Great breaks along New York’s sandy shores.

By Travel & Leisure
June 14, 2013
Credit: Laura Begley

At the eastern tip of Long Island, the waves are surprisingly robust, but the living is downright laid-back, even during summer months when New Yorkers flee to the closest coasts.

Sunset Surf Shack

If you want to take surfing lessons, head to the Sunset Surf Shack and ask for owner Craig Lieder, a quintessential hang-ten dude.

Gansett Green Manor

Units at this gray-shingled northeastern beach cottage come with their own kitchens for staging private wine-and-cheese wind-downs.

Nick & Toni's

The most coveted reservation continues to be East Hampton’s 24-year-old Nick & Toni’s, which is a who’s who: Howard Stern, Lou Reed, and Naomi Watts, just to name a few. Chef Joseph Realmuto sources from the best local purveyors for such dishes as dandelion greens and pork-belly croutons in a white-anchovy vinaigrette. Get a table in the garden.

Byron at the Surf Lodge

New owner Jayma Cardoso has dialed back the Bacchanalian revelry and returned the Surf Lodge to its more mellow origins. In addition to a complete redesign of all the rooms, Aussie chef Chris Rendell debuted a new seafood restaurant, Byron, themed after the famous bohemian bay town in New South Whales. What hasn't changed? The surf movies on rotation 24/7 in the lobby, the sand-side daybeds, and waterfront fire pit, where Sunday holdovers catch live bands at the outdoor patio's summer concert series.

Drink to Get: Ginger-Mint Lemonade (vodka, lemon, mint, homemade ginger beer).