The North Fork, it’s hard to believe that such a little slice of heaven exists a mere two hours from the hustle, bustle and grit of New York City. It is a welcome respite, where the air is pure and salt kissed and the charming seaside towns conjure up scenes from a movie. You need to book a trip to the North Fork before it is overrun with tourists the way all tiny treasures seem to be over time.
First stop-Rent a car at LaGuardia and head out to Long Island. As crazy as it sounds, it is a rather non-nail biting and manageable trip out of the city. Along the way stop in the postcard perfect town of Mattituck. Sip a freshly ground espresso while perusing the amazing fresh menu at Goodfood. Do not leave without trying one of their empanadas or perfectly cooked crab cakes that carry a 30-year-old recipe. Cross the street to talk to the welcoming couple who owns the Greek market and buy some fresh feta to eat along the way.
As you make your way towards Greenport, check into the recently overhauled Soundview Greenport.
It has a fresh, nautical feel and not a single room is without a dramatically gorgeous view. The hotel is practically dipped into the ocean. Even the room where the complimentary breakfast is served, is serene and breathtaking. There’s also an onsite pool and their new restaurant, the Halyard is blessed with a James Beard award winning chef. You can’t go wrong putting your head to rest here.
With the Soundview’s excellent location, breathtaking vineyards are just minutes away. First stop is the all rosé winery, Croteaux. It feels like you are at a Parisian picnic.
Second stop is the ever popular Kontokosta Winery with its high ceilings and modern tasting room. What steals the show, however, is its sea front location. Take time and smell the grapes, if you know what I mean. There are many more wineries that are on my list for the next visit, as vineyards seem to dot the landscape in every direction of the North Fork. Plan on staying a while in the bucolic village of Greenport where you can spend hours wandering the little shops and streets. Don’t miss strolling the pier ogling over million-dollar yachts.
The air smells of the sea and the people have an easy friendly demeanor that makes you want to stay. Stop in the store One Love Beach where the owner exudes enthusiasm for paddle boarding and the t-shirts feel cozy and cool while not screaming, “tourist.”
Greenport has so many restaurants that your biggest problem will be choosing just one or two. We loved our lunch at Port with its lively atmosphere, water views, and outstanding seafood. The lobster roll came on perfect buttery toasted bread and large pieces of mouthwatering fresh lobster. The calamari was so fresh and the breading so light and airy that you didn’t need the fantastic spicy sauce it came with.
The Little Creek Oyster Farm stole the show for us, however, with its down home, salt of the earth feel. Just a few picnic tables make up their patio, but it is always busy with patrons- local beers in hand, enjoying fresh oysters. You can choose to shuck your own, which is part of the adventure. Even if you are not an oyster fan do not missing coming here-as their sign says, “Don’t be a mother shucker!”
You should plan on getting lost driving around the area as every dead end seems to meet a picture-perfect view of the sea.
Be sure to take the less than 10-minute drive down to Orient Beach State Park. Bring a bucket and some walking shoes as you will want to spend hours meandering down the miles-long waterfront sifting through sparkling rocks.
On your way, back to the Soundview shake out your shoes and stop in the timeless town of Orient where you can grab a piece of homemade pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds. On your way out of town, keep your eyes out for all the historic sites and homes, many dating back to the early 1800’s and in shiny, mint condition.
Get back to the Soundview in time to enjoy the perfectly orange and pink sunset. Sleep and repeat.
The North Fork will call you back I assure you….
Whoever you are, wherever you are go somewhere achingly beautiful today,