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Travel Journal: The North Fork

Travel Tuesday stays local!


Every once in a while you need a little weekend away.  Back in October, Rebekah and I really needed to get out of the city and relax.  Liz had recently been to the North Fork and loved it so we set our sights there.  I’m now obsessed.


Friday night:

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Our perfect housey

We arrived at our Airbnb around 9:45.

NOTE: Our Airbnb can only be described as IDYLLIC.  I would stay there again in a heartbeat.  Not only did it have all the amenities we wanted (porch, fireplace, Netflix), it was possibly the cutest place I’d ever seen and had been perfectly decorated.  The owners left a wonderful note explaining any  nuances to the house, alerting us to some house rules, offering some great recommendations for the area, and including a bottle of local wine.  We couldn’t have asked for anything more!

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Lovely welcome from the home’s owners

After a long day of work and driving, we were exhausted and decided to make it a night in.  It’s not like the North Fork is a place to really rage at the bars, anyway.  We were staying right in the middle of town so we placed an order at Andy’s and walked to pick it up about 20 minutes later.  Andy’s is basically a sports bar, but the food is better than typical sports bar food.  We got all the comfort stuff – mac and cheese, a chicken sandwich, salad, pickled veggies, and wings.  We were pretty happy with everything we ate and even happier after popping open a bottle of wine (or two).

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Picking up our food

Since our first night was going to be spent in the house, we immediately got into comfy clothes, built a fire, and started a game of 90s Trivial Pursuit.  The house we were in was adorable and the owners paid such attention to the small details that it would have been a shame if we didn’t actually spend time there.  We wanted a cozy fall experience – sweatpants, wine by a crackling fire, cheesy movies on the tv, and board games.  That’s exactly what we got.

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Couldn’t ask for a better low key fall evening

Saturday:

Because we spent our first evening indoors, we decided to really make a day of it on Saturday and explore the town of Greenport.  It. Is.  ADORABLE.  We walked around the village (yup, it’s so cute that it’s called a village), got coffee at Aldo’s, and shopped a bit.  We both picked up some great stuff at The Weathered Barn.

Around that time, restaurants were starting to open so we grabbed brunch at Bruce and Son.  We knew we wanted to try more restaurants so we decided to make this brunch number one and split a veggie and goat cheese sandwich the waitress recommended after telling us the hash we wanted was sold out.  It was a solid recommendation – I would probably order this from the get-go moving forward.  The restaurant was bright and felt very typical of a quaint seaside town – exactly what we were going for.

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Of course, the meal came with North Fork brand chips

After eating, we did a little more walking around because we couldn’t pass up a chance to pop into a bookstore (Burton’s had a great selection).

We also took a nice little stroll down to the docks.  I always feel most at home on the water so it was good to get my fix.

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After sufficient strolling, we rented bikes that we rode straight to Kontokosta Winery for a 1 PM tour.

Most wineries are in the Southhold area (one town over), but Kontokosta is Greenport’s very own wine spot.

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Kontokosta winery is a beautiful, modern space – would be really cool for a rehearsal dinner

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Running through the vines

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Tasting

They may only have the one, but it’s a good one because it’s right on the water with beautiful views off a cliff.  After our tour, we chilled on the bluff with freshly shucked oysters from a food truck (they had amazing mignonette options).  We really got lucky with the most gorgeous fall weather so we wanted to soak it all up.

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Walking out to the bluff.  Gotta love a set of Adirondack chairs.

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After our vineyard excursion, we rode our bikes back to the center of town to get more coffee and stock up for a little happy hour at the house.  We picked up cheese, crackers, jam, and gourmet ice cream at Vines & Branches, which also has a great olive oil selection.  There weren’t many cheeses to choose from, but the ones they had were great.  We ate our snackie on the patio beneath the trees and loved life.  After that, we watched a little tv to decompress since we’d been running around all day.  We had a moment where we could have just sunk into the couch forever but decided we needed to have one dinner out so we got dressed and out the door.

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We decided to go to Frisky Oyster after seeing the menu in the window on one of our walks.  We didn’t know much about it, but it turns out it’s probably the town’s best spot.  We didn’t have a reservation, but two seats at the bar soon opened up so we just ate there and made conversation with the bartender (with whom I actually had a mutual friend from back home – love finding a random connection like that!).  The food was fabulous.  We split a soup that I think was apple and parsnip and was sooo yummy.  Then we got the fish, which was served ramen style.  We went lighter since we’d been eating all day and loved both of our choices.  We also loved the key lime pie we split for dessert.  No, it wasn’t a “fall” dessert, but it was delicious.  The menu changes seasonally at The Frisky Oyster, and it seems like they do all seasons well.  It’s definitely a can’t-miss spot in Greenport.

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We didn’t really feel like going “out out” so we went back to the house for Netflix and face masks.  Great way to end the evening.

Sunday:

We woke up feeling refreshed so Rebekah suggested we go to an 8 AM yoga class at North Fork Yoga Shala.  I’ve never done yoga, but it was a good way to ease into the morning.  The instructor was also great about helping me with the positions since I clearly had no idea what I was doing.

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After yoga, we hopped in the car and drove to Orient (a town over) to check out the area.  There wasn’t too much too see, but there was pie.  Four and Twenty Blackbirds actually has an outpost in Orient and I knew from the city that their pies are heavenly.  We grabbed three pieces and saved them for later.

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On the drive back from Orient (and really, we could have taken our bikes if we were ok with a slightly longer ride and hadn’t already returned them), we stopped at the beach.  No, we weren’t doing any sunbathing, but it was pretty to look at so we just hung out, drinking coffee for a bit.

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Our drive back then took us to Fork and Anchor for breakfast sandwiches.  This place is totally unassuming but has crazy good, high quality ingredients.  My bacon, lettuce, tomato, and fried egg sandwich with basil mayo was one of the best BECs I’ve had.  It was October but those tomatoes were still super fresh.

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Continuing on our little drive, we stopped at a lavender farm as well as Sep’s Farmstand across the street.  If you’re not getting fresh stuff like this…why are you even going to this part of New York?

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At that point, it was time to shower so we could be checked out of the Airbnb by 1 PM.  We decided that would be a good time to hit the road, thinking we would likely want to stop at some of the other North Fork towns on the way back to the city.  We first drove through Southhold to see it and grab coffee at North Fork Roasting Company since Rebekah had heard good things.  I really enjoyed my dirty pumpkin chai drink…as well as the pie [from earlier] that we broke into as soon as we got in the car.  I’m really happy we drove through Southhold so we could get a feel for it, especially since it was the town so many people had raved about.  I thought it was cute, but my heart belongs to Greenport.

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Our final stop on the drive home was Harbes Farm for pumpkins and cider doughnuts.  From apple picking to hayrides to a pumpkin patch, this place has all the fall attractions you could want.  It may be a little cheesy, but it was fall and we were embracing it in full force.

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By the time we got back to the city it was around 4 PM and we felt completely rejuvenated after the short weekend away.  The North Fork is just far enough to feel like you escaped the city but close enough that you don’t feel rushed like you need a vacation from your vacation when you get back.

Tips:

  • Accommodations:
    • There are some cute bed and breakfasts in the area, but they can be expensive, and I absolutely loved our Airbnb.  It was cozy, unique, and perfectly located.
    • Overall, I loved Greenport.  I’m pretty much obsessed.  It seems like each town in the North Fork is known for something.  Mattituck and Jamesport have pumpkin patches and apple orchards; Southhold has the most vineyards; and Greenport has the cutest town and is on the water.  The town you stay in is certainly dependent on what you want to do, but I loved Greenport.
  • Timing is Everything: Most places close at 10 PM.  That said, things open early.  You don’t have to wait for shops to open at 11 AM.  This is definitely an early bird type of town.
  • Getting Around: In Greenport, if you stay near the village, you won’t need a car.  The train/jitney come right into town so if you stay within walking distance you’re completely fine without one.  It was nice having one so we weren’t slaves to the train schedule coming home and so we could make our pumpkin patch stop, but if we were car-less, I wouldn’t have complained.
  • Go to Kontakosta: There are lots of wineries in the North Fork, but this one is unique with it’s waterfront location.

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