The Non-Hamptons

May 30, 2008
Outside Magazine

LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK - For discerning New Yorkers, the North Fork of Long Island has long provided a much more relaxing escape than the Botox-injected Hamptons side. But as word gets out that North Fork wineries like Bedell are rivaling their cousins in Napa, there is some concern among locals that things may not stay so quaint. My suggestion? Stay home and pretend to visit. A few things you could imagine and then brag about at the watercooler: sailing from Preston's dock, in Greenport, on a restored 1906 schooner while slurping down fresh oysters (day trips on the schooner Mary E, $38;; tromping through Shelter Island's vast nature preserve; kiteboarding Peconic Bay ($100 per hour with Island Riders;; bathing with locally made goat's-milk soap at the North Fork Table & Inn (doubles, $275;; or riding the 40-mile North Fork bikeway toward Orient Point beach with the sun and salt water on your face (daylong rentals, $28 at the Bike Stop, in Greenport; Your co-workers will be none the wiser, and I won't get in trouble for letting the secret out. Nearest airport: MacArthur Airport, 50 miles from Greenport.