Your North Fork summer bucket list

wine tour

Biking from vineyard to vineyard is one of the best ways to enjoy Long Island Wine Country. (Credit: Madison Fender)

Being surrounded by water, some activities are just a given come the summer months. Fresh, salty air and sunshine are often all you need for a day well spent. Whether by land or by sea, we have the perfect roundup of must-dos for your best summer yet.

Wednesday night races around Robins Island

A scene from the weekly sailboat race around Robins Island. (Credit: Vera Chinese, file photo)

Break up the week as you watch the white sails make their way around Robins Island for the Wednesday night sailboat races. Enjoy this Peconic Bay scene from the shores of the New Suffolk waterfront. Then head to Legends or Case’s Place for a perfect summer night.

Rent a bike and hit Oregon Road

wine tour

Biking from vineyard to vineyard is one of the best ways to enjoy Long Island Wine Country. (Credit: Madison Fender)

Feel like the star of a romantic summer movie by renting a bike from East End Bike Tours in Mattituck. (There’s also Dan’s Bike Rental in Greenport if you are further east.) Seemingly endless fields of sunflowers and vineyards offer a picturesque North Fork experience worthy of a postcard. Make a pit stop at Lieb Cellars or Shinn Estate Vineyards for sips of local wines.

Tuesday night paddles with One Love Beach

Paddle boarding instructor Evelyn O’Doherty gives the group some pointers during the Tuesday night community meet-up. (Credit: Krsten Massa)

Explore the North Fork’s interconnected waterways via paddleboard with Greenport’s One Love Beach. Every Tuesday evening’s community gathering offers a different location and adventure. If you don’t own your own board, the Greenport shop offers rentals and even lessons for new paddlers. Visit the One Love Beach Facebook page for the weekly locale.

Yoga in the vines

Credit: Carrie Miller, file

Find your flow at North Fork wineries like Castello di Borghese, Diliberto Winery and Palmer Vineyards, where yoga instructors sometimes host drop-in classes. After your vinyasa, treat yourself to a tasting flight with your fellow yogis. Check websites for dates and times. Namaste.

U-pick

Blackberries and blueberries for sale at Patty’s Berries and bunches in Mattituck. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Blueberries and red cherries, peaches and flowers. Fill your basket with local fruit like strawberries, cherries, blackberries and peaches at Wickham’s Fruit Farm in Cutchogue. Come July, Bhavana Blueberries in Southold is open daily, offering six different varieties ripe for the picking. The only challenge is not finishing them off before you bake a pie.

Rent a kayak at Orient Beach State Park

The view from Orient Beach State Park. It’s one of our favorite spots on the North Fork. (Credit: Krysten Massa, file photo)

With 45,000 feet of frontage on Gardiners Bay, it’s only natural to want to get in the water at Orient Beach State Park. Rent a kayak to explore this maritime wonderland and catch a glimpse of great blue herons, ospreys and other birds that have earned this park a designation as an Audubon Important Bird Area.

Go for a swim in Peconic Bay

A scene from South Jamesport Beach in summer 2015. It’s one of the best spots for a swim in Peconic Bay (Credit: Vera Chinese)

This one is a given and not to be passed up. Though many beaches require a town permit to park, some are open to non-residents as well. As an added bonus, Cedar Beach County Park in Southold is free to all. Nestled away from the rest of town, this beach has 2,800 feet of shoreline for water play.

Pick up lunch at Fork & Anchor and have a picnic

The Fork and Anchor crispy chicken sandwich. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Order a la carte or try a modern picnic box for two with specialty sandwiches, North Fork Potato Chips, Tate’s cookies and more. Take in the views of Greenport Harbor from Mitchell Park or relax at Southold’s Triangle Park as you enjoy fresh, homemade eats from Fork & Anchor in East Marion.

Run a 5K or 10K

The start of the Sound to Bay 10K and 5K race. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Lace up your sneakers for a healthy activity that lends itself to a good cause. Take it to Jamesport in August for the Sound to Bay 5K and 10K run presented by the Jamesport Fire Department. Both are along scenic routes near the water, so in the end, everyone’s a winner!

Fish with North Fork captains

fishing report north fork

Photo by Andrew Derr (Long Island on the Fly)

With boats sailing out of Southold, Greenport and Orient Point, the North Fork Captains Association offers excursions for anglers of all levels. Charter with the pros and catch keepers like fluke, porgy and sea bass — or just enjoy the open sea while your friends and family do the fishing. We also recommend calling our friend Captain Andrew Derr.

This story was originally published in the June 2017 edition of northforker magazine