Marina Cortbawi’s Shelter Island Getaway

Marina Cortbawi’s Shelter Island Getaway

Reachable only by ferry, Shelter Island is nestled between the North Fork and South Fork of Long Island. With vast tracts of protected land, the island mixes small town charm and spectacular, unspoiled natural beauty — which is precisely why our founder and Creative Director Marina Cortbawi escapes there with her family every summer. Find out her go-to spots on the island, and of course, what she wears to go there. 

Q: What are your favorite beaches to visit? 

A: Wades Beach is the one that I can walk to located on the southernmost tip of the island. It reminds me of a calm Australian south coast beach, and it’s so remote here and it’s nice for paddleboarding and walks along the long shoreline.

The other beach I love is Hay Beach which is located on the northern tip of Shelter Island and is even more remote. It has a beautiful view towards Greenport, Orient and Gardiners Island. It is really the most beautiful beach, and has acres of preserved cedar and prickly pear cactus which is very unique.

Q: What’s your go-to spot to be in nature? 

A: We love walking through Mashomack Preserve, which is really rich in history, and has tidal creeks, mature oak woodlands, and freshwater and saltwater marshes. There are over 200 species of birds and it really is one of the most beautiful hikes. Protected by the Nature Conservancy, this reserve is so important to the island and I could really spend every day here listening to the sounds of dragonflies, birds and cicadas.

Q: How do you usually spend your time on the weekends in Shelter Island? 

A: We love hitting the Farmers market on Saturday mornings at the Shelter Island Historical Society. It has all the local produce from the island and the North Fork. I go for the freshly caught fluke as well as biodynamic vegetables and fruit. 

The little local town in Shelter Island is always charming to walk around and have a coffee and pastel de nata at the waterfront restaurant and grocery Marie Eiffel never disappoints.

Maris Strap Handbag

Q: Where do you go for a night out? 

A: We love Léon 1909, one of the best new restaurants on Shelter Island. The French provincial menu is delicious and the ambiance with the open wood fire oven is excellent. 

Sunset Beach Hotel, overlooking Crescent Beach, is great for sunset cocktails. Right next door, the violinist Izhak Perlman has a music school and they have concerts on Friday and Saturday nights where locals watch the Summer Music School students perform their works in progress outdoors.

Q: What’s one local tip we need to know? 

A: You can get out of your car on the ferry and enjoy the breeze off the sound! 

Wallis Dress


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