Ahhh, summer in the Hamptons… Synonymous with overbearing wealth, lavish parties à-la-Gatsby, private Jetiquette and general life envy— there’s no denying that we all want a piece of it. But with traffic jams longer than Gisele’s legs and celebrity sightings more frequent than Miley Cyrus’s boob’s, it’s paramount to brush up on local knowledge ahead to fully enjoy this prized piece of paradise.
Once you’ve overdosed on opulence and one-too-many rosés on the lawn in the Hamptons, Uber your way to Montauk’s surfing shores and metamorphose into a sophisticated hippie. Here is a guide of our best spots to see… and be seen!
Feel like you’re staying at a nautical summer camp at the Ruschmeyer’s: cabin-inspired guestrooms, picnic tables, beach cruisers, hammocks and all… Play ping pong at sunset in their outdoor Rum Bar and dance the night away at the Electric Eel on weekends.
The Surf Lodge
Quiet wellness hideaway on weekdays turned wild sophisticated bohemian beach club on weekends. Bump shoulders with local artists, fishermen or surfers and travellers from around the world at this mystical boho-chic institution.
The Montauk Beach House
Never mind that guest rooms look like they were sponsored by Restoration Hardware, the Montauk Beach House is only a stone’s throw away from the beach and the Main Street action. Grab a Stumptown Coffee and croissant at their No. 50 café in the morning, then frolic poolside while sipping on signature cocktails and tapping your feet to the beats of the DJ on deck.
The Crow’s Nest Inn
Travel back to the 1970’s at the Crow’s Nest Inn, tucked away near the surf beach of Ditch Plains. Bathe in apothecary toiletries, order a rosé-and-a-blanket for lounging on the lawn and dine organic at their top-rated hipsterified restaurant.
Treat yourself to an unabashedly French déjeuner at this St. Barth-meets-Cap d’Antibes institution in Bridgehampton, or order a homemade lemonade and fresh croissants from their pâtisserie, en français s.v.p.
For a sure-fire way in to Montauk’s hottest nightlife destination, book a table (well in advance) at The Surf Lodge’s Aussie-themed Byron restaurant and indulge in a delectable crab spaghetti before dancing the night away— toes in the sand (or on the table)— to a remixed Summertime Sadness.
Lobster sliders and fried clams is where it’s at in South Edison’s informal dining room. The farm-to-table (or in this case ocean-to-table) fare will leave you satiated. Once you’ve polished your plate, take 50 steps south for Montauk-famous bond fires on the beach.
668 Gig Shack
Just trust me on this one: find yourself a comfortable spot on 668’s terrace and order a Corona and a serving (or two) of their famous tuna taquitos. I frequently dream about them at night.
Turf @ Ditch Plains
Redefine the meaning of “beachside snack bar” with this Airstream-outfitted mobile kitchen. TURF caters to Ditch Plain’s eccentric community daily by serving locally sourced dishes ranging from lobster rolls on split top buns with Cape Cod chips to watermelon salads with purple basil, feta and aged balsamic.
South Fork & Spoon Picnic Baskets
For lavishly priced picnic baskets, look no further than your local food concierge— South Fork & Spoon. From a romantic lobster dinner for two (served with a fresh flower bouquet and sides thank you very much) to a ready-to-cook poolside Bar-B-Que for four— there’s a little something for everyone (with means). For a premium, they’ll even do your groceries and stock your bar.
Serena & Lily
Any decor lover who’s ever shopped Serena & Lily online are required a pit-stop to the S&L beach market in Wainscott. Beyond their regular offerings, grab exclusive accessories, beach toys and artwork stemming from collaborations with local emerging artists.
My love affair with lemlem tunics started at the Surf Lodge’s beach shop. To fit in with Montauk’s sartorial crowds, invest in a designer kaftan, a baja sweater and a crochet bikini before hitting the surf.
The Monogram Shop
You guessed it, this place monograms. Everything. This preppy establishment will stitch and etch your initials on every beach bag, bedside carafe and tissue box cover faster than you could spell M.O.N.O.G.R.A.M.
MONC XIII is the meticulously curated 2,400-square-foot emporium of Natasha Esch and husband Matt Coffin. Go for the eye-candy— that’s unless you’re willing to fork out $13,800 on a Midcentury Italian Flushmount Chandelier.
Anyone who’s a fan of Aerin, the Estée Lauder heiress and style director, will revel in the beauty her Southampton eponymous store. Jewelry, cosmetics and home decor products from her namesake collection sit among a selection of curated offerings ranging from Rolex watches to vintage straw hats.
Moor your boat on this lively St. Tropez-esque stretch of sand and sip rosé at sunset with your bare feet solidly anchored in the sand, thanks to French restauranteur André Balazs.
Throw on a pair of shredded jean shorts, an ironic cropped Motorhead tank, mirrored aviators and your trustedBirkenstocks and “Get your Sloppy on”. Such is the motto of Montauk’s only oceanfront bar, where day-drinking is more synonymous with ripping tequila shots than sipping rosé on the lawn.
Wölffer Wine Stand
Get your savasana on during Wölffer’s Yoga in the Vines sessions; study for your Master of Wine during their Wine Education Wednesdays; or watch the sun go down on the rolling vineyard views on weekends as you sip— you guessed it— rosé on the lawn.
The Harbor Raw Bar & Lounge
The newbie on the block around Montauk Harbor serves intriguing sea-inspired offerings (drunken lobster flambéed in whiskey anyone?) and mixology cocktails to the grooves of house DJs.
Hampton Designer Showhouse
For serious decor aficionados, the Hampton Designer Showhouse— co-chaired by famed designers Mario Buatta, Jamie Drake and Alexa Hampton— is set in a dream-worthy estate in Bridgehampton. Feel better about forking out the $35 entry fee knowing that you’re benefitting the Southampton Hospital, and bask in the glory of 20-something rooms designed by names such as India Hicks, Katie Leede and Phoebe Howard.