Long Island, New York offers diversity, glamour, the good life, excitement or solitude; all within 125 miles. Orientated to the water and shaped like a fish, the island lies next to Manhattan, with The North and South Forks making up the tail on the East End. JFK International Airport is close to the eye. 

When people talk about vacationing on Long Island, they are referring to the two forks. The South Fork is also known as The Hamptons, a glitzy summer playground for the rich and famous. By contrast, The North Fork is a small and enchanting spur of land populated with vegetable farms and orchards, historic clapboard cottages and vineyards. If you ask anyone for details of local celebrities, they won’t tell you and anyway, out here everyone is treated like family. Only 2 hours from Manhattan, yet a world apart, the east end of Long Island is one of the world’s very special places. 

One of the first areas to be settled by the Puritans, the North Fork is a pretty collection of tiny villages, steeped in history and artistic heritage, with miles of sandy bays and shingle beaches that are safe for swimming and sailing. Driving end to end takes less than an hour, and lifestyles here tend to be low-key. Wild shorelines can be found on the four-mile stretch of Orient State Park, where shells crunch loudly underfoot on hiking trails, and you can see endangered species such as osprey and piping plover. Greenport is a bustling seaport village, with waterfront bars and fine restaurants serving local seafood and farm produce. Its restored 1920s carousel, new marina, and harbor front is the area’s unofficial capital. From here, you can take boat trips or catch a ferry across to Shelter Island and the Hamptons on the South Shore. The area now boasts more than 30 vineyards, offering visitors to Long Island Wine Country the opportunity to sample world-class wine directly from producers, while enjoying beautiful scenery, comfortable accommodation, great food, and a wide range of sports. 

Gerald Taylor

I am a lifelong explorer and travel enthusiast. I've never been a certified travel agent, but I have multiple family members who were. I'm not necessarily plugged in to the latest travel vendors and exclusive packages, and I've never cared for the label "life coach," but I do think I have some wisdom to offer about how people can get the most of your their vacation time.

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