Spring is (almost) in the air. March is right around the corner. The first official day of the season follows shortly after that. Mother Nature has been teasing everyone with the weather. While, most tellingly, you’re starting to make weekend plans that don’t involve snow.
Your first spring trip will probably be to the North Fork. The peninsula on the northeastern end of Long Island is one of your favorite getaways from NYC. It’s only 80 miles from Manhattan. It’s easily accessible on the Hampton Jitney and the Long Island Rail Road. Rental cars give you more flexibility to visit the area’s beaches and wineries. Plus a new hotel recently opened in your favorite village.
Greenport is absolutely charming. Its seaport was established in the 17th century as a shipbuilding and whaling center. Historic Victorian clapboard buildings still line the waterfront. Mitchell Park (including its marina and antique carousel), East End Seaport Museum, the Art Deco Greenport Theatre, and the Greenport Farmers’ Market do, too. Bakeries, coffee roasters, breweries, distilleries, ice cream shops, oyster shacks, and seafood restaurants have joined them. About a year ago, a chic boutique hotel opened, as well.
The Menhaden sits on Front Street, the main strip that runs through the center of town. In the 1880s, the three-story building was constructed as one of the first hotels on Long Island. It was redesigned to create 16 modern rooms and given an unusual name that was inspired by Greenport’s fishing history. The hotel’s black-and-white color scheme is evident as you approach it. Dark bricks, trim, and an awning decorate the white building. Black loaner bikes sit outside the lobby. There’s even a custom black Moke, a little electric-powered car, that drives guests around town.
A checkered floor and monochrome photographs are inside. The Merchant’s Wife, a little cafe and a sleek restaurant, are on the first floor, as well. The rooms are minimal and filled with natural light. Expect Restoration Hardware furniture, heavenly beds, and spa-like bathrooms in each one. There’s also a gallery on every floor. It’s stocked with yogurt and pastries in the morning, coffee and local snacks all day, and Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars at night.
The best part of the Menhaden is definitely its rooftop, though. The deck, open only to guests, features a bar and fire pits. Small groups of chairs and lots of potted plants litter the open space. While the view includes the harbor, Shelter Island, and, in the early evening, the setting sun. Spring can’t come soon enough.