Better by the Bay: 13 Things to Do by Great South Bay

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image: artie raslich

The sand and sea are a welcome sight to any Long Islander or tourist, and so are the bustling Main Streets of the towns surrounding the Great South Bay. When the tide takes you towards the bay, make like the locals and slow down, enjoy the views and try a few of our 13 favorite things. For a complete guide to summer on Long Island, pick up Pulse’s Summer Almanac on newstands now.

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salt & barrel bay shore

image: courtesy of salt & barrel

Barrique Kitchen & Wine Bar, Babylon Village

When cravings call for small plates, wine and waterfront views, make a beeline to Barrique Kitchen & Wine Bar. The restaurant helped start the tapas trend by offering pan seared duck breast and seared tuna on smaller, sharable plates. They pair perfectly with a vino from Barrique’s extensive cellar, which includes 150 wines by the bottle and 30 by the glass. Go.

BOBBiQUE, Patchogue

A joint with live blues music that’s as good as the fare, BOBBiQUE has been part of the Patchogue scene since before there was one. Chef Eric Rifkin opened the spot in 2006 and it’s become a haven for lovers of burgers, barbecue and blues music in search of a spirited night out. Go.

Del Fuego, Patchogue, Babylon, St. James

Forget the bread basket; at Del Fuego guests start meals with crisp multi-colored tortilla chips and yes, a side of guacamole is a must. They’re addictive, but leave some room for a three mushroom quesadilla made with melted jack cheese that’s so good you’ll be back the next day for more. Go.

Monsoon, Babylon Village

Housed in the former Bank of Babylon, Monsoon has transformed the space into a trendy steak-and-sushi restaurant. Give chopsticks a shot while eating Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Korean dishes in a modern two-story restaurant with black-and-red accents and an open kitchen. Go.

Salt & Barrel, Bay Shore

The family behind Flynn’s in Fire Island opened Salt & Barrel, Bay Shore’s first oyster bar, in March and people have been ordering the briny shellfish by the dozens ever since. Indoors, the spot is chic but comfortable. A dramatic curved white bar extends through the front of house, and a library full of books on oysters and bourbon separate the dining room from the bar. Study up while you fill up. Go.

Tula Kitchen, Bay Shore

Walk into Tula’s Kitchen and feel like you’ve been transported to a different place and time. Chandeliers hang over the handcrafted old-world bar, which is surrounded by intimate wooden tables for two adorned with a single candle. The Nutella stuffed French toast, topped with real maple sugar, fresh berries and cocoa powder, is as good as it sounds. Go.

Verde Kitchen and Cocktails, Bay Shore

Sit underneath the refurbished glass atrium in the back dining room, where the staff at Verde Kitchen & Cocktails grows their ingredients, or in the rustic dining room. Whichever you choose, bring your main squeeze and order from the special taco menu, which boasts eight different varieties of the quintessential Mexican dish. Go

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Bobby's Burger Palace_Bobby Blue1

Great Burger Battle, Patchogue 

Don’t call it a comeback. OK, go ahead. Great Burger Battle returns to Shorefront Park on Aug 14. Ten favorite burger joints will fight it out to be called the best on Long Island while guests get to eat burgers, listen to live music and drink wine and beer. It’s pretty much the event of the summer. Go.

Great South Bay Music Festival, Patchogue

Thousands will rock Shorefront Park in Patchogue July 14-17 for the 11th Great South Bay Music Festival, which will bring acts like Third Eye Blind and Graham Nash to our shores. Go.

25th Annual Seafood Festival, Sayville

Before summer fades, head to the Long Island Maritime Museum Aug 27-28 for a taste of the freshest seafood on the South Shore. Go.

Pinot’s Pallette, Bay Shore

Get creative this summer in Bay Shore’s new upscale paint-and-sip studio. No art experience is required, just a willingness to get your hands dirty and, if you choose, enjoy an adult beverage. Go

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image: joseph kellard

image: joseph kellard

South Shore Paddle Boards, Babylon Village

In case you’ve been living under a seashell, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) has become a thing—so has SUP Yoga for that matter. Karen Marvin would know. She opened South Shore Paddleboards about a year after paddling for the first time. You may not go into business for yourself, but give the watersport a try by renting or taking a lesson. If you’re hooked at first paddle, go ahead and take one home (after buying it, of course). Go.

Willy Nilly, Bay Shore

Find trinkets for your home and jewelry box, think wooden serving trays and ALEX & ANI bangles, in a relaxing, inviting environment on Main Street. Go

beth ann clyde

beth ann clyde

Beth Ann Clyde is a social strategist of Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email bethann@lipulse.com or reach out on Twitter @BAClyde.