Riverhead History & Culture
Starting in the 19th century, Riverhead the hamlet began emerging as the commercial hub for Riverhead the town. However, since 2012—when the downtown area was recognized on the National Register of Historic Places—business, as it were, has been booming. A legacy of mercantile strength laid the foundation for a blossoming cultural scene you might not find elsewhere on the North Shore. Erected in the 1930s and lovingly restored, the Art Deco Suffolk Theater is the centerpiece of Riverhead’s arts district, hosting a lineup of musical acts, comedians, and other performers. Despite a lack of water-based endeavors—at least when compared to points further east—the Long Island Aquarium more than compensates with plenty of exciting exhibits for the aspiring marine biologist in your heart. After all, setting sail on a schooner is nice, but where else on the North Fork are you going to hang out with penguins?