Located on the North Fork at the tip of Long Island, Orient is a hidden gem.
Off the beaten path and quaint as heck, the tiny waterfront hamlet is one of the true rarities on New York’s popular East End. It’s a place teeming with charm that has been nonetheless improved by and yet left mostly intact from big Manhattan money.
Originally settled by only a handful of families that had been given a land grant by the King of England way back in the 17th Century (the Kings, the Terrys, the Glovers, the Lathams, the Tuthills and the Vails), the 5-square-mile spit of land in the Town of Southold sits on the easternmost parcel on the North Fork. Fun fact: During the American Revolution, it was used as an operation base for British commanders, including the infamous Benedict Arnold, whose headquarters was a local tavern on Village Lane, which today serves as Orient’s main street.
Walking along the peaceful and shady sidewalks and streets, lined by Victorians, shingle-style and New England-type clapboard homes, it’s easy to think of this as a place that has been thankfully lost to many modern “improvements.” The air is filled with birdsong, and nearly every single residence boasts an American flag, a throwback actual wooden screen door, or both. And even though, like it’s larger but similar sister of Sag Harbor on the South Fork, there is a fair share of millionaires and fancy boats (literally docked on the waterfront that comes up behind Village Lane), but it’s generally privet without the pretense.
Sites of interest include:
- Oysterponds Historical Society
- The Old Point Schoolhouse
- Webb House
- Poquatuck Park
- The Orient Historic District
- Orient Beach State Park
Retail and commercial hotspots include:
- Old Orchard Farm Store
- Orient Linen Company
- Baked in Orient
- Orient by the Sea
- Orient Country Store
- North Fork Flower Farm