The North Fork may not have the notoriety of the Hamptons, but its pristine beaches, unsullied farmland, fabulous food and viticulture are everything that drew tourists to the East End in the first place. Just drive around and you’ll find plenty of beautiful and fun stops along the way, but if you’re looking for something specific, here are five select events and ideas to get your Memorial Day weekend on the right track.
Friday, May 24
Go Bird Watching
Bring your binoculars to the Downs Farm Preserve in Cutchogue for the spring bird migration. This will be an awesome event for the experienced birdwatcher or the eager neophyte. Catch a glimpse of a colorful assortment of grosbeaks, tanagers and warblers, among other indigenous species. Contact AaronVirgin at 631-765-6450 ext. 218 or email him at email@example.com for more information.
Saturday, May 25
Visit a Local Vineyard
Join your friends on the patio at the Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard in Peconic for a glass of red, white or rosé while listening to some live music outdoors. This mellow moment begins Saturday, May 25 from 1–5 p.m. Located at 1375 Peconic Lane, this is a great way to get the weekend started. Also try Jason’s Vineyard (1785 Main Road) in Jamesport where George Barry will play acoustic guitar and sing songs by The Beatles, Eagles, Bon Jovi and The Lumineers. He’ll be performing from 1-5 p.m. All are welcome at this free event.
Sunday, May 26
17th Annual Community Mosaic Street Painting Festival
Organized by the East End Arts organization and sponsored by Bridgehampton National Bank, this all-day event is a Memorial Day tradition in Riverhead and a celebration of the arts where participants engage in street chalk drawing and fun for the whole family. Enjoy live music, a fine arts & crafts fair, gourmet food trucks and lots of children’s activities. Admission is free and all artists and art lovers are welcome to join the action, along the Peconic River and on the grounds of East End Arts. Rain date is Monday, May 27, 2-5 p.m. Check out eastendarts.org for all the details.
Music at the Suffolk Theater
Hear Who Are Those Guys, a rock and roll and blues inspired group, in historic downtown Riverhead’s crown jewel, the Suffolk Theater. Playing original tunes together for over 25 years, band members include Marty Attridge (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Doug Attridge (guitar, vocals), Jim Gorman (bass, vocals), Tom Daly (drums), Pat Petrosini (percussion, drums, vocals) and Lindsay Reeve (harmonica, concertina, vocals). This rockin’ show is not to be missed. Tickets cost $20. Visit suffolktheater.com for more information and other Memorial Day weekend shows, such as Beginnings, playing the rock music of Chicago at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night, May 24.
Eat Up the East End
Try one of the North Fork’s many new and exciting dining spots. Step away from the Memorial Day barbecues you’ll ultimately be hosting and allow someone else to cook you a meal. Greenport is exploding with new culinary additions, perhaps most notably Chef Keith Luce’s culinary takeover of the former North Fork Oyster Company and historic Sterling Square. This culinary village features Main Restaurant & Oyster Bar (300 Main Street), the Nosh bakery, Prep flatbread shop and the Meat tasting room and shop on Main Street. The Square will often be filled with the sounds of live music, adding a soundtrack as you walk from one fine spot to the next.
Click here for a roundup of all the latest changes to the North Fork foodie landscape.