36 Hours on the North Fork, Long Island

On the North Fork of Long Island, glasses are clinking to 50 years since a young couple planted the first commercial vines in the region. Today, with more than 40 North Fork vineyards producing award-winning merlots, sauvignon blancs, and cabernet francs, the 30-mile-long peninsula at the eastern end of the island, in New York, is also abuzz with new women-owned businesses: There are sustainable seafood restaurateurs, second-career farmers sharing their love of oysters and quahogs, innovative gallerists and pioneering winemakers finally uncorking dreams of their own. At any time of year, you can easily explore the area over a weekend. But in late fall, the crowds have ebbed, the beaches are mostly empty, locals are savoring the autumn harvest, and the crisp mornings feel ripe for an outdoor adventure along the timeless waterfront.