Photo by Read McKendree
Photo by Read McKendree
Sound View Greenport sits on a quarter-mile beach on Long Island’s North Fork.
Wine country and beach life are only a couple hours from Manhattan.
Local wineries. Bucolic pastures. Farm-to-table food scenes. Oysters up and down the coast. Long Island’s North Fork feels worlds away from the concrete jungle of New York City, though it’s just 90 miles and a couple hours (traffic gods willing) out to the northeastern peninsula.
Its largest town, Greenport, offers a laid-back alternative to Long Island’s flashier summer escapes like Montauk and the Hamptons. Vintage shops and independent restaurants line the 19th-century village’s downtown avenue, and the roads that connect Greenport to the North Fork’s nearby towns are dotted with family-owned farm stands and vineyards. If this sounds like your speed, use this guide to plan your weekend getaway from the city on Long Island’s North Fork.
This former 1950s motel Sound View Greenport received a Brooklyn makeover courtesy of design firm Studio Tack and Eagle Point Hotel Partners; it is now the design lover’s choice for a North Fork weekend. The 55-room waterfront hotel, set on a quarter-mile stretch of the Long Island Sound, mixes New England modernist with coastal minimalism (think crisp, clean lines everywhere).
The area’s freshest seafood is a mainstay on the menu at Sound View’s restaurant, the Halyard. For drinks, head to its poolside bar called Jack’s Shack or grab an Adirondack chair in the sand at reservations-only Lowtide Beach Bar. After a restful night, start your morning sipping freshly roasted La Colombe coffee at the hotel’s divine ocean-facing lobby lounge.
Closer to town but farther from the shore sits the stylish American Beech Hotel, a former horse stable turned hotel with a farm-to-table restaurant. It’s a great option for guests who want to be within walking distance of the town’s restaurants, bars, and boutiques, set in Greenport’s historic Stirling Square. Dog parents: Good news, this place is also pet friendly.
The Lin Beach House is an intimate, check-yourself-in-and-out guesthouse featuring its own cocktail bar, Days Like These, where you can sip custom-blended gins and botanical-infused spirits from Matchbook Distilling Company, a craft distillery in Greenport. Each room at the Lin Beach House is listed separately on Airbnb and starts from $350 per night. Check out Edie’s Room, Jane’s Suite, and Debbie’s Room.
Long Island’s terroir has drawn comparisons to France’s Bordeaux region and the Napa Valley in California because all of these wine countries sit on approximately the same latitude. But Long Island’s saltwater sea breezes and moderate temperatures give the North Fork’s wines their own appeal, and to sip the best of them only requires a quick trip around the peninsula.
Kontokosta Winery in Greenport is the North Fork’s only waterfront winery. Featuring 62 acres of coastal farmland, this family-owned sustainable vineyard includes a wind-powered tasting room, which is open to the public seven days a week.
The nearby towns of Mattituck and Cutchogue are also abuzz with some of the region’s top wineries. In Mattituck, taste wines and munch on charcuterie at the family-owned Macari Vineyards. The Macari family started making wine in the 1930s and ’40s in the basement of their home in Queens, New York. Today, the family runs this 500-acre vineyard that produces award-winning wines. Tastings are $30 per person.
In Cutchogue, visit Castello di Borghese Vineyard and Winery, Long Island’s oldest vineyard (though it only opened in 1973). Lieb Cellars, known for its reserve pinot blanc, and McCall Wines, renowned for its pinot noir and merlot varieties, are also notable stops.
Beyond the Long Island Wine Trail, day-to-day North Fork activities include leisurely bike rides, boat tours, and farm excursions. Below are some of the best things to do in North Fork, Long Island.
Outside Greenport, Cutchogue’s 8 Hands Farm is an absolute must-see. The 28-acre family-run farm sells fresh eggs from pasture-raised hens at its on-site market, where you’ll find hand-woven rugs and knitted clothing made using wool from the farm’s Icelandic sheep. The sustainable farm also features an outdoor food truck that serves breakfast and lunch from a seasonal menu.
For a day on the water, call Peconic Water Sports, Long Island’s leading water sports company located in Southold and Sag Harbor (with pickup service on Shelter Island). Charter a boat, take a fishing tour, rent a kayak, paddleboard, or Jet Ski, or simply cross the Peconic River to Shelter Island—whatever you do, this staff of boat-loving experts will ensure you enjoy the adventure.
During the summer months, head east of Greenport to East Marion for a peek at one of the country’s largest lavender fields, Lavender by the Bay. Wander through 17 acres of blooming lavender, then shop for a variety of aromatic products at the farm’s on-site store.
The North Fork has a shining reputation for its creatively curated vintage shops, many of which are located in downtown Greenport. Some of the best Greenport vintage stores include:
In downtown Greenport, enjoy hotcakes with fresh maple syrup or a grass-fed beef burger at Bruce & Son, an all-day brunch café on Main Street. For lunch, head to Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market to shuck your own oysters (selections change daily) while sipping local beers from Greenport Harbor Brewing Company.Barba Bianca, Manhattan chef Frank de Carlo’s waterfront restaurant situated right on the harbor in downtown Greenport. The nautical-inspired dining room features a seasonal menu of coastal-Italian dishes, all focusing on ingredients sourced from within a five-mile radius of the restaurant.
Other celebrated farm-and-sea-to-table restaurants in Greenport include Noah’s, the Frisky Oyster, the Halyard, First and South, and PawPaw, a pop-up restaurant helmed by chef Taylor Knapp—who previously cooked at Copenhagen’s highly regarded Noma—serving a seasonal “supper” menu on select Saturdays (reservations required).
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