The North Fork: Your Guide to the East End’s Best Autumnal Activities

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The summer season, along with much of the action and excitement found on the South Fork, may be winding down for the year, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to abandon the East End entirely. In fact, this season may be the best of them all to spend some time in the area’s less appreciated landmass: The North Fork.

The South Fork may be the part of Long Island that has the most name recognition, but that doesn’t mean its northern neighbor hasn’t made its own international mark. This area is renowned across the planet for its top-flight wineries, and it offers both bucolic beauty and understated opulence to go along with them. 

“The North Fork’s a little quieter,” manager of Southold’s Sparkling Pointe Vineyards and Winery Melissa Rockwell says. “We are very focused on agriculture here. There’s sprawling farmland, vineyards, a lot of little places you can stop for oysters, for vegetables, and there’s a really great food scene, too.” 

This fall is the perfect time for you to pay a visit to this secretly spectacular section of our beautiful island. If you do, be sure to check out some of the following spots:


You’ll find countless expansive vineyards all throughout the North Fork, and with many of them you’ll find a winery that allows you to enjoy the fruits of their labor—literally. Here are some of the best options available during your visit to this internationally recognized winery hot spot.

You can’t go wrong with any of the North Fork’s renowned wine destinations, but you won’t find many like Sparkling Pointe Vineyards and Winery (39750 County Rd. 48, Southold, 631-765-0200, sparklingpointe.com). 

“All of our wines are exclusively methode traditionelle sparkling wine, which is made using the champagne process,” Sparkling Pointe manager Melissa Rockwell tells us. “We do tastings, we do tours, we do private events, tasting room events, and we host group tastings by advance reservation.

Sparkling Pointe offers 12 different styles of their unique sparkling wine that can be paired with small menu items like cheese, charcuterie, caviar, and more. They accept both reservations and walk-ins. 

If your main goal when visiting the North Fork is to enjoy the wine culture, then consider pulling up a map of the North Fork Wine Trail and plotting your trip from there. You can begin at Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard (2114 Sound Ave., Calverton, 631-369-0100, baitinghollowfarmvineyard.com) and then continue east from there across 36 more potential stops, ending at Paumanok Vineyards (1074 Main Rd., Aquebogue, 631-722-8800, paumanok.com), one of the most storied wine destinations on all of Long Island. 

Paumanok Vineyards has been in business for four decades now, and they’ve created wines fine enough to be served at the NATO 50th Anniversary Gala at the White House. That’s a high honor, and a quick stop by their tasting room will reveal that it was well earned.   



Fall is the time for pumpkin picking, apple picking, hay-rides, and freshly baked pies. If you’re looking to get into the spirit here on Long Island then the North Fork is without a doubt the place to do it. Mark down some of these amazing spots when planning out your itinerary and you won’t be disappointed.

For apple and pumpkin picking, you can’t do much better than Lewin Farms (812 Sound Ave., Calverton, 631-929-4327, www.lewinfarm.com). Provided you stop by when they’re still in season, you can also pick tomatoes, peaches, raspberries, peppers, eggplants, and more at this iconic family-owned farm. 

Krupski Farms (38030 NY-25, Peconic, 631-734-7841) offers a haunted corn maze, a haunted barn, and hayrides to help you and your family get into the spirit of the Halloween season. You can also pick pumpkins, as well as a variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more while you’re there. 

The most iconic place to purchase pies on Long Island has to be Briermere Farms (4414 Sound Ave., Riverhead, 631-722-3931, briermerefarm.com) but there are plenty of other places worthy of their own acclaim. For two good examples, stop by Orient Country Store (950 Village Ln., Orient, 631-323-2580, orientcountrystore.com) or Country View Farm Stand (57995 Main Rd., Southold, 631-903-1335). 


No autumnal garden is complete without some beautiful mums. You can go home with a multicolored array of these seasonal specialties when you visit the North Fork. Here are some of the best spots for doing just that.

Helen’s Greenhouses and Flower Farm (987 Union Ave., Riverhead, 631-722-8449) is a great place to go purely for the spectacle of their countless meticulously tended rows of gorgeous blossoms of all kinds, but during this time of year their selection of mums is easily the star of this every-colored floral show. 

If you’re visiting on the weekend, you should swing by Horton’s Flower Farm (712 Horton Ave., Riverhead, 516-860-9528, hortonsflowerfarm.com), too, as it’s less than a 10-minute drive from Helen’s Flower Farm. If you’re looking to pick your flowers right from the fields in which they grow, this hidden gem is your best option. 

“We have 100 different flowers to pick,” co-owner of Horton’s Flower Farm Claudette Gross tells us. “You get a mason jar and scissors (kids get safety scissors) and you can cut your own bouquet. There’s chairs and tables where you can sit, you can bring food and beer and wine and have a picnic. And we also offer tractor rides.” 

Gross is also a professional photographer, so if you’d like to have some family photos taken with your flowers, or if you’re part of a bridal or bachelorette party and you’d like a high-quality floral photo shoot, Horton’s is the place to go. 


Whether you’re looking for a quick bite, some decadent first-class dining, or anything in between, there’s something for you on the North Fork. 

Some of the North Fork’s best breakfasts can be had at Love Lane Kitchen (240 Love Ln., Mattituck, 631-298-8989, www.lovelanekitchen.com) and Main Road Biscuit Co. (1601 Main Rd., Jamesport, 631-779-3463, mainroadbiscuitco.com). Both spots are close to plenty of other great shops and attractions, too, making them an even better place to start your day.

There are far too many places to name when it comes to fantastic North Fork lunch spots, but Pagano’s Pizzeria (46455 Middle Rd. #103, Southold, 631-765-3400) and Sterlington Deli (3 Sterlington Commons, Greenport, 631-477-8547, sterlingtondeli.com) would certainly make any honest list of them. 

Seafood is an inextricable aspect of North Fork culture, and two of the best places to experience it are at the gorgeous Greenport farm-to-table gem, Noah’s(136 Front St., Greenport, 631-477-6720, chefnoahs.com) and Cutchogue’s iconic Braun Seafood Co. (30840 Main Rd., Cutchogue, 631-734-5550, braunseafood.com)


The Hamptons steal a lot of the shine in discussions about Long Island’s best shopping experiences, but you’ll find some one-of-a-kind opportunities for retail therapy on the other side of the Great Peconic Bay too. 

The romance and mystery of the privately owned bookshop is hard to come by these days, but the North Fork lays claim to a few of the finest. 

Black Cat Books (54 N. Ferry Rd., Shelter Island, 631-725-8654, blackcatbooks.com) offers used and rare reads that don’t even need to be read to be enjoyed, and Burton’s Book Store (43 Front St., Greenport, 631-477-1161, burtonsbooks.com) has nearly five decades of sharing their love of literature with the world under their belts. 

If you’re in the market for something rare, unusual, and beautiful, stop by Old Orchard Farm Store (1240 Village Ln., Orient, 631-323-8083, oldorchardfarmstore.com) for an incredible selection of vintage jewelry, maps, antiques, gifts, vintage and modern local art, and more.

In The Attic Too (53245 Main Rd., Southold, 631-745-3848, intheattictoonofo.com) is another treasure trove of vintage rarities as well as handmade reclaimed goods, unique gifts, and more. They also offer custom refinishing services that can resuscitate and elevate your furniture.


Love Lane Kitchen (240 Love Ln., Mattituck, 631-298-8989, lovelanekitchen.com

Main Road Biscuit Co. (1601 Main Rd., Jamesport, 631-779-3463, mainroadbiscuitco.com)

Noah’s (136 Front St., Greenport, 631-477-6720, chefnoahs.com)

North Fork Table & Inn (57225 Main Rd., Southold, 631-765-0177, northforktableandinn.com)

Dark Horse Restaurant (1 E. Main St., Riverhead, 631-727-7606, darkhorserestaurant.com


Sound View Greenport (58775 County Rd. 48, Greenport, 631-477-1910, soundviewgreenport.com)

North Fork Table & Inn (57225 Main Rd., Southold, 631-765-0177, northforktableandinn.com)

The Harbor Front Inn (209 Front St., 631-477-0707, theharborfrontinn.com)

The Blue Inn at North Fork (7850 Main Rd., East Marion, 631-477-2800, theblueinn.com)

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Entering the harbor in Greenport by ferry.Getty Images