On May 8th, I had the priviledge of traveling with a group of writers to Long Island Wine Country. Kristi Maloney and I come from a small town, about an hour west of Boston, so we drove about 2 hours south to the Cross Sound Ferry in New London, CT. Route 395 South was stress free, so it felt like we were there in no time.
If you’re not familiar with Long Island’s “North Fork,” here’s a little explanation. The North Fork is made up of 11 small towns and villages located on Long Island’s East End. It includes Aquebogue, Jamesport, Laurel, Mattituck, New Suffolk, Cutchogue, Peconic, Southhold, Greenport, East Marion and Orient. It is surrounded by the Peconic Bay and the Long Island Sound.
There is so much to share in this blog post, so I’m including the contact info of each business or destination in case you have any questions or want to explore a little more on your own.
Cross Sound Ferry Services
New London Ferry Dock
2 Ferry Street
New London, CT 06320
New England Phone: (860) 443-5281
Long Island Phone: (631) 323-2525
I’m not a stranger to taking the ferry to Long Island. My oldest son graduated from Hofstra University on Long Island a few years ago. We traveled by ferry several times to shorten the trip to his school. Going all the way into Long Island on land can raise your blood pressure if you’re not used to the traffic and give you a few gray hairs. On one occasion, we got into a little fender bender while changing lanes. It was nerve-wracking. The ferry is a different story. It’s interesting, calm and relaxing.
There’s all kinds of seating on the ferry. You can pass the time by watching a little TV, sit at a table booth and catch up on work, chat with friends or family, or read a book in a quiet area. You can even have a drink at the bar. It’s always 5:00 somewhere! 🙂
There’s a snack bar on board and I’m happy to say that dogs are allowed in certain areas. Our ferry ride to and from Orient Point was smooth and quiet. You can check out the scenery through the large windows or take a stroll around the deck.
Take your car and arrive at Orient Point in 80 minutes or use the High-Speed Ferry Passenger Service and cross Long Island Sound in 40 Minutes! Take my word for it. The ferry is the way to go.
Click HERE to find out how you can earn reward points!
When we arrived on the North Fork in Orient Point, Vintage Tours brought us to The Loft for lunch.
The Loft Restaurant
48 Front Street
Greenport, NY 11944
As a foodie, I have to mention the delicious Raspberry Filled Cookies we got for dessert! Let me put it this way…I wanted to eat ten of them! They were divine! Loft Restaurant, could you share the recipe with my readers? Please?
After lunch, we went to our first winery!
Bedell is a 30-year-old sustainably farmed and family owned estate vineyard and winery. They produce 10,000 cases of wine a year. I really enjoyed their Chardonnay and Sparkling Rose.
It’s beautiful inside and out!
After our visit at Bedell Cellars, we checked into our hotel or B & Bs. I stayed at the Harborfront Inn.
Harborfront Inn at Greenport
209 Front Street
Greenport, NY 11944
Upon our arrival at the Harborfront Inn, it was evident that this is a new hotel. It opened in 2004. The exterior and interior is pristine and welcoming and the staff is very polite and accomodating. It is centrally located in the downtown area and walking distance to many restaurants and cute shops. It is in an ideal location if you are planning a trip to Long Island Wine Country.
My room was clean, quiet and comfortable. I think I squealed with excitement when I caught sight of my glass-enclosed modern shower! It was lovely! My 3rd floor room came with free Wi-Fi and a water view from my private balcony. Additional ammenities include complimentary continental breakfast, outdoor heated in-ground pool with two lap lanes, 800-square-foot fitness center and two private function rooms. I only stayed at the Harborfront for one night, but I would be very happy to stay at this hotel again! No complaints from me!
I was one of six writers that stayed at the Harborfront Inn, the rest of the group stayed at the following locations – Blue Iris Bed & Breakfast, Ruby’s Cove Bed & Breakfast, Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast , The Harvest Inn and The Bartlett House Inn.
For dinner, we were brought to Kontokosta Winery.
825 North Road
Greenport, New York
My favorite wine at Kontokosta was Riesling.
136 Front Street
The next morning, I had breakfast at the Shorecrest Bed & Breakfast.
Shorecrest Bed & Breakfast
Marilyn, the Innkeeper, made quite an impression on me. She was so warm and gracious! I love her English accent! She shared stories about how she started her B & B and gave us suggestions on where to visit in the area.
Marilyn’s food was absolutely delicious! She even agreed to do a guest post on my blog with one of her recipes!
After breakfast, one group went to visit The Old Field Vineyards and my group went to the Harbes Family Farm.
Harbes Family Farm
715 Sound Avenue
Mattituck, NY 11952
They have pony rides, pig races and apple picking in the fall.
Farm owner, Ed Harbes (top left), gave us a wonderful tour. Some of the writers had some fun with the racing equipment! Florence (top right) was on a mission to find the pigs! Goodness, that bunny was so cute!
Before we headed back to the ferry, we enjoyed some lunch at Orient by the Sea.
Orient By the Sea Restaurant
PO Box 333 | 40200 Main Rd
Orient, NY 11957
I LOVE having dinner by the water! This is exactly the kind of place I would look for when vacationing near the coast.
I want to give a special shout out to Vintage Tours for transporting us to each location. The drivers were so patient, friendly and knowledgeable of the North Fork area. I would totally book a tour with them again!
Peconic, NY 11958
There are about 50 different wineries along the Long Island wine trail. Check out the LI Wine Council ( LIwines.com) for a complete list of wineries.
I’d like to thank Stan Mickus and The Cross Sound Ferry for sponsoring this Long Island Wine Country Tour. I couldn’t have had a better experience and I’m dying to go back!
A great big thank you to all the sponsors on this trip! You left me wanting more! Dave and I are planning to go back together this summer!
Last, but not least, I’d like to thank Florence Tambone for inviting me on such a memorable, fun trip. I have been ranting and raving about it to my friends and family ever since I got back.