Freeport’s waterside strip on the Woodcleft Canal is packed with bars, restaurants and clubs but ... where do you start? Here are eight gems to hit on your next visit.
Hit new beer-themed restaurants
Two new brew-themed restaurants, the casual Beer Garden and the more refined Craft House, are situated across the street from each other on Woodcleft Avenue.
“We wanted to give people an option on what type of dining experience they want,” says Vincent Minutella, who co-owns both venues. “There are different degrees of formality with gastropub-style cuisine.”
Pictured: Olympia Moulton, 21, bartender at the Beer Garden.
Try the Beer Garden’s Lobster Bao Bun Duo ($14) paired with an Allagash Saison Gratis Farmhouse Ale ($8) or the Craft House’s short rib with wild mushrooms and house-cured bacon over ricotta polenta ($28) matched with The Bruery’s Mischief Belgian Ale ($8).
INFO The Beer Garden: 516-665-2585; The Craft House: 516-665-3950
Pictured: Bartender Tracy Johanna, 36, makes a Cosmo-NOT cocktail at The Craft House.
Hit the links at Crow’s Nest Mini Golf, where 18 holes of a pirate-themed course await halfway down the mile. Adults ($9.50) and children ($8.50 younger than 10) can collectively enjoy this venue, which offers light snacks and sodas.
INFO 516-223-0497, crowsnestcoveli.com
Pictured: Tyler Harts, 14, of Queens, takes his shot at Crow’s Nest Mini Golf in Freeport.
Chill in a cabana
There’s a relaxed vibe at Tropix on the Mile restaurant and bar. Sit in a cabana or under an umbrella on the deck, and listen to music, enjoy some nibbles or drinks with friends. Seating is first-come, first-served, and there are no reservations or bottle-service requirements.
“I feel like I’m in Miami. Nothing beats it,” says Louie Lopez, 25, of Baldwin as he lounged with six of his friends on a recent night. “There’s no long wait to get in, and it’s a real chill atmosphere.”
INFO No cover, 516-623-8767, tropixonthemile.com
Take a cruise
Take in the view on Captain Lou’s Sapphire Princess sunset dinner cruise ($85), which launches from Sea Breeze Park. The trip includes passed hors d’oeuvres and an open bar on this 100-foot bilevel ship with three outdoor decks plus dinner in an air-conditioned dining area with a live DJ. The ride concludes with dessert and a sunset.
“The scene is jaw-dropping,” says office cruise manager Melissa Meyer. “It reminds you of just how precious Long Island is.”
INFO 516-623-5823, captloufleet.com
Browse the cigars
F&J Classic Cigars stocks more than 30 variations of cigars, including its own signature brand ($12-$14). “We have hand-rolled cigars with our house blend,” says owner Miles Fox, pictured. “They come in mild, medium and full-body.”
There’s a smoking lounge with couches and a flatscreen TV as well as an indoor card-playing den and an outdoor porch.
Order a drink for a crowd
The drink of the summer at Bracco’s is the Ultimate Fishbowl. It has four types of Malibu rum (mango, coconut, lemon, banana), Blue Curacao, pineapple and orange juices Sprite , garnished with a pineapple wedge, sliced strawberries and cherries. This colossal 40-ounce cocktail ($49.95) serves four adults, or get the "mini" 25-ounce version ($25) for two.
“People take pictures with them because they like the way they look and enjoy the taste,” says bartender Kaitlin Haggerty of Freeport. “It’s very sweet and fruity.”
The bonus? Purchasers get to take home the fishbowl as a keepsake.
Stop for scoops
Pip’s is a classic dessert parlor that serves 40 different flavors of Hershey’s Ice Cream in cones ($4-$6.50) or sundaes like the Upside Down Banana Split ($8).
“Vanilla Moose Tracks is our most popular flavor,” says server Samantha Cariello, 19, of Freeport, pictured. “We even make our own waffle cones.”
There’s a fun photo booth on the front lawn where you can commemorate your visit.
INFO 516-868-7139, cash only