Visiting new places, enjoying time with the family, and eating delicious homecooked cuisine.
While I'm sure you've heard of the Hamptons and Montauk in New York, there's a quaint area set apart from all that busyness called Hampton Bays. It's located within 25 minutes of Long Island Wine Country a.k.a. North Fork, and it's well worth booking a visit. Known as where "beach life meets wine country," North Fork is a 30-mile stretch of roadside stands, farms, and wineries. We had planned for a summer weekend away visiting Dave's sisters, niece and nephew, and stepmom, Val. My sister-in-law, Missy, has a beautifully decorated coastal home in Hampton Bays with a newly finished pool, hot tub, and plenty of wine in the house...so we were all set. She was a gracious and generous host who went out of her way to make us all feel completely comfortable. Her thoughtful menu included grilled fish, fresh salads, and delicious home cooked quiche for breakfast. #family #familygettogether #beachdestination
Lot of water fun at Aunt Missy's house and pool toys for the kids to have fun with.
I adored the area and all that it offered. We fit in as much as we could in the short weekend - beach, pool, eating out, and vineyards - and the area really blew me away. Our ferry tix (car included) were from New London to Orient Point, did not break the bank, and the ride was relaxing. The boat offers comfy seating, a nice WW2 history lesson on the interior walls of the ship, and adequate snack food for purchase. Once you get off the ferry in Orient Bay, you'll drive by Greenport and Southold. I had no idea what we were in for when we arrived, but I fell in love with the coziness of Geenport Village immediately...cute boutiques and eateries. We had breakfast at Bruce and Sons, http://bruceandsongreenport.com, and then made our way to Southold to visit my husband's vacation cottage from his childhood. After a little reminiscing there, we continued onto North Fork until we made our way to Missy's house in Hampton Bays. The vineyards along the way are beautiful, and there are many to select from. I had no idea this fabulousness existed; I've been missing out! this place screams, "Girls Weekend!"
Tiana Beach: (L) Our hostess Missy and Val (C) Lindsay with the cousins (R) Lindsay and Aden
Now...the thing is...a lot of people hear Hamptons, South Fork, and they think lives of the rich and famous...true story. And I guess it is. While The Hamptons is where you go to be seen, North Fork is where you go to see the scenery. Quite a difference. The ambience of Hampton Bays is that it's quiet, not overdeveloped, and has a down to earth vibe. I met some awesome people there...friendly and not pompous at all. We spent our day at Tiana Beach. It offers plenty of parking, nice size waves (while not being dangerous), lifeguards, changing rooms, and a concession for snacks, chairs, and umbrellas. Gorgeous Day surrounded by people we love. Can life get any better? With the ocean and easy parking only a five minute drive away from the house, this was a lovely beach choice. In general, there's enough going on in this location to keep the entire family engaged, and I imagine plenty is available on airbnb or vrbo. #mustvisit #familyvacation #ocean #beach #beachvacation #bestbeaches #bestNYbeaches #TianaBeach #LongIslandBeaches #northfork #southfork
Sandcastles, picture taking, and the hoola hoop, of course. (Center: Lindsay & Missy)
There are plenty of seaside restaurants to choose from in the area; we had dinner at a local favorite, Oaklands, https://www.oaklandsrestaurant.net/. We ordered seafood, sat outside, and enjoyed the view of the harbor, boats, and sunset. The food was delicious, and the atmosphere was fantastic. I would absolutely recommend eating here when in the area. #Oaklands #OaklandsRestaurant #seafood #sunset #goodfood #delish #goodeats #LongIslandDining #hamptonbaysdining #dinner #outdoordining
Oakland's Restaurant offers outdooor dining with magnificent sunset views.
Our last day started with fresh New York bagels. If you've tasted NY bagels...there is no need for me to explain. Simply Amazing...that's all. Although we did wake up to rain, that didn't stop anybody from playing in the pool and enjoying family time. After not seeing Lindsay and the kids for almost two years, the cousins got to spend quality time together making priceless memories. Fiona and Layla were inseparable almost instantaneously and after a short bit, Aden and Colby bonded, and they became fast buddies. It was pure joy and put smiles on all of our faces.
Making wonderful memories with the cousins
As our visit came to its end, and after many hugs and goodbyes, we planned on making a few quick stops before getting onboard the ferry. We went to Palmer Vineyards, https://www.palmervineyards.com/, for a tasting and purchase and then made our way to a local farm stand for fresh sweet corn. I think Dave bought about $80 worth of corn...he went a little crazy. But...a few days later...I can honestly tell you that all of the corn had been eaten. #truestory #delish #PalmerVineyards #winetasting #winesampling #farmstands #LongIslandFarmStands #Organic #buylocal #fresh
One of the many farmstands in Northfork
Palmer Vineyards (C) Fiona, Me, and Dave
Spending time with our family was well overdue, and we are very fortunate that Missy was able to accommodate all of us in her home. The most important thing I've realized during Covid is that..time is precious. It's really important to see and spend quality-time with the people you care about and love. Life changes quickly..time goes by so fast..and kids grow up in a flash. I am so appreciative of the family and love I have in my life. It truly is a blessing, and our visit was really something special. I cannot wait to make it back to my family and Hampton Bays again. #blessings #love