World-Renowned Hamptons, the Beaches of Montauk and a Very Cool Craft Beverage Scene
Long Island may only be a short ride away from the bustling crowds of New York City, but it feels worlds away.
Once here, you’ll relax into a meandering pace that will take you through quaint seaside villages rich with fishing and maritime culture and along rural roads that wind through acres of farmland and vineyards. And you’ll also discover a fantastic craft beverage ‘trail’ populated by the efforts of local brewers, distillers and vintners and supported by the Long island Convention and Visitors Bureau. More info at LIBeverageTrail.com
Long Island Wine Country is studded with more than 30 wineries and 50 vineyards. Now a maturing wine region, its first vinifera varietals were planted in 1973 by Hargrave Winery, which planted cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc grapes. Today, more than 1.2 million visitors frequent the area’s cellars and tasting rooms, and the region’s vines produce more than 500,000 cases per year.
The area’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean makes it an ideal growing region, with moderating temperatures beneficial to the production of excellent wines. As such, Long Island’s growing conditions are similar to noted wine-producing regions in the north of France, such as Bordeaux and the Loire Valley.
The region’s wines have consistently earned plaudits from some of the industry’s best known critics—Wine Spectator, The New York Times and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate to name a few.
And with wineries too numerous to mention producing award-winning vintages, it’s easy to see why one glorious day is often not enough time to sample the region’s best chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon. A perfect way to end any day is by watching the sun set over neat rows of green while sipping a glass of Suffolk’s best.
Or if you prefer a good brew, Long Island’s craft beer makers run the gamut from small intimate tastings rooms to larger brands recently emerging on the national craft beverage scene.
Long Island also has its own distillery, LI Spirits, makers of LIV Vodka and bourbon. LIV incorporates locally sourced potatoes (once Long island’s staple crop before vineyards replaced potato fields), along with water sourced from an ancient underground aquifer.
Or if you lean a little sweeter, Long Island has cider mills using apples grown locally. Several varieties and blends are available incorporating local spices and flavorings.
Meanwhile, some of the county’s best fishing can be had in Suffolk County, but casting a line into the sea doesn’t require leaving land, because visitors can fish from any of the docks or from the beach. For more angling opportunities, head out on a party boat or on a charter boat from one of the county’s many marinas and enjoy calmer bay fishing; or book an exciting ocean charter to reel in the larger fins.
Without doubt, beaches and lighthouses will delight the whole family for hours on end, but Long Island’s has so much more to offer.
Visitors will find all sorts of food festivals and fairs, quaint antique shops, farm stands, music, crafts and theater. Shoppers will delight in the shops and boutiques that dot the quaint downtown villages. A tour through the Hamptons also shows its deep artistic and avant-garde history, with museums, galleries and regular cultural events.
Long Island embraces its farming past by promoting local produce. Visitors can slow down, take a step back and enjoy picking apples, pumpkins and berries together. The North Fork, in particular, offers fresh produce from local farm stands all along its country roads.
For more information on visiting Long Island or to order a free Travel Guide, visit DiscoverLongIsland.com/Taste