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The North Fork of Long Island is one of my favorite places. (Do I say that a lot? I might do, but there are a bunch of places that I really love and can visit over and over again. They include Galway, Sonoma, Provincetown, Puerto Rico, and most definitely the North Fork.)

The North Fork is not just beautiful, with farmland and vineyards rolling down to the sea, but it offers an abundance of local food from land and sea, great shopping, and warm and welcoming people. Last week, I once again had the opportunity to hop aboard a Cross Sound Ferry in New London for a press trip to this magical little spit of land. The trip reminded me that the North Fork is a pretty easy getaway from Boston, especially on a weekday. Whether you drive or take Amtrak, getting to the ferry is easy and takes about an hour and forty minutes. A car ferry option is available, but this time around we took the car-free fast ferry and were met by Jo-Ann Perry from Vintage Tours, which is a great option if you don’t feel like driving around while visiting wineries.  Jo-Ann was absolutely fabulous to spend the day with, and you can learn about personalized North Fork winery tours here.

The second you leave the ferry parking lot in Orient Point, you are blessed with the most beautiful scenery, including the sea and wide open spaces. Our first stop was Sep’s Farm for a tour and tasting.

strawberries

 

rhubarb

 

Sep's Farm, North Fork

Sep’s Farm and farm stands around Long Island are favorites of locals and visitors and a must-stop for all of your local fruit and vegetable needs while visiting. The farm goes back five generations and is family-owned and operated. The produce on the farm stand was absolutely gorgeous and made me want to fill baskets to bring home as sides for a buttery lobster dinner.

carrots

sunflowers

radshes

After some time for photo ops at the farm stand, Eric, the son of the farm’s owner, showed us around the farm, including taking time to stop in the tool shed to view some of the historic farm photos and tools. This place could seriously be a farming museum and provides a great peek into the Sep’s Farm of years past.

Sep's Farm history

farm tools

horseshoe

Sep's Farm tunnels  Sep’s Farm is as much a part of the past as it is moving into the future, applying for and receiving grants that make them able to do an even better job at growing delicious local food. They recently received a grant that allowed them to build eight foot tall fences to keep out white tailed deer, which are plentiful on the North Fork and who like to eat the produce as much as we do. They also have been granted funds for these high tunnels, which allow them to start the growing season earlier, and funding for underground water mains, which save water and fuel and are also better for irrigating the crops as water at the roots rather than the leaves helps plants to avoid disease.

farm spread Before we headed out to the fields, we were treated to a beautiful spread put out by Eric’s mother Katie, which featured some prepared foods made by friend Robert Seaman for the farm, using the produce they grow. We sampled some to-die-for treats like pickled asparagus and zucchini pickles, along with a yummy homemade mustard, tomatoes and mozzarella, and mulled beets, all in agreement that these items are sure to be popular at the farm stand.

pickled asparagus I could eat these zucchini pickles all day and was thrilled to find a jar in the very generous gift bag we received at the end of the day.

zucchini pickles

tractor

I love tractors. If it wasn’t a press trip, I would have made sure to get a photo on it.

cadillac weeds

After our picnic, we went out into the fields to see what was growing, soaking up the summer sun and getting a little dusty as we explored and checked on the progress of the vegetables. The above flowers are just weeds, but I thought they were so pretty. Bees loved them too!

Below is a type of broccoli next to some kale. All of the vegetables were way ahead of my garden, and it made me wish I had started everything indoors much earlier. Planning for next year already!

broccoli

Sep's Farm

Our group absolutely loved visiting Sep’s Farm, and I could have and would have been happy to stay all day to work on the farm. The city girl in me has definitely taken a back seat to the country girl, and I feel like as I get older I’ll be craving experiences like this farm visit even more often.

Thanks for having us, Sep’s Farm!

Other posts on my past visits to the North Fork of Long Island:

Kontokosta Winery

Cross Sound Ferry to the North Fork

Harbes Farm

Touring and tasting at Bedell Cellars

Greenport, New York

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Tags: farms, farmstand, Long Island, North Fork, summer, Travel, travel blog

Do you make a summer bucket list? We’re working on ours lately and it involves lots of time outside and on the water, farm fresh produce, grilling, outdoor movies, concerts, and a lot more. It’s my favorite season by far. Being barefoot and salty makes me happy down to my soul. Unlike last summer where we traveled a ton, we only have one trip planned this summer. Otherwise I plan on soaking up the amazingness that New England dishes up in this season.

We kicked off summer as early as we could and despite some very rainy Sundays (Seriously, why has every Sunday been rainy? It’s my favorite boat day!) have some weekend favorites to share.

Scituate There’s so much to do and see near Boston. A few weeks ago we visited Scituate for a beach walk and brunch at Atlantica, which is fancy and a little pricey but totally incredible and great for a special occasion.

Atlantica A window seat, hot donut holes, and a fruit cocktail started brunch off perfectly.

donuts at brunch

A Blood Orange Old Fashioned. . . because it’s brunch!

blood orange old fashioned

Brunch at Atlantica is a giant buffet featuring all sorts of stations like prime rib, pasta, fish, omelets, salads, seafood, and a huge dessert table. I piled my plate high with grilled vegetables, shrimp, quiche, short ribs, bacon, and salad and ate every bite. It was heavenly.  Sometimes I steer clear of buffets because I assume the quality won’t be great, but that was not the case here. Everything was so good!  I decided I want to have brunch here again during one of my Chicago Marathon long run weekends so I can really try everything and not feel bad about it!

brunch at Atlantica

Lilly Pulitzer wine glasses

My sister got me these cute Lilly Pulitzer wine glasses; they’re plastic, making them perfect for boating! I plan to fill them with lots of pink wine this summer. While people have starting going bananas for rosé in recent years, we’ve been fans of dry rosé forever (one of my very first blog posts covers one of our favorites, from Travessia Urban Winery, right here in Massachusetts) way back when everyone thought White Zinfandel was the only rosé out there. We continue to find favorites; follow this space for tasting notes!

IMG_5548 Speaking of boating, we’ve been doing as much of it as we can. Saoirse is smaller than our last boat, making it easier for us to dock without help. As a result, we’ve had a few relaxing dates by boat, including one to Legal Harborside, a perfect place in Boston for sunning, sipping (and slurping) away a summer day.   

oysters Legal Harborside boating in Boston Getting outdoors has been a ton of fun, and we’ve been trying for more active evenings. Instead of just appetizers and cocktails, we add a walk in. Walking around Lower Mills in Dorchester is so pretty and gives us the ability to visit several bars and an ice cream shop all on foot. I love the small town feel of where we live and the access to water that we have so close by!

Milton Landing

I also love my garden. Having a yard so close to the city has been a game changer for me. My garden brings me so much joy and peace. The raspberries are on their way! Also planted: zucchini, acorn squash, hot peppers, tomatoes, string beans, arugula, peas, shallots, strawberries, and basil. Stepping outside into that space grounds me so much.

raspberries

Since we do live near so much green space, we finally bought a soccer ball to kick around. Neither of us are World Cup bound  anytime soon, but we get in some good exercise chasing each other around and dying laughing. It’s the perfect time of year to behave like a kid again, which is why soccer is followed by ice cream.

soccer in the park

We plan on lots of day trips from Boston to places like World’s End in Hingham, beaches in Ipswich, dockside dining in Portland, and so much more. What are your summer plans?

World's End

For some ideas on day trips from Boston, check out these posts:

Day Trip to New Bedford

Visiting Ipswich

Brunch and Beer in Newburyport

Wine and Beer Tasting in Southeast Massachusetts

Hingham and Cohasset

Spectacle Island

Chatham, Cape Cod

A Day Trip to Martha’s Vineyard (a little more difficult, but do-able!)

World’s End State Park

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Tags: Boston, brunch, New England, summer, Travel, travel blog, weekends

I dream of Puerto Rico around once a week since our trip to Luquillo and San Juan. Island time agreed with me, and the trip felt like truly getting away, which is really rare with me.

When planning, I asked around to friends who had traveled to Puerto Rico, and my friend Megan sent me the most amazing roundup of places to visit. La Estacion was one of the restaurants on the list, and once we read about it, we knew we had to make it part of our itinerary. On our outdoor adventure day, between our sailing trip to Icacos and our boat trip to the bioluminescent bay, we made sure we had time to visit La Estacion, which was conveniently close to both. It turned out to be the perfect plan , giving us just a little time after sailing to drive around and some time after dinner to grab a beer and walk  on the beach.

la estacion

As the name alludes to, La Estacion is on the site of an old gas station, which definitely gives for an interesting atmosphere. The cool space is sought-after. Definitely get a reservation if you can!

la estacion fajardo

They’re big on local ingredients, beautiful outdoor space, strong and yummy cocktails and a good time.

la estacion. fajardo

la estacion, fajardo

It was hot when we arrived for dinner, and while frozen drinks aren’t my normal choice, I enjoyed a piña colada or two while in Puerto Rico! Sipping on this slushy treat while smelling the smoky air and feeling the heat was just amazing. I love being hot.

 

 piña colada

In addition to putting a lot of time and care into food and beverage, La Estacion also has nice little touches throughout, including lots of beautiful flowers and accents, and great service.

flowers Since I was on vacation, I decided to go with the special grilled stuffed whole lobster, sweet potato fries, and coleslaw. How good does that look?!

I ate most of it and wanted to roll out of the restaurant. Buttery lobster with tropical flavors of the salsa made it just out of this world.

lobster

My husband went for the BBQ side of things with ribs and chicken and mac and cheese, also amazing. I am always glad that we love to share; here it allowed us to taste a little bit of both the seafood and BBQ food La Estacions is known for.

ribs

If you are headed to the Fajardo/Luquillo area in Puerto Rico, La Estacion is really a must-visit. From warm welcomes to delicious, satisfying cuisine, they have it all. It’s really quite the experience! We’re hoping to visit again next winter.

Until then, we’ll hope for summer weather in New England and dream of Puerto Rico sunsets. . . .

 

Puerto Rico beaches

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Tags: BBQ, Boston blogger, cocktails, Dining out, fajardo, Food, food blogger, lobster, Puerto Rico

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