8 Things To Do This Winter On The North Fork Of Long Island

Photo of Sydney Dratel
9 February 2017

When most people think of the North Fork of Long Island, they think of wineries, beaches and summer. Although the North Fork is a great place to visit in the warmer months, there are also many things to do in the area year-round. Read on to see our picks for the best off-season activities in this gorgeous part of New York State.

Love Lane Kitchen | © David Benthal 2015

Take A Cooking Class At Love Lane Kitchen

Restaurant, American, $$$
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North Fork Roasting Company Coffee With A Personalized Note
North Fork Roasting Company Coffee With A Personalized Note | Image Courtesy Of Jessica Dunne And Jennilee Morris
Love Lane Kitchen is a North Fork staple, and understandably so; it serves great food in a warm atmosphere, located on one of the most charming streets in Eastern Long Island. In the winter, they offer monthly cooking classes taught their ‘spacious and bright kitchen.’ With Love Lane Kitchen’s laid-back atmosphere and commitment to using as many local ingredients as possible, these classes are sure to be entertaining and delicious. Their classes are priced at $55 per session and are certain to sell out, so if you would like to participate, make sure you call and reserve your spot.

Grab A Cup Of Coffee At North Fork Roasting Company

If you’re craving a hot cup of coffee this winter, make your way over to Southold’s North Fork Roasting Company. The owners, Jessica Dunne and Jennilee Morris, are two locals passionate about the food and coffee business. Stop in for a coffee, tea, or for homemade baked goods (Jessica also owns local small business Ginger Goods). The shop’s central location makes it a perfect place to stop by for a quick coffee. The shop is furnished with comfortable couches and a fireplace, so you may end up forgoing the pit-stop idea and wind up spending a cozy afternoon inside.

Music And Beer At Greenport Brewery | © Madison Fender

Listen To Live Music At Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. In Peconic

Brasserie, American
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Although the North Fork is known for its wine scene, there are also some local (and indoor) breweries that really know what they’re doing. One of the best local breweries is the Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., which has two tasting rooms: its original location on Carpenter Street in Greenport and its newer, larger location on Main Road in Peconic. During the winter, the Peconic tasting room hosts regular weekend performances by local musicians. While you enjoy the live music, sip on a pint of one of their 12 delicious beers on tap, including their winter beer, ‘Antifreeze.’ Keep up with their Facebook page to know when events are taking place.

Brunch At aMano

Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Sparking Pointe In The Snow
Sparking Pointe In The Snow | © Billy Dratel 2015
If you’re craving a delicious and hearty weekend brunch, look no further than aMano. This Mattituck restaurant has prepared a prix fixe menu where you can pair a cocktail, glass of wine or non-alcoholic beverage with one of seven Italian-inspired dishes such as panettone French toast and smoked duck carbonara, for under $20. For those who would rather visit the delicious Italian eatery for dinner, there are plenty of seasonal specials, including half-priced pizzas on Thursday nights and ‘Wine Down Wednesday’, where all bottles on their extensive wine list are half-priced.

Sample Cupcakes, Cheese And Sparkling Wine At Sparkling Pointe

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Fresh Invincible Summer Farms Heirloom Carrots And Beets
Fresh Invincible Summer Farms Heirloom Carrots And Beets | Image Courtesy Of Holly Browder
Southold’s Sparkling Pointe winery stays very active during the winter months. There are a variety of events to enjoy at the winery, including cupcake and wine pairings on Valentine’s Day weekend, wine and cheese tastings on Saturdays in March and ‘Live on the Vine’ music and wine on Sunday afternoons from late February through March. Call the winery to reserve your spots for any of these events. Although you can purchase tickets at the door for ‘Live on the Vine’, if you make advanced reservations you can get a great deal on admission, which also includes a cheese plate and reserved seating.

Wander The Riverhead Farmer’s Market

Market, American
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Wine at Shinn Vineyard
Wine at Shinn Vineyard | © Peter Bond/Flickr
The Riverhead Farmer’s Market, a North Fork summer staple, has taken up residence at an indoor location for the winter and spring. This market focuses on catering to local vendors and small businesses that work with a range of great products, including Invisible Summer Farm’s heirloom tomato seeds, poultry and eggs from Browder’s Birds and yarn from the Long Island Livestock Company. Since there is so much to try and buy at this market, be sure to carve out a good chunk of time to spend here.

Eat, Drink And Explore At Shinn Vineyard

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Custer Observatory With A Starry Backdrop
Custer Observatory With A Starry Backdrop | © Tony Hoffman/Flickr
Drive over to one of the North Fork’s best wineries to participate in one (or more) of the many great activities they offer. In addition to their beautiful, rustic tasting room being open seven days per week, Shinn Vinyard also offers professional and self-guided tours of the grounds, as well as winery and barrel cellar tours. Special events have included palm readings, tastings and dinners, where guests can sample various wines and cheeses.

See The Stars At The Custer Observatory

If you’re looking for a relaxed and enlightening night out, head over to The Custer Institute in Southold. Established in 1927, Custer is the oldest observatory on Long Island and is nestled in the residential area of Southold with low light pollution, so the visibility of the night sky is excellent. If you are just looking to stargaze, they are open from dusk until midnight every Saturday during the winter (weather permitting). They also hold also events at the observatory, including a Starlight Cabaret on Valentine’s Day and a St. Patrick’s Day Dinner. For more details, call the observatory or check out the events page on their website.