Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. If you're spending a lot of time in New York, you must know that the city is about to get hot... very hot. When the city feels overwhelming and you don't know where to turn, why not get away for the weekend? Take a train to the Hamptons or Newport, or hop on a direct flight to Nantucket for some island time.
A quick 3-hour train ride away, a weekend in the Hamptons is an ideal excuse to get out of the city. Whether you're in East Hampton, Sag Harbor, Amagansett or Montauk, you'll fall in love with the small-town charm and casual sense of tranquility that the towns have to offer. For your getaway, we recommend starting with wine. (Why not?) Wölffer Estate Vineyard is the perfect daytime activity to start your weekend on a bubbly note. Book a reservation and enjoy a wine tasting with cheese and charcuterie in a rustic modern space. If you're not feeling like drinking just yet, Main Beach in East Hampton is a classic spot to enjoy the sun, and it's often ranked on lists for being one of the best beaches in America. A win-win. Another fun daytime spot includes The Surf Lodge in Montauk, where locals and travellers come from different towns to gather for live music, good food and good surf.
You didn't think we forgot to mention shopping, did you? The LoveShackFancy store on Main Street in Sag Harbor is a spectacle itself. Formerly a farmhouse from the 1700s, the store is a whimsical visual experience, complete with fresh flower installations, in addition to the beautiful floral-patterned dresses. For your designer fix, Kirna Zabête in East Hampton offers all the brands you need. Gucci, Fendi, Valentino, you name it. You'll find it here. And hopefully you'll find an outfit for dinner at Pierre's in Bridgehampton, a cozy French bistro where you will most likely find yourself in a sea of white pants, but we're not complaining. End on a sweet note with a treat from Scoop du Jour (sticking to the French theme), a delicious option for some of the best ice cream the Hamptons has to offer.
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If you have never visited Nantucket, you need to. As soon as possible. The small island is decorated with all-grey houses with white trim, beautiful hydrangeas in the summer and countless old and antique cars that will melt you into nostalgia. Quaint shops and boutiques line the cobblestone streets in the downtown area, and world-famous chefs treat your tastebuds to some of the best seafood you'll ever encounter in the many award-winning restaurants on the island. Rent a house in town or stay at one of the quaint bed & breakfasts. In the morning, head to Steps Beach for breathtaking views of the sand and dunes and wonderful waves, and enjoy the stunning homes you can see from the beach - one of them formerly owned by American fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger. Spend the afternoon shopping in town at the many exclusive boutiques. For clothes, favorites are Milly & Grace for her and David Chase for him. For art, we suggest Quidley & Company or Pierce Galleries. For gifts to bring home, Anderson's is the go-to.
After a day of swimming, seeing and shopping, you're guaranteed to be hungry. For an upscale meal with a trendy atmosphere, Lola 41 has the best sushi the island has to offer (and if you're craving a burger later, head to their sister restaurant Lola Burger), and walk-ins are welcome here. For coastal cuisine with an Asian flare, The Pearl is quite a treat. Their signature Salt & Pepper Wok Fried Lobster is definitely something you must try, because after all, New England is one of the best places to try lobster right? For drinks after dinner, walk down the main street toward the water to Straight Wharf Restaurant (another great dinner option, might we add). You can enjoy looking at the yachts on the water in the moonlight, right before the restaurant's bar turns up the music and turns off the lights. Bring your dancing shoes.
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Newport, Rhode Island, is one of America's hidden gems. If you've never heard of it, it might be because the Hamptons and Nantucket have been outshining Newport. But not this time. A town with rich history, incredible food and kind people, Newport offers a peaceful weekend-away destination for your pleasure. During the early 1900s, the wealthiest families in America flocked to coastal towns like Newport and established themselves here, resulting in gorgeous mansions that are able to be toured today. Our notable favorites include Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum and Belcourt of Newport, two iconic mansions with priceless art and stunning architecture. After seeing such beauty, continue it outdoors with Newport's Cliff Walk, a 5.6 kilometer trail of serenity and nature. (It's also the perfect way to see more mansions!) Newport is one of the best towns for walking, as the scenery is breathtaking and the cobblestone streets are lined with eclectic shops and sophisticated galleries, and a charming aura can be felt throughout the town. We recommend Thames Street or Broadway for quaint boutiqies, cosy bookstores and quirky cafés.
In addition to the charming feel of the daytime activities in Newport, the night gets even better, as everyone dresses up for the evening and the streets are lit by the glow of lamp posts with street music in the air. If you're looking to enjoy some seafood for dinner (as you should be), The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar has the freshest fist on the coast with a lively atmosphere and exceptional service. The restaurant offers an extensive, award-winning wine list, and you'll want to stay here all night. Another delicious option for seafood is Fluke with its frequently-changing menu, fresh ingredients and hand-crafted cocktails, all overlooking the water. (Pro tip: Make a reservation during sunset. You won't be disappointed.)
For more ideas on Do, Dine and Spend, visit our Destinations page.