Boaters on the Connecticut side of Long Island Sound have a multitude of day- and weekend trips available to them on the North Shore of Long Island. Among the best and most scenic are Mattituck Creek and Mattituck Village, on the North Fork. New England Boating TV visited Mattituck during our 2014 season, and we can see why it’s a favorite escape among experienced Connecticut boaters.
Some 15 nautical miles from Westbrook and Clinton (the latter boasting a public ramp with overnight parking), Mattituck Inlet is easily reachable in seaworthy small and mid-sized boats. (We made the crossing in about 40 minutes at a leisurely 30 mph). Once inside the jetties, you’ll enter tranquil Mattituck Creek, which winds through low-lying marshland filled with osprey, egrets and heron. Pay attention to the buoys, as the channel is narrow and surrounded by shoalwater. A recently rebuilt (and underutilized) boat launch facility can be found just inside the inlet, on the west side of the creek. Several headboats, along with working lobster boats and weathered trawlers, make Mattituck their homeport, giving the place a tidal North Carolina feel.
About midway along the creek you’ll come to the Old Mill Inn and Restaurant, occupying a red building on the water. The restaurant has a small dock for patrons, along with indoor and outdoor seating. Next door is the Mattituck Inlet Marina and Shipyard(MIMS), which services large yachts and offers haul out and repair.
Near the head of the creek is the transient-friendly Strong’s Marina and Waterclub, where you can usually find a slip or mooring, although it’s always best to call ahead. The cove in front of the marina is also a federal anchorage with excellent holding ground, although you’ll have to find your own way ashore.
Strong’s sells fuel and ice, and is home to a resort-like facility with a pool, a manmade beach and a lively tiki bar. If you’re hungry, the on-site Pace’s restaurant offers delicious sandwiches, salads and dinner entrees.
Boaters who want to see more of Mattituck can bike to Mattituck Village, although we recommend hiring Scott Hill of Casual Pointe Transportation. We used Scott’s service on our TV shoot, and can’t recommend him highly enough. He is friendly, punctual and a font of local information.
In the heart of the village is Love Lane, home to numerous interesting shops and restaurants. We recommend the Mattituck Kitchen, the Village Cheese Shop and theLove Lane Sweet Shop. And if you’re looking for good deli sandwiches and breakfast items, stop by Ammirati’s Cafe.
The Mattituck area is also home to several wineries, including the award-winningMacari Vineyards andShinn Estates. Casual Pointe will be happy to shuttle you to and from these places—so you can relax and sample the wines without worrying about driving.
With so much to see and do, you might just want to stay the weekend, and we’ve got the perfect place: Cedar House Bed & Breakfast. Owners David and Donna Perrin renovated the former barn and farm 5 years ago, turning it into a warm and hospitable establishment that tastfully blends rustic and modern design elements. But most importantly, it is clean and comfortable, and the Perrins are fun and attentive hosts. They are guaranteed to make your Mattituck visit that much more enjoyable. In fact, you might not want to leave!
Written by Tom Richardson
in New England Boating