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A Day Trip To The North Fork Of Long Island


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Maire Cosme



The North Fork of Long Island is a hidden gem, offering a perfect getaway for those seeking a memorable day trip. With its picturesque vineyards, charming farmsteads, stunning beaches, and rich history, the North Fork has something to offer every traveler. Located just a short distance from New York City, the North Fork is easily accessible and offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast, a food lover, an art connoisseur, or simply looking to soak up the natural beauty, this region has it all. In this article, we will take you on a virtual journey through the North Fork, highlighting some of the must-visit destinations and activities. From indulging in wine tastings at the local wineries to strolling through fragrant lavender fields, from savoring farm-to-table cuisine to exploring historic maritime villages, you’ll be immersed in the enchanting essence of the North Fork. So, pack your bags (or just your sense of wanderlust) and get ready to embark on a day trip to the North Fork of Long Island. It’s time to unwind, explore, and create lasting memories in this idyllic destination.


Getting to the North Fork

Getting to the North Fork is a breeze, thanks to its close proximity to major cities like New York City. If you’re traveling from the city, you can choose to drive or take public transportation. If you prefer a scenic drive, hop in your car and head east on the Long Island Expressway (I-495) until you reach exit 73. From there, follow Route 58 until it merges with Route 25 and continue eastwards. This scenic road will lead you through charming towns and vineyards, giving you a taste of what’s to come. For those who prefer to leave the driving to someone else, the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) offers convenient train service to the North Fork. Take the train from Penn Station to the Greenport station, which is located at the eastern tip of the North Fork. From there, you can rent a bike, take a taxi, or even walk to your desired destinations. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more unique and leisurely way to reach the North Fork, consider taking the Cross Sound Ferry. The ferry departs from New London, Connecticut, and arrives in the heart of the North Fork in just over an hour. This option allows you to enjoy stunning views of the Long Island Sound while avoiding traffic congestion. Once you’ve arrived in the North Fork, it’s easy to get around and explore the various attractions. Renting a car is a convenient option if you want to have the freedom to visit multiple destinations at your own pace. There are also bike rental shops available for those who prefer a more eco-friendly mode of transportation. Additionally, many of the wineries offer shuttle services, making it easy to hop from one vineyard to another without worrying about driving. With its accessibility and diverse transportation options, getting to the North Fork is a breeze, allowing you to focus on enjoying your day trip to the fullest.


Exploring the Wineries

No visit to the North Fork is complete without indulging in the region’s renowned wineries. With its fertile soil, moderate climate, and proximity to the water, the North Fork has become a premier wine-growing region. The North Fork is home to over 40 wineries, each with its own unique charm and offerings. From boutique family-owned vineyards to larger estates, there is a winery to suit every palate and preference. Many of the wineries offer tastings and tours, providing visitors with an opportunity to sample a variety of wines while learning about the winemaking process. As you explore the wineries, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of rolling vineyards and picturesque landscapes. Whether you prefer red, white, rosé, or sparkling wines, you’ll find a wide selection to choose from. Take your time to savor the flavors, ask questions, and engage with the knowledgeable staff who are passionate about their craft. In addition to wine tastings, some wineries host special events such as vineyard tours, live music performances, and food pairings. These experiences add an extra layer of enjoyment and allow you to immerse yourself in the local wine culture. To make the most of your winery day trip, plan ahead and create an itinerary. Research the wineries and select a few that align with your taste preferences or offer unique experiences. Consider visiting smaller, lesser-known wineries for a more intimate and personalized experience. Don’t forget to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase your favorite wines to bring home. Many wineries offer exclusive, limited-production bottles that can serve as a wonderful memento of your North Fork adventure. With its scenic vineyards, expertly crafted wines, and warm hospitality, exploring the wineries of the North Fork is a delightful experience that promises to awaken your senses and leave you with a newfound appreciation for this thriving wine region.


Visiting the Lavender Fields

Amidst the lush vineyards and rolling farmland of the North Fork, you’ll find a hidden oasis of vibrant purple: the lavender fields. A visit to these fragrant fields is a sensory delight that should not be missed during your day trip to the North Fork. The North Fork is home to several lavender farms, where you can immerse yourself in the calming beauty and intoxicating aroma of lavender. From late spring to early summer, the fields come alive with blooming lavender, creating a picturesque backdrop for your wanderings. As you stroll through the fields, you’ll be enveloped by the sweet scent of lavender, which is known for its relaxing and soothing properties. Take a moment to close your eyes, breathe in deeply, and let the aroma transport you to a state of tranquility. In addition to the stunning lavender fields, many farms offer a range of activities and experiences. You can take a guided tour to learn about the cultivation and harvesting process of lavender, participate in a lavender-themed workshop to create your own unique lotions or candles, or simply relax in the peaceful surroundings. Some farms also have on-site boutiques where you can purchase a variety of lavender-infused products, from essential oils and soaps to culinary delights like lavender-infused honey and teas. These souvenirs make for wonderful gifts or mementos to bring home and recreate the soothing ambiance of the lavender fields. Visiting the lavender fields of the North Fork is a serene and rejuvenating experience. Whether you’re seeking a moment of tranquility, an opportunity to connect with nature, or simply a unique photo backdrop, the lavender farms of the North Fork offer a delightful escape from the ordinary.


Enjoying Farm-to-Table Dining

One of the highlights of a day trip to the North Fork is the opportunity to savor the region’s farm-to-table dining experience. With its rich agricultural heritage and abundance of local produce, the North Fork has become a haven for food lovers and culinary enthusiasts. Farm-to-table dining is a culinary movement that emphasizes using fresh, locally sourced ingredients in dishes. Many restaurants in the North Fork have embraced this concept and showcase the region’s bountiful harvest in their menus. When dining in the North Fork, you can expect to savor seasonal vegetables, locally caught seafood, and artisanal products crafted by local farmers and purveyors. The flavors are vibrant and the ingredients are expertly prepared to highlight their natural goodness. To enhance your farm-to-table experience, consider visiting one of the many farm stands that dot the North Fork. These stands offer a direct connection to the local agriculture, allowing you to handpick fresh fruits, vegetables, and other products straight from the source. It’s like taking a piece of the North Fork home with you. For a truly immersive experience, you can even opt for farm dinners, where you dine in a picturesque setting surrounded by fields and gardens. These dinners often feature a multi-course meal prepared with ingredients harvested from the farm, providing a unique and intimate dining experience. In addition to the delectable food, many restaurants in the North Fork pride themselves on their commitment to sustainability and supporting local farmers. By choosing to dine at these establishments, you are not only treating your taste buds to exceptional cuisine but also supporting a sustainable food system. So, whether you’re indulging in a leisurely brunch, enjoying a farm-fresh lunch, or savoring a fine dining experience, farm-to-table dining in the North Fork promises a culinary journey that celebrates the flavors and the bounty of the region.


Discovering the Beaches

The North Fork is blessed with picturesque beaches that offer a tranquil escape and stunning coastal vistas. From sandy shores to secluded coves, the region’s diverse coastline provides ample opportunities to relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the natural beauty. Among the popular beaches in the North Fork is Orient Beach State Park. This sprawling beach park features a pristine sandy shoreline, gentle waves, and scenic trails. Whether you’re looking to swim, sunbathe, or simply take a leisurely walk, Orient Beach State Park offers a serene setting for beach lovers of all ages. For those seeking a more secluded beach experience, consider visiting one of the lesser-known beaches along the North Fork’s coastline. These hidden gems often offer a quieter and more private atmosphere, perfect for unwinding and reconnecting with nature. Some of these hidden beaches include Goldsmith Inlet Beach in Peconic, Bailie Beach in Mattituck, and Nassau Point Beach in Cutchogue. Aside from sunbathing and swimming, the North Fork’s beaches are also great for outdoor activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. Many beaches have rental facilities where you can easily access equipment and explore the surrounding waters. Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the North Fork’s beaches as you paddle along the calm waves or try your luck at catching the local fish. While visiting the beaches, take the time to capture the stunning sunsets that paint the sky with vibrant hues of orange, pink, and purple. These magical moments create a breathtaking backdrop, perfect for romantic strolls or simply appreciating the beauty of nature. Remember to respect the beach environment and follow any rules or regulations in place to protect the delicate coastal ecosystem. Leave only footprints and take with you nothing but memories of your time spent on the North Fork’s beautiful beaches. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or simply a moment of tranquility, the beaches of the North Fork offer a serene and captivating experience that will leave you yearning to return for more.


Exploring Historic Maritime Villages

The North Fork is steeped in maritime history, and exploring the region’s historic villages offers a glimpse into its rich seafaring past. From quaint fishing harbors to charming colonial towns, the North Fork’s maritime villages are a treasure trove of historic charm and cultural significance. One village worth visiting is Greenport, known for its deep-rooted maritime heritage. Stroll along the picturesque waterfront and admire the historic buildings that line the streets. Explore the antique shops, art galleries, and local boutiques that add to the village’s character. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the East End Seaport Museum, which showcases the area’s maritime history through exhibits and artifacts. Another village of historical significance is Southold, where you can step back in time and immerse yourself in its colonial charm. Explore the Southold Historical Society’s buildings, including a 19th-century schoolhouse and a blacksmith shop. Take a walk along Main Street and admire the well-preserved architecture that harkens back to a bygone era. In addition to Greenport and Southold, other historic maritime villages in the North Fork include Orient, Mattituck, and Cutchogue. Each of these villages has its own unique character and offers a glimpse into the region’s seafaring traditions. As you explore these villages, you may come across local museums, historic landmarks, and even preserved sailing ships. Take the time to learn about the maritime heritage of the North Fork, from its whaling history to its shipbuilding legacy. Engage with locals, who are often passionate about sharing their stories and knowledge. Tying in with their maritime heritage, many of these villages also have delightful waterfront restaurants where you can savor fresh seafood while enjoying scenic views of the marinas and harbors. It’s the perfect opportunity to indulge in the local flavors and immerse yourself in the coastal ambiance. Exploring the historic maritime villages of the North Fork is like stepping back in time. As you wander through charming streets, listen to stories of the sea, and soak in the nostalgia of the past, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the region’s unique heritage and the role it played in shaping its identity.


Indulging in Local Art and Craft

The North Fork is not only known for its natural beauty and culinary delights but also for its vibrant arts and crafts scene. From art galleries showcasing local talent to artisanal workshops, the region offers a wealth of opportunities to immerse yourself in the creative spirit. One of the best ways to experience the local art scene is by visiting the numerous art galleries scattered throughout the North Fork. These galleries feature a wide range of artistic styles and mediums, from paintings and photography to sculptures and ceramics. Take your time to admire the works of talented local artists and perhaps even bring home a piece that speaks to you. In addition to art galleries, the North Fork is home to several art studios and workshops where you can witness the creative process firsthand. Join a pottery class, learn the art of glassblowing, or try your hand at painting under the guidance of experienced artists. These hands-on experiences provide a unique opportunity to unleash your own creativity and cultivate new skills. If you’re visiting during the summer, don’t miss the annual North Fork Art Collective Art Show, which brings together local artists to showcase their work in a collaborative setting. This vibrant event is a celebration of the region’s artistic talent and offers a chance to engage with the artists and learn more about their inspirations and techniques. Beyond visual arts, the North Fork also boasts a thriving craft community. Explore the numerous craft stores and boutiques that feature handmade jewelry, textiles, and other artisanal products. These unique creations make for beautiful souvenirs or gifts to bring back home. To delve deeper into the local craft traditions, consider visiting one of the farm stands or local markets that showcase the work of local artisans. Here, you can find handmade soaps, candles, preserves, and other locally crafted goods. Engage with the artisans, learn about their craft, and take pride in supporting the local artistic community. Indulging in the local art and craft scene of the North Fork is an enriching experience that allows you to appreciate the creativity and talent that thrives in the region. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a budding artist, or simply someone who appreciates handcrafted goods, the North Fork has something to offer for everyone.



A day trip to the North Fork of Long Island is a feast for the senses. From the enchanting wineries and tranquil lavender fields to the delectable farm-to-table dining and stunning beaches, this region offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, rich history, and cultural experiences. The North Fork’s accessibility, just a short distance from New York City, makes it an ideal destination for a day trip. Whether you choose to drive, take public transportation, or even embark on a scenic ferry ride, reaching the North Fork is convenient and effortless. Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by the charm and warmth of the region. Explore the wineries and savor the diverse flavors of the local wines. Immerse yourself in the intoxicating aroma of the lavender fields and let relaxation wash over you. Indulge in farm-to-table dining, savoring fresh, locally sourced ingredients that celebrate the region’s agricultural bounty. Discover the beauty of the North Fork’s beaches, from sandy shores to hidden coves, and let the soothing sounds of the ocean rejuvenate your soul. Take a step back in time as you explore the historic maritime villages and connect with the region’s seafaring past. Lastly, immerse yourself in the creativity of the local art and craft scene, admiring the talents of the North Fork’s artists and artisans. A day trip to the North Fork will leave you with cherished memories and a newfound appreciation for this hidden gem. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or a cultural experience, the North Fork offers it all. So, pack your bags, embrace your sense of wanderlust, and embark on a journey to the North Fork of Long Island. It’s time to create unforgettable moments in this captivating destination.