Historically Staithes (pronounced “Steers” by the locals) was an important fishing community and was the home of Captain James Cook during his apprenticeship before he joined the Navy. Staithes has always been popular with painters and was the base for a group of artists who became known simply as the "Staithes Group" in the 19th and 20th centuries. Artists continue to live and work in the village and the Staithes Festival of Arts & Heritage, which was launched in September 2012, has now become an annual event. Staithes is of course also home to the children's television series "Old Jack's Boat", starring Bernard Cribbins and Salty the dog!
For eating and drinking in the village there are three dog friendly pubs, a couple of cafés and, of course, a fish and chip shop.
There are a few small shops in the village selling a variety of wares and holiday essentials. There is also Whitby Seafish at the top of the hill, selling a wonderful selection of local fish.
Staithes is set right on the Cleveland Way and there are some lovely walks for people of all ages and abilities either northwards towards Boulby cliffs and Saltburn or south towards Runswick Bay, Sandsend and Whitby - famous for its beautiful black jet, its Abbey and connections with Dracula and, more recently for being a Goth Mecca!
The North York Moors railway is close by, as is "Heartbeat" country including Goathland (or "Aidensfield"), the station of which was also used as Hogwarts Station in the Harry Potter films.
There are plenty of National Trust and English Heritage sites to visit, such as Fountains Abbey and Helmsley Castle - we always used to love it there when our boys were younger, because they couldn't break it!
Dalby Forest has a variety of attraction; as well walking through the beautiful scenery of places like Bridestones Moor, there is a visitors centre, Go Ape, cycle hire and trails.