We polled our staffers to see which places across the North Fork get them the most fired up to take out their cell phone and post to Instagram.
Here’s what they had to say:
PRESTON’S DOCK, GREENPORT
A walk along Greenport’s harbor inevitably ends at Preston’s, landing you like a time machine back to 1880, when this spot was the center of the village’s busy working waterfront. It’s still plenty busy, but mostly with shoppers at the Preston’s Chandlery gift shop (its sunny windows full of model sailboats) and diners at the iconic red dockside building that houses Fortino’s Tavern (tables are not so much waterfront as watertop). This is a fun spot when it’s warm, but I especially love to capture the nautical scene in winter, when the Preston’s Marine Supply store is blanketed in snow, the restaurant is boarded up and the docks are peaceful and silent in front of a late-afternoon sunset. — Sara Austin
WILDWOOD STATE PARK, WADING RIVER
Located on what those in the know call “The Back 40” lies a secret spot. About 2.5 miles into Wildwood State Park and sitting at an elevation of approximately 94 feet, the view from the cliffs overlooking the Long Island Sound are not just breathtaking. They are a reward.
Water views from high atop cliffs and dunes are not unique to Wading River: Towns like Baiting Hollow, Peconic and Greenport all lay claim to “the best views of the Sound.” But none of them make you work for it the way Wildwood does. You can’t just pull your car up, step out and enjoy the view. Here, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort.
But for those that do, a treasure awaits. X doesn’t quite mark the spot, but you will know it when you see it. The fragrance changes from pine to the faint subtlety of salt air. The reflection of the sun dancing off the water can be seen shimmering through the trees. The forest gives way to an open clearing. And the view becomes yours for the taking.
So take some time to enjoy. You’ve earned it. — Michael Versandi
ANY BEACH WITH STEPS
There’s something about a seemingly infinite number of steps leading down to a clear, calm body of water accented by colorful pebbles that makes you want to snap a thousand pictures. And if you were to look at my camera roll, you would see I fall victim to this pretty and easy-to-capture photo op much too often, at 67 Steps Beach in Greenport, Rocky Point Road Beach in East Marion and Horton Point Lighthouse Beach in Southold. But I can’t help it. It’s impossible to get a bad shot of this angle, and it couldn’t look more North Fork-y. — Felicia LaLomia
TOWN BEACH, SOUTHOLD
While I tend to feel transported by nearly every beach sunset shot, there’s something I really love about sunset photos taken from Town Beach in Southold. The wide west-to-east views invite you to capture the vast layers of sunset shades stacked on top of water and sand. And if the location itself wasn’t already special enough, the fact that there are always at least a handful of sunset-lovers all with eyes in the same direction make this daily occurrence feel extra celebratory. — Michelina Da Fonte
MODERN SNACK BAR SIGN, AQUEBOGUE
It’s nothing short of iconic: The blue and yellow neon set against the sky of a warm summer night, the dazzling glow of the familiar red arrow welcoming travelers like an old friend.
Sydney has its Opera House. Paris has its Tower. The North Fork has its Snack Bar.
One part landmark, one part roadside kitsch, the Modern Snack Bar sign has stood proudly for more than 65 years, a testament to the distinctive homestyle cooking and service synonymous with the restaurant. So the next time you find yourself traveling down Main Road in Aquebogue, keep an eye out for this brilliant display of comforting nostalgia. You won’t have to search too hard. Truth is, it’s impossible to miss. And an absolute must-see. — Michael Versandi
CROTEAUX VINEYARDS, SOUTHOLD
If rosé is Instagram royalty, then Croteaux Vineyards is her summer palace. Every corner of this rosé-only winery in Southold is charming: the Volkswagen Beetle near the entrance, its bumper lined with bottles; the mint-green Citroën van on the lawn, shipped over from Normandy and converted to a mobile bar; and the beguiling tasting barn and garden. The pea gravel! The blossoming trees! The pink wrought iron bistro chairs! Even the wine shop is mesmerizing, evoking a summer sunset in striated shades of pink and orange. Like Brigadoon by way of Provence, Croteaux disappears in late fall when the wine is sold out, only to return when it’s warm again with delicious new releases and even more eye candy. — Sara Austin
LAVENDER BY THE BAY, EAST MARION & CALVERTON
The summer bloom that takes place at these fields during end of June and beginning of July is intoxicating in every way and so well worth the yearly wait. The stunning sight of acres upon acres of purplish-blue blooms serves up the perfect Instagram shot. Zoom out and you’ll capture the rows of lavender creating a beautiful symmetrical pattern, zoom in and you’ll see bees and butterflies perched on blossomed buds. Now if Instagram could only figure out a scratch and sniff option. — Michelina Da Fonte