It still surprises me how many people never heard of the North Fork, the lesser-known fork out on eastern Long Island. With only a two-hour drive from NYC, the North Fork (the South Fork is the Hamptons) is dotted with charming small towns, wineries, beaches and farms. I’ve been fortunate to spend some quality time out on the North Fork and fell hard for its unpretencious vibe, proximity to the beach, beautiful landscapes and access to boating and fishing.
Now is a great time of year to visit the North Fork when many of the summer crowds have dissipated. Most of the farms host fun family events for the kiddos with mini petting zoos, pony rides, corn mazes and pumpkin and apple picking, and most of the wineries hold fun family-friendly events.
You only need a few days on the North Fork to experience its beauty and serenity. Here are some of my favorite ways to unwind and indulge NOFO-style.
Pick up some Great Produce at Sang Lee Farms
This organic farm has high-quality organic fruit and veggies plus the housemade pestos and salad dressings are worth stocking up before heading back to the city.
Grab some fresh goat cheese at Catapano Farms
The goat cheese here is creamy and fresh and the farm is great to take young kids and walk around. You can stay for a tour to see the goats getting milked and how the cheese is made or just wander around the property and purchase some goat milk soap and cheeses.
Get some exercise by walking up and down the steps at Horton’s Point in Southold and then stop in for a quick tour of the Horton Point Lighthouse built in the mid-1800s.
Take your kids to the Carousel in Greenport and then walk around this old maritime village and browse the cute shops and dine at the restaurants.