For all the fantastic reasons to visit the Hamps in the summer, there are heaps to stay away. See: the traffic, the inflated rates and too many tourists and no room to breathe. Which is why we recommend a jaunt out east in the fall. It’s highly underrated, reasonably priced and brimming with everything from new hotels to hotspots with actual open reservations. Here are the top 10 reasons to make Long Island this season’s favored weekender.
The best of brunch is back
The centrifugal haunt for hobnobbing with celebs, Nick + Toni’s, is not only lightyears easier to snag a reservation at off-season, but they’re back with their renowned brunch. Their build-your-own bloody mary bar is paparazzi-worthy.
Give a shuck
While summer seems to be prime slurping season, any oyster aficionado will tell you true that the colder months are where the best shellfish flourish. Head over to Widow’s Hole Oyster Farm and take a tour, check out how oysters are grown and shuck away.
Finally learn to surf
The beaches — and thereby the waters — are finally empty. If you’ve been hesitant to jump on a board for fear of running into the seemingly 1000’s of pros in the water in the summer, fall is your time to shine. Snag a surf lesson year-round at Hamptons Surf Co. and don’t fret the chilly waters, wetsuits work miracles.
It’s culture o’clock
It’s tough to stay indoors out east with the gaggle of sun-filled beaches and adrenaline-laden activities in the less inclement months. But fall is prime for a browse through art mecca, the Parrish Museum, set on a vast 14 acres of lovely Long Island meadow. For a taste of local living, head over to catch the Nancy Atlas Project performance in Amagansett with an evening full of originals and covers.
Apples, pumpkins, gourds, oh my!
Grab a bucket or wheelbarrow and load up on local apples and pumpkins at Milk Pail’s fields in Water Mill. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the end of October, it’s an excellent excuse to get in the autumnal mood with warm apple cider donuts and cider in hand. And if you’re really into the gourd craze, head to Hank’s Pumpkintown with the lil’ ones. It’s a day full of activities complete with a corn maze, playground, candy apples, pumpkin and apple picking, obviously, and much more. For corn maze enthusiasts, you can also try your physical/quizzical skills at the Fairview Farm at Mecox.
High times for our four-legged friends
While the beaches don’t allow off-leash pets in the summer, it’s open running-free season come fall for the fur-dudes to get in on the sand and sea action.
Wölffer Estate, while renowned for their summer rosé, keeps the vino action alive well into the winter with their comforting reds. Their Candle Light Fridays are a prime wine time.
For continually phenomenal beer offerings, check out BB’s. Our new favorite summer hotspot, TT’s Montauk is thankfully keeping the magic alive through the off-season. They’ve transformed to BB’s with a hearty new menu including the best smash burger we’ve ever and a healthy roster of brew and bourbons to boot. Same cool vibes, seasonally-appropriated.
Rest for less
If you’re anything like us, you didn’t book your Hamps hotel in advance and end up paying an arm and a leg last minute all summer long. Fall is the procrastinator’s magic hour, with a majority of the hotels offering reduced rates from Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa with $100 resort credit and late checkout to Hero Beach Club with reduced rates. Better yet, check out latecomer to Montauk, the newly-opened Marram boutique resort. The hotel has a wellness dune vibe with a Cali/Miami feel and offers guided nature walks, complimentary cruiser bikes, group meditations and nightly fire pits and s’mores.
So much room for festivities
Take a nighttime stroll with the East Hampton Society’s Cemetery Tour, a walk through the Southampton’s haunted Rogers Mansion. Or hit up the Southampton Ice Rink with a stop at Sant Ambroeus for hot chocolate after the thrills and spills on ice.