Those looking for a road trip but are reluctant due to rising gas prices should look no further than one photogenic North Fork town that recently earned national praise for its lure.
The Village of Greenport was named by Forbes magazine as one of the prettiest towns in America, and the mayor of Greenport was more than happy for his town to receive that recognition.
“What took them so long?” Mayor David Nyce joked, “It’s been beautiful forever.”
The quaint, historic fishing community is in the heart of Long Island wine country, surrounded by vineyards with breathtaking waterfront views. It features boutiques, parks, art galleries and seafood restaurants that have received rave reviews over the years.
Forbes called Greenport, “perhaps Long Island’s most attractive locale,” even though the Hamptons on the neighboring South Fork usually gets the distinction as one of the prettiest places to visit on Long Island.
“We live in a place that’s a little slice of heaven,” said Nyce, who added that his village hasn’t lost its charm and sense of history. It is still just as much of a fishing village as it was when it was incorporated within the Town of Southold in 1838.
From 1795 to 1859, Greenport was a major whaling port, and in the 19th century over 550 ships were built and launched in Greenport. In the early 1900s Greenport was huge oyster fishing hub, which the village’s website says is “enjoying a resurgence.”
This is how Forbes described the village: “Hidden away at the tip of the North Fork, far from the famous and the fatuous, is a town that perfectly mixes unpretentious Americana with the trappings of the modern food and wine scene.”
Nyce said the community is the “quintessential fishing village” because it still has working fishing boats that take advantage of the strategic location as a gateway to Gardeners Bay, Block Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. “It’s a little bit of everything, he said, “it’s a small city right on the water.”
The magazine also credited Greenport for its “old-school seafood shacks and fancy restaurants.”
One of those restaurants, Claudio’s, is as old as the village itself. The waterfront eatery is a landmark that first opened its doors in 1870.
Claudio’s rich history began in 1854, when the Portuguese Whaler “Neva” from Fayal in the Azores docked in Greenport with a whaler on board named Manuel Claudio. After sailing for the next 16 years, Manuel would dock for good in Greenport and open “Claudio’s Tavern.”
The fourth generation of Claudio’s is now running the restaurant and is recognized as the oldest, same family run restaurant in the United States, according to the National Restaurant Association.
Nyce summed it up like this: “Come and see the whole thing, there’s something for everybody.”