Historic downtown Riverhead is an exciting blend of past and future. It boasts beautiful and graceful architecture, a lovely riverfront, and a newly refurbished town park.
Riverhead, established in 1792, is the seat of Suffolk County government. County offices and court buildings bring thousands of visitors to the downtown area for business and pleasure every day.
At the crossroads of the twin forks of the East End, downtown Riverhead is being rediscovered as a family-friendly place to live, work and play.
The beautiful Peconic Riverfront is an inviting backdrop for a growing number of outdoor events. These include the largest street-painting festival on Long Island, a hugely popular cardboard boat race that had its maiden voyage in 2010, a weekly classic car show, numerous concerts — with something for everyone, ranging from blues and rock, to country-western, jazz, kids music and classic pops — to the famous Riverhead Country Fair, which has been drawing tens of thousands of visitors to the Peconic Riverfront every Columbus Day weekend for three decades. As each year draws to a close, the community gathers on the riverfront for a special holiday bonfire, to enjoy hot cocoa, snack, sing carols and welcome Santa Claus, who arrives by boat on the Peconic River.
At the center of town is the art deco 1930s Suffolk Theatre, which is currently being renovated and restored, for a grand reopening as a performing arts center in late 2011.
Diagonally across from the theater is a greenspace framed by the two oldest buildings on Main Street, the historic Corwin (circa 1830) and Benjamin (circa 1850) houses owned by the Town of Riverhead and occupied by the East End Arts Council, which runs a gallery and a community school of the arts. The grounds of these two restored historic homes connect Main Street with the riverfront.
Downtown Riverhead is home to Atlantis Marine World Aquarium, the historic Vail-Leavitt Music Hall and the soon-to-be-opened Hyatt Place Hotel at Atlantis. Tanger Outlet Center and the Splish Splash Water Park are just moments away from the heart of the historic district. And the Long Island Wine Region, with dozens of wineries that produce award-winning wines, is at our doorstep.
Downtown visitors can enjoy food and spirits at a variety – and growing number — of restaurants: from pub-style fare to French bistro to traditional Chinese and Greek cuisine, to sushi or bison, to comfort-food classics, downtown Riverhead is the place to dine out. A new upscale continental restaurant and a family-friendly barbecue place are being readied for grand openings this spring.
Things are happening in downtown Riverhead.
So whether you're visiting for business or pleasure, on a day trip, overnight, or on a getaway weekend ... come downtown — and enjoy the best of Riverhead... the best of the East End.