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Get to know Center Moriches

Wedged between Moriches and East Moriches, there is no better name for Center Moriches than the one it has. But while “Center” typically conjures up images of sprawling fields and not that much water, Moriches Bay blesses the southern border of Center Moriches with an aquatic environment — and beaches. A series of creeks also cut into the hamlet’s geography, adding further opportunities for fishing and boating. Lots of waterfront area means bold waterfront homes, but those in Center Moriches are of a humbler variety than seen in neighbors further down the South Fork. Though it is a mere eight miles west of Westhampton, Center Moriches’ vibe is far more homespun than it is “Hamptons.” And even with its beach scene, the hamlet functions as a year-round destination rather than just a seasonal one.

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Center Moriches History & Culture

The Center Moriches timeline goes back more than three centuries, as evidenced by such landmarks as the Terry-Ketcham Inn, which dates to the late 1600s. With a guest list that included Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, this inn and tavern earned its spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. Another local, certified historical monument is the Masury Estate Ballroom, a c.1898 wood-frame structure that is all that remains of a much larger shingle-style estate. For a deeper dive into the area’s past, the Havens Homestead — a Dutch Colonial built during the 1750s — now serves as the Moriches Bay Historical Society. Center Moriches is a primarily residential place, albeit with traces of the rural character that once dominated the entire region — look around, and you can spy a few farms. In the southern section of the hamlet, there are creekside inns, marinas, and laid-back beaches.

Center Moriches Dining & Shopping

Much of the commerce and dining in Center Moriches is clustered along Montauk Highway, which functions as the hamlet’s Main Street in all but name. As is the case with roughly all of Suffolk County, seafood is a well-represented cuisine. What you’ll find that’s perhaps a little more unique is adding some turf to that surf in the form of shrimp pizza, lobster nachos, and the like. If you’re more of a traditionalist, you’ll still be able to find your favorite dishes, be they served on a plate or in a bucket. Should seafood for the sixth night in a row seem too tall an order, you’ll have other options to sail over to either within Center Moriches or other nearby hamlets. Fancy a drink? Stop in at the local craft brewery and stay with a flight or pint, or take things to go with a crowler or growler.