Greenport: The North Fork’s Vacation Destination

Greenport June 15, 2009 025

Marking its 175th anniversary as an incorporated village in 1838, Greenport, was settled in 1682, and was originally a major fishing and whaling port. Located near the easternmost tip of Long Island’s North Fork, Greenport borders Long Island Sound on the north and the Peconic Bay on the south. Attracting fishermen, tourists, beachgoers and boaters alike, Greenport is an historic seaside resort town.

Fishing is a commercial industry in Greenport. Captain Bob Hamilton, a commercial fisherman for the past 40 years, catches winter flounder, butterfish, porgies, squid, bluefish, and fluke from April to October in Gardiner’s Bay on his 1955, 60 ft. Stern Dragger “Miss Nancy.” He also goes rod and reel fishing for striped bass and bluefish during the season on his 24 ft. Privateer. Later in the fall, he goes bay scalloping in Peconic Bay. He sells his day’s catch to Southold Fish Market and Braun Seafood Co. in Cutchogue. As he says, “everyday is an adventure on the sea.”

Boating is a popular pastime in Greenport. You can board The Peconic Star Fleet and enjoy a day of fishing for fluke or porgies or go on an Orient Point fishing charter with Monty Man II Charters and catch some blackfish, fluke, sea bass or striped bass. Or go sailing on Greenport Harbor. On September 20-21, Sail Greenport hosts The Greenport Classic Yacht Regatta.

Greenport has fine dining, featuring local farm produce, fresh seafood, and superb wines from the North Fork. Enjoy a fabulous lunch at Bruce’s Cheese Emporium & Café on Main Street. Try some fresh oysters at the Frisky Oyster. Or dine at Noah’s, featuring local seafood with a flair. And of course there’s historic Claudio’s, named after the Portuguese whaler Manuel Claudio, who opened the restaurant in 1870 on Main Street. Famous for its lobster and seafood specials, it’s recognized “by the National Restaurant Association as the oldest, same family run restaurant in the United States.”

Stay at The Sound View Inn, a peaceful resort overlooking Long Island Sound. With a fantastic restaurant on the Sound you can enjoy spectacular sunsets while dining. Or relax at The Greenporter Hotel, a small hotel located in the Village of Greenport. Its retro 1950s setting includes all the modern conveniences, with a pool and restaurant, Cuvée Seafood & Grille. Browse at Simply Beautiful Boutique for women’s wear, or Blue Ruth, featuring gorgeous jewelry, and for some stylish hats and accessories visit Not Just Bows on Front Street. Enjoy scrumptious candy at Sweet Indulgences on Main Street. For art lovers, there are galleries galore in Greenport, a haven for local artists. View contemporary artists at The South Street Gallery, local artists at the Fiedler Gallery, and paintings by Long Island native Isabelle Haran-Leonardi at Nova Constellatio Gallery.

The Mitchell Park revitalization project was completed in 2007 under former Mayor David E. Kapell. It features the carousel, marina, amphitheater and ice-skating rink all fronting beautiful Greenport Harbor. The antique carousel built in 1920 is a fun ride for the kids. And enjoy Shakespeare in the Park, August 9-11.

Go on a Lighthouse Cruise August through October and visit the eight lighthouses surrounding Greenport. Bug Lighthouse located between Orient Harbor and Gardiner’s Bay, was first lit in 1871. Burned by vandals in 1963, it was beautifully restored in 1990 and now shines brightly. Or take a drive to Orient Point, the tip of the North Fork and enjoy the beaches, farmstands and views of Long Island Sound. You can take the Cross Sound Ferry to Connecticut. Or take the North Ferry from Greenport to Shelter Island.

From September 20-22, experience the 24th Annual Maritime Festival where tall ships come into the Harbor and wooden boats are on display in . Enjoy food and crafts at the street fair with a myriad of vendors. Listen to live music and sample delectable clam chowder at the chowder contest. Attracting over 40,000 people annually, it is an exciting festival for all.

The real estate market is booming in Greenport. Many second homebuyers, retirees, and young families are choosing Greenport for its laidback charm, fun activities, and seaside resort atmosphere. Come visit Greenport and make your stay here a vacation destination.

Ruth Thomas, a freelance writer on the East End enjoys history, music, literature, art, nature, the beach, and her cute dachshund, Clancy. She can be contacted at rhthomas@optimum.net

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