Bob Costas, sportscaster. Jason Somerville, pro poker player. What do all of these people have in common? They all came from a town called Commack, home to roughly 35,000 people. The town name of Commack was once named Winnecomac by Native Americans, meaning “pleasant lands.” Yes. Many can agree.
Commack, NY has quite an extensive reputation for being like your favorite uncle who’s always got your back. He takes you to IHOP and out for your birthday while providing you with the best education tax dollars can afford. He brings out the foodie in you while encouraging you to play for the big leagues and follow your dreams. With the Commack School District’s reputation of being ranked the highest in Suffolk County and among the top 100 in the nation, it’s not surprising that Commack schools have become a siren call for newlyweds and young families looking to raise their kids.
Conveniently located near IHOP just off of the exit of nearby Sunken Meadow Parkway, Commack residents and visitors take in a refreshing walk on the boardwalk at Sunken Meadow State Park in the mornings and just before sunset. During the summer, they have seafood events and live music on the deck provided by local musicians and cover bands. If you need to go the distance and want more trees, open space and less ocean, nearby Caleb Smith has more trees and offers breathtaking views along with a nature center and museum.
Hoyt Farm Preserve contains a ton of history and 133-acres to explore. With the numerous farm animals and educational programs, kids will see cows, goats, pigs, and chickens as well as large amounts of local wildlife, including a nature trail with a pond where children can feed the turtles. Complete with a picnic area and playground, Hoyt Farm is one of the places in Commack where cherished memories are made.
The town of Commack is the springboard for The Commack Methodist Church, the first Methodist church in New York State. Born in 1789, the Commack Methodist Church was the overnight sanctuary for George Washington during the revolutionary war. Christmas services and special events in this chapel are now shared with Korean Methodists of Commack. An additional chapel was built in 1968 and adjacent to the chapel now known as the “1789 chapel” lay the graves of revolutionary war soldiers who trained on the same grounds where White Castle and the infamous commercially-branded Commack Motor Inn still stand today.
Nearby the very quiet and bounteous Commack Library on Hauppauge Road, visitors can marvel at a bit of sports history in the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center which houses the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Dedicated to honoring Jewish athletes throughout history who’ve made a name for themselves as sports legends, they induct honorees every year. This museum inspires many visitors to Commack and Little Leaguers who visit and dream of sports stardom.
Speaking of infamy, its fitting that the Candlelight Diner is on Veterans Highway, aka Vets Hwy because it indeed is a veteran landmark in itself for all the former and current Commack night owls. Whether you’re having breakfast or lunch, Candlelight Diner’s menu is like a book and includes organic items for the sensitive folk to have a snack before a shopping spree at the nearby Macys, Target or Hobby Lobby.
Another famous celebrity from Commack is Rosie O’Donnell a comedian, actress and activist.
There is no shortage of places to eat or shops to visit in the numerous sprawling shopping centers that line Jericho Turnpike in Commack. The many ethnically diverse restaurants gift Commack residents and visitors a chance to experience cuisine from around the world. Dine to your heart’s content on Greek cuisine at Athenia Greek Taverna, Souvlaki Palace or uber fresh Japanese sushi at Kurofune. The Commack locals like to take comfort at home with takeout from Foo Luck, the tiny Chinese restaurant with possibly the best sesame chicken and shrimp fried rice in all of Long Island.
Order pizza through an app from Giovanni’s or if you’re starving, pick up a specialty pie from Paradise Pizza on Commack Road; the thick crust pizza you never knew you needed. If you want to make reservations with a special guest, Taormina and MaBella will spoil you with a taste of Italy while making reservations for Sangria 71 will keep you up late into the night with Spanish cuisine and maybe even some live entertainment!
With its friendly, easygoing vibe, numerous restaurants, and convenient amenities, Commack is a town many grow up and grow old in and a place those who live there never forget.