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Berry picking at Wickham’s Fruit Farm (Credit: Victoria Caruso)

Memorial Day weekend on the North Fork is a soft launch to the summer season — and our staff couldn’t be more ready.

Here are 12 bucket-list-worthy things that the Northforker team is looking forward to doing this summer:

Enjoy sunsets at the vineyard

There’s nothing I love more than a summer evening outside, sipping on wine and listening to live music. From June 30 through July 28, I will be finishing my work week watching the beautiful North Fork sunsets at Pindar Vineyards in Peconic. Sunset Fridays are from 4 to 8 p.m. every Friday throughout July – where the Deck Bar will be open serving wine by the glass or bottle and pizza.

— Lilly Parnell, lifestyle reporter

Celebrate the season with all things strawberry

There’s nothing that feels more like summer than the taste of warm, sun-kissed strawberries plucked straight from the field. Since childhood, it’s been a tradition of mine to welcome the start of the season with a visit to a U-Pick farm, like Wickham’s Fruit Farm in Cutchogue and Lewin Farms in Calverton. As strawberries are my favorite fruit, you’ll also likely find me with a strawberry daiquiri in hand at the Mattituck Lions Strawberry Festival — a five-day extravaganza of fun activities like carnival rides, arts and crafts, raffles, performances and strawberry-themed treats. The festival is set to run from June 14 to June 18.

— Victoria Caruso, lifestyle reporter

Play mini golf and grab eats from Drossos

One of my family’s favorite ways to welcome the season is to play a round of mini golf at Drossos Motel in Greenport while we wait for causal but delicious fare from Jennie’s at Drossos. I’ve been craving the tempura broccoli for far too long!

— Michelina Da Fonte, content director

Have a Blast for CAST

I’m looking forward to the CAST’s annual Blast for CAST party. Held at Stirling Square in Greenport, this event brings together community members for a fun night and all for a great cause! Great food, drinks & music make this event sell out every year, so don’t sleep on getting your tickets. The event this year is on Thursday, July 13th. 

— Kaitlyn Burke, advertising account executive

A blooming field at Lavender by the Bay (Credit: Tara Smith)

Frolic through the lavender fields 

I can’t wait to finally check out the Lavender fields when they are in full bloom at Lavender by the Bay in East Marion. Every year I miss my chance to spend the day wandering the purple fields and buying myself a little lavender treat from the farm stand – this year will be different. The French lavender is in full bloom around the beginning of July. The fields are open seven days a week June through September from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

— Lilly Parnell, lifestyle reporter

Visit Little Creek’s Sunshine Shack at Orient Beach

Regrettably, I didn’t make it to the Sunshine Shack for their first year at Orient Beach State Park, so this summer I’m placing that high up on my summer bucket list. Based on what I’ve heard, they have a little something for everyone at the Sunshine Shack (think: beach games, Dos Ositos Paletas homemade ice pops, books, oysters, cold beer and more!). 

— Kaitlyn Burke, advertising account executive

Go for a paddle along the Peconic Bay

The first time I ever stepped foot on a paddle board was at the tail end of last summer, and I quickly realized what I’d been missing out on. This summer, I’m wasting no time to get out on the water. Since paddle boards are pretty costly, I’ll be renting one from Jamesport Bay Suites. The waterfront hotel, located on the Peconic Bay in South Jamesport, rents equipment to not only their guests but the general public — you can call the office at 631-722-3458 for more information and rates.

— Victoria Caruso, lifestyle reporter

The lobsters of Lobsterfest. (Credit: Elizabeth Wagner

Attend Lobsterfest 2023

On July 29, I’ll be heading down to Veteran’s Beach in Mattituck to partake in all things lobster at this year’s Lobsterfest. This can’t-miss community festival raises money for the many ongoing projects around Southold town. Tickets for adults are $60 and include the choice of lobster or steak, children’s tickets are $10 and come with the choice of a hot dog or hamburger. 

— Lilly Parnell, lifestyle reporter

Participate in Southold Yacht Club’s Around Shelter Island Regatta (aka the World’s Longest Sunfish Race)

It’s been just long enough since the last time I sailed in this race that I feel up for the challenge again. The challenge being: spending hours alone in a Sunfish sailing over 20 nautical miles. And depending on the wind conditions, the race can go by quickly or very slowly — either way, the feeling of accomplishment after makes it worth it no matter where you finish in the pack of boats. The race this year is on Saturday, July 15.

— Kaitlyn Burke, advertising account executive

Have a Beach Day

It will not feel like summer until the sun is beating down on me while I eat my slightly sandy lunch. That first beach day is like no other and I cannot wait!

— Cerria Orientale Torres, sales and production manager

Have a daycation at the Sound View Greenport

Summer is just about here and while some people ramp up, I prefer to slow down and soak it all in. This season, I plan to spend a day, a “day-cation” if you will, at Sound View Greenport. Through ResortPass, this hotspot hotel offers day passes for folks to enjoy a day by the pool that overlooks the Long Island Sound, poolside service from Jack’s Shack and Low Tide Beach Bar, private beach access, and more. The ideal way to relax and get away from it all while not having to go far.

— Michelina Da Fonte, content director

Take a trip to Shelter Island

I’m looking forward to warm sunny day hikes with friends at Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island. A mid-hike picnic down by the water is always a great idea too.

— Kimberly Gersic, display sales assistant