We spent four glorious days on the North Fork of Long Island. We couldn’t have had a more relaxing start to the USA part of our trip, or stayed in a place that provided such a contrast to our time in Asia and UAE. It was wonderful to be surrounded by lush green grass, an abundance of trees, farms, wineries, crystal clear waters and gorgeous picturesque villages.
North Fork is about 75 miles east of Manhattan, just over 2 hours drive from JFK. It’s a popular weekend retreat for New Yorkers and more laid back than the South Fork which includes the Hamptons, home to the rich and famous.
Making the most of our hire car to explore the area we headed to Greenport and took the 10 minute car ferry across to Shelter Island. The island is about 8,000 acres, one third of which is owned by The Nature Conservancy to be preserved in its wild state, no wonder it’s so pretty. Another 10 minute car ferry deposited us on South Fork and we explored Sag Harbour and the Hamptons. The houses here are the biggest I’ve seen and there is no doubting that this area is home to billionaires, though many of these houses are only occupied during summer.
We spotted the occasional helipad which makes the Hamptons a brief 20 minute commuter trip from New York. We visited just outside the summer season which meant we had easy access to the public beaches unlike summer where it sounds like having a beach parking permit is akin to winning lotto. I was glad we were staying in the more laid back North Fork, where the shops sell farm produce and not Ralph Lauren.
We spent time enjoying our beautiful secluded spot near Greenport and we watched the swans, geese and turtles float by. We fell in love with the cute houses surrounding us and admired the American flags which were blowing in the wind. It’s a rarity to fly the Australian flag from your home but it seems most houses here have a flagpole.
We explored the lovely villages of Greenport, Southold and Mattituck, foraged for fresh produce to have a home cooked barbeque in the garden and watched a perfect sunset.
And how did we end up here in this perfect spot? A fairy told us to come, the Net Fairy to be exact… but that’s another story.