This is not a drill: Only a few days remain to soak up the best of the summer on the North Fork. And even in this socially distanced summer, there are plenty of things going on, from live music and family attractions to waterfront cocktails and outdoor dining.
Check out the ideas below to help you make the most of your Labor Day weekend, 2020-style. And if you need more inspiration, visit northforker’s Vacation Guide at this link. Whether you want to book a place to stay, play a round of golf, rent a kayak, go for a sail, or just pick a spot for dinner, you can find ideas sorted by destination or by activity.
Drive safe, pack a mask, and enjoy the beautiful North Fork!
Attend a Labor Day luau
Riverhead neighbors North Fork Brewing Co. and Montauk Distilling Co. have teamed up to co-host a “Lei’d Back Luau” Friday, Sept. 4 – Sunday, Sept. 6., with a tropical food and drink menu, new beers and re-releases to welcome the autumn season, including a New England-style IPA with papaya and guava and ale made with local squash from Krupski Farms. Masks are required and reservations are recommended.
From the archive: Our 2020 Long Island winery tasting guide tells you what they’re pouring, when they’re open, and what kind of vibe to expect.
Dine outdoors at a new restaurant
Several new restaurants are making the most of their stunning outdoor settings, including Fortino’s Tavern, perched on the former Preston’s Dock overlooking Greenport Harbor, and the renovated Porto Bello, tucked in a corner of Safe Harbor’s Greenport marina. A ferry ride away, Shelter Island Seafood is now open in the former Bob’s Fish Market location, serving up super fresh fish for dining on an outdoor patio, takeaway, or even home delivery to the North and South Forks.
From the archive: We gave an overview of North Fork restaurants open for outdoor dining.
Sip cocktails on the sand
Enjoying a drink with your feet in the sand is a welcome 2020 trend. Take your choice of lounge chair locations: Sit by the sound at Low Tide Beach Bar, the reservations-required beachside retreat at the Sound View Hotel in Greenport. Watch the ferries come and go at the no-reservations-allowed Duryea’s Orient Point, where both the menu and décor evoke a chic Mediterranean vacation. Or settle into one of the new Adirondack chairs on Glass Beach in Greenport, donated by adjacent PORT Waterfront Bar & Grill and the nearby hotel The Menhaden.
Hang with the kids
The return of the drive-in movie has been a summer highlight for area families. CAST (Community Action Southold Town) wraps up its drive-in series with a showing of Dirty Dancing on Thursday, September 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue. Tickets are $50 per car and include popcorn (and the warm glow of helping CAST’s efforts to fight hunger). In Mattituck, Harbes Orchard kicks off apple picking season on Saturday, Sept. 5 and will be open 9 a.m.-6 p.m all weekend. Or help your kids get lost in a book at Friends of the Southold Library’s Book Cottage, where an outdoor sale of gently used children’s books is happening Saturday, Sept. 5 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
From the archive: Our team’s podcast revealed our current and all-time favorite family activities on the North Fork.
Take in some public art
Attend a “Postcard Art Show” organized by Oysterponds Historical Society, which has collected some 170 postcard-sized pieces of anonymous, original art from community members for an online fundraising auction. The art show takes over Poquatuck Park on Saturday, Sept. 5 from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (weather permitting). Or go on an evening walkabout: Through Saturday, you can see artful images projected onto four iconic Village Lane buildings, including the Orient Yacht Club, nightly from 8 p.m.-10 p.m.
From the archive: We spent one minute at Orient Point County Park.
Have an indulgent end-of-summer picnic
Make your picnic a special occasion at the North Fork Table & Inn, which has a Labor Day special featuring a dozen Yennicott Oysters for $20, bottle of McCall Wines rosé for $20, and Whole Steamed Lobster & Berry Trifle for $45. Order in person at the North Fork Food Truck and enjoy in its expanded picnic area, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday and from 11:30 a.m. on Monday.
Or just enjoy the view
The best show in town is free. Watch the sun go down on summer with our map of the North Fork’s best sunset watching spots.