Several years ago, before my husband and I were married, we started doing day trips on our days off. We would take nature walks, go to historic sites around Long Island, sometimes even just drive to a town neither of us had ever been. Often, we would spend money only on gas, but had a really great day. Granted, this was before we owned a home and had children, so we had plenty of time to do such things. Today, with 2 kids, a home and ten years of marriage behind us, we are constantly looking for new ways to spend quality time without too much travel time.
1. Dinner at the beach. This is a favorite in our family and one we do often in the summer months. We make a picnic dinner at home and pack it up for transport to one of our favorite North Fork beaches. Sometimes we meet friends, other times it’s just us. Some of our favorites have picnic tables but if we choose one that does not, we bring a blanket. We have also grabbed a pizza when time was limited. We always bring a garbage bag in case the trash cans at the beach are full or non-existent. This is a great way to relax after a day of work.
Insider Tip: Ice cream trucks visit many of our local beaches around dinner time. This is a treat my oldest cherishes.
2. Local theater. TheNorth Fork is chock full of talent. Just this past weekend, the Southold High School Drama Club put on an excellent play, “Curtains”, which won them rave reviews from the audience. North Fork Community Theater is slated to begin “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” later this month. During the summer months, Mitchell Park hosts Shakespeare in the Park, Silversmith’s Corner has weekly concerts in the evenings and many of the vineyards have live music on select evenings and weekends. Outdoor movies are also popular on the North Fork, last year we attended three separate movies.
Insider Tip: The majority of these activities are family friendly. My husband & I have taken our 6 yr. old to all of the above.
3. Local lodging. You don’t have to go far to enjoy a night away. Some of our local hotels/motels and Bed and Breakfasts have prime North Fork Real Estate. Riverhead to ShelterIsland offers a variety of ways to getaway without traveling very far. Waterfront to vineyard views, North Fork lodging runs the gamut. Whether treating yourself to a luxe hotel stay or utilizing one of theNorth Fork’s campgrounds, an overnight escape is never far.
Insider Tip: Many of the local hotels and Bed & Breakfasts offer packages with local restaurants and vineyards.
4. Not just beaches. While we often focus on our beautiful beaches and world class vineyards, the North Fork also offers other outdoor activities. There are numerous walking trails, biking and boating. Charter a fishing boat off Orient, rent a boat or kayak for the day. There is something in every size budget.
Insider Tip: Taking a bike on the Shelter Island Ferry is inexpensive and a great way to explore the Island.