Spend a few hours in scenic Greenport, and you're bound to feel like you've escaped to a coastal community in Rhode Island, Cape Cod or beyond. With plenty of boutiques for window-shopping, family-oriented activities and restaurants to boot, it's a pleasant place to wile away a breezy fall afternoon.
Head east on Route 25 (Main Road in Riverhead), but don't be in a rush - there's a lot to do along the 24-mile stretch to Greenport:
Stop off for a sample (or a glass, if you're not driving!) at any of the dozen or so wineries in Aquebogue, Cutchogue and Peconic.
Pick out fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers from local growers at farm stands along the way. Just-roasted sweet corn dunked in melted butter at Harbes Family Farms (Route 25, 631-722-2022) is $2.50 well spent.
Just before Greenport village, take a break to play a $6 round of miniature golf at Drossos Tick Tock (Route 25, 631-477-1339, drossosmotel.com ), where the retro-cool course sits alongside a snack and ice-cream shack.
Shelter Island: The North Ferry from Greenport to Shelter Island runs several times a day year-round. Same-day round-trip fare, with car, is $13. Additional passengers are $2 each way. Info at 631-749-0139; northferry.com .
Orient/Orient Point: Continue past Greenport and you'll reach the very tip of the North Fork. There are lots of maritime activities there - fishing, boating and the Cross Sound Ferry, which makes 90-minute trips to New London, Conn. One-way, with car, is $49.91; passengers are $15.19 each way. Info at 631-323-2525; liferries.com .
Harbor Pet 10 Front St. 631-477-1518
Gourmet dog treats, luxury beds, jewel-studded collars and other goodies await pampered pooches at this chichi pet boutique.
Arcade Department Store 14 Front St. 631-477-1440
It's fun to wander the aisles of this classic variety store, loaded with bedding, curtains, hardware, stationery, crafts, sewing supplies, candles, greeting cards, toys, housewares and more.
The Clearing House Southampton 419 Main St. 631-477-6262 theclearinghousesouthampton.com
Designer consignment furniture abounds at the North Fork outpost of the Hamptons original.
WHAT TO DO
Carousel: Take a ride ($2) on the restored vintage 1920s carousel in an open-air pavilion near the water at Mitchell Park - try your luck at grabbing the lucky brass ring, which rewards its grabber with a free ride. It runs weekends only through November.
Village Blacksmith Shop: Elsewhere in the park, poke your head into the Village Blacksmith Shop (weekends only, 631-477- 2100, eastendseaport.org ), and chances are good you'll see a real blacksmith at work making horseshoes. Take a walk on the dock through the marina, where tall ships have dropped anchor.
Railroad Museum: You can see the very end of the LIRR tracks on Fourth Street, where the Railroad Museum of Long Island (11 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends, $3-$5, rmli.org ) will give you a brief history of trains.
Art Galleries : Take a stroll through the village's many art galleries and workshops. Free Saturday evening gallery walks are scheduled 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 18, Nov. 15 and Dec. 20 with informational talks and refreshments supplied by local restaurants ( greenportgallerywalk.com ).
WHERE TO EAT
BBQ Bill's 47 Front St. 631-477-2658
Brings "famous Texas barbecue" to Greenport with ribs, pulled pork, chopped brisket of beef, barbecued chicken and sausage links, plus burgers and fried snacks.
Claudio's West Wharf 631-477-1889 claudios.com
Billed as the country's oldest same-family-owned eatery, Claudio's ever-expanding outpost includes a traditional sit-down restaurant, plus an open-air bar and grill perched on the dock's edge that remains open through late fall.
Scrimshaw 102 Main St. 631-477-8882 scrimshawrestaurant.com
Set in a tidy bungalow on Preston's Wharf, this classy restaurant offers a front-row seat to the waterside and warming gourmet soups, seafood and steaks.