Get Back to the Bay

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The towns surrounding the Great South Bay are like a beach pack full of summertime essentials: beautiful beaches, dockside dining, and, at least for three months a year, a laissez-faire lifestyle. It’s an area where charming downtowns blend as seamlessly with waterfront establishments as the sand blends with the sea. When the tide takes you towards the bay, drift into a few of these establishments and festivals.

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Eat

The warm lobster roll with butter poached lobster, celery, and a side of salt and vinegar potato chips, served at Salt and Barrel in Bay Shore

The warm lobster roll with butter poached lobster, celery, and a side of salt and vinegar potato chips, served at Salt and Barrel in Bay Shore

View, Oakdale

The name View isn’t a euphemism, it’s a promise that always goes fulfilled. The Lessing’s-owned restaurant treats diners to year-round views of the Great South Bay, but being able to dine al fresco on the dock makes a night out glisten a little more. The lobster roll is chilled, buttery and tastes like summer on a plate. Phone: 631-589-2694 | Address: 3 Conuelo Place Click to taste 

The LakeHouse, Bay Shore

This gem came from humble beginnings: a modest, 65-seat eatery on Lawrence Lake, which opened in 2006. Last year, it moved on up and into a 200-seat restaurant on Maple Ave. with a pristine view of the Great South Bay. But The LakeHouse hasn’t gotten too big for its breadbasket. Expect creative twists on classics, friendly service and to want a second helping of the light, airy carmelized sea scallops. Phone: 631-666-0995 | Address: 135 Maple Ave. Click to taste 

Claws Seafood Market, West Sayville

Lobster roll lovers haven’t lived until they’ve dined at this seafood shack that puts a premium on flavor, not frills. Claws offers five—count ‘em five—lobster rolls, including the mayo-free naked roll, signature original West Sayville roll and the fire house roll which uses jalapeños and siracha to bring the heat in ways that would make even Mother Nature tip her cap. Phone: 631-256-5900 | Address: 20 Montauk Hwy. Click to taste 

Del Fuego, Babylon and Patchogue

A meal at Del Fuego starts with a bang—or rather a delicious crunch. Instead of the typical bread basket, this Mexican restaurant (which also boasts a St. James location) welcomes guests with multi-colored tortilla chips. They’re warm, crispy, addictive and even better with guacamole. But making them the meal would be a bit overboard, especially given the tacos are as delicious as they are generously portioned. Babylon: Phone: 631-620-3700 | Address: 117 Deer Park Ave. Patchogue: Phone: 631-569-5400 | Address: 25 W. Main St. Click to taste 

Verde Kitchen & Cocktails, Bay Shore

Owner Anthony Tartaglia and his partner/executive chef Zachary Rude traveled through Mexico’s inner cities, countrysides and beach towns while crafting the menu for Verde. The taco menu is something to write home about. It includes eight options, including a daily special, all made from fresh—never frozen—ingredients. Dive into something different by opting for the Pulpo (charred octopus, cabbage, cream and squid ink tortilla) or stay traditional with the Pollo Asado (chile marinated roasted chicken, salsa rosa, guacamole and Valentinas hot sauce). Phone: 631-665-6300 | Address: 70 E. Main St. Click to taste

Salt & Barrel, Bay Shore

The family behind Flynn’s in Fire Island struck pearls again in Salt & Barrel. Bay Shore’s first oyster bar is full of briny shellfish from New Zealand to Blue Point. The rock shrimp, made with spicy mayo, jalapeños and lime juice, proves flavorful things come in small packages. The interior marries chic and comfortable. The ambiance marries chic and comfy. 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. Phone: 631-647-8818 | Address: 61 W. Main St. Click to taste 

Monsoon, Babylon

Sushi is up there with lobster rolls, pizza and bagels on Long Island’s dinnertime Mount Rushmore. And Monsoon delivers some of the best. Shellfish enthusiasts rave about the crunchy crustacean roll, which blends lobster, shrimp, avocado and panko to perfection. The starr roll (salmon, mango, avocado, crunches and spicy mayo) is sweet and spice and everything nice. Monsoon also offers Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai in a swanky two-story restaurant that was once home to the Bank of Babylon. Phone: 631-587-4400 | Address: 48 Deer Park Ave. Click to taste

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image: kenny Janosic

image: kenny Janosic

Salt Haven, Bayport

Summertime and the breathing should be easy. Salt is no longer just a seasoning or type of water. Salt caves have become a major wellness trend on Long Island, and enthusiasts are swearing it’s helped them breathe easier. Give it a try in Bayport. Salt Haven offers kripalu yoga, guided salt inhalation therapy and psychic & salt events. Phone: 631-472-7258 | Address: 569 Middle Rd. Click to breathe 

South Shore Paddleboards, Babylon Village

Karen Marvin fell for—not off—SUP at first paddle. She opened South Shore Paddleboards about a year later in May 2014 and it has become a go-to spot for fellow paddlers to stock up on everything from boards to sundresses. Phone: 631-482-1822 | Address: 258 E. Main St. Click to shop 

Blum’s, Patchogue

The oft-fickle boutique-and-big-box world hasn’t taken its toll on Blum’s. The intimate and swimwear shop is blowing out 90 candles this year. Shoppers can stock up on swimsuits in every color under the sun and for women of any shape or size. The Tummy Control one-pieces cover up those oh-so-worth-it nights enjoying the village’s dining options. Phone: 631-475-0136 | Address: 27 E. Main St. Click to shop 

The Priscilla, Oakdale  

Instead of looking at the Great South Bay, set sail on it. Priscilla, an oyster sloop that docks at The Snapper Inn in Oakdale, offers sails on Tuesdays through Sundays. Weekend sails offer a delicious twist: A dinner provided by The Snapper Inn, a family-run restaurant that’s been serving up notable seafood since the Coolidge administration. Phone: 631-447-8679 | Address: 500 Shore Drive Click to sail

Great South Bay Music Festival, Patchogue

Thousands will flock to Shorefront Park July 13-17 to rock out to the likes of Taking Back Sunday, Eddie Money and The Zombies. Click to rock

The 26th Annual Seafood Festival, Sayville

Raise an oyster shell or 12 to Long Island seafood at the Long Island Maritime Museum Aug. 26-27. This staple end-of-summer festival celebrates our region’s bounty with live music, pirate shows and of course, tastings. Address: 88 West Ave. Click to 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.