25 Mar 10 Awesome Things to do on the North Fork this Spring
Spring has popped up in the East End and we couldn’t be more excited. The sights, sounds, and smells of the North Fork are in bloom for the first time and there are so many things you can do to indulge your senses. Here are a few that we find intriguing.
1) Observe the Stars from the Clear LI skies
Long Island’s oldest public observatory, the Custer Institute, opens for free observation every Saturday after 8PM this spring. Located in Southold, the observatory is great for a quiet & romantic evening getaway out of the city light. Weather permitting, you’ll be in awe of the detail you can see in our local celestial neighborhood as well as galaxies far and beyond. Pro tip: arrive early to take in the beauty and sweet fragrant air, as the Custer Institute is located on the grounds of the town’s arboretum and wildflower fields.
Photo Courtesy of Sang Lee Farms.
2) Pick up Fresh Produce from the Riverhead Farmer’s Market
Nothing says spring like fresh produce, so head over to downtown Riverhead for farm fresh dairy, eggs, and other local goodies. Local seasonal varieties like root vegetables and greenhouse greens make for excellent savory recipes for the brisk Spring nights, such as hearty soups and baked dishes. It’s more than just produce at this lively Saturday market though. Local cheeses, mushrooms, flowers, and baked goods can also be found here.
Photo courtesy of A Lure
3) Dine al Fresco with Bay & Harbor Views
Indulge your senses with the warm breezes, beautiful harbor views and sweet smell of the air while you dine al fresco at A Lure in Southold. Dubbing themselves a “Chowder House and Oyster-ia,” this North Fork seafood joint not only has favorites like Fish & Chips and Lobster Penne, but also a sense of humor. The duo behind this seaside eatery is also behind aMano in Mattituck.
4) Attend the East End Craft Beer Festival
Kicking off Long Island Craft Beer Week, Hotel Indigo’s East End Craft Beer Festival is sure to be a hit. Last year’s event was a blast and the folks over at Hotel Indigo and Bistro 72 guarantee that this one will be the best yet. With tastings from beloved Long Island breweries, live music, and other local food purveyors bringing their best, this Friday night festival is the place to be.
5) Learn about Long Island Maritime History
Long Island has a rich maritime history and there’s evidence of it all over the North Fork. One great way to learn about it is by heading to the Southold Library on Monday March 28 to hear stories of tragedy and rescue off the coast of Long Island. If you can’t make it to that, the East End Maritime Museum opens in Greenport in May.
6) Get a Selfie with a Sea Lion
How often do you get a chance to take a #selfie with a sea lion?! Any weekend between 1:00 and 2:45PM, you can head out to the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead and do just that! A kiss and a tongue wag are just a few of the poses that lovable sea lion Java turns out for her fellow selfie partners. After the aquarium, take a stroll along the picturesque Peconic riverfront.
Photo Courtesy of Schmitt Family Farms
7) Go Flower Shopping for Mom at Schmitt’s Farm Stand on Sound
Mother’s day is coming, and giving flowers is always a great way to say “I love you” or just because. Located in Riverhead, Schmitt’s Farm Stand on Sound purveys flowers grown locally on-site starting in April. You can find everything from patio pots to bouquets, and Schmitt’s Farm Stand isn’t just limited to flowers. You can also find locally-famous Holy Schmitt’s Horseradish here year-round.
Photo Courtesy of Lieb Cellars
8) Catch the First Flavors of Wine Season
Visit a tasting room, like the one at Lieb Cellars, and enjoy this season’s wine in a rustic setting. Sweeping views of the region’s seasonal transition accompany top notch wine, live music and beautiful sunsets. Hint: catch a free tasting of this season’s very first Sauvignon Blanc on April 24!
Photo Courtesy of greenportvillage.com
9) Stroll through Historic Downtown Greenport
The town of Greenport, at the very end of the North Fork, has a lot to offer. As one of the oldest established towns in Long Island, the history here is rich. The quaint downtown streets lined with boutique shops are the perfect setting for a lively dining scene. Fun fact about Greenport: the Long Island Railroad, beginning service in 1844, exists because of the thriving shipbuilding commerce driving the economy of Greenport at the time.
As our parting suggestion, a very-end-of-spring-must-attend event is the Long Island Strawberry Festival. A showcase event in the town of Mattituck, this festival has strawberry everything: shortcake, daiquiris, pie, you name it. It’s at the very end of spring (June 16-19) but that means we only have one thing to look forward to: summer in the North Fork!