This past weekend we headed to Greenport, on the North Fork of Long Island. It’s our fourth trip there and one we all look forward to each year. Greenport was once a whaling and ship building village, as well as a huge oystering center, in the first half of the 20th century. It’s also known for quite a bit of rum running during the Prohibition era. In the 1970s the Hargave family turned local farmland into vineyards and since then the wine industry has taken off with over forty vineyards in the area.
In 2012, Long Island was chosen as one of the Top 10 Wine Destinations in the USA. The farming industry is still alive and there are many roadside farm stands with fresh locally grown produce. With its proximity to the water and its quaint small towns, it’s no surprise that Forbes Magazine voted Greenport “One of America’s Prettiest Towns” in 2011.
Our first stop in town is always the glass-enclosed carousel, built in the 1920s. The kids love to try to grab the golden ring in order to win a free ride – and as a result we usually end up staying for multiple attempts. The town itself is adorable with quaint little shops, a great dock and lots of grass for the kids to run around on.
Our favorite place for breakfast is the Coronet Luncheonette, an old-fashioned diner with great omelets, chocolate chip pancakes and egg creams. After stuffing ourselves, we head to Catapano Dairy Farm. It is a small, family operated farm where one can see goats and chickens and even a llama up close. The goats love to nibble on visitors’ clothes through the fence and the kids always get a kick out of that. The little shop sells the most delicious varieties of goat cheese, along with all sorts skin care products.
Each time we go to Greenport, we try different vineyards. This trip we stopped at Corey Creek, which has a beautiful elevated deck overlooking the vines, live music and plenty of space for the kids to run around. This year, we lucked out with perfect weather and were able to get some sun as we tasted wine and snacked on goat cheese.
Lunch was next and we made our way to Alure Chowder House and Oyster-ia, located in Southhold on the Port of Egypt Marina. We feasted on oysters, clams, lobster rolls and fish n’chips, al fresco. The kids loved checking out the boats on the dock. Service was great and since it was off-season, we were able to have a long, leisurely, delectable meal.
After lunch we headed to The Old Field Vineyard, a small winery with a very homey feel. There’s a chicken coop, red barns, picnic tables and the vines leads right down to the water. We were told that during the summer they have weekly movie nights right on the beach. We tried a delicious 2010 Cacklin Rosé – a unique merlot rosé – and bought a few bottles to enjoy at home.
Each vineyard has a unique look and feel to it. Some are huge and have quite the scene going on during the weekends, filled with party vans and bachelorette groups. Others are more family-oriented and quaint. They run the gamut, but at each one there’s good wine and the girls LOVE running through the vineyards.
We end each trip with a visit to the Harbes Family Farm. There’s roasted sweet corn, caramel apples, sangria, and plenty of pumpkins, fresh fruits, vegetables and mums for sale. For $12.95 you get entry to the Barnyard Adventure – where the kids see pigs, chickens, bunny rabbits and goats. There’s a corn maze, hayrides, potato sack races, go-carts and pony rides. We could’ve spent the entire day there easily.
On our way back to the LIE, we made one more stop – Martha Clara Vineyards. This is one of the bigger ones, with lots of tables, live music and food for sale. We grabbed a baguette and some cheese and tried a great Pinot Noir before hitting the road.
All in all, the North Fork is a great destination for anyone who loves being on the water, enjoys good wine and likes to have plenty of activities to keep the kids happy. All the fresh air zonked them out and they napped the entire way back to the city. Upon waking up a few blocks from home, they rolled down the windows, took a deep breath and as they always do after road trips to the “country,” exclaimed, “Ahhhh city air!
Even after all the fun, I guess you just can’t take the city out of the kid!
Prior to becoming a stay at home mom, Mina was an HR Recruiter for years. Now her time is spent happily juggling the demands of two young daughters while trying to expose them to the endless adventures the city has to offer.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Guest writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.