6. Northport

Shipwreck Diner in Northport

To the east of Huntington is the village of Northport, a historic maritime village known for its Victorian era village center. Originally called “wading place creek” by the Matinecock, Northport was later purchased by the English in 1656 and soon after became known as Great Cow Harbor. Unlike Huntington, Northport remained rather unsettled by the 1830s, with only eight homes including Skidmore House on Main Street built in 1761. However, after the village became a major shipbuilding community, the population grew to over 1,000 by 1860 with three ship yards and a number of general stores. The LIRR arrived in Northport in 1868, but it was moved in 1873 to a new location a few miles away from Main Street, so Northport created a commuter trolley in 1902 which lasted for 22 years. The trolley was actually revived in the 1970s and 1980s to transport tourists along Main Street. Every year in September, Northport hosts Cow Harbor Day in honor of the village’s history.

Northport historic house

Northport maintains much of its historic character in its Victorian-esque downtown, which contains two NRHP buildings, the Northport Public Library in the Jacobethan Revival style and the US Post Office. A recently added structure to the NRHP list is the Stanley H. Lowndes House, built by its namesake oyster magnate. Northport’s culture is preserved at the Northport Historical Society and Museum, and one village over in Centerport is the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium located in Vanderbilt’s Eagle’s Nest estate. Northport is perhaps best known for its Northport Memorial Park, created in 1932 along the harbor, making for some picturesque sunsets. Other parks of note include nearby Cow Harbor Park and Scudder Park.

Northport’s culinary scene is not as diverse as Huntington, but Northport is well known for its high-quality Italian and American eateries, many of which have been open for decades. One of the best known restaurants in Suffolk County in Maroni, whose chef-owner Michael Maroni died last year, which serves classic Italian dishes and and a constantly changing tasting menu. Robke’s on Fort Salonga Road serves American and Italian cuisine, while The Purple Elephant offers American and seafood options. Long-time favorite Tim’s Shipwreck Diner continues serving both traditional diner fare and more complex American dishes, while Pumpernickel’s offers authentic German cuisine. Other notable restaurants in Northport include Copenhagen Bakery, Aunt Chilada’s Mexican Grill, and Bistro 44.