Sag Harbor Attractions
Shaped like a fish, Long Island, New York spans approximately 118 miles from the “head” on the west end to the “tail” at the east end, the latter fanning into what are called the North Fork and the South Fork. The South Fork includes The Hamptons, encompassing the larger towns of Montauk, Amagansett, East Hampton, Wainscott, Bridgehampton, Watermill, Southampton, and Sag Harbor. Although now recognized as a playground for the rich and famous, the village has managed to retain its multi-ethnic history and culture, which began in the late 1700s and early 1800s during the Golden Age of Whaling. Today there are five private, predominantly African American developments, representing about 500 families in Sag Harbor: Ninevah Beach, Chatfield’s Hill, Azurest, Sag Harbor Hills, and Hillcrest Terrace. In town, the famous Long Wharf Harbor, also called “Million Dollar Harbor” in reference to the value of the boats docked there, anchors one end of Main Street, the major thoroughfare through town. Its said that Joseph Kennedy, father of John F. Kennedy, made his money bootlegging through this harbor.
Visitors and residents alike meander among the myriad of boutique shops, quaint bookstores, eclectic restaurants and picturesque streets. Many homes continue to reflect the early architectural styles like Salt Box and Cedar Shake, and range from charming houses on modest lots to sprawling mega-mansions. Don’t expect to find any chain stores or burger joints here, as the town has fought hard to preserve its unique character and charm. Brimming with ethnic and cultural diversity and inviting beaches, and possessing a small town feel, Sag Harbor is a welcome respite anytime of the year. Captain’s Row is awash with former whaling captains’ homes, while year-round and seasonal Black residents include Johnny Cochran, B. Smith and Earl Graves.
Sag Harbor Whaling Museum
DESCRIPTION: Often features the traveling Black Whalers Exhibit, which first opened here; the exhibit features new paintings of whaling subjects by six different Black artists, historic artwork, documents, artifacts, and a ditty bag (the 19th century equivalent of a “daypack”) of sail-making equipment owned by a Black Sag Harbor sailmaker who sailed aboard two local whaling ships in the early 1800s; the museum is work visiting even without the Black Whaler’s Exhibit.
DAYS & HOURS: May 18-October 1, Mon-Sat 10a-5p, Sun 1p-5p
ADDRESS: 200 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY MAP
Long Island Museum
DESCRIPTION: The museum features art, carriage and history museums on nine park-like acres in the historic village of Stony Brook, New York; landscaped gardens frame 18th and 19th-century buildings and a gift and bookshop; the museum’s permanent collection numbers over 40,000 items dating from the late 1700s to the present, including American works of art, over 250 historic carriages, and artifacts of everyday life.
DAYS & HOURS: Museum: Wed-Sun 12p-5p
ADDRESS: 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook, NY MAP
B. Smith’s Restaurant
DESCRIPTION: In keeping with most traffic in Sag Harbor, the restaurant is only open between May and October;given its harbor and fishing village heritage of the region, there is a larger emphasis on seafood compared to its sister restaurants in New York City and Washington, DC; thankfully, the chef ensures that your taste buds are rewarded; the decor is very tasteful, light and airy – well suited to its wartime environment.
DAYS & HOURS: CLOSED
ADDRESS: 1 Bay Street, Sag Harbor, NY MAP