Danielle Douglass and Justin Cameron-Strange, both of San Francisco, Calif.,...

Danielle Douglass and Justin Cameron-Strange, both of San Francisco, Calif., walk the wide lawn toward the Long Island Sound at Kontokosta Winery in Greenport. Credit: Randee Daddona

The North Fork can fairly be called the down-to-earth “un-Hamptons,” a place to slow down and enjoy farmland vistas, salty air and small-town life. Flat country lanes dotted with produce stands and wine-tasting rooms beckon. In recent years, sophisticated restaurants, award-winning microbreweries, funky lodgings and quirky shops have cropped up, enlivening the scene. Here are some suggestions for staying, eating, drinking and exploring this quintessential Long Island destination.

WHERE TO STAY B&Bs, inns and more 

The 20-room Preston House in Riverhead includes the restored 1905 home...

The 20-room Preston House in Riverhead includes the restored 1905 home of Suffolk County Sheriff Henry Preston and a sparkling new addition. The lobby is decorated with original art. Credit: Randee Daddona

The Preston House & Hotel, Riverhead

This 20-room hotel takes advantage of Riverhead’s location as a pit stop on the way to the North Fork. The building includes the restored 1905 home of Suffolk County Sheriff Henry Preston and a sparkling new addition. The hotel has sleekly decorated rooms and suites that feature Scandinavian-style furnishings, king-size beds with luxury linens, Lavazza espresso machines and complimentary Wi-Fi. Rooms from $329 to $809 per night. 

INFO 428 E. Main St., Riverhead; 631-775-1500, theprestonhouseandhotel.com 

Aqua by American Beech overlooking Peconic Bay has luxury touches...

Aqua by American Beech overlooking Peconic Bay has luxury touches in its rooms and private water view decks. Credit: Randee Daddona

Aqua by American Beech, Aquebogue

This 18-room boutique hotel overlooking Peconic Bay has luxury touches: in-room espresso machines, Frette linens and bathrobes, minibars stocked with premium drinks and snacks. Private water-view decks lend romance. The stunning beach, outfitted with chaises, is the perfect place to relax with a bottle of wine. A garden with exotic plants, hammocks and a boccie court provides another stylish spot for recreation. Rooms start at $295 a night midweek in July. Two-night minimum weekends in July.

INFO 15 Bay Ave., Aquebogue; 631-722-3212, aquahotelbeachclub.com

Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast in Southold is a renovated 1897...

Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast in Southold is a renovated 1897 home with five guest rooms and well-tended  gardens. Credit: Randee Daddona

Shorecrest B&B, Southold

Innkeeper Marilyn Marks has filled her 1897-era home with collections of art and antiques. Five guest rooms, some with fireplaces and one with a Jacuzzi tub, are lavishly decorated too. Marks’ training as a landscape designer is evident in her formal gardens. The riotous floral display in front of the inn often stops those just driving by. There are two private beaches, one on Long Island Sound and another on Hashamomuck Pond. Rooms from $225 per night.

INFO 54300 County Rd. 48, Southold; 631-765-1570, shorecrestbedandbreakfast.com

Expect great views of Long Island Sound at the Sound...

Expect great views of Long Island Sound at the Sound View Greenport.  All 55 rooms and suites have a view of the water with a shared or private deck Credit: Sound View Greenport/Read McKendree

Sound View, Greenport

A vintage 1953 motor court has been transformed into a family-friendly, design-forward beach resort. All 55 rooms and suites have a view of the water with a shared or private deck. Rooms are decorated in pared-down nautical style, with cedar shiplap on the walls, floors made from recycled rubber and rich burgundy or navy bedding. An atmospheric piano bar is adjacent to the Halyard restaurant. Rooms start at $425 a night midweek in July (excluding holidays).

INFO 58775 Rte. 48, Greenport; 631-477-1910, soundviewgreenport.com 

The Orient Inn is a grand old house on the...

The Orient Inn is a grand old house on the eastern tip of the North Fork with beamed ceilings and pocket doors. The five period bedrooms have modern bathrooms. Credit: Randee Daddona

The Orient Inn, Orient

This grand old house on the easternmost end of the North Fork has beamed ceilings, handsome wood moldings, pocket doors and an impressive fireplace in the welcoming entry hall. Five rooms are old-fashioned but with renovated baths. Owner Joan Turturro, a French Culinary Institute grad, will provide dinners on request, for a group of six or more, as well as boxed lunches and picnic baskets to enjoy at the wineries. Rooms from $295 per night. In season there is a 2 night minimum stay on weekends.

INFO 25-500 Main Rd., Orient; 631-323-2300, orientinn-ny.com

WHERE TO SIP Wine tasting, tours with a view

With 40-some wineries welcoming visitors on the North Fork, you could spend days just making the rounds and sampling. For a complete guide, check out Newsday's online Winery Finder. If you only have time for a small taste, stop in at one of these exemplary vineyards:

A tour of explaining barrel aging and fermentation offered over...

A tour of explaining barrel aging and fermentation offered over the summer is one of the attractions of the Shinn Estate Vineyards and Farmhouse in Mattituck. There is also a tasting room and a bed-and-breakfast. Credit: Randee Daddona

Shinn Estate, Mattituck

If you are looking for a bite to eat and even a place to stay, head to Shinn Estate on one of the prettiest lanes on Long Island, Oregon Road. A shady patio and quaint tasting room provide tables for lingering over an award-winning bottle and a plate of charcuterie, and an attached B&B offers fresh rooms overlooking the vines.

INFO 2000 Oregon Rd., Mattituck; 631-804-0367, shinnestatevineyards.com

Castello di Borghese, a vineyard and winery in Cutchogue, is...

Castello di Borghese, a vineyard and winery in Cutchogue, is known as the North Fork's oldest winery and offers a tour that explains the region's winemaking history. Credit: Randee Daddona

Castello di Borghese, Cutchogue

Castello di Borghese, formerly Hargrave Vineyard, is the North Fork’s oldest winery, founded by Alex and Louisa Hargrave in 1973. Purchased by Ann Marie and Marco Borghese and renamed in 1999, it is now run by the Borgheses’ son, Giovanni. Take the Founder’s Tour ($65, reservations required) to get a sense of the region’s winemaking history and to sample reserve wines paired with artisanal cheeses.

INFO 17150 Rte. 48, Cutchogue; 631-734-5111, castellodiborghese.com

Kontokosta Winery's airy and light-filled tasting room features large windows...

Kontokosta Winery's airy and light-filled tasting room features large windows on two sides. The winery is located in Greenport. Oct .5, 2013) by Nicole Horton Credit: Nicole Horton

Kontokosta, Greenport

There’s not a more dramatically situated vineyard than Kontokosta, where an airy tasting room, patio, and a wide lawn with picnic tables overlook the Long Island Sound.

INFO 825 North Rd., Greenport; 631-477-6977, kontokostawinery.com

WHERE TO EAT From cheap eats to fine dining 

Since 1950, the Modern Snack Bar has been in Aquebogue...

Since 1950, the Modern Snack Bar has been in Aquebogue on Route 25. It retains its mid-20th century charms. Credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan

Modern Snack Bar, Aquebogue

Long before there were farm-to-table restaurants or wineries on the North Fork, there was the Modern Snack Bar, and little has changed since it opened in 1950. The décor — heavy on jauntily lettered signs — retains its mid-20th century charm, the waitresses are seasoned professionals and the menu features such throwbacks as sauerbraten, chicken potpie and meatloaf, along with excellent Long Island duckling, fried Peconic scallops and mashed turnips.

INFO 628 Main Rd. Aquebogue; 631-722-3655, modernsnackbar.com  

Patrons can eat outdoors at the Love Lane Kitchen on...

Patrons can eat outdoors at the Love Lane Kitchen on Love Lane in Mattituck. Credit: Randee Daddona

Love Lane Kitchen, Mattituck

Love Lane Kitchen is one of the North Fork's busiest restaurants, equally popular among locals and visitors. The breakfast menu features all the classics — pastries, eggs, granola, pancakes — made with care and creativity. At lunch, sandwiches take a global turn. The dinner menu is less casual; you might find homemade pasta, pan-seared red snapper or Moroccan-inspired Long Island duck tagine. Breakfast and lunch seven days a week. Dinner Thursday through Monday starting Memorial Day (Friday-Monday off season).

INFO 240 Love Lane, Mattituck; 631-298-8989, lovelanekitchen.com

Charlie Manwaring shows some of the merchandise offered in his Southold Fish...

Charlie Manwaring shows some of the merchandise offered in his Southold Fish Market, a seafood store and very informal restaurant. Credit: Randee Daddona

Southold Fish Market, Southold

Charlie Manwaring’s seafood market and very informal restaurant have practically achieved landmark status on the North Fork. The takeout business is more than brisk. But you may dine in leisurely, too, from a menu that could double as a calendar for whatever local seafood is running. He sends out a delectable warm lobster roll, a fried oyster wrap with bacon, fried clam strip PoBoy, grilled mahi mahi tacos, grilled shrimp tacos and seafood salad wraps. Dip a spoon into both the New England and Manhattan clam chowders. 

INFO 64755 Main Rd., Southold; 631-765-3200, facebook.com/southoldfishmarket      

The North Fork Table & Inn, in Southold, is described...

The North Fork Table & Inn, in Southold, is described as subtle, seasonal and superb with a balance of refinement and reverie in summery dining rooms. Credit: Randee Daddona

North Fork Table & Inn, Southold

Chef Brian Wilson succeeded Stephan Bogardus and the late Gerry Hayden at this lovely restaurant, and he has kept it the essential dining room between Riverhead and Orient. Subtle, seasonal and superb, it offers a balance of refinement and reverie, in summery dining rooms. His five-course tasting menu is a memorable affair. Wilson’s hits go from sea scallops floating on a heavenly splotch of pea and almond puree to gnocchi with crabmeat and hazelnuts. Claudia Fleming’s desserts — from her chocolate caramel tart, to warm sugar-and-spice doughnuts, to coconut tapioca with passion fruit sorbet, to a mocha-toffee sundae — are delectable.

INFO 57225 Main Rd., Southold; 631-765-0177, northforktableandinn.com

Claudio's Clam Bar, on the  Greenport waterfront, is part of a...

Claudio's Clam Bar, on the  Greenport waterfront, is part of a three-restaurant location that had been under one family for 148 years, until it was sold in early 2018. The other two are Crabby Jerry's and the traditional Claudio's. Credit: Randee Daddona

Claudio's, Greenport

Greenport's oldest restaurant, founded as Claudio's Tavern in 1870, was under the ownership of the same family for 148 years until it changed hands in 2018. The 2-acre waterfront parcel still includes two casual outdoor eateries, and the more formal Claudio's restaurant retains its vintage style. The traditional seafood menu has been imbued with some of-the-moment dishes, but the lobster roll and steamed lobster still star. North Fork oysters couldn't be any fresher.

INFO 111 Main St., Greenport; 631-477-0627, claudios.com

Bartender Stirling Smiley creates a drink behind the lively bar of...

Bartender Stirling Smiley creates a drink behind the lively bar of Greenport's Lucharitos, a rollicking taco and tequila bar  named for the colorful Mexican wrestlers known as luchadores Credit: Daniel Brennan

Lucharitos, Greenport

This rollicking taco and tequila bar is named for the colorful Mexican wrestlers known as luchadores. Their fearsome countenances adorn the walls while terrific tacos top the plates. Filled with meat, fish, shrimp or even mushrooms, they come cradled in soft-corn tortillas and topped with salsa verde, pickled radish, chopped onion and cilantro. Other menu items include grilled marinated flank steak with sautéed shrimp and veggies; nachos, wings, burritos and quesadillas.

INFO 119 Main St., Greenport; 631-477-6666, lucharitos.com 

WHAT TO DO Play, explore and learn 

Eat, drink and get your hands wet, a little, on...

Eat, drink and get your hands wet, a little, on a two-hour tour of the Southold Bay Oyster Farm in Southold. Credit: Southold Bay Oyster Farm

Southold Bay Oyster Farm, Southold

Take a two-hour tour of the Southold Bay Oyster Farm, which includes a look at the spawning process in the hatchery, a look at the oysters’ grow-out phase and a demonstration on the commercial dock of how market-size oysters are farmed. The tour concludes with a walk to the beach and a waterfront tasting of the farm’s signature Southold Shindig oysters paired with three local wines. $75 per person, advanced booking required.  

INFO 917-232-5152, southoldbayoysters.com

A restored 100-year-old carousel goes round and round with views...

A restored 100-year-old carousel goes round and round with views of Greenport Harbor. It has 18 antique hand-carved wooden horses and 12 cast aluminum horses from the 1930s.  Credit: Randee Daddona

Antique carousel, Greenport

A restored 100-year-old merry-go-round overlooks Greenport Harbor and is covered by a glass shelter for rainy days. Originally part of a traveling carnival, the carousel has 36 horses and 2 sleighs including 18 antique hand-carved wooden horses and 12 cast aluminum horses from the 1930s. At $2 a ride (and a free ride if you grab one of the brass rings), it’s a budget choice for treating your kids. Open weekends from Labor Day through Memorial Day, and every day in summer.

INFO Mitchell Park, Greenport; villageofgreenport.org/carousel-greenport-village.php

Take photos of yourself surrounded by 80,000 plants on 17...

Take photos of yourself surrounded by 80,000 plants on 17 acres of French lavender, which blooms the first two weeks of July, at Lavender by the Bay in East Marion. English lavender blooms in mid-June and again mid-September. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Lavender by the Bay, East Marion

This family-owned farm grows French and English lavender. There is a shop that offers seasonal fresh-cut lavender, dried lavender, lavender plants, artisanal body products and honey from the farm’s own hives. For a fee of $9 while the lavender is in bloom (and free when no blooms), you can enter the fields. Bring a camera to capture the unique spectacle of 80,000 plants on 17 acres. The English lavender blooms in mid-June and again mid-September; French lavender the first two weeks of July. Since it is up to mother-nature on the blooms, check the website or social media for updates. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Memorial Day through Labor Day; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends after Labor Day through October.

INFO 7540 Main Rd., 631-477-1019, East Marion; lavenderbythebay.com

Webb House is one of the Oysterponds Historical Society buildings...

Webb House is one of the Oysterponds Historical Society buildings in the heart of Orient that tell the story of the village through an collection of over 30,000 includes items ranging from Native American artifacts to farming and fishing tools.  Credit: Picasa

Oysterponds Historical Society, Orient

This grouping of historic buildings in the heart of Orient that tells the story of the village. Its extensive collection of over 30,000 includes items ranging from Native American artifacts to farming and fishing tools to whalebone objects. The Village House, formerly a boarding house for summer visitors, contains exhibition galleries. The school room of Old Point Schoolhouse, built in 1873, also houses changing exhibitions. Shows have included local portrait paintings, quilts, ceramics, baskets and ships models.

INFO 1555 Village Lane, Orient; 631-323-2480, oysterpondshistoricalsociety.org

WHERE TO SHOP Antiques and local treasures 

Owner Tom Geppel takes a moment with an Icelandic sheep on...

Owner Tom Geppel takes a moment with an Icelandic sheep on his 8 Hands Farm in Cutchogue where visitors can pick up skeins of wool or garments made with wool from the farm's sheep, or soap made from the farm's lard, along with grass-fed meat and pastured eggs.  Credit: Randee Daddona

8 Hands Farm, Cutchogue

Pick up skeins of wool or hand-knit scarf made with wool from the farm’s sheep, or soap made from the farm’s lard, along with grass-fed meat, a variety of produce grown without any chemicals and pastured eggs. There are also prepared foods and meals to take home made with chemical free fresh farm produce and pastured grass-fed meats. There’s a food truck out back for al fresco meals overlooking the fields, available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Hours open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday year round. (Check website or social media for up-to-date hours.)

INFO 4735 Cox Lane, Cutchogue; 631-494-6155, 8handsfarm.com

White Flower Farmhouse, in Peconic, is a place to shop...

White Flower Farmhouse, in Peconic, is a place to shop for antique farm-style household accessories.  Credit: Randee Daddona

White Flower Farmhouse, Southold

In the antique farmhouse find vintage linens and photos, local home crafted items, rugs, soaps and candles, mirrors and fresh cut flowers weekly. Antique furniture changes frequently at White Flower Farmhouse.

INFO 53995 Main Rd., Southold; 631-765-2353, facebook.com/whiteflowerfarmhouse/     

Designer Alex Vinash's Boutique is at American Beech in the...

Designer Alex Vinash's Boutique is at American Beech in the hotel lobby. Credit: Randee Daddona

The Boutique at American Beech, Greenport

When you’ve had enough of rustic and vintage, check out designer Alex Vinash’s boutique, which doubles as the reception area for the American Beech Hotel. You’ll find the designer’s whimsical fashions, including beaded sweaters, feather-trimmed T-shirts and fringed dresses, and startlingly reasonable prices.

INFO 300 Main St., Greenport; 631-477-6571, americanbeech.com

Antiques and artwork finds stand out at the Old Orchard...

Antiques and artwork finds stand out at the Old Orchard Farm Store in Orient.  Credit: Leslie and Bob Black

Old Orchard Farm Store, Orient

Orient-themed antiques and Peconic Bay Impressionist artwork stand out at the Old Orchard Farm Store. Choose from an impressive collection of artwork, vintage oyster plates and Long Island maps, or browse a case filled with sterling silver whale, sailboat and seashell pins. Special events: Bird and Barns of the North Fork, June 20 through July. Peconic Bay Impressionist and Vintage Long Island Art Show held in November. Hours open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

INFO 1240 Village Lane, Orient; 631-323-8083, oldorchardfarmstore.com

North Found & Co. in Peconic has an intriguing mix of...

North Found & Co. in Peconic has an intriguing mix of country antiques, textiles and household accessories for furnishing a home. Credit: Hadley Wiggins-Marin

North Found & Co., Peconic

Shop for an intriguing mix of country antiques, textiles and household accessories for furnishing a North Fork retreat. Open May 24 though November.

INFO 2845 Peconic Lane, Peconic; 631-765-8701, northfoundco.com