- Whimsical Scandinavian chic
- East Hampton hideaway
- Scenester's summer camp
- Into the woods
- Breezy beach house
- Sedate Shelter Island
- Clapboard colonial villa
- By-the-beach Hamptons village
- Big Kahuna cool
- Hip Montauk
Worth getting out of bed for...
- Commissioned by George Washington in 1792, the Montauk Point Lighthouse in Montauk Point State Park is the oldest in the state. From the tower you can spy Connecticut, Rhode Island, Block Island, and if you’re an eagle eye, Portugal. Secure a sea-skimming table at Sunset Beach (+1 631 749 2001) on Shelter Island, where your brochettes and bouillabaisse will be served with up baguette-dropping sunset views over the ocean.
- Arts and culture
- Perpetual soft sea light and puffy clouds help make the Hamptons a big draw for artists (literally). See local painters’ work at the Parrish Art Museum on Job’s Lane in Southampton (www.parrishart.org). In East Hampton, check for special events at the Guild Hall on Main Street (www.guildhall.org) or relive Sag Harbor’s industrious and international whaling days at the Whaling and Historical Museum (www.sagharborwhalingmuseum.org).
- Something for nothing
- Coast down Gin Lane in Southampton and start saving the dollars for a mega mansion of your own – this is the zenith of zip codes. The humongous homes of Calvin Klein and Jerry Seinfeld, private beach included, line this street that’ll leave you drooling.
- East Hampton is the favoured shopping – you’ll find everything from haughty Hermès to locally grown hipster label store Blue & Cream (www.blueandcream.com) located at 60 On The Circle. Metro males will love John Varvatos (www.johnvarvatos.com) on Newtown Lane, an industrial space selling cool-as-they-come threads. On the same street, Calypso covers all necessary beach and après-beach attire (www.calypso-celle.com) and Tory Burch sells 60s-inspired sophisticated styles (www.toryburch.com). Find another Calypso outpost at 99 the Plaza near the centre of town in Montauk. In Southampton, there’s a beautifully boho collection on sale at Tracy Feith (+1 631 283 7414) on Jobs Lane. Browse one-of-a-kind curios, cheeky tchotchkes, vintage Playboy magazines, jewellery and surfer-themed books at Melet Mercantile Montauk at 102 Industrial Road (+1 631 668 9080). Whether you’re a hardcore surfer or a beginner on a boogie board, Espo’s in Amagansett is a go-to gear shop (+1 631 267 7873; www.esposurfshop.com). Ask manager and Hawaii-transplant Ed Young about the ukulele he got as a gift from Jimmy Buffet (www.esposurfshop.com).
- Head north from the South Fork to explore the wineries, including Martha Clara Vineyards (www.marthclaravineyards.com), owned by the Entenmann family (good at cake as well as wine), and Jamesport Vineyards (www.jamesportwines.com), one of the region’s oldest vine-growers. From Southampton and Sag Harbour, it’s about 45 minutes to Montauk, a joyously well-preserved hamlet on the easternmost tip that’s quieter and more rustic than the rest of the Hamptons.
- Best beach
- Choose your favourite Atlantic shore – these sandy spots regularly come top of best-beach listings compiled by serious coastal scientists. In Southampton, Coopers is your winner – historic (and huge) mansions, including Calvin Klein’s turreted affair, dot the 500ft-shoreline. Main Beach is East Hampton’s long, clean and golden offering; it also has excellent surf. In Water Mill, you’ll need a permit for the privilege, but Flying Point Beach is 250ft of secluded seaside.
- Perfect picnic
- Pick a beach from the miles and miles of Altantic coastline; the top spot has to be the small-town feel of East Hampton’s Main Beach. Gather gourmet supplies for your beach-based picnic from these local delis: Citarella (+1 631 726 3636) and Villa Italian Specialties (+1 631 324 5110; www.villaitalianspecialties.com). For rotisserie-roasted duck and chicken, try Loaves & Fishes (+1 631 537 0555; www.landfcookshop.com) or for house-baked ham and turkey meatloaf, try Mary’s Marvelous (+1 631 267 8796; www.marysmarvelous.com).
- Call a gentleman named Hugh King from the East Hampton Historical Society (+1 631 324 6850; www.easthamptonhistory.org) – this quirky chap gives very entertaining walking tours around East Hampton. A pretty (and potentially costly walk) is through the picturesque Sag Harbor – dip in and out of the old antique stores and tiny galleries on your way through to the harbour, stopping off for light refreshment (an 8oz burger or perhaps a pint) at The Corner Bar on Main Street (www.cornerbarsagharbor.com).
- Encourage that masterpiece along early at The Art Farm (www.theartfarms.org). Kids as young as six months are welcome to take inspiration from the eco-friendly arts and crafts scene. Surf Craft, an arty, educational workshop, is held in the summer at Montauk Yacht Club Resort and Marina (www.surfcraftny.com). There’s also the Children’s Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton (www.cmee.org), a whole package of activities for kids, including tea parties, French class and fancy dress.
- Angle for sharks and striped bass on an excursion aboard the Susie E II from Montauk, sailing from Westlake Fishing Lodge and Marina (+1 631 523 8862; www.susiee.pth4.com/index.htm). Get close and personal with a shark by cage diving with Sea Turtle Dive Charters (+1 631 335 6323, http://seaturtlecharters.com). Surf dudes in need of skill can learn from fully certified instructors at Flying Point Surf School (www.flyingpointsurfschool.com), where they can also hire kayaks. Other water-based activity takes the shape of jet-skiing, tubing, wakeboarding and boat rentals – all available from Uihlein’s Marina & Boat Rentals (www.uihleinsmarina.com). Have a dry-land adventure on horseback, starting out from the oldest cattle ranch in the USA – Deep Hollow Ranch in Montauk (www.deephollowranch.com) has trails crossing 4,000 acres of beach- and park-land. And if these sound a bit too effort-intensive, taste locally made wine at Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack (www.wolffer.com) or Duck Walk Vineyard in Water Mill (www.duckwalk.com).
May Singer/songwriters, rockers and reggae crooners converge at Montauk Music Festival, a four-day multi-genre showcase with more than 100 performances at various venues around town (www.themontaukmusicfestival.com). July Super Saturday brings street fairs and slashed-price designer stores to Water Mill once a year. August The Bridgehampton Classic is the