“Heaven, Hell or Hoboken,” said General Pershing, as he listed the travel options for our Doughboys in WWI. Here at hMAG, we thought you might like a few other alternatives to work with…
Like Long Island!
Summer is officially over, the leaves are changing, and weekend trips “down the Shore” just won’t do the trick anymore. For a quick weekend getaway that won’t break the bank, check out the vineyards and family farms in Wine Country on Long Island this fall.
Approximately a two-hour drive from Hoboken, this area of Long Island offers something fun for all ages. From fall festivals geared toward families to adult-only wine tastings, here’s the breakdown of some of our faves:
Best Fall Festivals
Every weekend from September 17-October 30th, Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard in Mattituck, NY will offer a fall festival perfect for all ages. With a 2-acre “Land of Oz” corn maze, a “U-Pick” pumpkin field (priced per pound), hayrides, and hands-on learning at the petting zoo (with pigs, chickens, bunnies, goats, cows sheep, and a live bee observatory), a weekend trip to Harbes has something for everyone in the family. Open daily from 9AM-6PM, Harbes also offers a playground and kids’ games including a hay jump, corn toss, sack races, tug-of-war, and hot potato, plus berry picking and delicious apple cider donuts at the Country Café & Bakery located on-site. There’s even a wine tasting barn for those 21 and older. Typically $9.95 general admission on weekends, Harbes is offering a fall special: buy 5 admissions and get one free! Call 631-298-0800 or visit harbesfamilyfarm.com for more information and pricing.
Gabrielsen’s Country Farm in Jamesport, NY is another great option for families. With much of the same offerings (corn maze and pumpkin picking) as Harbes Farm, Gabrielsen’s also has vegetables, strawberries, plants, and roasted corn for purchase. Call 631-722-3259 for more info.
Best Family Vineyard
Located in Riverhead, Martha Clara Vineyards is a great weekend destination. With animals for the kids and great wine for the adults, Martha Clara also features live music on Saturdays from 2-5PM. It’s also a great place for private events (family picnics, weddings, and yes, even corporate gigs) what with its beautiful surroundings and all. Oh, and did we mention the wine? Private tastings can also be scheduled in advance! Check out marthaclaravineyards.com or call 631-298-0075 to plan today.
Best Adult-Only Vineyards
For the twenty-one and over crowd, Wine Country is the place for a weekend trip. With a number of vineyards offering wine flights and special group tastings, why not try them all? We like Roanoke Vineyards in Riverhead (roanokevineyards.com) that can accommodate groups up to 25 for tours and private tastings. You can even bring your own lunch and eat on-site! Try also: Sherwood House Vineyards (sherwoodhousevineyards.com) which boasts an original tasting room on its 38-acre vineyard in Mattituck and a second tasting room in Jamesport with bar, couches and fireplace, sun room, dining room, patio, barn for events and live music every Saturday. You have to try their 2008 Chardonnay, which won “Best in Class” at the 2011 Los Angeles International Wine Competition. After Sherwood, make your way over to Waters Crest Winery in Cutchogue (waterscrestwinery.com) for a cozier tasting experience and true family-run feel or Lenz Vineyard in Peconic (lenzwine.com) for two wallet-friendly flights at $7 and $12 per person that will give you a taste of everything.
So what are you waiting for? Wine Country is calling!
Photos courtesy of Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard and Sherwood House Vineyards