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Get to know Orient

First called Poquatuck and then Oysterponds, Orient owes its proud bivalve bounty to the grassy tidal creek that empties into its sandy harbor. Orient is singularly stunning at the end of the North Fork, ready-made for a postcard wishing you were here. A rich representation of Cape Cod-style homes in its historic district nod to the hamlet’s New England vicinity — New London, Connecticut, is easily accessible via ferry. Two beloved lighthouses watch over the calm Orient waters: The stout, striped Orient Point Light, or “Coffee Pot,” sits out in the Long Island Sound, while the diminutive Orient Long Beach Bar Light, or “Bug Light,” is down in Gardiners Bay. Meanwhile, from those same waters, restaurants serve signature shellfish specialties such as clams, mussels, shrimp, and the hamlet’s famed oysters.

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Living on the North Fork

As far as descriptive names go, it doesn’t get much more straightforward than the North Fork of Long Island. See where Long Island splits at Riverhead? Well, the North Fork is the piece to the north. Perceived as the more reserved sibling of the East End’s twin tines, the North Fork is no less enticing than the Hamptons — it’s just a different speed. Up here, there's a bonafide viticultural culture. Vineyards number in the dozens, thriving in the maritime climate. Long Island’s agricultural ancestry carries through to the present, as local growers sell produce, flowers, cheese, and other wares at farmstands throughout the area. It all — plus proximity to Connecticut and Rhode Island (bridged by the Cross Sound Ferry) — amounts to a vibe that hews closer to New England than it does New York. The North Fork can be an escape to another world, despite being under 100 miles away from where you departed.