If you’re thinking about hitting up some Shelter Island shopping outposts during your stay at Seven on Shelter Island, you’re in luck. The island boasts some of the quaintest, coolest, most stylish retail offerings on the east end, and has something sure to please everyone.
The Hamptons might be known as a shopping Mecca, where the same luxury stores that you’d find on Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive line the town’s streets, but there’s plenty of Shelter Island shopping to be done as well. The island is home to a charming array of independent shops catering to an in-the-know clientele that craves goods that are authentic, one-of-a-kind, and cool.
Read on as we count down the essential Shelter Island shopping outposts throughout the island, and why the island might just be the next retail destination in both the Nork and South forks. Whatever you’re looking for, you just might find it, or perhaps something even better.
8. Finlay’s Fiction
Book lovers, rejoice. Shelter Island has its own independent bookstore that specializes in the newest fiction and non-fiction works, from bestsellers to literary ingenues, new writers, memoirs and stunning books to show off on your coffee table. They also have a lovely children’s book section and YA offerings. Every book in the store was hand-picked and carefully chosen by the owner, Finley Shaw as well as her husband, Patrick and her four children, who are often found at the store either behind the register. It’s the perfect spot for a rainy day peruse, or really any day.
7. Black Cat Books
Since 1996 this vintage bookshop has been buying and selling fine used books right in the heart of Shelter Island. You can browse over 20,000 fine and used titles in all subject matters in an inviting, relaxed atmosphere. Black Cat Books is the place to discover something new or to chase down that first edition tome you never thought you’d find. While the selection might feel endless, the owner and staff know exactly what’s available and where to direct you, whether you’re eyeing the latest mystery novel or a biography to dive into on the beach. Black Cat Books is essentially a bookstore lover’s dream!
Marika’s is an authentic gem offering highly sought-after, on-trend and unique furniture, lighting and decorative pieces. Some consider the shop a professional decorators’ secret weapon, with a stellar collection of mid-century items, especially if you’re open to digging around for treasures. The shop is run by Shelter Island local Marika Kaasik, who’s passionate about finding a home for each one of her eclectic pieces.
5. Shelter Island Pharmacy
Whether you’re in need of some sunblock, antibiotics, or a gigantic breakfast, the Shelter Island Heights Pharmacy is a must-stop for all of your essential needs. Situated at the perch of the historic Heights district, this local haunt is serving up everything you might want for a long weekend at the beach or an afternoon hike, coupled with the freshest pancakes, eggs, home fries and even a few milkshakes later in the afternoon to cool you down. Seeing as it’s an actual pharmacy, the town center spot also boasts a selection of personal care items and services so you can get your shopping done and enjoy a meal, too.
4. RAM Design
This design forward shop in the middle of Shelter Island Heights was conceived by designer and retailer Cristina Peffer as a unique retail experience featuring collaborations with a handful of Peffer’s lifelong design icons. This past summer she hosted designer Alfredo Paredes, a native of Shelter Island who launched his contemporary furniture line at the store. Think tufted slipper chairs and sofas, low-slung coffee tables, minimal beds and chic ottomans. Other collaborations include Robin Rice Gallery and Rogers + Goffigon Textiles – the latter of whom produces some of the finest quality textiles in the world.
3. Marie Eiffel Market & Cafe
While this top-tier French cafe is primarily known for its show-stopping fare – think amazing breakfasts, baked goods, prepared goods and frozen food – it also has some beautiful jarred salad dressings, gifting items and adorable dining or snacking sets for sale that exude a certain Je Ne Sais Quois. But if instant gratification is what you’re after, you’ll find everyone from locals tourists to weekenders clamoring for warm baguettes, pain au chocolat or tart tatin. The cafe also makes wonderful sandwiches and fresh market fare for your beach picnic. We love its freshly roasted vegetables and salads.
2. Cornucopia Gift Shop
This lovely gift shop has everything you could possibly need, even items you’ve never thought to get but are certainly glad you did. From gifts and souvenirs, to decorations for the holidays, to the little tchotchkes that will make your loved ones smile, it’s a delightful stop on the Shelter Island shopping path. Pick up a sweet smelling candle or a cute knick knack for your favorite kiddos. Cornucopia is as quaint as the island itself. Don’t forget to say hello to the owner, Mary-Ann, who’s as charming as her shop.
1. Bliss’ Department Store
“If they don’t have it, you likely don’t need it” is how one Shelter Island native would describe this Shelter Island shopping mainstay. Quite literally, it has everything you could possibly want or need, from bed linens to sand toys to Shelter Island summer-ware. Come clearance time, it also boasts a nice selection of beach apparel, like swimsuits, shorts and tee-shirts, and the sunglass and hat collection can’t be beat. If you forgot anything on your Shelter Island shopping list, or just looking to peruse the local offerings, this store can’t be beat.
The Top 5 Items To Buy On Shelter Island
- Beach items from the Shelter Island Height Pharmacy. From basic sand toys to water guns to beach paddle ball, you’ll find everything you need for an amazing day in the sun – sunscreen included.
- One-of-a-kind furniture from RAM Design. Whether you’re in the market for something new or just perusing, it’s worth the trouble to get these unique, design-forward pieces off the island to love at home. Our choices? A stunning Alfredo Paredes king-sized bed. If you’re not currently furnishing, pick up little accents like candle sticks or throw pillows to get the same contemporary vibe.
- Shelter Island Swag from Bliss’ Department Store. If you didn’t get the Shelter Island sweatshirt, were you even here? Show some pride for your home away from home with some logo’d tees, tanks, baseball hats and more. It’s one Shelter Island shopping grab you’ll need on your list.
- A page-turner from Finlay’s Fiction. Dive into the latest John Grisham or rediscover romance with a steamy novel all at this Shelter Island shopping favorite. There’s literally nothing better to do at the beach than bury yourself in a brand-new book.
- Prepared Food From Marie Eiffel Market & Cafe. Nothing says “I love you” or “thank you” like one of Marie Eiffel’s frozen pizzas or other prepared goods. Trust us, with a few key items from this French purveyor, you’ll definitely win best hostess-gift at the barbecue.
While they may lack the luxury appeal of other east end towns, Shelter Island shopping haunts have style all their own. Discover everything from vintage items to rare book finds to the perfectly curated selection of housewares, and all without the attitude. Stop along the way for a bite at one of our fantastic restaurants. It’s no wonder people love shopping on Shelter Island. We know you will, too.