Venture out to the end of the South Fork of Long Island, past ordinary 'burbs such as East Patchogue and Ronkonkoma, and you'll eventually find something magical. Towns such as Southampton, with its elm-lined streets, Colonial masterpieces, beauties-in-Audis and fine dining is the anti-New York. Hello, that's why Carrie and friends fled here every summer, and so can you. It will just cost a bit more.
After Southampton, cruise on out to the more remote East Hampton, where the pet-friendly Mill House Inn warmly welcomes the weary traveler. That's why Dan's Papers rated it "Best of the Best in the Hamptons," Zagat feted it in its "Top 50 Small Hotels USA” and New York Magazine called it one of the "Top 10 Inns in the Hamptons".
Across from the inn, you'll see a charming, historic windmill, the perfect counter to musing in the Hemingway suite as to whether it's worth walking into town for dinner or eating a sandwich, enjoying a book and sipping wine in the standalone tub.
Charm is equally apparent a few miles down the road.
Fishermen have long enjoyed the pleasures bubbling far beyond the beaches of Montauk. But now tourists are reckoning that the "real" Hamptons is to be found on a boat at the outermost tip of the South Fork of Long Island.
About 45 miles east on NY Hwy 27/A, you'll enjoy the drive as you pass myriad Martha Stewart-worthy cottages, fruit stands, funky roadside shops and a stretch limo or two or fifteen.
In Montauk, this examiner recommends throwing on your jeans and T and heading out for some local lobster; then cruising out to Montauk Bookshop to peruse the plethora of rare, out-of-print books (at the Plaza).
Make sure to make nice with the locals, especially the fishermen (and women) because they might share the catch of the day. Barring that, it's really fun to join them out on the Sound. Nothing more inviting and memorable than the wind in your hair, the salty breeze enticing you Angelenos to head east, young man.
To get to the Hamptons:
Fly to New York's JFK Airport. Rent a car and drive on 495 East, then Long Island East (LIE) to exit 70/Route 111 to Manorville/Eastport. At the end of the ramp, make a right on 111 and follow to the end, to Route 27 East. Click here for additional info.
Alternatively, if you are staying in Manhattan or have friends there (in the "know"), do like the locals and take "the Jittney" from New York. For more info, visit www.hamptonjitney.com, or call: 631-283-4600, 800-936-0440.
Recommended chow in Montauk:
Clam Bar At Napeague
Seafood, Soup 1899 Montauk Hwy
Bird on the Roof
Pancakes, general chow, 47 E Elmwood Ave
Recommended must-see, Montauk:
Montauk Point Lighthouse: https://www.montauklighthouse.com/
Bold marks and hyperlinks are those of the examiner's.