Ah, the simple pleasures of window-shopping in a Long Island downtown. Here are local shopping districts where parks, historic sites, performing arts centers and street festivals add to the fun of strolling sidewalks lined with enticing displays and stopping for a bite to eat.
GREAT NECK Middle Neck Road sparkles with jewelry stores, gift shops, spas and salons.
MANHASSET Plandome Road is known for small shops, service businesses and an art house cinema. Americana Manhasset on Northern Boulevard is an open-air shopping center with high-end designer and name-brand shops and eateries.
PORT WASHINGTON Main Street stretches almost a mile from Port Washington Boulevard to the bay and includes cozy ethnic restaurants, gift shops and clothing stores.
ROSLYN Two historic districts, Duck Pond park and boutique-and-restaurant-lined Main Street invite a postprandial jaunt.
GLEN COVE In the North Shore’s only city, School Street restaurants and cafes cater to sidewalk diners.
BAYVILLE On Bayville Avenue, eat at a seafood restaurant, then take your ice cream to the beach.
OYSTER BAY Browse gift shops and antiques stores, then stop at Canterbury’s Oyster Bar or Taby’s Burger House or grab a hot dog and Italian ice at the Bonanza Stand.
COLD SPRING HARBOR Across the border in Suffolk County, Main Street features specialty stores and a whaling museum popular with kids.
HUNTINGTON The shopping district at Main Street and New York Avenue is among the region’s largest commercial centers with dozens of boutiques, shops, pizzerias, bookshops, an olive oil- tasting nook and ice cream stops.
NORTHPORT Bring your leashed dog along for a walk on the working harborfront community’s Main Street, which brims with clothing boutiques, specialty shops, confectioners, restaurants, pubs and The John W. Engeman Theater.
STONY BROOK The Stony Brook Village Center, built to resemble a New England village, is prized for apparel and health and beauty treatments.
PORT JEFFERSON Window-gazing takes you to Main Street, Broadway and Harbor Square Mall. And there are shows at Theatre Three, all steps from cozy eateries and the ferry to Connecticut.
GARDEN CITY Cafes with sidewalk seating, boutiques, gift shops and bakeries line Franklin Avenue and Seventh Street.
CEDARHURST Many Central Avenue stores specialize in kosher foods, from seafood to pickles and ice cream.
FREEPORT The Nautical Mile’s brick walkway along Woodcleft Canal takes you past maritime shops, sea-to-table restaurants and the local fishing fleet.
ROCKVILLE CENTRE Along the compact downtown between Merrick Road and Sunrise Highway, shop for shoes, Irish imports and luggage. Finish your day with a pub crawl.
LONG BEACH Scope out surfboards, summer apparel and ethnic restaurants along Park Avenue, then stroll the famous boardwalk.
BABYLON A trek along shop-lined Main Street includes sweets, gourmet cheese, gift shops and a children’s boutique.
BAY SHORE A walkable strip of restaurants, pubs, cafes and specialty gift shops.
SAYVILLE Gift shopping is a tradition on Sayville’s Main Street — also home to chocolate, cheese, olive oil and comic book sellers.
PATCHOGUE The renaissance continues with the Alive After 5 music fest filling Main Street on July 6 and 20 and Aug. 3 and 17. The downtown known for veteran bathing suit and children’s clothing retailers is anchored by the Patchogue Theater.
BELLPORT For a taste of Americana, visit South Country Road, where shops and restaurants occupy early 20th century buildings.
THE NORTH FORK
A number of smaller shopping districts are tucked away amid North Fork farm country.
RIVERHEAD East of Tanger Outlets, Main Street is a busy downtown and home to the restored Suffolk Theater and the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center.
MATTITUCK On Love Lane, dine on seafood or browse for cheeses and chocolate for feasting at a nearby winery.
GREENPORT The working maritime village features arts and crafts galleries and clothing boutiques, as well as nautical suppliers, where Front and Main streets meet by the deepwater harbor.
THE SOUTH FORK
The Hamptons’ tree-lined village streets seem to have been designed for summer strolling.
SOUTHAMPTON Chic Main Street offers a few national brands amid the independent retailers and gourmet food shops.
SAG HARBOR Noted for its bookstores, fish restaurants, classic 5 & 10 and off-Broadway-style shows at the Bay Street Theater on Long Wharf.
EAST HAMPTON After perusing art galleries and trendy clothiers on Main Street and Newtown Lane, picnic in Herrick Park or visit one of the historic sites.
AMAGANSETT Traveling east, you’ll find the boutiques of Amagansett Square with its upscale food and home decor shops.
MONTAUK Seafood restaurants and summery shops abound on Montauk Highway.