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Holiday Shopping Destination: Catch the wave in Port Jefferson

The East End Shirt Co. in Port Jefferson

The water is omnipresent in this seaside community: from the boats and ferries docked at the harbor to the eateries specializing in all manner of seafood.

Port Jefferson is the only deep water harbor on the North Shore, bringing a steady influx of tourists and visitors from the north, said Mary Joy Pipe, president of Port Jefferson’s Chamber of Commerce and owner of The East End Shirt Co.

"We are a tourist community, but not only that. We definitely entertain and welcome our neighbors near and far," Pipe said, adding, "You drive an hour and you feel like you’re away for the weekend, even just for a day or an afternoon off, to come to our village."

The sea happens to be the main theme of Sea Creations (134 Main St., 631-473-8388, seacreations.com), where you’ll find seashell ornaments, earrings and necklaces made of abalone and beach glass, decorative sand dollars and starfish, and genuine shark teeth.

On Small Business Saturday, spend $125 on items from the Ocean by ShanOre nautical jewelry collection and get a free pair of Swarovski crystal earrings.

"We have gifts for men, women and children," said owner Sue Hoeffner, who is celebrating her 44th year in business in Port Jefferson. "We try to be inclusive: I try to cater to all age groups."

Other seaworthy souvenirs are glass beach bubbles (ornaments made of glass), Dune Jewelry’s handmade charm bracelets with sand from local beaches, Spicy Shark hot sauces and sea-themed jigsaw puzzles.

There are plenty of tchotchkes for landlubbers, too: Kit-Cat Klocks (clocks with cat faces), Woodstock chimes, fanciful mugs and drinking glasses, dream catchers, and even Trump bottle openers.

Sea Creations offers curbside pickup, though Hoeffner noted, she rarely gets requests.

Pride of place is hard to miss at The East End Shirt Co. (3 Mill Creek Rd., 631-473-2093, eastendco.com), where you’ll find sweatshirts and sweatpants, T-shirts, caps and jackets sporting "Long Island," "Port Jefferson," "Beaches of Long Island" and similar themes. For home snuggling, there are oversize, sweatshirt-soft blankets in colorful designs.

The blanket is "the size of a twin bed and 80% cotton, 20% polyester," said Pipe, adding, "We just celebrated 41 years this summer."

In addition to the variety of clothing on display, the store offers custom screen printing and embroidery, primarily for a minimum order of 12 pieces, and one-offs with applied lettering, noted Pipe.

On a recent Saturday last month, Lisa Pinkard ventured to East End Shirt to order a custom name and design on a few garments.

"We drove 35 to 40 minutes to get here," said Pinkard, 43, of Islip Terrace. "When we got here, we were surprised by the uniqueness and variety of this shop. This store tells a story."

Also available at East End Shirt, which offers online shopping and curbside pickup and promises Small Business Saturday specials, are pirate and Port Jefferson-themed onesies for the junior set.

"Everybody has a relative who lived on Long Island," Pipe said. "This is a reminder of a beach or place they love, where they grew up."

Nature lovers will feel right at home at Luna Nova (230 E. Main St., 631-473-0264, lunanovashop.com).

"The concept is nature inspired, so we have a lot of crystals, insect art, plants, shells and a lot of natural products," said owner Hana Arai, who also offers online shopping, shipping and curbside pickup.

Arai creates all of the taxidermy insect art: brilliantly hued butterflies, beetles, scorpions, cicadas, stink bugs and silkworm cocoons set in framed shadowboxes and glass domes.

"Some people want wall art. Some people want something for their shelves," Arai explained, adding, "The insects are sourced ethically. What you see, is what I have. We don’t do custom work."

Amid the intense scent of Palo Santo oil, which comes from a Peruvian wood and is thought to bring spiritual purification and tranquility when it is burned and wafs through the air, Luna Nova displays "magical" herbs, books on witchcraft, aroma oils, handmade feather pen and ink sets, cast-iron caldrons for incense and rituals, unique jewelry and handbags, artsy chimes, ammonite fossils and quartz crystals.

"We are like a ‘metaphysical’ store, combined with a nature boutique," Arai said.

Here are a more shops to round out your adventure:

Elegant Affairs (202 Main St., 631-331-5199, elegantaffairspj.com). This gift shop offers sterling silver, art glass, pewter, collectibles and unique world artifacts.

Amazing Olive (213 Main St., 631-509-4596, amazingolive.com). In addition to flavored olive oils and vinegars, check out olive dishes, cutting boards, jams and jellies.

Simple Good (35 Chandler Sq., 631-509-6659, simplegoodgifts.com). Billed as a "zero waste lifestyle shop," Simple Good features sustainable clothing, hats, baby clothes, handcrafted stuffed animals and artwork.

The Soap Box (18 Chandler Sq., 631-509-1424, soapboxny.com). The name says it all: soaps, lotions salts, scrubs, oils, bubble baths, soaks and sponges.

Lavender Fields (318 Wynn Lane, 631-474-5461, lavenderfieldsonline.com). "A lifestyle store" featuring bedding, pajamas, robes, rugs, candles, bath and body accessories, and, naturally, lots of lavender products.

QUICK BITES

Local’s Café, 106 E. Main St., Port Jefferson; 631-509-0627, cafelocals.com: Coffee's a priority with a small menu including a Bombay egg sandwich, frittata and avocado toast as well as sandwiches and salads. Slurp Ramen, 109 W. Broadway, Port Jefferson; 631-509-1166; slurpusa.com: This fast-casual restaurant serves ramen bowls with such classic choices as tonkotsu pork broth, a chicken broth-based shoyu, a sweet teriyaki broth, a spicy soy and chili oil broth inspired by Sichuan cuisine and a vegetable-based option. Prohibition Kitchen, 115 Main St., Port Jefferson; 631-473-0613, prohibitionpj.com: Novelty reigns here, where Instagram-friendly, slightly wacky dishes that, despite the glitz, hit all the right notes (think flaming potato chips).

Quick Bites are compiled by Newsday food writers Corin Hirsch, Erica Marcus and Scott Vogel

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