Looking for a way to make the most out of summer on the East End? We look to embrace the multitude of outdoor activities across the North and South Forks of Long Island, including everything from water sports and bike tours to exploring the many nature trails and state parks. Below, we round up several different types of outdoor activities on the East End for everyone to experience this summer, with select activities available year-round.
Long Island Canoe Kayak Rentals at Treasure Cove Resort Marina
Looking for fun on the forks? Spend a few hours – or an entire day – discovering the natural beauty of Long Island’s local waterways. Ideally located on the picturesque Peconic River, Long Island Canoe Kayak Rentals, part of Treasure Cove Resort Marina, features in-season canoe, kayak, stand up paddle board, fishing pole, electric tour board, and bicycle rentals. Seasonal guided tours also offered.
Peconic Water Sports
Ready for some thrills on the water this summer? Peconic Water Sports based in Southold offers a wide variety of water sports activities for everyone of all ages. They also have two additional locations, one in Montauk and one in Noyack. Water sports activities, perfect for the outdoor enthusiasts in your life, include tubing, boat rentals, charters, fishing, water skiing, surfing, and so much more.
Located in Milton L Burns Park, or also known as Grangebel Park, in downtown Riverhead, Reflextions offers both a daytime and nighttime walkable component of stunning standalone reflective art displays. At nights the magic begins when the art pieces are illuminated during their special events throughout the summer and into the fall. Each illumination event includes live performing arts and other onsite activities.
Tour the North Fork Breweries
The North Fork is home to several notable breweries, many of which offer ample outdoor seating space and activities including live music, local business pop ups, trivia nights, and more. Many of these breweries and cider houses throughout the North Fork also have outdoor tasting rooms, outdoor fire pits like Woodside Orchards in Aquebogue. Other notable breweries include Tradewinds Brewing Company, Peconic County Brewing, Jamesport Farm Brewery, and Greenport Harbor Brewing Company.
Relax and Play at Mitchell Park
Mitchell Park is located in the heart of Greenport Village on Front Street and offers a variety of playful activities and serves as a relaxing oasis for families of all ages. In addition to strolling along the marina, there is the rustic antique carousel, plenty of space to picnic and relax on the lawn, and come wintertime there is an ice skating rink.
East End Bike Tours
Looking to explore the bounty and beauty of North Fork’s vineyards? East End Bike Tours offers guided tours that include a scenic 13.5-mile journey through the North Fork. Pass architectural landmarks, picturesque vineyards, and more. A bike ride with East End Bike Tours is the perfect outdoor activity on the East End for groups of friends and family members whether visiting the region for the first time or for those who frequent the region.
Eastern Long Island Kampground
Go camping (or even glamping) at the Eastern Long Island Kampground in Greenport. The campground features more than 20 acres of stunning campground space for tents and RVs in addition to glamping sites, cabins, and safari tents. Create a connection with nature and the outdoors with a variety of activities including archery. Great for families and friends of all ages.
The Cranberry Bog Nature Preserve
Become reconnected with the outdoors on the East End of Long Island at The Cranberry Bog Preserve in the wetlands of Riverhead. The park is what remains of an abandoned cranberry-growing sector. The 150+ acre preserve is a natural reservoir for Long Island’s fresh water supply. Spend the day hiking and exploring the Little Peconic River, birds species, reptiles, and the different types of other local wildlife.
Stroll along the Peconic Riverfront Park
The stunning Peconic Riverfront Park is in the heart of downtown Riverhead. After visiting the local restaurants and shops and strolling down Main Street, relax on the riverfront with your family and watch the wildlife or taking a relacing stroll. A perfect way to unwind outdoors, Ammann Park on the Peconic Riverfront has two gazebos, several benches along the waterfront, and picnic tables.
Live Music at the Wineries
Several wineries across the North Fork, many of which are family and pet friendly, offer a live outdoor music series throughout the summer season. A sample of wineries offering live outdoor music during the summer season include Pindar Vineyards, Clovis Point, Suhru Wines, Osprey’s Dominion Vineyard, and more. It is best to check with each individual winery for their rotating lists of musicians and the live music schedule.
Harbes Family Farm
A perfect family friendly destination for plenty of outdoor activities, Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck hosts a variety of festivals throughout the summer including Peach Harvest Festival and Tomato Harvest Festival, both held in August. Additional outdoor summer activities for visitors to the North Fork are visiting the farm animals, the trike track, duck racing games, the spiderweb climber, play tractors, giant sandboxes, and so much more.
Lavender by the Bay
Lavender by the Bay has two locations: East Marion and Calverton. Both offer the ideal outdoor activity spot for those spending the weekend exploring the North Fork. Spend the afternoon relaxing in and exploring the lavender fields, taking breathtaking photos, and purchasing freshly picked and dried lavender. Must have items from their shop include their essential oils, lavender honey, lavender soap, and sachets. Note that their peak growing season is typically in mid-July.
Splish Splash in Riverhead is the perfect destination to cool off this summer season. As New York’s largest outdoor waterpark, Splish Splash has a wide range of outdoor activities and water rides for family and friends to enjoy all summer season long. Rides range from calm to thrilling like Dragon’s Den, Riptide Racer, Bombs Away, and the Lazy River. Onsite eateries and other activities are widely available throughout the park.
East End Seaport Museum Lighthouse and Cruise tours
The East End Seaport Museum, located in Greenport, has a full schedule of lighthouse cruises and tours for the summer season. A great way to get out to sea and explore the outdoors on the North Fork, the lighthouse and cruise excursions are family friendly and offer an excellent way to learn about the unique nautical history of Greenport. The lighthouse is open daily during the summer, except Tuesdays.
Tour LongHouse Reserve
LongHouse Reserve, located in picturesque East Hampton, is a collection of gardens and sculptures amongst 16 acres filled with unique pieces by such notable artists as Buckminster Fuller and Willem de Kooning. The sculpture gardens are open Wednesday through Sunday from 12:30-5pm. Timed ticketed entries are available. A full summer calendar is in full swing at LongHouse Reserve, including a summer outdoor concert series and a variety of tours, wellness classes, and camp activities led by Shine NYC.
Explore Quogue Wildlife Refuge
The Quogue Wildlife is a stunning nature preserve filled with plenty of outdoor exploration activities, events, and educational programming. In addition to offering plenty of outdoor activities during the summer months, Quogue Wildlife Refuge is open year-round. The Refuge is home to seven miles of trails for exploring their diverse habitats. See if you can spot the ecologically rare Dwarf Pines in the Pine Barrens. Then, come inside to visit the owls, falcons, hawks, and other native New York animals who are unable to return to the wild and call the Outdoor Wildlife Complex home.
Lighthouse Loop Trail/Explore the beach and grounds of the Montauk Point Lighthouse
The Montauk Point Lighthouse is one of if not the most famous landmark on Long Island. Group tours of the lighthouse and grounds are available to groups of 20 or more and must be booked in advance. Near the lighthouse is the Lighthouse Loop Trail that takes you through Montauk State Park as well as the beautiful cliff beaches. The serene beauty makes for one of the best outdoor photo opportunities on the East End. Plus, a great outdoor event to check out is the Montauk Music Festival.
Walking the Dunes of Hither Hills State Park
Hither Hills State Park on the Napeague Stretch near Montauk is a beautiful destination to walk and explore the outdoors on the easternmost part of Long Island. Hither Hills State Park offers nature trails to ocean beaches, picnic tables, seasonal recreation programs, a playground, fishing, and a campground with tent and trailer sites.
Long Pond Greenbelt Trail
Located in Bridgehampton on the South Fork, the Long Pond Greenbelt Trail offers a variety of expansive outdoor exploring opportunities for families of all ages. The Greenbelt is a unique preserve that is home to coastal plain ponds, freshwater swamps, wetlands, and woodlands. In particular, the Greenbelt is home to thirteen rare coastal plain ponds. At the southern end of the Greenbelt is Sagaponack Pond which opens to the Atlantic Ocean.
Explore Madoo Conservancy
Take your family and friends to the beautiful gardens at Madoo Conservancy on Sagg Main Street in Sagaponack on the South Fork. This special haven is open by appointment only. Admission is free and openings times are Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 12-4pm. Unique exhibitions and events rotate throughout the summer season.
Guided nature walks and hikes with East Hampton Trails Preservation Society
Outdoor and nature lovers from all over will enjoy the wide variety of activities and trails available or offered through the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society. Scheduled activities throughout the season include beach walks, area tours, maintenance hikes, and much more. Plus, there are free hikes, bike rides, and paddling all year long.
Visit Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge
The Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge, located near Sag Harbor, is one of the most beautiful and scenic outdoor destinations on the East End of Long Island. The refuge offers dozens of acres of exploration year-round. The winding trails of the refuge take visitors through diverse habitats including sandy and rock beaches, forests, fields, and the beach. Wildlife you may spot include deer, painted turtles, eastern chipmunks, osprey, long-tailed ducks, green frogs, and many more types of animals. Note that the refuge opens a half hour before sunrise and closes a half hour after sunset.
East Hampton Main Beach Saturday Yoga/Film Night on Tuesdays
The South Fork of Long Island is perhaps most famous for being home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. East Hampton’s Main Beach offers a variety of activities and events throughout the summer season including free yoga on the pavilion every Saturday beginning at 8:30am through Labor Day weekend. There is also a rotating schedule of outdoor live music every Tuesday evenings throughout the summer.
Sunset Fridays and Saturdays are some of the most popular outdoor summer events on the South Fork. Taking place at Wolffer Estate in Sagaponack on Montauk Highway, visitors enjoy a casual and fun night among the vines paired with a gorgeous sunset, live music, and Wolffer wine. Music starts at 5pm and goes until sunset. Wine and ciders are available by the glass or bottle. No reservation is required.