Greenport: A weekend away doesn’t have to be complicated!
By Donald Anthony
I wanted to “get out of town” for a change of environment, just to relax. I have heard of the town of Greenport in Long Island, with its B & B’s and Claudio’s Restaurant, but I wanted something a little fancier. I asked around for suggestions and found out that there was a buzz about a “new” hotel on the main street with the services and a central location that I wanted. In fact what I got was a relaxing mini-vacation. The Harborfront Inn at Greenport is almost at the eastern end of the North Fork of Long Island. Note the term “North Fork”. This is not the Hamptons! The Hamptons are on the South Fork of Long Island and have their own attractions, crowds and paparazzi. I wanted peace, quiet, good restaurants, no flashing cameras.
The Harborfront Inn
Going to Greenport by the Long Island Railroad or Hampton Jitney avoids the expense and hassle of cars, gas and driving, although Greenport does have easy access off the Long Island Expressway. The hotel is a short walk from the transportation hub, where both the Jitney and the LIRR stop. The town goes way back to the 1600’s but most of the housing stock appears to reflect a period from 1850 to 1900; some restored, some updated, but most are within the vintage seaport motif.
The North Fork Bed and Breakfast Association lists three Bed and Breakfasts in Greenport and The Harborfront Inn appears to be the only hotel. The hotel was opened in 2004 and still has the “new room” smell. It offers the typical hotel facilities, including meetings rooms, exercise rooms, outdoor swimming pool and it is an easy walk from the LIRR or Hampton Jitney stops. The hotel overlooks the Greenport Harbor and, since the ferry to Shelter Island is a short block away, it presents another opportunity for adventure.
The harbor is right outside the window.
The front desk staff was a wealth of information as to where to go eat and what to see. While busy at times, they were always available to offer a suggestion of what to do or even where to have dinner. Claudio’s Restaurant is a short walk away and is always a good choice for the variety of menu and the seafood fare. (Try the Lobster Bisque!) The location is perfect, the prices were reasonable and the service was attentive. Across the street from the hotel is Noah’s. We thought we’d give it a shot for dinner, but waited too long to go in and were shut out! The place was still crowded when we checked back in a couple of hours.
A short drive further east is Orient Point where there are high speed, and regular ferries, to Connecticut for a wide range of day trips by car or a boat/bus no drive combination ticket to Foxwoods Casino or Mohegan Sun.
For an additional adventure the Suffolk County Transit has a local bus route on Route 25 that goes right past the hotel, several of the local wineries and out to Orient Point Ferries. Check out was a breeze and although we left early to beat the traffic back to the city, we were not the first. I found out that there is an early direct run jitney bus to accommodate the Manhattan working crowd. Check the internet for the various specials and discounts on the hotel and transportation. Yes, a weekend away doesn’t have to be complicated.
Harbor Front Inn: www.theharborfrontInn.com
Long Island Rail Road: www.mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/greenpor.htm
Hampton Jitney: www.hamptonjitney.com
Suffolk County Transit: www.sct-bus.org