Bellport Village is a summer staycation destination worth exploring—and it looks like this summer might be another one spent locally. It boasts camera-ready tree-lined streets; a green, dog-friendly park with gazebo; good food, ice cream; local shopping; and a cellphone-based tour of the historic district to tie it all together. I recently went for a half-day excursion with my family—here was our itinerary:
Parking, 11 a.m.
First, we parked in the municipal parking lot, where there was a bevy of available parking. (FYI, parking in the municipal lot is free.) There is also street parking, mostly for a maximum of two hours. You do not need a permit to park in Bellport Village, unless you are parking in the municipal lot overnight.
First up, ice cream 11:05 a.m.
Next, we crossed the street for some ice cream at Carla Marlas, which boasts ample outside seating, perfect for people-watching. Best sellers include the Cookie Monster milkshake and ice cream flavors including Piece of Cake, Birthday Bash and Mint Ting A Ling, according to Sam Ostrowski, who has been working at Carla Marlas for three years. We opted for a medium cup of the Mint Ting A Ling ice cream and some candy.
Blowing bubbles in the park, 11:20 a.m.
While finishing up our ice cream, we headed south on Bellport Lane to blow bubbles in the park across from the community center and Bellport Village Hall. My son enjoyed the park’s ambient greenery and the serenity it provided. It was truly a quiet day, where all we heard were birds chirping in the trees. Adding to the calm, we had the park to ourselves; but as we were leaving, a couple sat down in the white gazebo to eat their lunches.
Historic district tour, 12:05 p.m.
Next, we ventured into the heart of Bellport’s historic district. The Bellport Fire Department Museum and Bellport Historical Society and Museum were not open. Even so, the historical buildings are a great place for a photoshoot with family, or even for standalone photos of the old structures. On its website, the historical society lists several historic buildings on museum grounds, including the Post-Crowell house, the Ralph Brown building, the blacksmith shop, barn museum, exchange shop, 1850 gazebo and milk house. Luckily, the grounds were open for us to peek at—but because of the pandemic and summer season, it is best to check the website (bbhsmuseum.com) for up-to-date details.
We were looking forward to making some purchases at The Exchange Shop, but found out it will not be open this summer; it will, however, be hosting socially distant yard sales, according to the website.
We opted to join in on the Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society Cell Phone Tour, where participants dial in for a guided tour. There are three tours available: Brookhaven Hamlet tour, Historical Society tour and Bellport Lane tour. We took the Historical Society tour, comprising eight sites beginning at 31 Bellport Lane and ending at the 12 Bell Street Brown building. The best parts were that it was completely free of charge and we were able to follow along at our own pace.
Shopping, 12:55 p.m.
Next, we went for some retail therapy and found several shops.
TOLA is known for its local Long Island products and for having something for everyone, according to Sabrina Cipp, who has worked at the store for seven years. There are also a number of products in the store that are made or designed in Bellport or with a Bellport theme. We were there at the same time as April Steckle, who was shopping for a baby gift and decided on purchasing a onesie made by Long Island-based clothing design company, Carleton.
“I wanted something true to Long Island and true to Bellport,” she said.
Red Barn Boutique has everything a country-loving shopper could need, from clothing and accessories, to coastal décor, to signs with quotes and sayings, to delicious-smelling candles, to Fourth of July decorations. The shop was originally located on Bellport Lane, but moved to a location with more space, on South Country Road.
A surprise pop-up, 1:55 p.m.
Heading west on Main Street, we were greeted by a surprise pop-up flower shop. Fabian Bernal, owner of Good Morning Bellport, hosts a flower shop pop-up on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. He was joined by his partner, Justin Vanfleet, and a worker, Max Yablon.
Pick-me-up coffee, 2:05 p.m.
Casa di Palma is described as an Italian specialty store. We dropped by after seeing a sign outside advertising the “Sail Away Nitro Cold Brew,” and since we needed a little pick-me-up, we went inside. We just did the coffee, but were tempted by the variety of desserts including pies, cookies and gelato. There was seating inside and a spot for two outside. Instead of sitting, we took our coffee to go and continued our stroll westward.
Back to our car, 2:30 p.m.
Back at our car and ready to leave, my family and I were already planning our next Bellport excursion. We especially enjoyed the cute boutiques—where my son scored a toy for being good. Maybe we will see you there this summer.