Situated on a flat-water river whose mouth opens into Great South Bay, Carman's River Canoe & Kayak has something for all levels of paddlers. In addition to providing equipment, the staff rents out single and double kayaks, as well as multiperson canoes, and suggests routes that can include the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge or––for those with a bit more experience––trips out to Fire Island.
In 1913, German-born Carl Braunhart debuted a shop of high-quality cycles that eventually migrated stateside and, over the years, traded hands to his great-grandson. In 1980, Fred Feller bought the shop from the Braunhart family, and when his son, Darren, graduated from college, Carl Hart Bicycles once again became a multigenerational family business. Today, Fred and Darren's staff of factory-certified technicians and cycling enthusiasts, some with backgrounds in semiprofessional racing, help patrons sift through an impressive inventory of quality bicycles from top industry brands such as Trek, Specialized, and Cannondale. Most two-wheelers come in five to eight sizes for myriad heights, and staffers measure customers to find the best fit. But when a traditional bicycle won't suffice, they send measurements to Seven Cycles or Guru factories, where workers craft customized frames. Custom-fit bikes contour to riders' bodies, cushioning the stress of frequent biking and the need to throw bikes at slow-moving pedestrians. Before committing to any purchase, customers are encouraged to take a test spin around the parking lot or stop by on Demo Days. On these days, bike manufacturers bring their cycles to the store and patrons can try them on for size as they pop wheelies over unassuming companions or traverse miles of mountain trails that branch out from the shop. On Saturdays, Darren or an assistant manager takes groups of up to 35 cyclists on 36-mile excursions. Afterwards, athletes refuel with bagels at the shop.
It’s been 40 years since the Ferraro family opened Plaza Surf N Sports, and today its inventory of sporting goods and apparel only continues to expand. The staff of sports enthusiasts is on hand to help patrons navigate the selection and can assist with everything from fitting and sizing hockey equipment to finding the right skateboard deck. The shop also handles team orders and trophies, ideal for local youth teams or professionals that lost a championship but really want a trophy anyway.
Plaza Surf N Sports’ Montauk location specializes in watersports, stocking a large selection of bathing suits, goggles, and surfboards. Day rentals outfit trips to the shore with surfboards, boogie boards, kayaks, and beach chairs, which are more relaxing for wave riding than conventional surfboards.
Studio Art supplies the media and the instruction for customizing everything from canvases and pottery to skateboards and sneakers. During birthday parties, afterschool programs, and camps, artists transform everyday objects into one-of-a-kind works of art. Mirrors, moccasins, and belt buckles dress up in an arsenal of paints, glitters, jewels, and trinkets according to creative whims or the demands of the preschool fashion scene. Classes hone specific skills such as sewing and fashion design, and teen night occupies adolescents with henna, beading, and scrapbooking in an informal setting.
Harbes Family Farm & Vineyard started in 1978, when newlyweds Ed and Monica Harbes bought some land and began growing potatoes and cabbages to support their family. Ed, a 13th-generation farmer, worked with his father to get the business up and running. As the years passed, the couple's children started to work on the farm as well. Eventually, all the family's tomatoes, sweet corn, and growing brood of scarecrows outgrew their original plot of land, and the family expanded into three separate locations—which Ed and Monica's eight children still operate.
As the Harbes plow and harvest the fields, visitors at each location can stock up on fresh produce and participate in seasonal activities. An 6-acre Wild West corn maze draws visitors to Jamesport farm, whereas at Riverhead farm, the fall season brings opportunities to pick apples and pumpkins. Another 5-acre Robin Hood-themed corn maze entertains the masses while a spooky moonlight corn maze cast spells of fall splendor. Visitors to the Mattituck location—the largest farm—can shop for fresh produce in the market or relax in the wine-tasting barn. Amid its warming and inviting wood walls, servers pour selections from Harbes Family Farm & Vineyard's award-winning wines, which Winemaker Ed Harbes IV creates using his vineyard's vinifera clones.
But as much as the Harbes family loves food and wine, it also devotes a large portion of time to environmental preservation. The farmers use locally sourced compost to reduce to need for commercial fertilizer, and as of 2012, they have placed more than 50 acres into conservation easement, ensuring that the land is never developed or used to grow an army of giant brussels sprouts.