I have been living in Hawai‘i for 28 years now. But every summer, I head to the east end of Long Island. Summer on Long Island means long walks on white-sand beaches, family gatherings, rushing to get ice cream and watching the sunset overlooking the Long Island Sound. There are so many amazing spots, but my first stop is always Briermere Farms (briermere.com) on Sound Avenue to get the most amazing apple pie. Pies are made fresh daily with fruits from the farm. Next stop is Paumanok Vineyards (paumanok.com) for some delicious locally grown wines. (Paumanok is the Native American name for Long Island.) The business is a family affair—Charles and Ursula Massoud are close family friends and always steer us in the right direction with their critically acclaimed wines. Go in the late afternoon and sit on their lanai overlooking the vineyards for a tasting.
Our favorite days are spent on the water. Whether it is a clamming with cousins from their boats at our secret family spot or a day spent on the ocean in Quogue. The trip is never complete unless Cooper, my youngest son, gets to surf in Southampton with our good friend’s daughter, Paige. The ride is short but it’s always fun!
After long days at the beach, my absolute favorite spot is my parent’s backyard overlooking the pond where cousins, good friends and neighbors gather to eat grilled steak, fresh corn, drink local wines and share memories late into the night while the fire flies glow. Long Island is a wonderful place to grow up and a beautiful place to visit.
Another favorite stop is Star Confectionery (631-727-9873) for lunch. This spot has been here since my dad was little, and it’s a family tradition to have lunch and catch up with third-generation owner Anthony Meras. Here, the ice cream is homemade with plenty of flavors to choose from, but Oreo is arguably the best.
My mom and I love to take a long drive to the tip of the north shore. You will drive though old fishing towns with Native American names like Cutchogue and Mattituck. We head to Greenport an old whaling village. Shopping and restaurants now fill downtown. Lunch at Claudio’s Clam Bar (claudios.com) with a bucket of steamers is a must. You can also come by boat and tie up right at Claudio’s dock.
The best way to end the evening is a sunset dinner on the bay at Dock- er’s restaurant (dockerswaterside.com). Docker’s is located on the famous Dune Road overlooking Shinnecock Bay. It has live music, and the staff is incredible. The spectacular setting is hard to beat. Grab a bottle of “Summer in a Bottle” rosé from Wölffer Estate (wolffer.com) and enjoy the view. Don’t forget to leave room for their famous Moose pie.