Culture: Horton's Point Lighthouse and nautical museums

Check Availability:

North Fork Culture: Galleries, Museums, Historic Sites

June 20th, 2019 by Abigail Field

Photo is of the Horton Point Lighthouse, a key stop on the North Fork culture tour. 

The North Fork has lately become famous for its spectacular food scene and local wine, but its true culture is much deeper and older. When you come, be sure to experience those dimensions too.

North Fork Culture: Deep, Historic Roots

The North Fork you experience is rooted in colonial times, with New Haven, Connecticut founding Southold in 1640. Over the centuries, its fertile lands and waters kept many families here–street names honor families who still live here. The North Fork’s beauty has inspired generations of artists too. To experience our culture, you have to expand your visit from our farmstands, restaurants and vineyards and take in our museums, galleries and historic properties.

Below are the listings; most are open at least some weekdays, so visit when the crowds aren’t here.

We’ve organized the listings by Hamlet, and the Hamlets are alphabetized. These Hamlets are all on the peninsula that is the North Fork, with the exceptions of Shelter Island, and Sag Harbor. Shelter Island is accessible by ferry from Greenport, and Sag Harbor is accessible by ferry from Shelter Island. (Sag Harbor is on the South Fork.) We include them because both Shelter Island and Sag Harbor are an easy day trip during your stay at Shorecrest.

Cutchogue/New Suffolk Culture

Cutchogue is about half way between downtown Riverhead and Orient Point. It has a quaint downtown, nice for a little window shopping, and two farmstands–Wickham’s Fruit Farm and the Cutchogue Village Farms. What they offer depends on what’s in season; at the Village Farm, you can feed animals, and at Wickham’s, you can U-pick.

Art Galleries

Alex Ferrone Gallery

Focus: “contemporary fine art works by mid-career and emerging photographic artists.” Exhibits

Location: 25425 Main Road, Cutchogue, NY 11935.

Hours, Summer and Autumn: Friday – Sunday 12-5pm or by appointment other days.
Hours: Saturday & Sunday 12-5pm or by appointment other days.
Check website for holiday and special hours.

Gallery in the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Library

The library is beautifully housed in a converted and expanded church, and has a lovely, airy art gallery in the old church part. Current Exhibit. The gallery is open year round, when the library is, and the exhibits change every month or two.

Location: 27550 Main Rd, Cutchogue, NY 11935

Hours: Mon – Fri 9:30am – 8pm; Sat. 9:30am – 5pm; Sundays. Nov – Mar 1pm-5pm

Old Town Arts and Crafts Guild

The guild is an artists’ collective formed in 1953, featuring high quality works by local artists and artisans. In addition to the gallery, they host fairs on the Village Green and other events, as well as teach some children’s art classes. Scenes from the Gallery.

Location: 28625 Main Rd, Cutchogue, NY 11935

Hours: Mon-Sat 10:00am-5:00pm; Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm

Historic Sites/Museums

The Village Green–Historic Buildings maintained by the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council. Arrayed around the Green are several historic buildings, including The Old House, Old Schoolhouse, The Red Barn, The Wickham Farmhouse, the Carriage House and Village Garage.

Explore the buildings Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 1pm to 4pm, June 22 through October 6. In addition, the Council hosts special events during the year, check their listings here.

The Old Burying Ground–Historic graveyard maintained by the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council: “The Old Cutchogue Burying Ground in Cutchogue is situated at 32770 Main Road about a mile east of the Village Green (corner of Main Road and Harbor Lane), and is a sacred and historic site where the remains of Cutchogue’s settlers were laid to rest. Typical of its early time period, the Old Cutchogue Burying Ground is not located near a church; as a municipal burying ground, its burials were non-denominational.

Marker–First Submarine Base in the U.S.

While there’s not much to see, there’s a sign memorializing the place, and naval history aficionados may want to pose for a picture.

Greenport Culture

Greenport, the North Fork’s maritime village and gateway to Shelter Island, is full of art, museums and historic sites. One special opportunity is the historic Long Beach Bar “Bug” Lighthouse, which you can cruise to and explore inside–one of the very few offshore lighthouses where that is possible. The East End Seaport Museum (below) organizes these trips.

Art Galleries

Greenport has many art galleries; in summer through the fall, they offer “Gallery Walks” on First Fridays. Many galleries have weekday hours in season; not necessarily every weekday, though most will open by appointment also. Some are simple studios; if the artist is in, you’re welcome to come inside. Otherwise, peer through the window, and if you like what you see, make an appointment. Regardless, they are all near enough for a leisurely stroll on a beautiful day.

In alphabetical order, galleries with set hours are:

Cindy Pease Roe Studio & Gallery

190 Stirling Street, Greenport, NY 11944

Open Saturdays

The Fiedler Gallery

207 Main Street, Greenport, NY 11944

Open Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am – 3 pm.

Floyd Memorial Library

Yes, the library. It maintains a gallery with rotating top notch exhibits.

Monday – Friday 9:30am – 8pm; Saturday 9:30am – 5pm; Sunday 1pm – 5pm

J. Garretson Fine Art Gallery

Features stunning photography.

102 South St, Greenport, NY 11944

Open Monday & Thursday, 11-5, Friday thru Sunday 11-6, Tuesday and Wednesday by appointment only. Note: the gallery is often open later, b/c Greenport’s got a later scene, so drop on by even if it’s after hours.

Gallery M.
Glass sculptures and much more

407 Main St, Greenport, NY 11944

Open 11 am-5 pm Wednesday thru Sunday in the winter; more in the summer.

Nova Constellatio Gallery

419 Main Street, Greenport NY 11944

Monday, by chance; Tuesday, Closed; Wednesday – Saturday 11 – 5; Sunday 12 – 5

The Upstairs Gallery

209 Main Street, Greenport, NY 11944

VSOP Projects

311 Front Street, Greenport, NY 11944

Open: Thursday 11-6, Friday 11-9, Saturday and Sunday 11-6, and by appointment.

In alphabetical order, artists’ studios that you can pop into or visit by appointment are:

Antoinette M. Janecki Studio

404 First Street, Greenport, NY 11944

de Cordova Gallery

538 Main Street, Greenport, NY 11935

The Sirens’ Song Art Studio

516 Main Street, Greenport, NY 11935

The South Street Gallery

18 South Street, Greenport, NY 11935

Museums & Historic Sites

East End Seaport Museum

A lovely small museum that hosts the cruises to “Bug Light” and organizes the annual Maritime Festival. They also operate the Village Blacksmith on Front Street.

103 3rd Street, Greenport, NY 11744

Saturdays 11am-7pm, Sundays 11am-5pm

To inquire about visiting the museum during off hours, email

Fire Fighter fireboat

Tours are conducted on summer weekends from 11AM to 5PM. Volunteers conduct tours of this unique fire fighting museum. Tour the entire ship, visit the engine room, and take in some maritime history. Docked near Mitchell Park.

Greenport Jail

Carpenter Street

Sadly, this museum is rarely open, but as you stroll around Greenport it’s a fun selfie backdrop.

Long Island Railroad Museum

A small museum for train buffs, located near the Seaport Museum and the Shelter Island Ferry.

Stirling Historical Society

319 Main Street, Greenport, NY

Open July and August weekends, 1-4 pm.

The Village Blacksmith

Just off of Front Street, closer to the harbor, behind the little red schoolhouse. (Near Aldo’s.) Watch a blacksmith work; he gives a very educational narration.

Saturdays and Sundays 10 am- 5pm.

Bonus: Northeast Stage is a Greenport-based theater troupe that performs throughout the year, though Shakespeare in the Park in the summer is their signature show. If they’re performing during your stay, check out the show.


Mattituck Culture

The heart of Mattituck is Love Lane, a Rockwell-esque scene of small speciality shops, restaurants, and more. But there’s more to do than shop…

Galleries, Museums & Historic Sites

Mattituck-Laurel Historical Society

The society hosts an interesting lecture series and several special events throughout the year. Unfortunately, tours of the historic properties are available only then, or by appointment. Check out the link, however, and maybe you’ll find an event during your visit, or enough of interest to make an appointment.

Mattituck Library

Yes, the library! It has a gallery and rotating top-notch exhibits.

Open Mon – Fri: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm; Sat: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; Sun: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

North Fork Community Theater

12700 Old Sound Avenue, Mattituck, NY 11952

The NFCT stages five shows a year in its newly renovated space, three musicals and two plays. The performances are stellar; if a show is playing during your stay, check it out.

Orient Culture

Orient is the easternmost hamlet, quicker to get to from New London, Connecticut (by ferry) than by car from NYC. Stunningly beautiful coastline and wetlands galore, Orient nonetheless has a quaint downtown and vibrant historical society.

Galleries, Museums & Historic Sites

Oysterponds Historical Society

This vibrant historical society features several historic buildings and rotating exhibits in some of them. In addition they host special events throughout the summer.

Open May 26 through September 30: Wednesday to Friday and Sunday 2pm-5pm; Saturday 11am-5pm
Admission FREE

Southold Culture

Southold, the eponymous hamlet of Southold Town, is where the nearly 400 year old First Presbyterian church is; the building was Southold’s first town hall. The graveyard associated with that church is a historic site in its own right. But there’s much more…

Galleries, Museums & Historic Sites

Custer Observatory

1115 Main Bayview Road, Southold, New York 11971

The Custer Institute is Long Island’s oldest public observatory. Open every Saturday evening from dusk until midnight, their volunteers give tours of the facilities and the night sky through powerful telescopes. Custer has a library, museum, and gift shop, and offers frequent lectures, classes, concerts, art exhibits and other special events.

Horton Point Lighthouse and Nautical Museum

3575 Lighthouse Rd, Southold, NY 11971

When you visit this beautiful lighthouse on a cliff overlooking Long Island Sound, you enjoy exhibits inside and then can climb the tower to the light and a stunning view. Sometimes in the summer they have concerts on the gorgeous lawn.

Open Memorial Day-Mid-September, Saturday & Sunday 11:30am – 4:00 pm

Southold Historical Society

Corner of Maple Lane and Main Road/Rte. 25 (approx 55414 NY-25), Southold, NY,

This vibrant historical society has a campus of historic buildings and offers rotating exhibits. In addition they maintain the Horton Point Lighthouse and host special events throughout the year.

Open Late June-Mid-September, Saturday & Sunday 1-4 pm, and by appointment.

Southold Indian Museum

1080 Main Bayview Rd, Southold, NY 11971

The “museum is dedicated to study and education surrounding archaeology and natural history. It is owned and operated by the Incorporated Long Island Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association.” Programs and events can be found on their Facebook page.

Hours: Sundays, 1:30 – 4:30 pm, or  by appointment

Shelter Island

Galleries, Museums & Historic Sites

Perlman Music Program

The Perlman Music Program is an extraordinary cultural institution offering free and low cost world class concerts throughout the summer.

73 Shore Road, Shelter Island Heights, NY 11965. Check the link for concerts, or our event calendar.

Shelter Island Historical Society

16 South Ferry Road, Shelter Island, NY 11964

The museum is currently closed as it is undergoing renovation and construction, however they will continue to hold very special events throughout the summer.

Sylvester Manor

Sylvester Manor is an extraordinary institution. An educational farm, a historic house with beautiful gardens, a venue for wonderful events.

“Once a Native American hunting and fishing ground, Sylvester Manor has since 1652 been home to eleven generations of its original European settler family. It reflects a remarkably intact history of America’s evolving tastes, economies and landscapes.”

The grounds and trails are open April through October. Private tours of the Manor are available by appointment. Public tours are scheduled on occasional weekends, see the calendar.

Sag Harbor

Galleries, Museums & Historic Sites

Bay Street Theater

The Bay Street Theater on Sag Harbor’s waterfront offers top flight theater, music and other performances throughout the year. Check the link for what’s playing now.

Custom House

Sag Harbor became a United States port of entry in 1789 with a growing population involved in servicing whalers, coasters, and West Indian trade ships. Henry Packer Dering, Sag Harbor’s first United States custom master, acquired the property in the early 1790s.

192 Main Street, Corner of Garden Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963

Open Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day

Memorial Day-June: Saturday & Sunday, 10:00AM – 5:00PM
July & August: Open 7 days a week, 10:00AM – 5:00PM
September to Columbus Day: Saturday & Sunday, 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Historical Society

174 Main Street Sag Harbor, NY

Open late May – Columbus Day: Saturday & Sunday 1pm-4pm

Whaling Museum

200 Main Street. Sag Harbor, NY 11963

Open 10am-5 pm Daily.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.