Feeling the sand between your toes or taking a refreshing dip in a pool are key elements to a North Fork summer.
Perhaps you don’t have your own backyard pool or aren’t a resident able to access a parking pass.
But don’t fret. There are still ways to splash around and cool off.
State parks and beaches
State parks are open to all vehicles for $8 to $10 a day, depending on the day and time you visit.
Wildwood State Park (790 Hulse Landing Road) is located at the gateway to the North Fork in Wading River. You can hike through 600 acres of undeveloped hardwood forest, enjoy a picnic in a shady area and go for a dip in the cool waters of the Long Island Sound while exploring two miles along the coastline.
Further east along Sound Avenue, Hallock State Park Preserve (6062 Sound Ave.) in Riverhead offers a mile of beachfront access, hiking, nature walks and bird watching.
At the very tip of the North Fork, Orient Beach State Park (40000 Main Road) is a perfect spot for a beach day with frontage along Gardiner’s Bay for swimming, a picnic and playground area. New this year, Little Creek Oysters recently took over the concession stand at Orient Beach, which will now be known as the Sun Shine Shack. Stop in for snacks, sunscreen, cold drinks and signature Little Creek favorites like ceviche, smoked fish, meats and cheeses and yes, of course, oysters.
Duryea’s Beach Club
If you’re heading out to Orient, the beach club at Duryea’s (40200 Main Road) is the perfect way to secure your spot on the shore in style. There are several seating areas for beach chairs and larger cabanas for groups available for reservation and you can spend the day enjoying views of Gardiner’s Bay and a Mediterranean-inspired menu that includes a raw bar and various spreads and sauces by executive chef Philippe Corbet.
The Beach Club is open Friday through Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. starting June 25. Visit duryeas.com for more information on reservations.
The Commodore Club
Only 100 memberships are available for the new Commodore Club, which provides access to the beaches, pools and other amenities at both the Sound View in Greenport (58775 Route 48) and Harborfront Inn (209 Front Street) in Greenport, which are both owned by Eagle Point Hotel Partners.
There are four tiers of membership that range from $750 to $2,500 and offers not just access to pools at both properties but access to the pebbled beach at the Sound View, priority seating at the Halyard restaurant and special discounts for other special events. Day passes for the pool are also available for $75.
The Settees at the Sound View
Starting July 1, reservations will be available for the settees at the Sound View, luxury beach furnishings created by Geoffrey Walsky of Iconic Modern Homes. The customizable beach setups can be reserved for groups of up to five people and guests can order from a food and drink menu while using the spaces.
A trip to Splish Splash water park in Calverton (2549 Splish Splash Drive) is a quintessential summer activity.
The 96-acre park offers a variety of activities for all ages and swim levels, including kiddie areas, a calming lazy river, two wave pools and plenty of slides for thrill seekers.
Strong’s Marina pool club
You don’t have to be a boater to become a member of the pool club at Strong’s Water Club & Marina (2255 Wickham Ave.) in Mattituck. From Father’s Day weekend to Labor Day, a lifeguard is on duty around their junior Olympic sized swimming pool with a water view, a new cabana, yard games and the menu from Windamere.
Unfortunately, seasonal memberships are already sold out for 2022 but you can inquire about 2023 memberships for individuals, couples and children at strongswaterclub.com.
A note on town beaches:
Neither Riverhead nor Southold towns sell daily beach parking stickers to nonresidents, however if you are a guest of a hotel or inn, some guest passes may be available. It’s best to check directly with the concierge where you’re staying.
In Southold, short-term renters (14 days is the minimum rental allowed in the town of Southold), can purchase lessee permits with a lease and vehicle registration.
Southold also offers guest parking passes to those visiting a resident if the resident visits the Town Clerk’s office with a notarized affidavit affirming the person is their guest.