Serving as the seat of Suffolk County, Riverhead lies at the mouth of the Peconic River in Long Island’s east. It’s an agricultural hub and host to the annual Polish Town Fair and boasts family-friendly attractions that include a railway museum, a large aquarium and one of the top water parks in the United States.
Things to do in Riverhead
Occupying a 19th-century lumberyard is the Railroad Museum of Long Island, where you can get up close to lovingly restored locomotives and rare passenger and freight cars. In addition to seeing its model railways, a highlight of visiting the museum is riding the 16” gauge Allan Herschell Park Train from the LIRR Pavilion, which was built for the 1964 New York World's Fair.
Also not to miss is the Long Island Aquarium, which boasts one of the largest living coral displays in the Western Hemisphere. You can get up close to sand sharks, seahorses and pufferfish in its display tanks, as well as piranhas, moray eels and a giant Pacific octopus. In addition to marine life, the aquarium is also home to American alligators, African penguins and Japanese snow monkeys.
If you’re visiting Riverhead in the summer months, you can cool off at the Splish Splash Water Park in nearby Calverton. It features around 30 rides that include the Max Trax plummet slides and Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror. Younger kids can play safely in the Monsoon Lagoon with its gentle slides and pirate-themed water fountains.
Getting around Riverhead
Riverhead is around two hours’ drive from New York City and 35 minutes from Long Island MacArthur Airport, which has flights to destinations across the United States. Trains connect along the Long Island Main Line to the Riverhead railway station and buses travel throughout the town.