13 Places on the North Fork to Explore This Summer

At the East End of the expressway, drivers come to a fork in the road. Those who head north are transported to a different time and place on Long Island. Sure, the North Fork is earning a name for itself for its wines—which are earning more accolades by the competition—and foodie offerings.

But the acres of lush farmland, narrow side-streets with mom-and-pop shops and sparking views of the Sound have allowed the North Fork to maintain its small-town charm as it blossoms. As you head towards boundless open space and tranquility, make a beeline towards these favorite events and places on the North Fork.



Pulse Magazine’s North Fork Summer Social, Aquebogue

Raise a glass to creative cuisine and cocktails for a cause. Pulse’s first North Fork summer social will bring some of the Island’s top chefs, winemakers and cocktail creators together at The Vineyards at Aquebogue for an afternoon of great tastes and vibes Sunday, Aug. 6. It’s a feel good event—and not just because of the food and drink—proceeds raised will go towards Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. Click to Taste

noah’s, Greenport

Chef Noah Schwartz returned to the Island from California to launch his first restaurant in 2010, and people fell fork-over-spoon for his crab-stuffed deviled eggs. On a warm night in July, the patio tables create a palpable buzz that draws people into the Front St. favorite. Once they walk inside, the smell of New American fare and fresh seafood is enough to entice them to wait for a table, no matter how long (and it can be a while). The kitchen makes it worth their while, delivering shareable small plates and a lobster roll to write home about. Phone: 631-477-6720 | Address: 136 Front St Click to Taste

Cooperage Inn, Baiting Hollow

Nothing gets a Long Islander out of bed on a lazy Sunday like brunch, and Cooperage Inn is known to be one of the best around. Think helpings of Belgian waffles, pancakes and omelets so generous, it may be the only meal one needs for the day. It’s all served in an elegant, comfortable Victorian setting that epitomizes the North Fork. Phone: 831-727-8994 | Address: 2218 Sound Ave. Click to Taste

The Wine Trail

No longer a cellar-dweller in national wine competitions, Long Island wine country has become a destination for oenophiles. Home to more than 30 working vineyards and tasting room, each pitstop on the wine trail offers its own ambiance. There’s the elegant Pointe Vineyards & Winery. The area’s lone sparkling-wine-only vineyard offers a pristine space to raise a flute, complete with chandeliers and brightly colored art. Monestary-style Raphael’s brings a taste of Tuscany to Long Island, and rustic tasting rooms like Martha Clara and Macari take guests to the countryside (wine glass in hand, of course). For a more intimate feel, Diliberto Winery, one of the North Fork’s smallest, invites tasters to sit and stay a while. There’s no tasting-room bar, and each person receives a complimentary plate of olives, lupini beans or taralle with their flight. Co-owner Sal Diliberto will show off his pipes alongside national and international performers when Opera Under the Stars returns (July 15 and Aug. 12). Click to Taste

Briermere Farms, Riverhead

When you’re heading back West on the wine trail and notice a traffic jam around Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard, it probably comes courtesy of Briermere Farms. The roadside favorite has earned its mile-long lines. The jams, jellies and pies made from fruit grown on-site rarely make it to patrons’ fridges untouched—they’re too fresh not to take a taste, especially after a winter of grocery store offerings that just don’t measure up. Phone: 631-722-3931 | Address: 4414 Sound Ave. Click to Taste

Claudio’s, Greenport

A summer without Claudio’s truly doesn’t count. Though there are constant whispers about sales, the 146-year-old institution remains in the hands of Frank Claudio of the Claudio family, making it the nation’s oldest same-name family restaurant. It’s home to three harbor front restaurants, a snack bar, two souvenir shops, waterfront views and unpretentious vibes. Phone: 631-447-0627 Address: 111 Main St. Click to Taste

Rosé Fest, Jamesport

Often called a “Hamptons thing,” Jamesport Manor Inn will showcase the still-popular pink vino on the North Fork when it hosts its first Rosé Tasting and Small Plate Pairing Saturday, July 8. Guests will be able to sample rosés from wineries including Macari, Palmer, Castello di Borghese and yes, Sagaponack’s Wölffer Estate, the winery famous in part for its Summer in a Bottle. A three-course pairing dinner is sure to send tastebuds to heaven. Phone: 631-722-0500 | Address: 370 Manor Ln. Click to Taste

Frisky Oyster, Greenport

Frisky Oysters Gold Oysters Friskafella with garlic-scented spinach, chipotle and parmigiana aioli were gone in a Long Island minute at Pulse’s Island Tasting in November. If you didn’t get your hands on the dish at our annual event, try ‘em at the hip American bistro lauded for its eclectic menu. Phone: 631-477-4265 | Address: 27 Front St. Click to Taste


Hotel Indigo East End

image: facebook.com/hotelindigolongislandeastend

Hotel Indigo East End, Riverhead

This boutique hotel boasts both proximity and luxury. It’s a hop, skip and a jump from the Long Island Aquarium, wine trail and Splish Splash waterpark. But when eyes and legs are tired, Hotel Indigo has it all set up so one never has to leave. A spa offers massage services and a pristine poolscape doubles as a stage for live music. For those with truly tired legs, even walking to a table at Bistro 72 is unnecessary—lauded restaurant Bistro 72 delivers straight to guest’s chaise lounges. Phone: 631-369-2200 | Address: 1830 W. Main St. Click to Stay

Jedediah Hawkins Inn, Jamesport

A stay at Jedidiah Hawkins Inn, a boutique hotel set on 22 acres of lush terrain, feels more like a night bed & breakfast. The inn, once an Italian sea captain’s mansion, has six rooms with themes. One is a nautical room filled with blue linens and seafaring art, others evoke countryside thoughts with soft colors and paintings of farmland. Outside, gardens and greenland set the stage for a summer morning stroll, and brunch al fresco afterwards is a no-brainer. A day at nearby South Jamesport Beach is, too.  Phone: 631-722-2900 | Address: 400 South Jamesport Ave. Click to Stay


image: renee's

image: renee’s

Renee’s, Mattituck

Three generation’s of Gildersleeves have helped Long Islanders live the stylish life. These days, it’s Debbie Gildersleeve who stocks clothes and home decor that epitomize North Fork chic. Find flowy dresses that make it easy to sail from lounging by the pool to cocktail hour and soft-colored furniture that bring beach vibes indoors. Phone: 631-298-4223 | Address: 10095 Main Rd. Click to Shop

Phoebe & Bell, Cutchogue

This lifestyle boutique is a one-stop-shop for summer entertaining. Find colorful-but-understated vases, throws and dishes that clearly take a cue from their laid-back North Fork surroundings. Email: kathy@nullphoebeandbelle.com | Address: 37070 Main Rd. Click to Shop

Tanger Outlets, Riverhead

Shop local tends to be a NoFo rally cry, but there’s no shame in being a sucker for a good deal on designer duds. Make out like a bandit at outlets like Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, Armani Exchange and Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store. Phone: 631-369-2732 | Address: 200 Tanger Mall Dr. Click to Shop

beth ann clyde

beth ann clyde

Beth Ann Clyde is a social strategist of Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email bethann@lipulse.com or reach out on Twitter @BAClyde.