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The best of Long Island
Montauk might be known as the Hamptons’ more laidback, surfer-y sister town, but the fresh-faced crowd that descends upon the town every Memorial Day gives the NYC weekend getaway spot a buzzy-and-breezy vibe. And while there are plenty of great Hamptons restaurants out east, we’ve narrowed in on Montauk’s best waterfront restaurants and bars, seafood restaurants and cheap eats joints specifically for those traveling to the shore.
Whether you refer to it as “out east” or “The Island,” there’s no shortage of things to do on Long Island, New York. Yes, you have your ritzy beaches and shops in the Hamptons and wild parties on Fire Island. But the 118-mile-long island is also home to top-notch wineries, fascinating museums, stellar dining and some of the best beaches near NYC. Better yet, it’s almost all accessible via public transportation on the LIE or LIRR.
FYI: There are more things to do in the Hamptons than just getting a tan. Yes, that argument can be said for any of the beaches near NYC, but you wouldn’t just go to the Hamptons for a quick trip. Make no mistake, people do. But, in our opinion, the Hamptons is truly meant to be a destination at which you can kill time trying great restaurants, drinking frozen cocktails at outdoor bars, visitng wineries and lounging on beautiful sandy shores. Take a break from Gotham’s rooftop bars for these awesome things to do in the Hamptons. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do on Long Island
If you’re planning some beach time in Long Island, look no further than these gorgeous Hamptons Airbnb rentals. There’s no shortage of fun things to do in the Hamptons, from soaking up the sun on some of the best beaches near NYC to dining at world-class Hamptons restaurants. The one downside? Finding a place to stay can be downright impossible: Your options are limited, so most of the best properties book up months in advance and prices soar sky-high. With a little advance planning, though, you can snag a stunning rental through Airbnb. Let these lavish mansions, cute cottages and peaceful retreats serve as your motivation to get a group together this summer.
About a three-hour ride from New York City, Montauk hotels make for readily accessible weekend getaways to an oceanfront playground. Finding a place to stay in this Long Island village that’s close to pristine New York beaches or even the downtown area is just as stress-free. From chic motels to iconic resorts, here are some top-rated Montauk lodgings with the right balance of relaxation and recreation. Just don’t wait too long to book them.
If you can’t handle the heat, stay off Fire Island, NY! In case you weren’t aware, the LGBT vacation staple—as well as one of the best New York beaches—is known for hosting outlandish ragers and bashes. There are a ton of shindigs and things to do in the summer on this car-free oasis, so we’ve whittled down the list to include the very best events and LGBT things to do during the warmer months. Oh, and in case you’re searching for excellent weekend getaways from NYC, Fire Island is a great (and quick!) escape.
Jerry Seinfeld recently made the joke, “If you go out [of NYC], you’re gonna be on the Island. Long Island is not one of those places. You can’t get in it. There’s nothing to get in. You just stay on it.” While this “dead zone” rep of Long Island (suburbs, suburbs and Hamptons) is semi-warranted, the North Fork is a pleasant gastronomic surprise. Parallel to its more famous cousin, the Hamptons in South Fork, the Easternmost region makes for an ideal weekend getaway from NYC with stretches of farmland for pumpkin picking, restaurants helmed by NYC chefs and nearly 3,000 acres of vineyards sourcing the best Long Island wineries. Here are some of our favorite places to sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of wine. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do on Long Island
Oh, the Hamptons: that see-and-be-seen summer paradise where the crème de la crème of NYC society retreats to beat the heat—and chow down at the best Hampton restaurants. Sure, you can check out the best restaurants in NYC, but the Hamptons is awash—pun intended!—in restaurants and bars, both classic and of-the-moment. But it can be hard, especially if you only go there for short weekend getaways from NYC, to decide which of the best things to do in the Hamptons are worth your hard-earned cash. Do you go shopping? Or do you head to these spots, including everything from a breezy bayside seafood restaurant to a rustic wood-fired pizza joint? Here are the best Hamptons restaurants.
Ah, the Hamptons: Where the rich and famous mingle with regular New Yorkers just looking to cool off. The only bummer about spending a weekend laying out on some of the best beaches near New York is figuring out how to get there. We’ve got you covered: Just consult our handy guide to Hamptons transportation at every price point—from the good ol’ Hampton Jitney to crowd-sourced helicopter rides. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do on Long Island
The Hamptons and Montauk have a reputation as the land reserved for the rich and pretentious. Well, forget what you heard! We’re here to convince you that the ritzy neighborhood is not just filled with popped-collars and Lamborghinis—you’ll also find some of the best bars, under-the-radar beaches and outrageously good seafood restaurants at the Hamptons. It’s worth the trip—we promise. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do on Long Island
While some of the best bars in NYC are indeed running red and white these days—just look at these cool new spins on the wine bar—if you’re looking to get outta town, look no further than these North Fork wineries. The Long Island stretch boasts a fruitful bunch of vineyards that are well worth the two-hour trip. Curious about what to hit up? We’ve got you covered. Just follow the list below. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do on Long Island
Okay, we get it, it’s tough to find a crowd-free beach or a quaint, small town that isn’t a total dead zone in the Long Island area. But if you do a little digging, you can find some pretty wonderful attractions perfect for any fuss-free vacationer. We teamed up with Long Island native and all-round laid-back beer kings, Blue Point Brewing Company, to present these 10 awesome getaways—from afternoon visits to weekend-long leisure-fests—that are totally worth checking out this summer. We can cheers a Blue Point Toasted Lager to that! RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do on Long Island
Sure, you’d probably expect the best things to do in the Hamptons to include sunshine and sand—but these shops in the Hamptons, NY, offer plenty to take in beyond those gorgeous beach views. Whether you’re looking to treat yourself to something new or want to find a unique gift from vintage clothes shops, these spots have you covered (and you can still go to the best beaches near NYC afterwards). We’ve picked out each town’s single best shopping locale—so get to shopping! RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do on Long Island
It may be synonymous with summer in gay New York, but Fire Island is, in reality, mostly straight. The two gay communities on the 31-mile stretch—the partycentric Pines and the slightly mellower Cherry Grove—are accessed via the Sayville Ferry (sayvilleferry.com), located about a mile and a half from the Sayville LIRR stop. (It’s a fairly easy walk, but cabs will be waiting at the station.) Take any of the other boats to F.I. and you’ll still find lovely beaches… covered with retirees and screaming toddlers. Be sure to time your trip so that your train arrival matches up comfortably with your ferry departure; otherwise you could have a long, boring wait in Sayville. While it’s close enough for a day trip, nightlife abounds on F.I., so the full experience involves spending the night. Unless you want to risk the potential humiliation of trying to casually “find a place,” you’re probably going to have to spend some serious cash. Right now, you can score a basic room at the Grove Hotel (grovehotel.com) for less than $90 midweek; come weekends later in the summer, though, the same room costs $300, and people will be fighting for the privilege to pay it. For the young, thrifty and adventurous, there’s the new Botel Barracks (pinesfi.com/botel-barracks) offers a budget alternative to the storied Botel, featuring bunks and shared bathrooms. Multinight stays are required, but a whole weekend is just $119. Every summer, NYC nightlife impresario Daniel Nardicio (dworld.us) settles into Cherry Grove’s Ice Palace (facebook.com/icepalacefi) with his underwear parties (beginning Friday 23) and the Icon Series of cabaret performances, kicking off Saturday 24 with Dina Martina. In the Pines, the scene is centered around the famed Pavilion club (pinesfi.com/pavilion), where you can dance until sunup every weekend. Key events include two multiday dance blowouts: the Pines Party (July 25–27, pinesparty.com) and Ascension (Aug 16–18, ascensionparty.com), both of which draw thousands. (Translation: Book now.) For more info on Pines party life, check out thepinesfireisland.com.