From enchanting sunset boat charters to paddle board rentals, the North Fork offers plenty of ways to splash around this summer. Here are five ways to get on the water:
Charter a boat
When you’re nearly surrounded by water the desire to go boating is a strong one. Luckily, there are several companies that charter boats throughout the local waters.
One option is Layla Sailing, a boat tour agency in Greenport that offers morning, afternoon, and sunset sails. Built by Liz Gillooly, the company aims to empower women in an industry traditionally dominated by men with an all-female crew. Layla Sailing also donates to local institutions including Group for the East End, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk, and Peconic Land Trust. Guests can relax in the cushioned open cockpit, sipping on a glass of wine while listening to the calming sound of sails in the wind.
For a touch of elegance and a taste of the North Fork waters’ bounty, consider a sunset cruise experience offered by Founders Oysters Farm in New Suffolk. Board a vintage 1936 wooden Chris-Craft and pop local bubbly as you indulge in a private oyster tasting above Founders Oyster Farm Owner Steven Schnee’s very own oyster farm. Kingfisher Yachting also offers the experience to spend some time on a yacht, with half-day, full-day, and multi-day charters out of Greenport on its beautiful 1959 50-foot Huckins Yacht. Each cruise is customized and can include extras like a private chef or tastings.
For environmentally-conscious adventurers, consider Glory — “New York’s only electric-powered, non-polluting harbor tour boat.” Captain David Berson navigates the serene harbors of Peconic Bay on a 1990 reproduction of a 30-foot Fantail launch, offering passengers a fun way to get on the water while respecting the marine environment. Glory offers both 45-minute public harbor tours and 45-minute private cruises for family and friends.
Go for a paddle
For an active day on the water, paddle boarding is an excellent choice. There are several places where you can get your paddle on across the North Fork, including One Love Beach in Greenport and Southold, Eagle’s Neck Paddling Company at Orient Beach State Park, Treasure Cove Resort Marina in Riverhead, and Jamesport Bay Suites in Jamesport. If stand-up paddle boards aren’t your style, there are also canoe and kayak rentals at most of these locations.
Take a lighthouse tour
Delve into local maritime history with a captivating lighthouse tour. The East End Seaport Museum offers cruises to Bug Light, a historic lighthouse from 1870 that’s been restored to its former glory. After a short boat ride from the dock at East End Seaport Museum in Greenport, passengers can disembark at the off-shore lighthouse and take a look around. The tours run on Saturdays through October and can be reserved at eastendseaport.org. If you crave more lighthouses and breathtaking sights, consider the “Long Island Lights” tour by Cross Sound Ferry, which showcases eight lighthouses and other interesting points of interest. This high-speed SEA JET cruise is about two hours long and departs from the dock at Orient Point. Visit longislandferry.com to book a reservation.
Ride a ferry
Make a vacation or daycation out of it! Take a relaxing ride on the Cross Sound Ferry and grab a bite from the Cross Sound Deli as you make your way to summer hotspots like New London, Connecticut and Block Island, Rhode Island. For a quick escape, hop onto the North Ferry for a short cruise across Peconic Bay to Shelter Island, where you’ll be within walking distance of some of the best waterfront spots the East End has to offer.
Get sporty on the water
For adrenaline junkies and sports enthusiasts, Peconic Water Sports has you covered. Operating in Southold, Sag Harbor, and Montauk, the company offers wakeboarding, waterskiing, and various other water sports suitable for all levels. With professionally trained staff, even beginners can join in and make unforgettable memories on the water. For pricing and availability, visit peconicwatersports.com.