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Orient (Point)

Orient (Point)
If you hear people mention Orient and Orient Point interchangeably, they haven't been to these two hamlets. Both places share long histories as whaling, fishing, and farming communities.

But what gives you butterflies when you enter Orient by the causeway is its heart-stopping view of the Long Island Sound and Gardiner's Bay. Look out farther and you can see the Orient Beach State Park, a barrier island that is a summer playground of infinite pleasures. But the real out-of-this-world experience is after the first hard freeze: the saltwater cove of Hallock's Bay turns into a winter palace for ice boaters, who raise their masts and glide with the wind in silence and speed.

Living in Orient and Orient Point

You’ll hear the terms Orient and Orient Point both used for the peninsula right at the end of Long Island’s North Fork—a last promontory before the land finally gives way to the open waters beyond. Orient is the small hamlet on the western edge, a cluster of characterful historic houses; remote Orient Point refers to the scattering of buildings and the landing point for the Cross Sound Ferry right at the point furthest east. Between them the Main Road, Route 25, passes by only a few farmhouses. This peninsula, connected to East Marion and the rest of North Fork by a narrow causeway, is a bucolic and remote landscape of farms, marshes and beaches. The highlight is the beautiful barrier island Orient Beach State Park, a spectacular wildlife refuge.

Orient and Orient Point history  

The peninsula has a long history of whaling, fishing, and farming. It was once home to an Algonquian Indian community. European settlers arrived in the 17th century. The original name given to this spot was Oysterponds—a name you still hear among some locals—thanks to the abundant shellfish in the waters here. In 1774 the spit of land that is now called Orient Beach State Park was designated common land.

During the American Revolution, British vessels were staged here, and they used it as a base from which to launch attacks on Connecticut. Early on, George Washington sent a raiding party to Plum Island, just beyond Orient Point; the British troops were routed and fled. The British Navy returned during the War of 1812 to blockade the bay.

The name Orient was adopted in 1836, a reference to its position at the easternmost point of Long Island, and during the 19th century the community grew. This is the period from which many of the hamlet’s old houses date, now collectively recognized as “Orient Historic District.” Styles range from Cape Cod cottages to ornate framed Victorians, and the overall effect is charming and harmonious—a character the hamlet has preserved to this day.

Orient and Orient Point things to do

Orient Beach State Park, a long spit of land that shelters the southern edge of Orient peninsula, runs for 45,000 feet along the top of Gardiners Bay. It was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1980. The landscape includes rare maritime forest, salt marsh and beaches, and is a wonderful spot for bird-watching.

For families, the peaceful location and plentiful activities are the main draw. Kayaking, windsurfing, and stand-up paddle boarding are all popular, while for inland activities you can hike, bike or follow one of the nature trails. There are a couple of excellent sea-life themed playgrounds, and gentle waters for swimming and looking out for small sealife.

To discover something of Orient’s history, and find out about the hamlet’s fine historic architecture, visit the buildings preserved by the Oysterponds Historical Society. They maintain seven buildings, including the Old Schoolhouse, built in 1888, and the Village House built in 1798. Inside they show various exhibitions with numerous artefacts from the area’s history—their collection has over 70,000 items.

Orient and Orient Point restaurants  

Family-owned Orient by the Sea Marina sits in a superb location just near the Cross Sound Ferry and with views out on the bay. As well as renting a boat and setting out on the waters from the marina, you can also enjoy their wonderful seafood restaurant. Its menu is, naturally enough, is strong on fish dishes, from shrimps, clams, and mussels served with linguine to fresh lobster, accompanied by tasty cocktails. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy a drink or dinner while watching the boats go to and fro in the harbor.

Orient and Orient Point shopping

Epitomizing the quaint, historic charm of Orient village is the Old Orchard Farm Store, right in the center on Village Lane. Don’t let the name deceive you; this isn’t where you come for fresh eggs and apples. It’s an antiques and art store, with a delightful collection of gifts and local artworks for sale. They work with artists and craftspeople to bring to Orient a wide selection of furniture, sculpture, and other artefacts, including some unique items for the home.

Orient boasts a pair of specialty shops that are pure temptation for the sweet-toothed. The old-fashioned Candyman store has been owned by the Heins family for four generations. Their chocolates and candies are homemade with high-quality ingredients, and range from truffles and creams to chocolate-covered fruit. In the center of the village, tiny Four & Twenty Blackbirds, as the name implies, is a favorite for its pies. Flavors include delicious fresh blueberry streusel, salted caramel apple pie, and bittersweet chocolate pecan.

Orient and Orient Point real estate  

In Orient Village, at the west end of the peninsula, there are properties dating from the village’s heyday of building in the 19th century, when a rich variety of styles were adopted. Craftsman-style Cape Cod cottages sit alongside grander adaptations of 19th-century aesthetics with turreted roofs and intricate carvings. For summer rental properties, these provide plenty of character and views over Orient Harbor. Typical Orient Point houses include farmhouses dating from the 1890s, which often offer outhouses, private vineyards, and acres of space.

In the remoter corners of the peninsula, large plots of land provide perfect seclusion and idyllic waterfront living. Secluded beaches and breathtaking views are some of the biggest draws, with large villas offering space and privacy. Living at this end of the peninsula mean you’re closer to the the Cross Sound Ferry to Long Island and New York, while still remaining near the amenities of North Fork.

If you hear people mention Orient and Orient Point interchangeably, they haven't been to these two hamlets. Both places share long histories as whaling, fishing, and farming communities.
But what gives you butterflies when you enter Orient by the causeway is its heart-stopping view of the Long Island Sound and Gardiner's Bay. Look out farther and you can see the Orient Beach State Park, a barrier island that is a summer playground of infinite pleasures. But the real out-of-this-world experience is after the first hard freeze: the saltwater cove of Hallock's Bay turns into a winter palace for ice boaters, who raise their masts and glide with the wind in silence and speed.

Living in Orient and Orient Point

You’ll hear the terms Orient and Orient Point both used for the peninsula right at the end of Long Island’s North Fork—a last promontory before the land finally gives way to the open waters beyond. Orient is the small hamlet on the western edge, a cluster of characterful historic houses; remote Orient Point refers to the scattering of buildings and the landing point for the Cross Sound Ferry right at the point furthest east. Between them the Main Road, Route 25, passes by only a few farmhouses. This peninsula, connected to East Marion and the rest of North Fork by a narrow causeway, is a bucolic and remote landscape of farms, marshes and beaches. The highlight is the beautiful barrier island Orient Beach State Park, a spectacular wildlife refuge.

Orient and Orient Point history  

The peninsula has a long history of whaling, fishing, and farming. It was once home to an Algonquian Indian community. European settlers arrived in the 17th century. The original name given to this spot was Oysterponds—a name you still hear among some locals—thanks to the abundant shellfish in the waters here. In 1774 the spit of land that is now called Orient Beach State Park was designated common land.

During the American Revolution, British vessels were staged here, and they used it as a base from which to launch attacks on Connecticut. Early on, George Washington sent a raiding party to Plum Island, just beyond Orient Point; the British troops were routed and fled. The British Navy returned during the War of 1812 to blockade the bay.

The name Orient was adopted in 1836, a reference to its position at the easternmost point of Long Island, and during the 19th century the community grew. This is the period from which many of the hamlet’s old houses date, now collectively recognized as “Orient Historic District.” Styles range from Cape Cod cottages to ornate framed Victorians, and the overall effect is charming and harmonious—a character the hamlet has preserved to this day.

Orient and Orient Point things to do

Orient Beach State Park, a long spit of land that shelters the southern edge of Orient peninsula, runs for 45,000 feet along the top of Gardiners Bay. It was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1980. The landscape includes rare maritime forest, salt marsh and beaches, and is a wonderful spot for bird-watching.

For families, the peaceful location and plentiful activities are the main draw. Kayaking, windsurfing, and stand-up paddle boarding are all popular, while for inland activities you can hike, bike or follow one of the nature trails. There are a couple of excellent sea-life themed playgrounds, and gentle waters for swimming and looking out for small sealife.

To discover something of Orient’s history, and find out about the hamlet’s fine historic architecture, visit the buildings preserved by the Oysterponds Historical Society. They maintain seven buildings, including the Old Schoolhouse, built in 1888, and the Village House built in 1798. Inside they show various exhibitions with numerous artefacts from the area’s history—their collection has over 70,000 items.

Orient and Orient Point restaurants  

Family-owned Orient by the Sea Marina sits in a superb location just near the Cross Sound Ferry and with views out on the bay. As well as renting a boat and setting out on the waters from the marina, you can also enjoy their wonderful seafood restaurant. Its menu is, naturally enough, is strong on fish dishes, from shrimps, clams, and mussels served with linguine to fresh lobster, accompanied by tasty cocktails. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy a drink or dinner while watching the boats go to and fro in the harbor.

Orient and Orient Point shopping

Epitomizing the quaint, historic charm of Orient village is the Old Orchard Farm Store, right in the center on Village Lane. Don’t let the name deceive you; this isn’t where you come for fresh eggs and apples. It’s an antiques and art store, with a delightful collection of gifts and local artworks for sale. They work with artists and craftspeople to bring to Orient a wide selection of furniture, sculpture, and other artefacts, including some unique items for the home.

Orient boasts a pair of specialty shops that are pure temptation for the sweet-toothed. The old-fashioned Candyman store has been owned by the Heins family for four generations. Their chocolates and candies are homemade with high-quality ingredients, and range from truffles and creams to chocolate-covered fruit. In the center of the village, tiny Four & Twenty Blackbirds, as the name implies, is a favorite for its pies. Flavors include delicious fresh blueberry streusel, salted caramel apple pie, and bittersweet chocolate pecan.

Orient and Orient Point real estate  

In Orient Village, at the west end of the peninsula, there are properties dating from the village’s heyday of building in the 19th century, when a rich variety of styles were adopted. Craftsman-style Cape Cod cottages sit alongside grander adaptations of 19th-century aesthetics with turreted roofs and intricate carvings. For summer rental properties, these provide plenty of character and views over Orient Harbor. Typical Orient Point houses include farmhouses dating from the 1890s, which often offer outhouses, private vineyards, and acres of space.

In the remoter corners of the peninsula, large plots of land provide perfect seclusion and idyllic waterfront living. Secluded beaches and breathtaking views are some of the biggest draws, with large villas offering space and privacy. Living at this end of the peninsula mean you’re closer to the the Cross Sound Ferry to Long Island and New York, while still remaining near the amenities of North Fork.

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