Lavender By the Bay opened on the North Fork of Long Island about 15 years ago, and I remember walking the meager fields back before I had kids. There were several rows of the fragrant purple blooms, and that was beautiful — reminiscent of the fields in Provence. Yesterday, I returned with the kids, and wow, the farm has grown: It’s now 17 acres of vibrant purple plants. “Oh. My. God,” my 8-year-old said. “Is that really lavender?”
It’s a sight to behold, and they were so excited to explore. They even let me pose them, which never happens.
The best part about visiting Lavender By the Bay is that for a $6 entrance fee ($9 on weekends) you can wander the grounds for as long as you’d like. There are walking paths that weave you through the expansive fields with additional narrow footpaths that immerse you at the center of the fields, thanks to well-placed purple adirondack chairs.
If you close your eyes, you’ll hear buzzing of billions of bees pollinating the plants. And everywhere you turn, you’ll inhale the sweet scent of lavender. The morning made me so happy.
There are even chickens wandering about, which we tracked to a hen house.
The fields, located a ten minute drive from Greenport, which was recently featured in the New York Times Travel section, should be visited early; the crowds get intense after 12pm. If you go, leave Westchester by 8am, and you can be in the lavender by 10am. Bring a picnic lunch!
A shop sells bundles of fresh or dried lavender — and even lavender scones. We bought dried bouquets to make sachets with.
Lavender By the Bay, 7540 Main Road, East Marion