Comfortable Hotel at Head of Wine Trail
Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard owner Sam Rubin dreamt of farming as a young boy in the 1930s. But it wasn’t until later in life, when he moved to Long Island’s verdant North Fork, that he began growing his own grapes. After Sam spent several years nurturing his vineyard, it flourished—thanks in part to Baiting Hollow’s climate, which is similar to that of France’s key growing regions. With this getaway, you’ll sip Sam’s high-quality merlots, rieslings, and rosés during a visit to Baiting Hollow’s Tasting House, and sample stiffer drinks at the neighboring Long Island Spirits. (Round-trip transportation is provided to both.) Nearby, in Riverhead, you’ll find a string of more than 30 additional wineries and the Holiday Inn Express Long Island-East End.
The hotel’s king and double queen rooms feature premium cable channels, Nintendo 64 consoles, and triple-sheeted beds under which to concoct Mario Kart strategies. A heated outdoor pool and 24-hour fitness center provide ample opportunities for exercise. In the mornings, the complimentary Express Start breakfast bar includes a buffet of bacon, eggs, and warm signature cinnamon rolls.
Long Island's North Fork: Award-Winning Wineries and Outlet Shops
The eastern tip of Long Island forks into northern and southern tines. It was on the bucolic northern branch, across the bay from the bustle of the Hamptons, that Alex and Louisa Hargrave opened the area's first vineyard in 1973. The mild maritime climate and abundant sunshine drew other grape lovers to lay down roots nearby, eventually establishing a local industry that’s created some award-winning wines and attracts 1.3 million visitors annually.
The New York Post’s guide to exploring Long Island's wine country recommends trying the sparkling wines at Lenz Winery in Peconic and venturing further down the peninsula to sip the gewürztraminer at Southold's One Woman Wines and Vineyards. There’s also plenty to do here that doesn’t involve wine, such as shopping the factory stores at Tanger Outlets or visiting the sharks and sting rays at the Long Island Aquarium.
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Holiday Inn Express
The flames of a fireplace crackle next to the well-equipped hot-and-cold breakfast buffet that greets guests every morning at the Holiday Inn Express. Aromas of the hotel’s trademark cinnamon rolls float throughout the fleet of cushy guest rooms and suites, each flaunting amenities such as TVs and beds swaddled in triple-sheeted bedding.
Beyond the rooms’ doors, onsite amenities range from a heated outdoor pool and 24-hour fitness center to free WiFi and an ice machine that dispenses extra ice when tickled. Within just a few miles of the hotel, a bevy of attractions includes an aquarium, water park, ample shopping, and more than 30 wineries.