Summer Weekends: Long Island Vineyards
It's been warm for a few weeks here in New York, but it's now officially summer and I am so ready to dive deep into LOTS of weekend trips that I can get to in 5 hours or less -- be it by train, plane or car. There's no need to stay home when cute little spots are just waiting to be found.
First up is somewhere I never would have thought to go if it weren't for my bestie getting married. We ended up taking a girls trip to Long Island, a borough that gets a lot of flack from die hard Manhattanites. The Hamptons is always the exception but honestly it's a place I still haven't been, and don't have much a desire to go to after hearing how long it takes to get there with traffic, how expensive getting a place there can be, and how overly crowded it can get. I'm sure I'll go one day but honestly there are tons of beautful towns to go to.
In our case, we settled on the North Fork area of Long Island, in the village of Southhold. It's about a two hour drive from the city, and it's close to the beach, with cute places to eat and shop, and award winning vineyards & farm stands nearby. We spent the next three days slowly sipping our way through wineries, lounging in the backyard, and cooking at the house.
WHERE TO DRINK
Ok let's be honest. This was a bachelorette weekend. It was all about the wine. Red, White, Rose, Sparkling. We drank it all. Like, all of it.
This family-run spot was our first stop. The grounds are big and super gorgeous, with a few greenhouses and a shop where you can buy bottles as well as small handmade items. We got there early, around 11am (we called ahead with our number) and ended up having the whole place to ourselves. I'm a sucker for a long wooden table so when they seated us I was pleased as punch.
They hosted a wine tasting with tiny bites that paired with different blends. I got yelled at for eating a piece of chocolate before our host got to the wine it was supposed to go with, so be warned.
This was the bougiest winery that we went to by far. The property is huge with a country club like feel, and on a busy day the wait can be slow. It's definitely photogenic and spacious, and with really yummy prosecco -- so it's definitely worth a visit.
This Winery is by far my favorite because it serves ALL Rose, ALL. DAY. An entire pink fanciful moment of sparkling and dry girlie glasses of wine in a cool barn setting. You can do a tasting in the barn, grab a table and order a bottle, or chill in an adirondack chair.
There's a huge grassy area in the back; perfect for laying out or doing some cartwheels. They also serve fresh oysters with perfectly spicy horseradish out of an old school food truck.
WHERE TO EAT
We actually only ate at one place: American Beech in the nearby town of Greenport. The interior is bright and white with plenty of shiplap on the walls (oh hey Joanna Gaines) and tea light candles. The burger with aioli sauce and a pretzel bun was worth every calorie. It has a great outdoor bar and patio, and It's been featured in Vogue, so need I say more?
We rented a house with a kitchen so we brought a lot of groceries and made our own brunches and lunches, and saved all our money for wine outings. Cute and cost effective.
WHERE TO STAY
I loved our Airbnb, it was beautful and plenty of room for 6 girls to spread out.
The restaurant mentioned above is also a hotel, so one stop shopping! It's got the same bright airy nautical vibe as their dining area.
Another airbnb option is this one, complete with a beautifully manicured lawn and pool.
Soundview Greenport has stunning water views, right on the beach.
HOW TO GET THERE/GETTING AROUND
Once you get to New York City or New Jersey, I recommend renting a car and driving.
If no one wants to be a designated driver, here are other options according to Northfork.org:
CROSS SOUND FERRY
Providing transportation between New England and the North Fork daily.
LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD
Provides daily round-trips into Manhattan from the Greenport station.
Servicing both the North and South Forks, this bus service offers several daily round-trips from the North Fork to Manhattan.
Once you’re there, you need a car or a driver, or a bike if you don’t mind long rides (but that may be hard after a few glasses). You can order a local taxi service (plan your days in advance and schedule pickups ahead so there’s no wait time), as there aren’t many Ubers out this far. If you stay in Greenport it’s a little busier so you may have better luck.
Where are you off to this summer? Let me know in the comments! Be sure to take some long weekends and enjoy what's close by. Not every trip has to be big and extravagant to be a moment.