Holiday Shopping Destination: Stock up on old-world charm in Cold Spring Harbor

The homes of ship captains and merchants, some two centuries old, have been lovingly restored and reincarnated into shops and restaurants on Main Street in Cold Spring Harbor, noted Judy Hogan, treasurer of Cold Spring Harbor Main Street Association.

Cold Spring Harbor is notable because its entire business district is on the National Register of Historic Places, Hogan explained.

Holiday festivities start the first week in December with a Window Display Contest, followed by the fire department’s tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. on Dec. 3. There’s also a Shop-A-Thon, from 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 15, when people are asked to dress in festive attire, and from 1 to 3 p.m. on Dec. 19, Santa will stroll Main Street and take photos with kids aboard a historic fire truck at the Fire House Museum.

After 25 years in business, Lina Agosti, owner of Whimsey at the Beauty Tree (65 Main St., 631-367-7675), always delights in seeing patrons’ reactions to her shop.

"Everybody comes in and says, ‘You have beautiful things.’ It really makes my day," she said.

A few of those beautiful things include embossed leather handbags from Patricia Nash; Ayala Bar jewelry with mineral stones and crystals from Israel; Murano glass jewelry; Croatian linen pillows and table runners; diffusers and candles by Via Mercato; exquisite velvet and viscose jackets from Aris A.; Michael Michaud tableware and jewelry that captures details of nature and is made in Bay Shore; Bolivian French Knot gloves and hats; Fabulous Furs faux-fur jackets and loungewear; Florentine gold-plated wood trays and stationery; Mary Meyer stuffed animals; and "Finding Gratitude" and other message books.

From left, the Lancaster family of Manhasset leaves Terra with a cache of holiday gifts. Jewelry by Ayala is on display at Whimsey At The Beauty Tree on Main Street. | Photos by Brittainy Newman; Title photo: Lilly Cavaliere, owner of Casa Chetta, organizes woven trays in her store on Main Street. | Photo by Brittainy Newman

"It smells really good in here," announces the sign in front of Terra (85 Main St., 631-498-6077,

"Everybody comes in and says it," said owner Stephanie Rooney.

Janina Stefanow, 50, of Middle Village had stopped in at Terra to buy earrings, soap and body lotion. "My cousin lives in Syosset, and I like shopping here," she said.

One of the newest shops in the village, Terra is mostly a home décor shop with an assortment of throw pillows (some with messages), candles and home fragrances, cheese and charcuterie boards, Thymes Frasier Fir scents, Mermaid Kisses, K. Hall Designs and Apiary lotions, soaps and candles, Etú Home platters and Barefoot Dreams soft blankets.

Some of Terra’s unique items are exquisite handmade Himalayan driftwood tray candles and pictures frames, and trays with spectacular photos from Los Angeles photographer Gray Malin.

For the holidays, Rooney said, "We’re trying to make it more a one-stop shop for gifting."

At Casa Chetta (60 Main St., 315-274-3470,, Lilly Cavaliere curates items for the home from her native Argentina and around the world that you won’t find in other stores. Among them, an imposing 51-inch Sailor’s Knot round mirror framed by beige rope stretched over an iron frame.

"I have seven customers waiting for this mirror," Cavaliere said.

You’ll find a teak root bunching cube/side table from Thailand; Vietnamese banana leaf coffee table and console, and rattan/mother of pearl trays; poufs and ottomans from India; a banana tree bark and teak midcentury-modern chair; white textured ceramic vases and decorative platters from Legacy; an assortment of baskets from Africa, including some made from wicker mixed with denim; banana leaf trays; and Argentine table runners, pillows and throws.

"All the time, I try to find different, different," said Cavaliere. "Sometimes it’s hard, but it’s my job."

With shops so close together on Main Street, you can’t go wrong stopping in these:

Bixby (94 Main St., 516-442-8868, A boutique for teens and up, with coats, sweaters, camisoles, jackets, jeans, sweats, shoes, handbags, claw clips, headbands, costume jewelry and candles.

Living (123 Main St., 631-659-3742, Locally made items take center stage here: Cristina V. handmade gold jewelry from Huntington Bay, Haute Shore trendy bags and winter accessories made in Woodbury, Drew clothing from Port Washington, and GiGi New York leather goods made in Melville.

Made by Michael Russo (143 Main St., 631-498-6729, A home-goods shop with decoupage shells from Oyster Bay, linen napkins from Huntington, paper weights with Long Island photos by a Port Washington photographer, decorative plaques with messages made in Oceanside, and silk flower arrangements made by Russo himself.

Say La Vie (75 Main St., 631-659-3833, shopsaylavieboutique). Among the eclectic offerings here are Buddhas, spiritual jewelry, cashmere scarves, leather jackets, trays with designer names and logos, lavender sachets by Hans & Petal of Long Beach, soaps by Soothery of Centerport, mosaic rocks by Lori Pappas of Sea Cliff and beaded jewelry made by owner Jane Zuckerberg.

Pashley Children’s Boutique (169 Main St., 631-367-8737, A boutique for kids featuring Brio toys, Jellycat stuffed animals, children’ books, toys, clothes for babies to preteens, blankets, bibs, dress and First Communion clothes. Top-sellers this season are Widgeon fleece jackets for infants and toddlers.

Chopped salad at Sandbar in Cold Spring Harbor.

Chopped salad at Sandbar in Cold Spring Harbor. Credit: Lessing's

quick | bites

Sweetie Pies on Main, 181 Main St., 631-367-9500, Refuel on-the-go with a cup of locally roasted Georgio's coffee here and grab an Instagram-worthy scone or pastry. Sandbar, 55 Main St., 631-498-6188, Upscale and atmospheric, this is the spot for a leisurely lunch or dinner (reservations suggested) whether you want seafood, soup and a sandwich or a hearty pork chop.