Yes the wine here has finally gotten to award winning status. This is not Napa yet for you wine snobs out there however, the vineyards here have become very attune to how to present there vineyards to visitors. There are now many places to stay, many different wineries to visit and if you go in the spring / summer season it is a must to drive onto the car ferry over to Shelter Island ! Then take that one step further and off to the rest of The Hamptons.
Your post really took me by surprise! I always knew about the fine vineyardsof the Finger Lakes region of Upper New York State and have toured that wonderful, rolling countryside several times over the years (as it's an easy four-hour drive from Toronto). But, I'd never heard that there were vineyards on Long Island. Looking at the weblink for North Fork that you provide in your post, I was struck by the idea that perhaps the east end of the island is the fabled Vinland of Old Norse lore and Viking sagas. Makes sense. As the Viking long boats of 1000 years ago left their winter camp at L'Anse-aux-Meadows in Newfoundland and headed south along North America's east coast, they'd first sight the hooked sandspit that is now Cape Cod. There being little there except barren sand dunes and seagrass, the bold explorers likely kept going south in search of better prospects. The next prominent point of land they'd encounter would indeed be the far east end of Long Island. If there are grapes growing there now, would it not be possible that wild grapes thrived there inthe time of Leif Eriksson and his band of intrpid venturers?! Wouldn't that be a kick!
Now that we know about the treasures of North Fork, it'll be high on our list of terrific places to visit.
The North Fork is beautiful! I'm biased, because I went to college on Long Island. But the other attraction in summer, after the wineries, would be the farm stands. All the produce looks so gorgeous (not to mention baked goods, jams, preserves etc.) that I end up with my car trunk full before I hit the ferry.
Thanks for letting me in on another of the attractions of Long Island: farm stands! Here, I always thought that Long Island was typified by the sumptuous Hamptons with its luxurious "Great Gatsby"-style mansions for the super-rich. Not ever having ventured out onto the island beyond Shae Stadium in Brooklyn, I really seem to have had very narrow conception of what the place was like. First, I find out from one of the other LL Contributors that there are wonderful vineyards near the east end of Long Island. Now, you tell me about the farm stands and the fresh produce, preserves and baked goods available for sale to the passing public. Amazing! Now, I too will have to make sure our trunk's not full of luggage when we next venture down that way, so that we too can load up on the many tasty products available at the farm stands along the highways. Wonder what else one could find? Artists' studios...? Beautiful beaches...? Luxury resorts...? Fine restaurants...? Antique stores...? Auction houses...? Historic sites...?
The further east you go on the island, the more rural it gets. It's a huge change from the congestion and wall to wall "big box" stores of, say, Levittown and Hicksville, to the fields and open vistas beyond Port Jefferson. The north shore is lovely and quieter than the Hamptons. It's been years since I've been to Sunken Meadow State Park, but unless its changed, it's a lovely quiet spot on the sound.
I hope this whets your appetite. I know it does mine. Even though I lived in the congestion of western Long Island, I loved it and I still miss it. Writing about it has me thinking about taking the ferry from New London for a weekend this summer. See you there?
My appetite's never been more whetted! All the great links you've provided for various attractions on Long Island, make me feel that we've got to set our sights on heading there this summer to experience these marvels first hand ourselves. Seafood is a favourite of both my wife and I, so Greenport looks like a destination we'll be sure to visit, if only to fill up on crabs and other delectable morsels from the sea so that we'll have the strength to do a lot of antiquing and visit many local artists' studios or galleries. Thanx for all the info and links.
You're entirely welcome! And if you get there this summer, please report back as to your "finds". Also, if you love seafood, consider a roadtrip to my state, Rhode Island, where you'll find some of the best! I'd be happy to be your virtual guide.
Rhode Island's one of the few states in the US, east of the Rockies, that we've not been to. So, it would seem appropriate that if we do head down to Long Island sometime this summer, we also head towards Providence and some of the other interesting locales in your home state. If we decide to do so, I'll be more thanpleased to take you up on your kind offer to be a 'virtual' guide.
Please do! I've posted about Newport on the Destinations board, that will give you a bit of information. And if you visit Providence during the summer, try to plan your trip to coincide with Waterfire, an art installation which takes place on the river downtown. Waterfires are scheduled several times during the summer and I try to go to at least a couple because it makes for such a wonderful evening. And honestly, you can't beat the restaurants here. Tell me what kind of food you like, and I'll tell you where to find it.
Never heard about 'waterfire' until now. Sounds mysterious. What kind of art installation are they exactly? Who sets them up?Individual artistsor the City of Providence? Both of us love to eat all kinds of good food, but our all-time favourite is seafood. And, I understand that we;re in luck, since Newport and other locales along the Eastern Seaboard of Rhode Island appear to be well-known for their excellent seafood! Can't wait to hear where the best spots are to savouir some of these delicacies of the sea.