davis O’Keefe)

Martha Mitchell greets visitors at the  historical society’s Exchange Shop, a consignment shop at 12 Bell St. It is open year-round, on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays, noon to 3 p.m. On a recent day the stock included crystalware, furniture, rocking chairs, drop-leaf tables and painted bird houses, a volunteer said.

In the Barn Museum

A doll house replica of the the historic
(Credit: Allison Davis O’Keefe)

The Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society’s two-acre campus includes The Barn Museum, a milk house, a blacksmith’s shop, a boathouse and a gazebo on museum grounds. Its main property, Post-Crowell House, built in 1833, is undergoing restoration. To visit, make an appointment at bbhsmuseum.com. A doll house replica of the the historic Post-Crowell House is on display in the Barn Museum,  originally a livery stable built in 1904. 

On historical society grounds

The turban-crowned gazebo, originally from 1850 was rebuilt
(Credit: Allison Davis O’Keefe)

The turban-crowned gazebo, originally from 1850 was rebuilt and restored using some of the original parts in 1997. It sits on the grounds of the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society Museum complex. 

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See the Whalehouse Point Ferry

Running from Memorial Day through September, the Whalehouse
(Credit: Allison Davis O’Keefe)

Running from Memorial Day through September, the village-owned Whalehouse Point Ferry can carry 45 Bellport residents and their guests at a time, making seven roundtrips a day, seven days a week to the serenity of village-owned Ho-Hum Beach.

Bike around the village

Out for a bike ride on a beautiful
(Credit: Allison Davis O’Keefe)

It’s a short scenic ride from downtown to the Bellport waterfront’s pleasure-boat-dotted marina. To enjoy the scenery, rent one of the colorful cruiser bicycles or hybrid road or mountain bikes lined up in the parking lot outside Kreb Cycle. ($28/day, 10 Bell St., Bellport, krebcycle.com, 631-286-1829)

Ho-Hum Beach on Fire Island

68 miles from Montauk but a universe away,
(Credit: Allison Davis O’Keefe)

From the marina, which is home to the members-only Bellport Yacht Club, it is possible to get a  ferry to Ho-Hum Beach on Fire Island, which is open only to village residents and their guests. 

The Bellport Restaurant

The Bellport Restaurant located at 159 South Country
(Credit: Adam Richins)

With English garden-style seating, The Bellport Restaurant offers a charming ambience with original art decorating the walls, and Thursday night musical jams with chef and guitarist Taylor Alonso. (159 S. Country Rd., Bellport, 631-286-7550, thebellportrestaurant.com)

Try Carla Marla's

Carla Marla’s, the only ice cream shop in
(Credit: Allison Davis O’Keefe)

For dessert, stroll to Carla Marla’s Ice Cream Parlor, an old-fashioned ice cream shop with tables out front, candy jars in the window and egg creams and coffee shakes served inside. (8 Bellport Lane, 631-803-6630)

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Anabella Rice, Elsa O’Keefe, and Josie Garratt, and
(Credit: Allison Davis O’Keefe)

Carla Marla's Ice Cream Parlour drew, from left, Anabella Rice, Elsa O’Keefe, and Josie Garratt, and Jackson Rice on a wam summer day.

The Gateway Playhouse

Gateway Playhouse will host a Haunted Playhouse of
(Credit: /)

Finish your day with a seat at The Gateway Playhouse, a historic theater where the nonprofit Performing Arts Center of Suffolk County stages professional productions such as “Legends in Concert,” Nov. 24 to Dec. 3 (215 S. Country Rd., 631-286-1133, thegateway.org). 
 

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