24 Hour City Guide: The Hamptons

  24 Hour City Guide: The Hamptons!

Lately, the loudest buzz on the East End of Long Island has been from 
Yet the lavish seaside villages of the Hamptons have hardly slowed down. That’s especially true in East Hampton, arguably the center of the social swirl. A raft of luxurious boutiques and restaurants has opened. Beloved old hotels and barrooms have been renovated. And celebrities — most recently Madonna — are snapping up property in the area.
4 p.m.
Want to plunge into the Hamptons social scene? Then your first order of business is to grab the free glossy magazines — Social Life, Hampton Life, Hamptons, Hampton Sheet, Dan’s Papers — for that weekend’s fete, charity event or oceanfront screening of “Jaws.” You’ll find them near the door of many boutiques in East Hampton, 

but perhaps the most indulgent place is Scoop du Jour (35 Newtown Lane; 631-329-4883), the ice cream parlor where waffle cones are stacked with cavity-friendly flavors like cake batter and cotton candy. This is also where you can buy Dreesen’s doughnuts, a Hamptons staple since the 1950s. Need a gift for a party host (or yourself)? Shops have sprouted along Main Street, including Balenciaga (No. 54), Hugo Boss (No. 46) and Roberta Freymann (No. 21).
7 p.m.
It’s not just socialites who flee to the Hamptons in summer. Restaurateurs migrate here, too. Among the latest new establishments is the Italian standby Serafina (104 North Main Street; 631-267-3500; serafinarestaurant.com). Yellow umbrellas poke up like daffodils from its sidewalk patio and vine-covered pergola. Fresh pastas and seafood are on the menu, though the brick oven pizzas — in more than two dozen varieties, including pesto — are among the most popular picks. On a recent evening, couples canoodled at the bar, while well-manicured families streamed into the dining room. Dinner for two, about $100. If your taste leans toward fried seafood, homemade chowder and frosty drinks, however, then head to Bostwick’s Chowder House (277 Pantigo Road; 631-324-1111; bostwickschowderhouse.com), which moved this summer to new indoor-outdoor digs. Dinner for two, about $50.
9 p.m.
Watching boats glide along the horizon is perhaps the simplest and most peaceful of Hamptons pleasures. Happily, a favorite haunt, the Boathouse(39 Gann Road; 631-329-3663; easthamptonboathouse.com), has expanded and relocated to a secluded spot overlooking Three Mile Harbor, where Bostwick’s was previously located. The open-air decks of this gleaming restaurant are an idyllic perch from which to watch boats dock. But on weekends, as the night progresses, the Boathouse morphs into an indoor-outdoor lounge where the lithe and tanned sip and sway to beats from a D.J.
10 a.m.
Before men in golf shirts roamed the Hamptons, it was the purview of farmers. Thankfully, there are still some left. Pick up fresh eggs, local produce and home-baked muffins and scones for breakfast at Round Swamp Farm (184 Three Mile Harbor Road; 631-324-4438; roundswampfarm.com). Be sure to buy enough for lunch so you can skip the interminable snack bar line at the beach.
11 a.m.
Choosing a favorite Hamptons beach is not unlike choosing a favorite child. Still, two beaches were among the top 10 named this year by Stephen P. Leatherman, director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University. Coopers Beach (in Southampton) captured the No. 1 spot, beating out beaches in Florida and California. And Main Beach (in East Hampton) took fifth place. Both are wide and clean and — very important — sell food. Many beaches require seasonal parking permits, though visitors can park at Coopers Beach for $40 a day. Parking at Main Beach is $20 a day, but weekdays only; on weekends visitors must walk or ride bikes. (For details, go to the Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Web site, discoverlongisland.com.)
3:30 p.m.
The wetlands and dunes that draw pleasure-seekers today also inspired some of the greatest abstract and landscape artists of our time. Go see why at LongHouse Reserve (133 Hands Creek Road; 631-329-3568; longhouse.org), a sprawling but less-visited garden and sculpture park with works by Buckminster Fuller, Dale Chihuly, Willem de Kooning and Yoko Ono. Founded by the textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen (who still lives there, according to docents), the reserve’s nearly 16 acres are open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays during the summer. Nearby is the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center (830 Springs-Fireplace Road; 631-324-4929; pkhouse.org), which Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner bought for $5,000 in 1946 and turned into their home and studio. Visitors must don booties to enter the barn because the floor is splattered with paint that Pollock dripped and flung for his masterpieces. In fact, some of his paint cans are still there.
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8 p.m.
Norman Jaffe, the American architect, designed the once popular (and now shuttered) restaurant known as Laundry. The space has a new life this year as Race Lane (31 Race Lane; 631-324-5022; racelanerestaurant.com) — a sleek yet cozy spot with a tree-shaded patio seemingly engineered for tête-à-têtes over breezy cocktails and clams from the raw bar. Inside, well-heeled couples dine at tables or on couches in the spare, airy space. Seafood dishes include red snapper with saffron and spinach ($28), baked salmon with a ginger glaze over shiitake mushrooms and snow peas ($26), and lobster salad with avocado ($29).
10 p.m.
The Hamptons nightclub scene has quieted in recent years, with much of the latest action shifting to the Montauk waterfront. But there are still plenty of pleasures to be had after sunset. The music continues to thump at clubs like Lily Pond and, now, RdV East. For a chiller affair, head to the newly renovated c/o The Maidstone (207 Main Street; 631-324-5006; themaidstone.com). The hotel’s Living Room restaurant and lounge lure a lively, attractive crowd.
11:30 a.m.
Catch a tennis match or baseball game on flat screens while enjoying panini or frittatas at CittaNuova (29 Newtown Lane; 631-324-6300; cittanuova.com), a Milan-inspired cafe with a facade that peels back to provide indoor-outdoor seating along the village’s prime shopping strip. A backyard patio has more tables. The pretty space was jammed for the World Cup. Should there be no games to hold your attention, people-watching (O.K., fashion-policing) from the outdoor tables will. Brunch, about $25 a person.
1 p.m.
Many of the artists who settled in the Hamptons exhibited at Guild Hall (158 Main Street; 631-324-0806; guildhall.org), the region’s celebrated arts center. Barbara Kruger takes over the main exhibition space on Aug. 14. Meanwhile, performances are held all summer long.
2:30 p.m.
Real estate is a blood sport here. And one of the most coveted addresses is Lily Pond Lane. Take a leisurely drive along the wide road where beyond the hedges you can glimpse houses that belong to the likes of Martha Stewart and Steven Spielberg. Grey Gardens, once the decayed home of Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter, can be found where Lily Pond meets West End Road. Along the way you’re likely to spot many material girls, but if you are desperately seeking the original, head over to Bridgehampton where Madonna owns a horse farm on Mitchell Lane.
How to get there:
East Hampton is about 105 miles from Manhattan, and depending on traffic, can take anywhere from three to four hours to drive during the summer. The Hampton Jitney (hamptonjitney.com; $53 to East Hampton round trip ) and Hampton Luxury Liner (hamptonluxuryliner.com; $78 round trip) run frequent buses. The Long Island Railroad (Montauk line) is often faster and cheaper (approx. $16 one way;). 
Where to stay:
c/o The Maidstone Hotel (207 Main Street; themaidstone.com, Instagram: themaidstonehotel) The Maidstone & The Living Room restaurant is a lifestyle & design hotel in the Hamptons. It was recently renovated, offers complementary vintage bicycles, and is friendly to kids and pets. Rooms from $495, with two-night minimum in the summer.


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