Why Go To The North Fork Of Long Island Now
Historically, the North Fork of Long Island, a mere 120 miles east of Manhattan, has been sleepy and rural, lacking the dazzle of the movie-star-rich Hamptons on the oceanfront South Fork. The largest town, Greenport, was rather undiscovered, and the hamlets of Orient, Southold, and Mattituck were barely a blip on anyones radar. But thats been changing over the last few years.
When I first wrote this guide, in 2016, city folk were still flocking in greater numbers to the Atlantic side of Eastern Long Island, taking day trips to North Fork for its bountiful wineries and tasting rooms.
But lately, and especially with the Covid-fearful, this quiet side of Eastern Long Island has found its footing as a great and relatively serene getaway. Its attracting newcomers who just want to unwind without having to glam up for the Hamptons scene, or jostle with pesky paparazzi.
Now, the North Fork is so much more than wine, and in some ways is harking back to its hideaway past when it attracted the likes of Albert Einstein.
You can visit Einstein Plaza, formerly Rothmans Department Store in Southold, where the genius himself befriended owner David Rothman during one of Einsteins three summers on Long Island. Einstein composed the nuclear chain reaction letter to FDR at his summer shack nearby. That letter, of course, would change the course of life on this planet.
A Foodie Haven
To extend your Eastern Long Island stay, check out our post on Shelter Island .
Day Two: Wine Country
Your second day should center on the North Forks burgeoning wine country and its emerging food scene. Rise and shine to a hot cup of coffee at specialty roaster and café, North Fork Roasting Co. Anticipating a long day of drinking, fill up on a hearty breakfast of eggs & house-cured pastrami hash, lemon ricotta pancakes, or a protein-heavy breakfast bowl at Love Lane Kitchen in the quaint village of Mattituck.
The North Fork has about 50 wineries from Jamesport to Greenport, ranging from family-owned single vineyards to corporate estates, and overall produces award-winning merlot, cabernet franc, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc. Your best plan is to go east to west, beginning in Greenport at Kontokosta Winery, known for their award-winning sauvignon blanc and rosé wines. Before the tasting, take a tour of the gorgeous 62-acre waterfront farm and gawk at the views of the Atlantic Ocean battering the craggy coastline.
Four miles west, The Old Field Vineyards in Southold is one of the regions most intimate spaces, and on a slow day, a visit can feel like a private tasting on a country farm. Dating back to 1974, its one of the regions first vineyardsthe first was Hargrave Vineyards in 1973but it still holds claim as the longest-running family-owned winery in the area.
Sparkling Pointe offers sparkling wines made by using traditional French techniques.
Virgin Star Sailing Adventures
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Feel the thrill and adventure sailing on newly built 52 Virgin Star USCG certified for 47 passengers. Virgin Star is a large spacious trimaran offering a comfortable stable sail out to to hidden coves and bays of North and South Forks. Sailing daily from Prestons Wharf in Greenport, NY offering daily harbor sails, Romantic sunset sails, Private Half Day and Full Day Charters.
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Weekend Guide: 7 Activities To Do On The North Fork Of Long Island
Need help getting out of NYC and into Long Island? Cant seem to find transportation from Connecticut to Suffolk County? Desperate to travel down from upstate and find your way to the East End?
Thankfully, Enterprise Rent-A-Car has you covered. With everyday low rates and locations in your local neighborhood, its never been easier to plan your next road trip. Heres a look at some of the top things to do on the North Fork.
Bayview Farm Market Vegetable Farm Stand
Location: 5629 Sound Avenue Jamesport, NY 11941
Bayview Farms is a great place to stop and grab locally grown vegetables including beefsteak tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, green beans, and more. You can also purchase freshly picked flowers and some homemade jams and spreads. What a treat!
You must put visiting a vegetable stand on your things to do on the North Fork list, even if you only pick up an ear of corn.
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Fresh Pies At Briermere Farms Riverhead Ny
Briermere farms is a hidden North Fork gem famous for its pies and fresh jams. If youre visiting in November, be prepared for a line, but we promise the wait is worth it. The farms offer 32 different varieties of pies, and are a staple on every local table from Thanksgiving to Christmas! The pies freeze well, so you can share your Long Island vacation with your family when you return home!
Soak Up Your Emotions With Wine And Real Food
Most Long Island wineries have plenty of outdoor space for socially distanced seating arrangements. Everyone will be adhering to safety guidelines. Expect to make advanced reservations, limit your group to six people, and get ready to have your temperature taken.
The Old Field VineyardsOutdoor tastings are the new normal, and it’s quite bucolic. Chickens, ladybugs, and dragonflies roam freely among wildflowers and leafy trees. Grapevines are hand-pruned and hand-harvested. Wine tastings are first-come, first-serve at tables spaced wide apart, though time is limited to 75 minutes in order to accommodate the flow of visitors. You are welcome to bring lunch, as long as you take your refuse with you. Curbside pickup is also available.
One Woman WinesThere are actually two women behind One Woman Wines, a mother and daughter in Southold with roots in the Calabrian farming tradition. Planting acres of seed by hand and meticulously tending to the vines over years yields a variety of wines that feel like a nurturing embrace. The tasting room is open from Thursday to Sunday for bottles to go. Bottles to stay will happen outdoors on a first-come, first-serve basis for small groups of no more than six.
Cribbing from the Old World vineyards of Campania, Italy, and going a bit beyond tastings by also offering yoga classes on Saturdays throughout the summer.
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North Fork Long Island Is New Yorks Little Slice Of Provence Or Napa Valley Situated On The Long Island Sound Within A Few Hours From Manhattan
North Fork Long Island is 30 miles of Long Island land that is closer in character to France than New York, with its wineries, apple orchards, lavender fields, chateau-like mansions, trawler-fresh seafood, and couture shopping. So, its surprising as outsiders that its not as well-known as the Hamptons, the playground for the rich and famous on the south fork. And thats what makes it infinitely more appealing. Its unpretentious, welcoming, and chilled and North Fork is ready to welcome you back with open arms.
Best Things To Do In North Fork California
Have you ever visited a new place and felt wow about it? For many visitors, it happens at North Fork.
North Fork may not be as popular as other cities in United States, but dont let that fool you. North Fork is a smaller but beautiful upcoming tourist destination that is worth a visit. You will be surprised by some of the unique things to do and places you can explore at this hidden destination.
You can definitely plan a few hours of a side trip here while traveling to Fresno or Mammoth Lakes. You might wish to revisit it someday again, to take a break and relax at North Fork.
If you have plans to visit United States and are not sure if North Fork should be included in your itinerary, keep reading. In this list, we have put together some of the things to do in North Fork and around. We have a hunch that if you include this city in your travel plans, you will be thrilled you did so.
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Things To Do In North Fork Long Island
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Eastern Long Islands North Fork at once recalls a young Napa Valley and the seaside charm of small town New England. But the hubbub of the Hamptons , the suburban doldrums of the North Shore , or the pulse of Manhattan ? Not so much. Here are the top things to do in North Fork and Shelter Island, where emerging wineries, rolling farmland, quiet beaches, and old Victorian estates set the scene for an ultra laid-back affair.
Things To Do In Greenport Ny
VISIT: East End Seaport Museum, Greenport
This small museum in a former Long Island RR train station packs an historic punch. Youll find a large Fresnel Lens from Little Gull Light. And youll absorb a good amount of information about Long Beach Bar Light affectionately nicknamed Bug Light for its former Screw Pile design- replaced in the 1930s by cement foundation.
Of course, there are exhibits on the abundance of shipyards here that made Landing Boats and Mine Sweepers during WWII. Theres a cool diorama depicting the workspace of W.J. Mills Sailmakers. Dont miss the homage to Claudios a restaurant that, until 2018 when it was sold to new owners, had been in family hands for 148 years . Open Summer, Wed-Sun 11-4. Check website for other times of year. $2.
BAY CRUISE/TOUR: Solar-Powered Glory, Greenport
Co-owned by Captain David Berson and Andrew Rosen, the 30ft. 1990 Elco Electric boat Glory, the first solar-powered vessel for tourist use in the country is fully certified by the Coast Guard, and safety-first Berson makes sure it remains that way.
CRUISE/TOUR: East End Seaport Museum Bug Lighthouse Cruise and Tour, Greenport
For most of the week in season, the Peconic Star II is a 150-person fishing charter boat. But on many Saturday late afternoons in season, it turns into a Lighthouse Tour Boat.
TOUR: Fire Fighter Americas Fireboat Floating Museum, Greenport
PADDLE: SUP with One Love Beach
VISIT/SIP: Kontokosta Winery, Greenport
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Stroll Down Love Lane In Mattituck
Just a 6 minute drive from Jamesports Main Road Biscuit Co. is the town of Mattituck. On a sunny day, you may stroll the stores before heading over to the beach. But on a rainy day, youll find yourself seeking shelter in the quaint mom and pop stores lining Love Lane. Before you run for shelter inside the stores, find the Barkers Pharmacy mural right before the Needleart store.
Our next stop was Bauers store filled with trinkets and jewelry, followed by the well-known Village Cheese Shop. The idea was to stop here, grab some cheeses, charcuterie, and bread in a picnic basket and bring it to a beach nearby for lunch. But on a rainy day, we changed our plans from cheese to interesting local and unique products. Nicole and I spent a good 10 minutes browsing every single product. Some unique finds included:
- Ibizan salt: This may sound so silly, but I had it when in St. Barth last November and have been obsessed ever since
- Raw Honeycomb: An actual piece of local raw, unfiltered honeycomb from Sag Harbor Honey. Nicole was the one who actually introduced me to this. She said her family eats raw honeycombs all the time. I didnt even know that was a thing!
- Banana Jam: I had never heard of Banana Jam before, but it was something that peaked my interest. I ended up only purchasing the Ibizan salt and raw honeycomb, but my next purchase will definitely be banana jam the next time I come across it.
Pm Dont Forget The Wine
There are dozens of vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms along the North Fork . Kontokosta, just outside Greenport, has one of the loveliest settings. Try a flight of its wines in the airy wood-and-glass tasting room overlooking a vineyard walk out back for a prime view of the Sound over the bluff.
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Visit A Lavender Farm
Lavender By the Bay is a family owned lavender farm with two locations on Long Island .
The lavender typically blooms in June and July, and while its in bloom you can visit the farms and walk through the lavender fields . Its a slice of Provence, France, on Long Island.
You can track the bloom before your visit by checking .
You can also visit their charming farm stores to shop dried lavender, honey, lavender soap, and other products, whether or not the lavender is in bloom.
The location I visited in East Marion which is the location closest to the town of Greenport on the North Fork is on 17 acres and has 80,000 lavender plants!
You can check out my blog post detailing my first time visiting Lavender By the Bay for additional details.
Grab A Pie From Briermere Farms On The Way Out
On our last day in Greenport we got luckywe had overcast and some sun! So we spent the day biking Shelter Island. On our way back we stopped by the famous Briermere Farms, known for their cream pies. We stocked up on strawberry rhubarb bars and raspberry peach pie and took them home with us as souvenirs of our trip out to the North Fork.
In short, as you can see, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy on a rainy day on the North Fork. The North Fork isnt all wineries and beaches. A rainy day on the North Fork gives you the opportunity to experience the true culture and people that make up this wonderful area of Long Island on a deeper level. So take advantage of this and dont cancel your trip.
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Go Back In Time At Brecknock Hall
Brecknock Hall is a stunning historic mansion built in 1857 and added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 2005. Built by David Gelston Floyd and named after his ancestral home in Brecknockshire, Wales, the stone hall was a byproduct of his success as a merchant, bank president, and whaling fleet owner. Floyd was also the grandson of William Floyd, co-signer of the Declaration of Independence. Today the renovated hall is a popular wedding venue, with its old-world charm and sprawling gardens.
Explore The Town Of Greenport
Greenport is a charming walkable town on the North Fork. Many of the hotels and restaurants I recommend in this post are in Greenport and it very much feels like the hub of the North Fork.
Greenports other attractions include:
- Greenports Antique Carousel, which is over 100 years old. Tickets are $2 to ride.
- American Beech, which is not only has a hotel and trendy restaurant, but also a stylish boutique with womens clothing, accessories and eye-catching home goods.
- The Times Vintage, where you can shop vintage clothing, decor and records.
- The Village Blacksmith, a replica of an old blacksmiths shop from the 1870s. Visit on the weekends to see a blacksmith at work and learn about the trade and its history.
- East End Seaport Museum, where you can learn about the maritime history of Long Island.
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First Fridays On Love Lane Mattituck Ny
On the First Friday of every month, Love Lane in Mattituck is the place to be. The town closes down this main road for a street fair. There are vendors, food trucks and attractions. Restaurants like the Love Lane Kitchen stay open late. They will be offering tastings and small bites until 9 PM. This is a great way to start your weekend getaway!Mattituck vacation rentals.
Bask In The Great Outdoors
The Peconic Land Trust works tirelessly to conserve and bring stewardship to thousands of acres of land on Long Island. They have a great list of programs and sites for birdwatching, hiking, studying nature, sailing, fishing, and becoming a farmer.
Hallockville State Park Preserve is a relatively new shorefront park preserve with nearly one mile of pristine beachfront on the north shore of Long Island, plus 225 acres of woodland between Riverhead and Southold. Take an hour to walk a well-maintained trail, observe migrating birds, or let the kids roam in the fields.
The nearby Hallock Museum Farm, a non-profit learning center dedicated to LIs family farming roots, is hosting a few drive-in concerts this summer, with guests sitting in their parked cars tuned into a station playing bluegrass music performed live from the top of the barn. Make reservations in advance over the phone. Right now, their country fair and craft show is still on for August.Iron Pier Beach in Jamesport and South Jamesport Beach on Peconic Bay are public beaches with lifeguards, outdoor showers, handicap accessibility, and ample parking. They are particularly good for small children.
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Take Photos At Lavender Farm
Yup, you read it right! There is a Lavender farm . We were are very excited to visit as it was something we never expected to be found in NY.
Lavender by the Bay is owned by a family that has been growing lavenders in Long Island for more than 15 years. The best time to visit the farm would be from late June to early July You can check their website or facebook page for latest updates about the blooming, timing and pricing.