The North Fork of Long Island is located only 80 miles from Manhattan. This area offers a low key lifestyle for both families as well as couples that want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is also cheaper than the South Fork of Long Island which is appealing to many people.
The North Fork of Long Island, New York, stretches from Riverhead in the west to Orient Point in the east. It is the most rural part of Long Island, but has two villages of note.
- Riverhead – county seat of Suffolk county (though most county offices are further west) and home of Splish Splash water park, the Long Island Aquarium, and a host of other sites.
- Greenport – a small village almost at the end of the Fork, home to a substantial maritime and railroad history.
- In between the two lie Aqueboque, Jamesport, Laurel, Mattituck, Cutchogue, Peconic, and Southold. East of Greenport are East Marion and Orient Point, the easternmost town on the fork. None of these are large or host particularly many attractions, and as such are covered in this article
The South Fork or the Hamptons and Montauk point are just south of the North Fork. It is an easy drive of easier to take a small ferry to Shelter Island, drive through to the next ferry to Sag Harbor and explore there as well.
Heading west from the North Fork, you can visit Long Island and head further west to New York City.
Long Island has many enjoyable places to visit, including nice villages. Beautiful ocean beaches, restaurants, and tours are available of Gold Coast Mansions, that dotted the coast during the era of the Great Gatsby. For groups of 50 or more tour guides are available. If small groups, you can visit the mansions online and check for events and availability.
Staying in the North Fork or returning if a long trip there are many things to do. Mostly it is a quiet place and relaxation and tranquility along with a picturesque setting are part of what makes the North Fork an enjoyable destination.
The Long Island Expressway (more commonly known as the L.I.E, officially I-495), which comes from Midtown Manhattan, ends in Riverhead, where Long Island forks. From Riverhead, NY-25 serves as the both the main route out to the North Fork and the main street for several hamlets and villages. Suffolk Co. Route 48 provides a more northerly alternative until Greenport.
NY-25 also continues further West into Queens, offering a less hectic alternative to the L.I.E.
The Hampton Jitney provides access to various points the North Fork from Manhattan several times daily. As train service to the North Fork has been cut, the Jitney has increasingly gained popularity. It runs considerably more frequently than the train, although the schedule is subject to seasonal variation.
A one-way ticket from New York to the North Fork costs $19.00 bought in advance, and $21.00 bought on board.
Although it was the original terminus for the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), the North Fork's Greenport Branch now sees the least service of any LIRR branch. Schedules are available at the LIRR website On weekdays there are only 4 daily trains to Riverhead from Penn Station in Manhattan, all of which require a transfer to a diesel scoot at Ronkonkoma. Three of these trains continue along the entire line to Greenport, the easternmost town on the North Fork to have LIRR service.
On weekends the service is even worse, with only two scoots from Ronkonkoma, both terminating in Greenport. As the North Fork is a highly seasonal destination, weekend service only officially runs from Memorial Day through Columbus Day, although in practice this has been extended most years. For example, in 2013, weekend service operated from mid-April through late December.
A one-way off-peak ticket from Manhattan or Brooklyn to anywhere on the North Fork costs $19.75 if bought in advance; tickets cost more on-board or during peak times. Train stations on the North Fork lack ticket machines and therefore no penalty will be assessed for buying tickets on board when going towards Manhattan.
Several car ferries run to the North Fork from Connecticut and Shelter Island. From Shelter Island, the North Ferry runs every 10-20 minutes between Shelter Island Heights and Greenport, calling next to the train station. Fares are reasonable at $10.00 one-way and $15.00 return for a vehicle and driver and $2.00 for foot or car passengers. Bicycles and motorcycles cost extra, but less than a car.
From Connecticut, the Cross Sound Ferry runs several trips daily between New London and Orient Point, at the easternmost end of the Fork, on five different boats, including a passenger-only fast ferry and a repurposed World War II landing craft. Fares are considerably higher than the Shelter Island, with one-way trips starting at $14.50 for foot or car passengers on the car ferry and $51.00 for a vehicle and no round-trips available. Tickets on the fast ferry for foot passengers cost even more. Due to fuel costs, the ferry company also charges a 4.9% fee the call the "floating surcharge"-one hopes the boat doesn't sink if someone forgets to pay it!
West of the North Fork, the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Ferry provides several daily trips from Bridgeport to Port Jefferson. Port Jeff is located on NY-25A, which one can follow to NY-25 in Riverhead. Fares are similar to the Cross Sound Ferry. See the Port Jefferson article for details.
As this is Long Island, and the least populous part of it at that, the best way to get around by far is with a personal vehicle. However, bus and train service are (barely) provided, and Greenport and Riverhead are compact and quite walkable.
The main roads on the North Fork are NY-25 and Suffolk-48, which merge in Greenport before continuing on to Orient Point as NY-25. For most visitors, NY-25 will be the road of choice, as it is closer to the towns of interest that hem Peconic Bay.
Taxis are available from Island Cab, but expensive as they are on all of Long Island
Riverhead and Greenport are compact and walkable – indeed, this is the best way to experience them. Everywhere else on the North Fork, however, is not.
Suffolk Transit's S92 serves the entire North Fork (as well as Easthampton and Sag Harbor on the South Fork). The bus runs roughly every hour or half hour (depending on the time of day) from Orient but only until 3:35PM! There is additional morning service and one additional evening bus from Greenport only. On the other hand, unlike almost every other Suffolk Transit bus, the S92 has Sunday service in the summers, but the base fare is higher than usual at $2.25. As is usually the case with Suffolk Transit, don't expect reality to hew closely to the schedules.
The aforementioned trains from Riverhead (and ultimately Ronkonkoma) to Greenport can also be used to travel between towns on the North Fork; in this case the fare is $3.00 bought on board the train. The train makes intermediate stops at Mattituck and Southold. As there are only 2 or 3 trains a day and neither intermediate stop is pedestrian friendly, the train is of limited utility (though it is generally more reliable than Suffolk Transit).
The North Fork of Long Island has many bed and breakfasts as well as inns and hotels. All of the bed and breakfasts and inns and hotels are located either along the beach or next to vineyards.
Although there are a few wineries on the South Fork of Long Island, the Hamptons, the vast majority are located on the North Fork of Long Island.
- Greenport Skatepark, Ice Skate Rink & Carousel, Greenport, ☎ +1 631 477-1133.
- Strong's Marine, LLC, Camp Mineola Road, Mattituck, ☎ +1 631 298-4770. This place allows for renting boats and does provide boating lessons.
- Atlantis Marine World Aquarium, 431 East Main Street, Riverhead, ☎ +1 631-208-9200 ext H2O (426).
- Harbes Family Farm, 715 Sound Ave. (Rte. 48), Mattituck, ☎ +1 631 298-0800. Allows you to pick your own fruit and vegetables as well as flowers. It is open from May till October. The months depend on what you are able to pick.
- East End Lighthouse, Inc..
- Splish Splash, 2549 Splish Splash Dr, ☎ +1 631 727-3600. This water park is for all ages and is one of the largest water parks in the United States.
The North Fork of Long Island has many beaches as well as park trails. As well as these beaches and park trails, the North Fork of Long Island is known for their many wineries as well as a small knit community.
- Sannino Vineyard B&B, 7490 Alvahs Ln (North of RT 48), ☎ +1 631-734-8282. all year. An exclusive Tuscan Suite on a private vineyard Private entrance and balcony overlooking the vineyard King Size bed, 700 sq. feet of luxury Breakfast in Bed $300 avg.
- A Touch of Venice, 2255 Wickham Avenue, Mattituck, ☎ +1 631 298-5851.
- Baker's Workshop, 20 East Main Street, Riverhead, ☎ +1 631-548-3750.
- Braun Seafood, 30840 Main Road, Cutchogue, ☎ +1 631 734-7770.
- Claudio's Clam Bar & Wharf, Main Street Wharf, Greenport, ☎ +1 631 477-1889.
- Claudio's Crabby Jerry's, Main Street Wharf, Greenport, ☎ +1 631 477-8252.
- Claudio's Restaurant, Main Street, Greenport, ☎ +1 631 477-0627.
- Greenport Tea Company, 400 Main Street, Greenport, ☎ +1 631 477-8744.
- Greenporter Bistro and Wine Bar.
- Junda's Pastry, 1612 Main Road, Jamesport, ☎ +1 631 722-4999.
- Legends, 835 First Street, New Suffolk, ☎ +1 631 734-5123.
- Lick-itty Splitz, Rte. 25, Mattituck, ☎ +1 631 298-0416.
- Love Lane Kitchen, Love Lane, Mattituck, ☎ +1 631 298-8989.
- Modern Snack Bar, Route 25, Aquebogue, ☎ +1 631 722-3655.
- O'Mally's Restaurant, Rt. 48, Southold, ☎ +1 631-765-2111.
- The Old Mill Inn, 5775 West Mill Road, Mattituck, ☎ +1 631-298-8080.
- Orient by the Sea, Main Road, Orient, ☎ +1 631 323-2424.
- Paganos, Route 25, Southold, ☎ +1 631 765-6109.
- The Old Mill Inn, 5775 West Mill Road, Mattituck, ☎ +1 631 298-8080.
- Southold Fish Market, 61859 Main Road, Southold, ☎ +1 631 765-3200.
- Starbucks, Mattituck Plaza Route 25, Southold.
- Ackerly Ponds, 1375 Peconic Lane, Peconic, ☎ +1 631 765-6861.
- Bedell Cellars, Main Rd., Rte. 25, Cutchogue, ☎ +1 631 734-7537.
- Castello Di Borghese, Rte. 48 & Alvah's Lane, Cutchogue, ☎ +1 631 734-5111.
- Clovis Point Vineyard, 1935 Main Rd., Jamesport, ☎ +1 631 722-4222.
- Comtesse Therese, 1375 Peconic Lane, Peconic, ☎ +1 631 871-9194.
- Corey Creek Vineyards, Main Rd., Rte. 25, Southold, ☎ +1 631 765-4168.
- Croteaux Vineyards, 1450 South Harbor Rd., Southold, ☎ +1 631 765-6099.
- Diliberto Vineyard & Winery, 250 Manor Lane, Jamesport, ☎ +1 631 722-3416.
- Duck Walk North Vineyard, Rte. 25, Southold, ☎ +1 631 765-3500.
- Harbes Vineyard, Sound Ave., Rte 48, Mattituck, ☎ +1 631 298-0700.
- Jamesport Vineyards, Main Road, Rte 25, Jamesport, ☎ +1 631 722-5256.
- Laurel Lake Vineyards, 3165 Main Road, Rte 25 Laurel, ☎ +1 631 298-1420.
- The Lenz Winery, Main Road, Rte 25, Peconic, ☎ +1 631 734-6010.
- Lieb Family Cellar, 35 Cox Neck Road, Mattituck, ☎ +1 631 298-1942.
- Macari Vineyards and Winery, 150 Bergen Avenue, Mattituck, ☎ +1 631 298-0100.
- Martha Clara Vineyards, 6025 Sound Ave., Rte 48, Riverhead, ☎ +1 631 298-0075.
- The Old Field Vineyards, 59600 Main Road, Southold, ☎ +1 631 765-0004.
- Osprey Dominion Winery, Main Road, Rte 25, Peconic, ☎ +1 631 765-6188.
- Palmer Vineyards, 108 Sound Ave, Aquebogue, ☎ +1 631 722-WINE (9463).
- Paumanok Vineyards, 1074 Main Rd, Rte 25, Aquebogue, ☎ +1 631 722-8800.
- Peconic Bay Winery, 31320 Main Rd., Rte 25, Cutchogue, ☎ +1 631 734-7361.
- Pelligrini Vineyards, 23005 Main Rd., Rte 25, Cutchogue, ☎ +1 631 734-4111 ext 202.
- Pindar Vineyards, Main Rd, Rte 25, Peconic, ☎ +1 631 734-6200.
- Pugliese Vineyards, 34876 Main Road, Rte 25, Cutchogue, ☎ +1 631 734-4057.
- Raphael, 39390 Main Road, Rte 25, Peconic, ☎ +1 631 765-1100.
- Sannino's Bella Vita Vineyard, LLC, 7490 Alvah'sLane, Cutchogue, ☎ +1 631-734-8282.
- Sherwood House Vineyards, Elijah's Lane, Mattituck, ☎ +1 631 298-1396.
- Shinn Estate Vineyards, 2000 Oregon Road, Mattituck, ☎ +1 631 804-0367.
- Vineyard 48, Rte 48, Cutchogue, ☎ +1 631 734-5200.
- Waters Crest Winery, Rte 48, Unit 6, Cutchogue, ☎ +1 631 734-5065.
The logical next point is to take the ferry to Shelter Island, site of the 1947 Shelter Island Conference. From there, you can take the ferry to Sag Harbor and go to either Montauk or The Hamptons, as part of an East End circle tour of sorts.
Alternatively, you can take the ferry to New London and continue there. For a really off-the-beaten-path option, take the ferry to New London from there take a ferry to Fishers Island, an island off the North Fork accessible only from New London.
|Routes through North Fork|
|Mineola ← Southold ←||W E||→ END|
|Hicksville ← Southold ←||W E||→ END|