At the end of a tedious two hour drive east of New York City lies the perfect escape – a delightful combination of blue seas, manicured vineyards, antique shops, organic farms and lovely towns. I speak not of the Hamptons, but of the less glamorous, more unspoiled fork of the Long Island tip. It is called the North Fork, and it is perfect.
A spring, summer or fall weekend is a lovely way to explore this tip of Long Island. I would recommend skipping the long weekends because prices and crowds both shoot up.
Where to Stay
I recommend staying in or around Greenport. Its a cute town on the water, complete with cool eateries, a train station, ferry access to Shelter Island and even an old blacksmiths shop!
We stayed at this Airbnb. It is a perfect space for four to six guests – well located and super comfortable. The host is amazing and has a few properties in the area, in case this one is booked out for your dates! We loved having a kitchen in Greenport because we got to whip up delicious dinners with all the fresh produce we bought from the farms in the area!
If hotels are more your speed, The Menhaden hotel looked great! It is recently renovated, in a cool part of town and comes with bikes!
Where to Drink Wine
The North Fork of Long Island has recently emerged as a wine region and I’m not complaining about it. The vibe reminds me of Sonoma – laid back and friendly. It is new and hence unpretentious. You can actually stroll through the vineyards, bring along picnics and enjoy views of the Long Island Sound. Its not just a glass of wine, it is the perfect weekend experience.
Here’s a list of my favorites in the area –
- Lieb Cellars – this was hands down my favorite winery in the North Fork. The wines are excellent yet very modestly priced. The vibe is so chill and super friendly, come in and stay for hours drinking wine and playing board games!
- Kontekosta – comes with an ocean view. This is quite a popular, semi-snotty one, so don’t expect informative or relaxed tastings. Instead grab a glass, maybe a charcuterie plate, and head out to the gardens where you can enjoy a delightful picnic on a cliff overlooking the ocean.
- Pugliese Vineyards – this winery allows you to bring in your own food for a picnic, and has a delightful lake near which to set it up. I recommend their Reisling, bottles are much cheaper than a few glasses so go directly for the bottle!
- Croteaux – if you are dreaming of Provence but don’t have the time or money to get there, head to Croteaux in the North Fork. A little slice of Provence, complete with a delightful garden and an array of Rosés to try! I recommend getting the still and sparkling tasting flights to figure out your favorites. And yes, this winery is very instagrammable.
- Sparkling Pointe – focussed solely on Sparkling Wines, come here to walk among the vineyards with a glass of your favorite bubbly! It is truly the best (and prettiest!) way to end a day of wine tasting.
Where to Eat
The North Fork has some great restaurants, but the best part is how fresh everything is here! It is a farm to table haven, and I urge you to visit local farms, pick up your favorite produce and cook at home! In the summer, the tomatoes and corn were sublime.
There are tons in the area, and if you spot any on your drive, stop by and shop! We went to Latham Farms and loved the vegetables there! 8 hands farm is also supposed to be great!
If you want to buy fresh seafood, you could visit the Southold Fish Market. We bought some shrimp there, some of the best and freshest I’ve ever tasted!
Aldo’s Coffee Co. – coffee roasted on site. Go as soon as they open or contend with long lines.
- Bagels at Goldberg’s Famous Bagels
- Baked goods and bread at The Blue Duck Bakery Cafe
- Bruce and Son – fresh and delicious farm to table food plus a lovely ambience.
- Kate’s Cheese Co. – nice for lunch or to pick up goodies for a picnic!
- Picnic lunch on a vineyard. See above for suggestions!
Disclaimer : I haven’t tried the food at either of these places, and I strongly recommend just cooking dinner in your airbnb with fresh produce from the nearby farms!
- Anker – a new entrant to the Greenport dining scene. It seems quite popular so make reservations!
- The Halyard – for dinner with a view! Make reservations for the best seats.
Other Things to Do
Shelter Island is an easy ferry ride from Greenport. You don’t need to book tickets in advance, simply show up and get in line! Bring your car or a bike, and spend a lovely day exploring Shelter Island.
What can you expect? Gorgeous homes with stunning views, secluded beaches all to yourself, an amazing gem of a used bookstore (Black Cat Books) and even a pretty nature reserve (Mashomack Preserve)!
Greenport has many cute antique shops, but they are also scattered in different towns all over the North Fork. If you are hunting for a treasure for your house, or simply browsing, definitely check out the antique stores in this region. Here is a lovely map of antique stores in the North Fork.
If you are fond of lighthouses, I highly recommend driving to the Horton Point Lighthouse. For a small fee, you can go up the lighthouse. The views are stunning of course, but the history is fascinating as well.
All in all, the North Fork is simply perfect for a quick summer weekend getaway from New York City! Save this post for next summer, lest you forget. You know the drill, pin the post to your Pinterest Board, or else simply bookmark it in your browser!