It is that time of year when first-year students are welcomed to Stony Brook University to—as the banners around campus say—begin this “incredible journey” in their academic careers.
And while SBU makes sure to keep the freshmen’s first weekend on campus chock full of productive activities, icebreakers and meet-and-greets, the same question arises, whether you are a socially seasoned senior or a new, shy freshman who is not (just yet) into the whole frat party scene. What is there to do off campus?
There are a couple of options for those who are carless—or simply just lazy—or for those who would rather enjoy the walk to and fro on a warm, breezy autumn night. Popular amongst the students here on campus, Jake Starr and The Curry Club, are two nearby restaurants that offer the luxury of dining out at a reasonable price within walking distance.
Jake Starr offers contemporary American cuisine located in the neighboring town of Setauket, which is right behind the Long Island Rail Road station, roughly about a 10 to 15 minute walk from most quads on campus, placed conveniently right next to a 7/11 (a useful tip for future reference!) The Curry Club, located in East Setauket, resides within walking distance of the campus’ North Entrance. It is known for its Indian food and fun atmosphere.
If you do not feel like eating out and are in more of a socializing mood, The Bench Bar & Grill, also located right behind the LIRR train station, has been a classic hangout spot to drink, dance and hang out amongst Stony Brook students for years—the 21 or older students, of course.
Then, for those who have cars, are willing to take public transportation or simply are in the mood for some trekking and hiking around, the towns neighboring Stony Brook offer a variety of activities and places for students to indulge in.
The buses on campus extend a chance for students to get a ride to and from various places such as the Smith Haven Mall, which includes Macy’s, an Apple store and The Cheesecake Factory, and even goes to shopping plazas that include Walmart, Walgreens and Target on certain days of the week—just check the bus schedules every week at the stops.
Approved by the of-age student body of Stony Brook University, there are several bars, taverns and lounges that are within a close driving distance of the campus—just ask Siri for directions. Popular venues of choice and hangout spots include the following:
• The Checkmate Inn—East Setauket (7 minute drive)
• The Three Village Inn—Stony Brook (9 minute drive)
• The Velvet Lounge—Setauket-East Setauket (5 minute drive)
• The Country Corner—Setauket-East Setauket (8 minute drive)
Having the LIRR on campus is a luxury in itself, though it often goes unnoticed. The neighboring town of Port Jefferson is a stop away on the train, and offers endless possibilities of fine dining, scenic walks and shopping at trendy and unique boutiques.
Do not forget, the city of Manhattan, aka The Concrete Jungle, is about 90 minutes away by the LIRR, and is a small price to pay for a day of sightseeing and urban adventures.
So the next time you hear someone say “there is nothing to do around this campus,” correct them – politely. There is quite a bit to do, see and explore around Stony Brook University, and all it takes is a little motivation, some bus fare, or maybe a tank of gas.