The North Fork of Long Island is considered the heart and soul of the East End. This is where to discover dozens and dozens of longtime local businesses, mom and pop shops, farms, and vineyards. In fact, the North Fork is home to over three-dozen wineries from Calverton to Greenport.
Where to Stay
Located at the gateway to the North Fork, what better way to start your vacation than by staying at the Preston House & Hotel, across the way from the popular Long Island Aquarium. The Preston House is also within walking distance to several notable shops and restaurants on Main Street like Star Confectionery, Farm Country Kitchen, Che Argentinian Steakhouse, and Tweed’s. The twenty-room boutique hotel entwines Civil War era history with a chic and modern design and luxurious amenities. They also have an on-site restaurant.
For a stay filled with historic charm, come to Jedediah Hawkins Inn on Jamesport Ave. in Riverhead. Their onsite restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining for dinner and brunch on the weekends. Each of their six guestrooms is distinctively unique from the fanciful and unexpected to more traditional in decor. Their luxurious rooms offer fireplaces, smart TVs, streaming Netflix, garden views, and more. Perfect romantic weekend destination, Jedediah Hawkins Inn guests will receive a voucher from their winery partners for complimentary wine tastings, and more. For an evening cap, the Inn is also home to a speakeasy.
Continue into the North Fork and come to The Farmhouse B&B in Cutchogue. Under new ownership, the bed and breakfast is a renovated farmhouse fit with beautifully appointed bedrooms and en suite bathrooms. Guests are treated to a full country breakfast including fresh eggs from their own farm. Fresh baked cookies and fruit are available in the afternoon. Spend the afternoons reading on their wraparound porch and in the evenings, watch the sunset around the backyard fire pit. Nearby farm stands are Sang Lee Farms and Wickham’s Fruit Farm, which is within walking distance of the B&B.
In East Marion, the Coffey House Bed and Breakfast is open year-round and offers three charming traditional bedrooms and one spacious luxurious suite. All guestrooms are furnished with antique wrought iron queen size beds, high quality plush comforters and linens, and bathrobes. In their living, guests will find a selection of board games, books, and a cozy fireplace. The recreation area in the finished basement includes a pool table, and a large flat screen television and a full DVD library. The Coffey House serves their signature three-course breakfast that may include cinnamon pecan scones, a fresh fruit parfait, and their farm-to-table frittatas.
Where to Explore
Of course, a trip to the North Fork is never complete without exploring their vast array of wineries. Currently there are forty wineries across the North Fork including Macari Vineyards, Palmer Vineyards, Jamesport Vineyards, and Raphael Winery. Each winery and tasting room offers a unique and distinctive experience. Live music, events, food trucks, and so much more pop up and take place at the North Fork wineries year-round so there’s always something new to experience.
Round out your visit by checking out some of the terrific breweries across the North Fork, including Greenport Harbor Brewery and Restaurant, Jamesport Farm Brewery, and North Fork Brewing Company. Live music and food trucks also pop up regularly at the breweries. Tours and reservations are usually made in advance, and the breweries on the North Fork can be quite family friendly.
Great options for the whole family include the Long Island Aquarium, and touring and shopping at the dozens of farms and farm stands across the North Fork. Two in particular to note are Catapano Dairy Farm where you can enjoy Baby Goat Yoga on the weekends or schedule a farm tour during the week, and Lavender By the Bay. Lavender By the Bay has two locations: one in Calverton and one in East Marion. Purchase fresh lavender bunches and other gifts for family and friends back home.
Where to Dine
Start your day at Star Confectionery on Main Street in Riverhead. Star Confectionery is a classic soda fountain restaurant open for breakfast and lunch. They serve up classics like omelets and French Toast for breakfast, and a Classic Tuna Melt and Reuben for lunch, as well as homemade ice cream and holiday chocolates. Another great classic eatery on the North Fork is Modern Snack Bar on Main Road in Aquebogue. Modern Snack Bar is a landmark on the East End, known for their warm, friendly hospitality and delicious home cooking. Must try dishes include their Roast Turkey, Stuffed Flounder, and finishing with a slice of their famous Lemon Meringue pie.
For lunch (or dinner), head to Hellenic Snack Bar in East Marion, which happens to be a neighbor of the Coffey House Bed and Breakfast. Hellenic serves up a variety of homemade Greek specialties like Saganaki and Grilled Tomatoes, Pastichio, and Moussaka. Finish with a selection of their homemade Hellenic Gelato. Another great option for a weekend lunch or early dinner is Noah’s in Greenport. Noah’s is known for their new American small plates with an emphasis on local, seasonal ingredients. Dishes to try include Peconic Bay Little Neck Clams, Crescent Farm Duck BBQ, and Rhubarb Glazed Baby Back Ribs.
For dinner, the North Fork Table & Inn has been highly regarded for years as one of the best restaurants on the North Fork, if not Long Island. At the helm is Michelin starred Chef John Fraser who has recently revitalized the historic property and continues to emphasize the farm to table philosophy that embodies much of the North Fork. Chef Fraser is also recognized as one of the world’s leading vegetable chefs. In addition to dinner Thursday-Sunday, brunch is served on the weekends. They also have an onsite food truck Friday-Sunday.
Lastly, Cooperage Inn in Baiting Hollow is a top-rated American restaurant loved by locals and visitors alike. Cooperage Inn boasts a cozy and relaxed atmosphere and is a particularly popular destination for family gatherings, especially during the holiday season. Popular dishes include Mussels Brousse, Lobster Clam Bake, Chicken Pot Pie, and the Roasted Half Duck.
Where to Shop
The North Fork is home to a diverse array of small businesses, mom and pop shops, markets, and farms for purchasing gifs for yourself or friends and family back home. The North Fork’s antique and vintage shops, for example, sell everything from vintage clothes and accessories to antique furniture and art. The variety of unique treasures at these shops is just waiting to be discovered! Notable shops to check out include Lumber + Salt in Jamesport, In the Attic Too in Laurel, and North Found in Peconic.
Visiting the farm stands across the North Fork will allow you to sample the incredible local bounty of this region. From pies and jams at Briermere Farms and organic produce at Sang Lee Farms to fresh eggs and honey at Browder’s Birds and fresh milk at Ty Llywd Farm, you are bound to find so many delicious treats to bring home and sample throughout your trip.
For shopping day trips, walk down Love Lane in Mattituck and discover so many great shopping options, including the Village Cheese Shop for local and international cheeses. Then, continue heading east to Greenport Village to find a great selection of shops for everyone in the family from children’s clothing shops to a unique hot sauce store called Greenport Fire.
With so many ways to support the local businesses of the North Fork, it is certain you will not leave empty handed.
Where to Play
There are so many activities for everyone to take part in across the North Fork as part of a weekend getaway. Round out your visit to the North Fork by diving into some watersport activities at Peconic Water Sports in Southold. Peconic Water Sports offers boating rentals, charters, fishing excursions, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and more.
For activities on land, the Eastern Long Island Kampground offers luxury safari tents, an archery range, a recreation center, outdoor pool, and a moonlight theater. The safari tents even have private showers and full bathrooms for the ultimate glamping experience!
Discover Harbes Family Farm for the whole family with activities in season like hayrides, farm animals, and harvest events, fruit, and vegetable picking in season. Pick fresh apples, peaches, pumpkins, watermelon, corn, and much more depending upon which season you visit.
There are also a variety of festivals across the North Fork each year like the Mattituck Lions Strawberry Festival in June, the North Fork TV Festival in August, the Long Island Garlic Festival and Maritime Festival in September.
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