If you or a friend are making a weekend vacation out of the East End Maritime Festival, remember there are plenty of ways to pass the time away from official festivities. From the local farmers market to al fresco dining, here are five recommendations.
Oenophiles attending the festival would be remiss if during their stay they failed to visit one of the East End’s more than 40 wine producers.
Luckily the only tasting room and winery located in Greenport is also one of the North Fork’s most breathtaking.
Open since 2013, Kontokosta Winery is the sole local vineyard to offer sweeping views of Long Island Sound from its public tasting area. The winery stays open late on Saturdays to allow guests to catch the sunset. Enjoy a glass or bottle of Kontokosta’s sauvignon blanc, cabernet franc, rosé or any of the eight other wines in its portfolio. Kontokosta is located at 825 North Road.
Inlet Pond Park
If you’re looking for some fresh air and an escape from the crowds, drive over to Inlet Pond Park for an early morning hike. Inlet Pond Park offers freshwater views as well as access to Long Island Sound, where you can see Connecticut on the horizon.
At the entrance to the 55-acre preserve is the Red House, headquarters of the North Fork Audubon Society. The hiking trails range from easy to moderate. The outer perimeter loop is about 1.2 miles and the southern loop, near the Red House, is just a half-mile long. The park is located at 65275 Route 48.
Greenport Farmers Market
What would a trip to the North Fork be without taking home some farm-fresh goodness? The Greenport Farmers Market will be open Saturday of the festival weekend. Local producers like MarGene Farms, Catapano Dairy Farm, Blue Duck Bakery and East End Mushroom will be on hand selling their products.
The market is located at the corner of South and Second streets and runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Orient Beach State Park
If you have wheels during your stay, a visit to Orient Beach State Park is a must. With 45,000 feet of shoreline overlooking Gardiners Bay, playgrounds for all ages and a rare maritime forest, this park has been a National Natural Landmark since 1980. Enjoy hiking, picnicking, kayaking, birding and a range of other outdoor activities.
Find the park at 40000 Main Road, Orient. Parking is $8 per vehicle.
Porto Bello Restaurant
Looking for a great meal in Greenport but perhaps want to get away from the festival for a few hours? We’re big fans of enjoying classic Italian dishes like rigatoni alla vodka and chicken piccata on the Porto Bello patio overlooking Stirling Basin. Porto Bello is located at 141 Manhasset Avenue.