North Shore of Long Island, New York
The North Shore of Long Island is the area along the northern coast of New York State's Long Island bordering Long Island Sound. Known for its extreme wealth and lavish estates, the North Shore exploded into affluence at the turn of the 20th century, earning it the nickname the Gold Coast. Historically, this term refers to the coastline communities in the towns of North Hempstead, Oyster Bay and Huntington, in Nassau and western Suffolk County. The easternmost Gold Coast mansion is the Geissler Estate, located just west of Indian Hills Country Club in Forth Salonga, within the Town of Huntington.
Delineated perceptually by the Queens-Nassau border, the North Shore is marked by a series of necks (peninsulas) and populated harbors. North Hempstead, Oyster Bay and Huntington Towns comprise the land ownership of this area, which are noted for its preservation of Gilded Age Estates. Beyond here, the North Shore becomes Towns of Smithtown and Brookhaven, where a similar trend of peninsulas and sheltered harbors are the sites of hamlets and towns such as Stony Brook, Port Jefferson, Wading River, etc..
Once the island splits into two forks at its east end, the North Shore's hills largely flatten out (and enter the Town of Riverhead) to an out-wash plain and becomes largely rural (and enters the Town of Southold), with an economic stronghold on agriculture, particularly in the shape of wineries and vineyards. This recent trend, beginning in the 1980s with the conversion of potato farms, has given the North Fork the distinction of being the most productive agricultural area in New York State. Despite this, North Fork, contrasts starkly with the more populated and better known South Fork's Hamptons. The North Fork terminates at Orient Point, where the Cross Sound Ferry Company has a terminal for ferries bound for New London, CT. and Block Island, RI.
Greenport, a village in Southold midway between Orient and Riverhead, is a major economic center for the North Fork and as such, is the eastern terminus of the Long Island Rail Road's Main Line. The North Fork is also geographically tied to a separate township, Shelter Island, an island in the Peconic Bay accessible via ferry that leaves from Greenport, adjacent to the railroad station. The island also has a ferry on its south side that connects with North Haven on the South Fork.