A three-hour drive from New York City, North Fork has a charming, community-focused ethos and is rich in maritime history and lush farmland. A departure from the party days and nights of the Hamptons, the East End is an ideal getaway for warm afternoons spent biking, swimming, and sampling local fare.
Newly renovated, a stay at Aqua comes with its own private beach with the Peconic Bay to the south, a canal to the west, and a secluded garden for leisure time with a good book. The 18 guest rooms have a modern vibe with luxe Frette linens, Maison Margiela bath products, and decks overlooking the water.
For a more central stay in Greenport, book a room at the sister property, American Beech, a boutique hotel, housed in a converted 19th century horse stable. It’s located walking distance from restaurants, shopping, and artist galleries and offers bike rentals for guests.
For the nature lover: Start the morning with an outdoor yoga class at Sang Lee Farms. The two-hour session includes a slow flow class and a walking meditation through the property’s fields. Then head over to peruse the stalls at the Greenport Farmers’ Market. Fresh eggs, homemade jams, and North Fork wines are just a few of its staples.
For the beach-goer: Pack a picnic, some beach chairs, and your SPF, and spend the day at Veterans Memorial beach. Or rent paddleboards at One Love Beach and enjoy the calm waters of the bay.
For the wine aficionado: Spend the afternoon sipping a chilled glass of Gruner Veltliner at owner Claudia Purita’s One Woman Wines & Vineyards. Purita hand-planted and tended each vine meticulously, resulting in a sustainable, high-quality grape. Or check out a larger wine operation, Bedell Cellars. Try their sparkling rosé and make sure to take home a bottle from their artist series featuring wine labels from contemporary greats like photorealist painter-photographer Chuck Close and painter-sculptor Eric Fischl.
For breakfast: Start the day with a visit to North Fork Roasting Company. Order a freshly roasted cup of coffee and one of their grain bowls made with farro, greens, avocado, and a sous vide egg. For another late breakfast or lunch option, refuel at Bruce & Son, a four-generation family-run restaurant that uses local ingredients. Try the flourless matcha pancakes and the turmeric bircher muesli with coconut yogurt, berries, and citrus curd.
For lunch: Head to Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market located in a shingle-covered bait and tackle shack on the waterfront. Order two dozen fresh, locally farm-raised oysters pre-shucked (or shuck them yourselves), and watch the boats sail in and out of the harbor. For dinner: Make a reservation at The Halyard restaurant at the Sound View Greenport, located directly on the Long Island Sound. Designed by New York City-based firm Studio Tack, the restaurant takes on the air of a revamped wooden ship and offers a beautiful view of the sunset. Try their seasonal salads, Thai mussles and veggie coconut curry, or spring tagliatelle made with a pea pesto.
Or book a table at highly-acclaimed North Fork Table & Inn, a trailblazer in the farm-to-table movement. Chef Stephan Bogardus seeks menu inspiration in the area’s fresh produce, livestock, and fishing communities. Choose from menu items such as biodynamic greens with hazelnut, dill, and buttermilk and the North Fork Fish Stew, made with a medley of lobster, cod, and squid cooked in a fennel and saffron broth. You can also cap off the trip with the six-course food and wine tasting menu to sample a bit of everything.