Welcome to the North Fork of Long Island! For those of you who are new to the area, you will be both surprised and delighted on what you discover. Although less then 2 hours from Manhattan, the North Fork is a world away. Many like to say that the North Fork is an undiscovered gem, but that statement is not entirely the truth. The real truth is that this pastoral area has somehow just been able to retain its rural character and firm roots in farming, creating a unique point of difference to the surrounding areas. In many ways, as life has become more complex and fast-paced, the North Fork affords visitors the opportunity to take a step back and enjoy the simple things in life—whether that be enjoying the sunrise over Peconic Bay, cooking breakfast from farm fresh eggs purchased at a nearby farm, visiting a local winery to enjoy the fruits of nature or enjoying a casual evening at a local farm-to-table restaurant. There is so much to experience! Dive in…
The North Fork can be easily reached from all parts of the New York tri-state area. If you happen to be heading east on Long Island, the land literally splits in two in the town of Riverhead, with the land to the north appropriately being dubbed the North Fork and the land to the south designated the South Fork. The North Fork itself consists of both the Town of Riverhead and the Town of Southold. Within these towns, there are several hamlets and villages all with their own individual personalities and charm. Explore them all! Heading west to east these are:
Riverhead Town: Wading River, Calverton, Baiting Hollow, Riverhead, Northville, Aquebogue, Jamesport, South Jamesport
Southold Town: Laurel, Mattituck, Cutchogue, New Suffolk, Peconic, Nassau Point, Southhold, Greenport, East Marion, Orient, Orient Point
Don’t Miss…..Area Vineyards
Whether visiting the area for a day or even a week, your trip should include a stop to one of the 50+ wineries that dot the land. Now nationally and internationally recognized, the area produces many award winning wines. The region has come a long way since the introduction of the first winery in the region in the mid 1970’s. One thing is for sure---every winery is different and offers a unique experience. Although the area is most crowded during the Summer and the Fall Harvest, most wineries are open for enjoyment all year. Cheers to you!
Don’t Miss….Locally Grown Food: Farms, Fresh Seafood, Restaurants
Due to the ideal coastal location, the original commercial industries that prospered on the North Fork in the mid 1800’s and early 1900’s were fishing, shipbuilding and shipping. Although times have changed dramatically since then, the fishing industry is still thriving through the robust oyster and scallop industries. In fact, Peconic Bay Scallops are sought after by many foodies and top chefs all over the world. Additionally, the area has also been able to retain much of the original farmland and you will find numerous multi-generational family farms scattered about. From spring through late fall, there are many farms to find the best produce, fresh eggs, artisan cheese, organic and grass fed beef and so much more. To top it off, with all of the fresh ingredients available, most of the local restaurant chefs are dedicated to supporting the local farmers to source ingredients as much as possible. The difference is distinct! Get out there and savor the freshness!
From the Long Island Sound on the north side of the island to the bays on the south side, the North Fork offers so many spots to enjoy the serenity of the water. Although the beaches may not be as wide and the sand is a bit rockier than in the Hamptons, there are over 20 beaches for residents and visitors to enjoy. Pull up a chair!
Ideal Time to Visit
As you may expect, with the proximity to water, the North Fork comes alive in the Spring! The farms stands, nurseries and seasonal restaurants re-open and the wineries start buzzing with activity. By Memorial Day the area is in full mode for the Summer. The great part though is that the season does not end Labor Day weekend! By that time, it is close to the grape Harvest Season at the wineries as well as the Pumpkin and Apple picking seasons. Some even say the North Fork is busier during the fall season. Pick a date to visit!