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If you hear people talk about Orient and Orient Point interchangeably, they haven’t been to these two hamlets. Of course both places share long histories as whaling, fishing, and farming communities. And if you ask a local about the old days, you’re likely to speak to a direct descendant of the founding families.

But what gives you butterflies when you enter Orient by the causeway is its heart-stopping view of the Long Island Sound and Gardiner’s Bay. Look out farther and you can see the Orient Beach State Park, a barrier island that is a summer playground of infinite pleasures. But the real out-of-this-world experience is after the first hard freeze: the saltwater cove of Hallock’s Bay turns into a winter palace for ice boaters, who raise their masts and glide with the wind in silence and speed.

Orient Point looks more New England than Long Island. Proximity might explain this, since you can zip across the sound to New London, CT, by sea jet in 40 minutes. Captains still use 1899 Orient Point Lighthouse for safe passage. What’s special about living in Orient Point, though, is the extravagance of living at the last stop before Europe and having a ringside seat to watch nature spar and parry.

Sheri’s picks for fabulous and super yummy Orient hotspots:

Resturants and Eateries:
Orient by the Sea
The Candyman- Candy Store

Bed and Breakfasts:
Orient Inn

Farm Stands:
Oysterponds Farm- sells delicious homemade jam