Not that you’d ever get tired of the Hamptons, but if you need a change of pace, you’ll find all the ingredients for a dreamy weekend getaway just across the Peconic Bay. From the lush farmlands to the quiet beaches to the quaint towns, Long Island’s North Fork is full of charm and tranquility. Here’s how to make the most of a weekend there.
10 a.m.: Get a Morning Jolt at North Fork Roasting Company
Start your day at North Fork Roasting Company in Southold, where co-owner Jess Dunne likes to say the coffee is so fresh it smacks you. After ordering, settle into the large communal table with your coffee and a waffle egg sandwich and listen to the friendly banter of the locals. This is a place you’ll want to hang out for a while.
11 a.m.: Surround Yourself in Tranquility
Tucked a few miles east of Greenport, Lavender by the Bay is a 17-acre farm full of the titular fragrant flower. Plan a visit for when it blooms (once in June/July and again at the end of summer) and you can surround yourself in a purple sea of more than 80,000 plants. Even when the farm isn’t in bloom, the place is full of tranquil bliss. After walking the fields, visit the farm store for dried lavender bunches, soaps and more.
2 p.m.: Take a Picnic for Vineyard Tastings
Pick up a picnic lunch at Lombardi’s Love Lane Market in Mattituck—careful, you’ll be tempted to buy everything—and then head to one of the more than 50 vineyards for a tasting and picnic. Sparkling Pointe is one of our favorites, with many bubbly varietals and an outdoor tasting area overlooking the vines. Rosé lovers won’t want to miss Croteaux Vineyards: It’s the only U.S. winery producing and selling solely rosé, and it has an utterly charming backyard patio. (Just note that many wineries don’t allow outside food, so be sure to polish off your lunch at one of the picnic-friendly ones.)
7:30 p.m.: Enjoy Dinner and Music in Greenport
After whiling away the afternoon and early evening at the vineyards, head to Greenport, where famed chef Frank DeCarlo (of NYC’s Peasant and Bacaro) has just opened the casual Italian restaurant Barba Bianca. Work off your dinner with a stroll around town or see who’s playing at Greenport Harbor Brewery.
10 p.m.: Turn In for the Night
Cozy up at the Morning Glory Bed & Breakfast, a gorgeously appointed guesthouse (and wake up to freshly baked pastries in the morning).
10 a.m.: Have a Taste of the South
Warning: You’ll find it hard to eat just one biscuit at Jamesport’s Main Road Biscuit Co., where everything is made from scratch. Order the seasonal biscuit sampler and be as generous as you want with those jams.
11 a.m.: Hit the Beach
The North Fork proves that Long Island Sound is as good as the ocean for a beach day. Spend the morning at Orient Beach State Park, where a $10-per-car pass gets you access to 45,000 feet of shoreline. There’s plenty of room to lounge on the sand, and more ambitious types can rent kayaks or hike the park’s trails.
2 p.m. Shuck Your Lunch
After soaking up the sun and working up an appetite (hey, lying on a towel is exhausting), return to Greenport, where the folks at Little Creek Oysters will teach you how to shuck a bucket of the local bivalves for lunch. If that sounds like too much work, you can also order some pre-shucked, along with sandwiches and more off the menu.
4 p.m. Window-Shop (or Actually Shop)
Wander up and down the main streets of Greenport and you’ll find plenty of mom-and-pop stores worthy of browsing. Hunt for antique treasures at Beall & Bell, pick up a breezy new sundress at Lido or find your next beach read at Burton’s Bookstore.
6:30 p.m. Say Cheers to Summer
Ignore the Sunday scaries a little while longer with dinner at Noah’s in Greenport. The restaurant may look like it could’ve been plucked out of Williamsburg, but the food is all North Fork, with a daily-changing menu based on what’s available from the local farmers and fishmongers.