Although it's only May, you'll start to realize quite quickly that the same old Hamptons party routine gets a bit mundane (even if it involves large quantities of Rosé). That's why alternative Hampton's activities become essential come mid-June...but the planning should start now:
There are dozens of beautiful trails and natural parks that protect the Hamptons' wildest creatures from its hordes of weekend warriors. Southampton's Morton Natural Wildlife Refuge is 187 acres of waterfront forest and beach with a large bird population and lovely areas to picnic. It's only 10 minutes from both Sag Harbor and Southampton on Noyac Road (look for sign, as there isn't an address). This curious bird arrived at my Sunday BBQ with a bracelet on it's ankle marked #7079. I think it escaped from Morton's. When I called to report that it had flow the coop I got no answer. Then my sister decided it would taste good on the barbie...there she is trying to trap it.
Montauk has the most per-square-foot natural landscape, and least Manhattan foot traffic, although that stands to change with the Surf Lodge's second season in full swing. But even with the new party scene, nothing beats Montauk's sprawling dunes, super-sandy beaches and THE LIGHTHOUSE! Montauk Point Lighthouse to be exact; located in Montauk State Park at the eastern-most tip of Long Island. I've been visiting the lighthouse since I was a kid and it's a true Hamptons landmark, the oldest lighthouse in New York State, in fact. It's museum is also a great place to read old sea-fairing stories and brush up on your Hamptons history...all good info to impress the locals with.
High Octane Hamptons:
Nothing says hangover cure like 50 seconds of free fall from 10,000 feet. Long Island Skydiving has been at it for 30 years and specializes in tandem jumps. You'll have to get yourself out to Spadaros Airport in East Moriches (Exit 61 off Montauk Highway) but the memories and $90 DVD will last a lifetime. You even get an official certificate to show off on Facebook: The Other Fork:
Upon your first visit you'll be enchanted by the North Fork's charmed farm country and vineyard. Wine tasting is the most popular pastime, but please, don't rent a white promed-out Hummer limo and wear matching outfits. Vineyard owners are not fans of tire tracks and vomiting party girls.
For more insider tips on the North Fork, read this guide that I wrote for Peter Greenberg.
More alternative Hamptons ideas on the way. Ever considered a Block Island day trip?