Shucks, it’s time for the Oyster Fest!

Last Fall I took my son and his friend to the annual Oyster Bay Oyster Festival for the first time.  I’d gone to the Oyster Fest about 6-8 times previously, but of those visits were through the eyes of a college kid or young professional.  Let’s just say that a) it’s now a dry event and b) going with your 9 year old and his buddy is a whole different experience!

The Oyster Festival lasts an entire weekend and draws huge crowds – over 200,000 from near and far – to this lovely waterfront hamlet on the North Shore of Long Island.  Billy Joel sings about Oyster Bay in his songs and has a motorcycle shop in town, but locals know all about the beauty and fun that draws Continue reading


Entenmann’s Great South Bay 5k (really 3.89 miles)

*This story was written entirely by Brandon, 10 – one of 5 co-authors on 1Quest2theNext*

Hi, my name is Brandon.  You may have read my last post I wrote by myself about camping at Blydenburgh Park.  I had run 3 5k distance races so far and I wanted to do another.  My dad and T (grandpa) signed up for the Entenmann’s Great South Bay 1/2 Marathon and there was also a 5k race.

Before I ever do any running I always stretch.  I drink a lot of water the day before races so I have energy and don’t get dehydrated.  I had been running at school, outside in the backyard and up at the Smithtown West high school track.  Just a few weeks ago I ran the Cow Harbor 2k race.  There were a lot of big Continue reading

Apple Picking out East

Can one get sick from eating too many apples?

We are about to find out in my house! We basically raided the inventory off the trees at Lewin Apple Orchard in Calverton yesterday.

We took 25a instead of the Long Island Expressway to enjoy a more scenic drive. Some traffic caught us about 5 miles out and we mistakenly parked at Lewin Farms on Sound Avenue first; this is where the farm stand, corn maze, flowers and small pumpkin patch are located. We headed a few miles further to reach the Orchard on Fresh Pond Road. It was crowded parking along the grass on both sides of the road so unless you visit early expect to walk for several minutes. This is important as you may be leaving with a heavy purchase!

We purchased a large basket and Continue reading

Greenport Maritime Festival

The annual Greenport Maritime Festival is a bright spot in the Fall that attracts over 40,000 visitors each year to Eastern Long Island.  While a highlight is the Tall Ships docked through the weekend, those that converge on the village have many delightful adventures to choose from throughout the weekend!

Families and friends can browse through booth after booth of nautical-centric arts & crafts, view classic wooden boats, and lots of ‘local’; bands, seafood, produce, wine and beer from the area.

There are also several family-oriented activities, including a carousel, pirate show and fireworks at night.  And we can’t forget about the many ice cream shops, cotton candy and all kinds of treats!

From Mia, 2:  “Me like to go on the carousel!”


From Brandon, 10:  “When we went on the Tall Ships we got to go to the lower level of the boat and sit in some of the beds.  We were able to use the steering wheel and look at the big compass on board.  Newsday was there and they took my picture to put on their website!”

You can also take a cruise to view the 8 lighthouses surrounding Greenport.  Bug Light is the favorite to many!   Located between Orient Harbor and Gardiner’s Bay, Bug Light was first lit in 1871. Burned by vandals in 1963, it was restored fully in 1990 and now shines brightly.  It did receive significant damage during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  Much of the damage has been repaired but fundraising efforts remain to complete the work.  100 tons of rock need to be added to Bug Light’s base to help protect it.

If interested, visit this site:


From Sofia, 7:  “So….it was hot out and there were a lot of people so it took a long time to find a place to get lunch.  My tummy was so hungry so that even after lunch I needed more.  So later we got ice cream AND cotton candy BOTH!  It was soooo sooo good!”

If you want to board the Tall Ships, we suggest visiting early morning or perhaps early evening, as line do get quite long.  You will be able to speak to the ships’ captains, learn about the history of the ships and hear nautical tales from sailors as well as explore the various interesting sections of the vessels.  The authenticity of the ships combined with the exciting adventures they have been a part of make up for an exciting time at the Festival!

the key to a kid's heart...sugar!

the key to a kid’s heart…sugar!

There are many restaurants by the water, both fancy and more modest (but with exceptional local oysters, clams, lobster and more).

This year the 24th Annual Greenport Maritime Festival is scheduled for September 20-22.  The theme for 2013 is a celebration of Greenport’s 175th year of being established.  Replacing the clam chowder contest of previous festivals will be an Oyster shucking contest that fits in more with the history of Greenport.

Here is the daily schedule for this years Festival:

We hope you have fun out East!  Leave us a comment and let us know if you do or any other tips or memories from previous visits to the Greenport Maritime Festival…