Just north of all of the glitz, glamor, and Jitney- and Range Rover-packed traffic of the Hamptons is the North Fork—a series of old fishing and farming villages along the Long Island Sound and Peconic Bay.
Locals like to call it the “Un-Hamptons” thanks to its more laid-back feel, but it’s just as gorgeous as its trendier southern counterpart. In fact, Forbes Magazine just named one of its towns, Greenport, one of the prettiest in America.
And while the beautiful beaches and sprawling vineyards are quieter than in Sag Harbor or Montauk, the area is far from lacking when it comes to healthy homegrown hotspots, from cutting-edge yoga and fitness studios to organic farm stands and as-fresh-as-it-gets seafood shacks. Did we mention biodynamic wine?
Here are nine must-visit spots on the North Fork if you feel like cheating on the Hamptons before August is out. Just be careful—you may fall in love.—Meghan Rabbitt
(Photo: Sang Lee Farms)
Don’t believe the cycling classes at Tola Body are every bit as high-energy and effective as your beloved SoulCycle or Flywheel sessions in the city? Let your heart rate monitor, which will be handed to you as you check into class, be the judge. Two TV screens at the front of the spin studio display your stats during class, and you can count on owner-instructor Kerri Butler to inspire you to work harder if you’re slacking. Bonus: The studio also offers TRX, kettlebell, kickboxing, and yoga classes. 320 Love Lane, Mattituck, www.tolabody.com
(Photo: Tola Body)
You’ll encounter countless farm stands once you exit the Long Island Expressway, but Sang Lee Farms is one of the few USDA-certified organic options. And in addition to gorgeous produce, it offers yoga on the farm (Thursday at 8:00 a.m. and Saturday at 9:00 a.m.) and farm camp for kids. Plus, bring your own bag and you’ll get to choose one free vegetable out of the “bonus box” on your way out. 25180 Middle Rd, Peconic, www.sangleefarms.com
(Photo: Sang Lee Farms)
This little shack was built as the wheelhouse of a whaling ship, served as a bait and tackle shop for local fisherman, and then sat mostly empty in recent years. Until a couple months ago, when the owners of Little Creek Oyster Farm, who’ve been selling their local oysters to restaurants and fish markets for years, wanted to create a direct-to-customer experience. Order a bucket of local (happiness-boosting) oysters, grab a shucking kit, and hit the picnic tables to SYOO—Shuck Your Own Oysters. Don’t worry, they’ll teach you how. 37 Front St., Greenport, www.northforkoysters.com
(Photo: Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market)
Operating out of a converted 125-year-old barn that husband-and-wife-team Barbara Shinn and David Page purchased in 1998, this sustainable winery is one of the North Fork’s only wine producers using biodynamic viticulture. And the vineyard’s wind turbines and solar panels produce enough energy to run the entire operation. Sign up for a vineyard walk with Shinn (held Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m.) to learn about her holistic farming vision, then take a winery and barrel tour with Page at 2:30. Tours are $20 each ($30 if you do both) and include a flight of estate-grown wines. 2000 Oregon Rd., Mattituck, www.shinnestatevineyards.com
(Photo: Shinn Estate Vineyards)
Kripalu-trained yoga teacher Claire Copersino, a British transplant who has taught her “eclectic flow” yoga classes on the North Fork for more than 15 years, opened her new studio in an old Masonic temple building in Greenport Village. The space feels steeped in local history, which is perfect for the ancient practice of yoga, and Copersino leads a vigorous 90-minute class every day of the week, with thoughtful sequences and accurate hands-on adjustments. You’ll walk in feeling tight from your journey east and walk out feeling like you’ve just had a full-body (Zen-inducing) massage. 430 Main St, Greenport, www.northforkyogashala.com
(Photo: North Fork Yoga Shala)
As if the name isn’t endearing enough, this cozy café will quickly become your go-to breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot. Start your day with a fair-trade coffee or organic cold-pressed juice; order a quinoa or lentil salad to-go before you head to the beach; come back for dinner to try the local greens, grass-fed beef burger, or one of the many healthy, vegetarian-friendly options. 240 Love Ln, Mattituck, www.lovelanekitchen.com
(Photo: Love Lane Kitchen)
A few years ago, Brooklyn transplants Erin Fitzpatrick and Lucy Muellner transformed East Marion’s old general store into the kind of deli that appeals to almost everyone. You’ll find the local workforce here at sunrise, ordering coffee and breakfast sandwiches, as well as weekenders picking up picnics-to-go packed with raw kale salads. The duo also transformed an old barn on the property into a distribution center for a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, for even more access to fresh, local produce. 8955 Main Rd, East Marion, www.forkandanchor.com
(Photo: Fork & Anchor)
This yoga studio-juice bar combo has vinyasa, meditation, and restorative classes for all levels on its schedule. After class, order a juice made using biodynamic fruits and veggies grown just down the road or a delicious, healthy hummus wrap or tuna melt. Want to cook at home? They’ve also got organic grains, condiments, and other forward-thinking ingredients you won’t find at the farm stands or conventional grocery stores in the area. 56215 Main Rd, Southold, www.givingroom.net
(Photo: The Giving Room)
This Icelandic sheep farm—yes, you read that right—is the brainchild of Tom Geppel and his wife, Carol Festa, who actually did what the rest of the world fantasized about after seeing the movie Food, Inc.: They bought a farm. Now, they’re raising sheep for wool, meat, and milk, in case you’re knitting a sweater or want to pick up some all-natural, handmade sheep’s milk soap. They also sell organic, free-range eggs laid by their flock of chickens and fresh produce. 4735 Cox Lane, Cutchogue, www.facebook.com/8HandsFarm
(Photo: 8 Hands Farm)