Things to do on the North Fork, Long Island

Long Island, NY has been home to me for 30+ years and growing up out in Montauk, I've spent tons of time on the East End. While I've been in an out of the North Fork for things like events or day trips, it wasn't until last year that I actually stayed for some time and really got to explore.

The East end of Long Island quite literally splits in two: the North Fork and the South Fork. On the South Fork you'll find the Hamptons, which is a destination most people recognize, however the North Fork (while known for its wineries) isn't typically as popular of a destination.

I thought it would be fun to share a little itinerary from the few trips we've taken, the best places to eat and things to do on the North Fork, Long Island!

Aqua Beach Hotel North Fork

If you love a boutique hotel...

You have to check out Aqua Beach Hotel. I actually first came across this hotel on Instagram, and created our entire North Fork trip around coming to stay here. Aqua Beach is a quaint boutique hotel in Aquebogue that's off the beaten path, situated right on the Peconic Bay.

Where is Aquebogue?

That was the first question I had when I saw the hotel's location! Aquebogue is one of the first towns you'll come across once Long Island splits into two forks. It's an easy 25 minutes from Greenport, and just 10-20 minutes from most local wineries.

Aqua Beach Hotel amenities

Aqua Beach is an adults only hotel, with a maximum of 2 guests per room. It's pet friendly (we have plans to bring Charlie!) with direct private beach access steps from your room.

The hotel has about 20 rooms total, so it feels very private, with access to an incredible concierge team who's available via text to book all of your weekend activities and reservations. Although there's no restaurant on-site, there is a cute tiki bar steps from your room, a locally-sourced picnic breakfast delivered to your door every morning and paddleboard, kayak & sauna rentals available. 


Summer pricing, as with really any East-end destination is steep with weekend rates at around $600/night. You can save around $100 by staying during the week and if you wait until mid-September, rates drop to around $400.

You can rent kayaks, paddleboards and the on-site sauna for a (low) added charge, which I don't think is necessary given that there's really no demand with so few guests filling up the resort. Those aside, room pricing is  pretty standard for a boutique hotel and a lot of what you're paying for is the location.


We've stayed at Aqua Beach twice and have been very happy with both experiences, with plans to go back! I love the quiet feel and although the hotel was fully booked, we barely saw other guests during our stay, which made it feel very private. We were most impressed with the concierge, who were available by text with whatever we needed and constantly checking in.

My only complaint is the tiny shower that Joe would most definitely have trouble fitting in.

Aqua Beach Hotel North Fork

Things to do on the North Fork, Long Island

There's so much to do on the North Fork, and even after two trips, still tons of places that are on our list to try! What's cool about the North Fork is that almost everywhere you visit is all about locally-sourced goods, foods, drinks, etc.

Visit a vineyard on the North Fork wine trail

There is a huge community of winemakers on the North Fork and people will spend a full weekend just hopping from vineyard to vineyard. I didn't want to go to the wineries every one talks about though! Instead, I wanted to find the smaller wineries & the hidden gems that felt a little more secluded and exclusive.

Croteaux Vineyards is a rosé-only real-life secret garden. It's one of the most beautiful wineries we've visited on the North Fork with an attention to detail and an aesthetic that is just perfection. We loved the Chloe bubbly rosé!

Need ideas on what to wear? Here are my must-have Summer staples.

North Fork Wineries

Rose Hill Vineyards is the quaint sister-vineyard to Croteaux that serves all wines and light bites. While the wine here was just okay (I enjoy the Reisling) the experience and location is worth the visit!

Tip: Most wineries open between 11am-12pm and many do not take reservations. Especially on a weekend, the earlier you can go, the better!


Things to do on the North Fork Long Island

Things to do on the North Fork Long Island

Explore downtown Greenport

Don't skip this one on your list of things to do on the North Fork, Long Island. Greenport sits at the far East end of the North Fork, about 25-minutes where we stayed in Aquebogue. It's a lively, fun little down with lots of local shops and restaurants.

+ Check out Blue Duck Bakery for coffee and local pastries

+ Head to Lucharitos (the founding location) to satisfy your Mexican craving

+ Stop at the Greenport Creamery for dessert...because skipping homemade ice cream would be a crime

I'm not a seafood eater, but of course there are tons of local seafood spots! Some recommended are Claudio's, Noah's and The Frisky Oyster. American Beech was another (American) restaurant on our list we didn't get to visit!

Shop local at nearby farmstands

There's nothing like local produce, fresh flowers and homemade pies and there are so many great farmstands throughout the North Fork to try.

Check out Pattie's Berries & Bunches for beautiful fresh flowers, local fruits, strawberry picking (June is prime strawberry season) and delish homemade ice cream & lemonade. If you're picking your own strawberries, it's a bit of a hike to the strawberry field on the property (wear comfy shoes or sneakers) but the destination is worth it!

Stop at Briermere Farm for the best homemade pies you'll ever have in your life. We ship these to relatives all over (they're that good). We always pick up a few jars of homemade jam, too!

Things to do on the North Fork Long Island

We also love Sound Shore Market for fresh produce and Bayview Market for cookies + jams. Harbes Farm is another fun spot for great apple picking and apple cider donuts in the Fall, but can get very crowded. You can still visit their small farmstand in the Summer and take advantage of smaller crowds!

Where to eat on the North Fork, Long Island

There's certainly no shortage of great restaurants on the North Fork. We have a few favorites that are always first on our list for return trips, and also a bunch of spots we'd still love to try!

Love Lane Kitchen came highly recommended for breakfast and didn't disappoint. It's a classic homestyle, local spot and we'd love to go back and try their lunch menu.

If you're looking for a beautiful lunch spot, you have to stop at Farm Country Kitchen. We were initially a little skeptical about its location, sitting off of a back road in Riverhead with tricky parking and no clear entrance to the restaurant. We almost decided to skip it, but I'm so glad we didn't! Once you walk down the step path to the hostess booth, you're opened up to a beautiful outdoor area seated on the Peconic River. You can grab a drink at the outdoor bar if you want to wait for an outdoor table, which I highly recommend. The salads are great and we also loved the fried artichoke hearts.

Our favorite dinner spot hands down is Il Giardino. The restaurant is in an old home with a beautiful quaint outdoor garden. You can sit inside, on the front porch our out back and the pasta menu is to die for (the margherita baby eggplant is my favorite). Reservations are a must, but even with a reservation you can end up waiting, so I recommend going on the early side (6pm seems to be the sweet spot before the dinner rush).


Where to eat on the North Fork Long Island

Because I'm not a seafood eater, we skipped over most of the seafood-centric restaurants, but local seafood is a must if you do eat it! Here are a few more recommended places:

+ Watershed Kitchen + Bar

+ Jedidiah Hawkins

+ Maroni (Northport sister site)

+ Claudio's

+ Noah's

+ The Frisky Oyster

+ American Beech

+ We visited Grana on our first trip and do not recommend. Service was bad and the brick oven pizzas were doughy

There's so many things to do on the North Fork, Long Island. If you're local, it's a great day trip or weekend staycation, and if you're in town for a few days, it's most definitely worth stopping by!