Manhattanites, rejoice! After a seemingly endless winter, Hamptons season is officially upon us again as Memorial Day Weekend approaches. For 2014, there’s plenty of new places to try on Long Island’s famed stretch of beachy vacation towns, whether you’re seeking fine dining or luxurious accommodations from Southampton to Montauk. Of course there’s also classic favorites we can’t miss, like getting our last ever lobster roll from Duryea’s and sipping cocktails at Surf Lodge while watching live sunset concerts. Pour the rosé and let the good times roll.
What’s old is new again at Gurney’s Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa. First opened in 1926, the iconic hotel has added 38 brand new luxury guestrooms with private verandas and floor to ceiling windows for fantastic ocean views. They’re also redone the restaurant and spa, adding the only seawater swimming pool in North America. At the Crow’s Nest overlooking Lake Montauk, hotelier Sean MacPherson has added the David Pharaoh Cottages in addition to the 14 king rooms. The cottages come with kitchenettes and are available in sizes from studios to three bedrooms.
Related: Insider’s Guide to the Hamptons
If you’re looking for a Miami vibe in Montauk, the pool scene at the Montauk Beach Club is straight out of South Beach, featuring canopy beds and cabanas to lounge on as deejays spin ambient tunes. Bring your crew (or your children) and book the Bunker Room, which sleeps six in bunk beds, for an decidedly upscale share house experience. Over in East Hampton, check into “Scandinavian cozy” at c/o the Maidstone. Each one of the hotel’s 19 uniquely decorated rooms is themed for a famed Nordic figure and has blissfully comfortable Hästens beds and organic Coyuchi linens. Wake up refreshed and enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast before taking one of their vintage Kronan bicycles for a cruise.
Nobu lovers, take note: there's a new seafood spot in Sag Harbor from the restaurateur who opened 19 of the famed sushi joints, including the original location. Richie Notar is debuting Harlow East, a Hamptons outpost of his NYC restaurant. The waterfront eatery will offer the same extensive raw bar selection and popular items as the city version, in addition to new dishes using local produce. East Hampton hot spot for celebrities and locals alike for Italian cuisine Nick & Toni's will still to be a hot table to snag, as they introduce a new small plates menu and a new pastry chef.
Southampton Social Club will host Heidi Klum Memorial Day Weekend as she celebrates her Hamptons magazine cover, but you don't have to be a supermodel to eat here. Its menu features favorites such as sesame encrusted ahi tuna with wasabi caviar, as well as new additions like carribean spiced mahi mahi. Enjoy a post-dinner cocktail and dancing in the back garden. Over at Duryea's Lobster Deck in Montauk, it's last call for their legendary lobster rolls. Perry Duryea Sr. bought the the seafood market back in the 1930s before it also become a casual BYOB eatery, but it's set to shutter after this summer since being purchased by a new owner.
There's rosé for days at Navy Beach, which has 6 different varieties to sip this summer, as well as its "Rosé on the Rocks" cocktails, such as signature sangria as well as newcomer Piscine de Vin Rosé (rosé prosecco, orange vodka, raspberry, cucumber). Boat in directly and drop anchor in Fort Bay Pond for Riviera Weekend with Chandon July 26 and 27 to pretend you're in the south of France, or stop by their One Love Sundays sunset party for live reggae and good vibes. At Cyril's in Amagansett, there's no shower required for happy hour. After a day at the beach, sandy, sunburnt beachgoers cool down over icy B.B.Cs (banana, Bailey's and cream). Treat yourself to the rum floater on top of the tropical drink, which is deceptively potent despite the fruity flavor.
Surf Lodge continues to cement itself as one of the most popular places in Montauk for the beautiful people it attracts every weekend to dance under the stars and big name live musical acts along with indie bands. For 2014, they've got Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Yeasayer and G Love and it's best to arrive early to beat the crowds. If you've got time to spare on a Sunday, take the ferry to Sunset Beach on Shelter Island. Andre Balazs' hotel and waterfront French bistro and bar is the perfect place to unwind with a glass of his own Reserve Rosé.
Just because you're on vacation doesn't mean you should neglect your beach body. Make fitness fun with SUP Yoga, a floating yoga class performed on paddleboards in the water instead yoga mats on the floor. The 60-minutes classes are taught out of Shagwong Marina in East Hampton, and all gear is provided. Landlubbers can break a sweat without getting in the water at Flywheel, with studios in East Hampton and Sag Harbor. Its indoor stadium cycling classes torch major calories and allow you to see how you rank against your classmates as you ride on their Torqboard. If you just want to feel like a kid again, hop into a Bari class in East Hampton, which has cardio on trampolines to make it feel less like work and more fun.
With all that's going on out east, don't forget to mark your calendars for these events. The Taste of Two Forks annual food fest has expanded to an entire weekend of culinary goodness called Dan's Taste of Summer in Bridgehampton. Grillhampton kicks off on Friday, July 11 and pits eight NYC chefs against eight Hamptons' based chefs for a grill-off, while Taste of Two Forks, hosted by Food Network's Geoffrey Zakarian and Katie Lee, happens on Saturday, July 12. Tickets sold out last year, so grab one while you can and come hungry to try all of the dishes from the Hamptons' best restaurants. Finally, shop for a cause while rubbing elbows with the stars at Super Saturday on July 26. The annual designer charity sale in Watermill is hosted by Kelly Ripa and Donna Karan, with proceeds benefiting the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
Cristina Gibson is an NYC-based entertainment and fashion writer. Follow her @CristinaGibson.