Hidden gems of advice to make the most of your North Fork vacation

Hallock State Park in Northville. (Credit: David Benthal)

A quick Google search will no doubt help you plot an itinerary around North Fork hot spots.

The mainstays receive well-deserved shoutouts from The New York Times and Travel & Leisure, but there is another North Fork in between the lines.

For visitors hoping to adopt a “when in Rome” mindset, these insider tips from expert bed-and-breakfast owners will help you do as the locals do. 

Work your way back

“Build your day geographically. Start your trip from the farthest point and taste your way back to home base. You don’t want to be driving all over in multiple directions. The goal is to spend as little time in the car as possible to get the most of the experience.” — David Perrin, owner of Cedar House on Sound B&B in Mattituck

Reserve your Sunset view

“For great water views, go to the top level at The Sunset Beach restaurant on Shelter Island, where most of the staff speak French. If you are traveling with children the first level offers tables in the sand under large umbrellas — this is a true beach day experience with a touch of chic! For evening dining be sure to make a reservation well in advance and schedule it in time to watch the sun setting.” — Beth Swanström, owner of Seven on Shelter Island B&B

The Touch of Venice tasting room will come to you at Suhru Wines. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Italian food in the tasting room

“If you visit Suhru Wines in Cutchogue you can get takeout from Touch of Venice. The restaurant staff will bring it right across the street to the tasting room. It is a special treat.” — Alane Kelly, owner of North Fork Guest House in Cutchogue

A secret shellfishing spot

“For people who like clamming or digging for oysters, the causeway in East Marion is the best.” — Sylvia Daley, owner of Quintessentials Bed & Breakfast in East Marion.

Hallock State Park in Northville has different paths worth traveling. (Credit: David Benthal)

Take the long (or short) trail

“I point a lot of people to the Hallock Park Preserve. The yellow trail is the shorter trail that takes you straight to the water. The blue trail will take you all around, past vineyards, the woods and a lake. Then you cut over to the yellow trail down to the water to a mile of beachfront. You can spend an entire day or an hour.” — David Perrin, owner of Cedar House on Sound B&B in Mattituck

For a taste of nostalgia

“The Shelter Island Pharmacy is a hidden gem — locals dine at the counter for hearty breakfasts and homestyle lunches including meatloaf with mashed potatoes, or a tasty tuna melt.” — Beth Swanström, owner of Seven on Shelter Island B&B

Truman’s Beach in East Marion. (Credit: David Benthal)

End the day in East Marion

“We often recommend that our guests take the short bike ride past Sep’s Farm Stand and travel to the end of Rocky Point Road. Once there, they can descend down the staircase to the smooth pebble beach, where they will be greeted by picturesque views of the bluffs, the large boulders and water. All in all, a breathtaking and a perfect way to end your day on the North Fork.” — Rick Coffey, co-owner The Coffey House Bed & Breakfast in East Marion

A secluded swim at Causeway Beach in Cutchogue

“The bay is easy swimming. You can swim from June to September because it is nice and warm. On the Fourth of July it is busy, but usually there’s only like five other people so you get the beach to yourself. It feels very local.” — Alane Kelly, owner of North Fork Guest House in Cutchogue

History off the beaten path

“The North Fork is a culturally and historically significant area that I like to emphasize to guests. I tell them to bike ride down Narrow River Road to visit the old Slaves Burying Ground in Orient. — Sylvia Daley, owner of Quintessentials Bed & Breakfast in East Marion