Long Island: East End Exploring
Drive out to the East end of Long Island for a relaxing escape. This is your guide to the best coffee, wine and views of the North Fork.
Only have a few hours? No problem! You can cover all of these local stops in one day.
FIRST STOP: COFFEE
I’m not gonna to lie, I am definitely a Starbucks girl but this coffee shop will have you dying to come back for more! It may be the excitement of traveling out east or the fact that we don’t have one near me but either way, it is worth stopping at Hampton Coffee. There are a few locations on the east end, but only one on the North Fork. Be sure to check out the adorable chalkboard when you walk in, they always have something worth snapping a photo of. I would suggest anything blended! I am a plain and simple coffee girl but when I come here, I love to try something fun and seasonal! You’re going to want to stock up on some coffee to take home, trust me. I highly recommend the raspberry crumb cake as well. It’s my go-to treat at Hampton Coffee. In the warmer months, the garage style door is up and it becomes an outdoor coffee shop, they have picnic tables and games in the back to sip and play!
NEXT STOP: BUBBLES & BRIE
The east end of Long Island is filled with wineries and if you are indecisive like me, it could take hours to choose a vineyard to go to! If you like rosé, you need to go to Croteux. The gorgeous décor and unique furniture gives you all the vacation vibes. While it is an adorable date spot, I suggest going with the girls. This is definitely a spot that is filled with the smallest details from the boho décor to the layout of the wine tasting. You are going to want to capture everything on camera! We started with the full tasting, which might be affordable and delicious. Each tasting is so creatively displayed with the name of the wine written under the glass, so you have to look into the bottom of your cup to read it. They offer still and sparkling; I am definitely a HUGE fan of the sparkling! When we went, we were lucky to run into Mr. Croteux himself, as we were casually having a photo shoot with what we later found out was his daughter’s car. As you can see, it was the most adorable little buggy! After buying bottles of our favorite wines, we were off to check out their sister vineyard, Shinn Estate Vineyards. We immediately felt welcome here when we were waiting in line for the bathroom, and the owner offered to bring us in their home to use their own bathroom! It is not often you find such friendly people on Long Island. We were so taken back by this generous gesture. As you can expect, the house was GORGEOUS. We picked out some sparkling wines and headed out to the patch of grass filled with cozy cushions and picnic tables with a view of the vineyards. We indulged in the cheese board and bubbly. Although we didn’t stay here overnight, I can only imagine the luxurious accommodations that they offer here.
LAST STOP: SUNSET SOUND VIEWS
When it’s 90 degrees in the fall, it is just natural to crave the beach because you know it could be the last opportunity for months. Since we had the most gorgeous day, we made it a point to find water. You’d think we were trapped in the desert! As we sat in the car contemplating where to go, I pulled up my map and navigated which roads lead to a beach nearby. It is tricky on the north fork because there aren’t really ocean beaches and most of the sound beaches are private. Sure enough, we found a small little spot at the end of a neighborhood road. As we drove there, we thought there’s no way this will lead us to a beach but we were wrong! We came across the cutest little peaceful beach. It was a private spot so we hopped out to soak in the views and then we were back on the road. I highly recommend checking out this spot even if it’s for a few minutes. You only need 30 seconds to effectively feel gratitude and this is the perfect spot for a mindful moment. Fun fact, as a mindfulness fanatic, if you think about something you are grateful for, for 30 seconds you actually create a new neural pathway in your brain that leads to more happiness, but that is a conversation for another page! Do yourself a favor and soak in the moment at Ballie Beach District Park.