The oldies (pristine beaches, quiet hiking trails, days on the water) are still the goodies. But here's what's new and buzzing on the East End this season.
New Places to Stay
The latest openings are trending toward reincarnation of old hospitality outposts.
The neon seahorse sign is a landmark for North Fork regulars. We're happy to report that it's glowing brightly again at the new incarnation of the '50s-era motel and waterfront bungalow resort, down an unassuming path off the North Fork's Main Road. Tucked away from traffic, the gem of a property includes native plantings, salt marsh wetlands, and 1,400 feet of private beach facing Shelter Island. Lifelong friends Alexander Perros and chef Ryan Hardy (Charlie Bird, Legacy Records) pay thoughtful attention to the origin story of the motel, its design details, and place in the East End ecosystem. The 20-key U-shaped motel opens onto a green lawn with potted geraniums leading to the beach. Private beach shacks and bungalows (one- and two-bed) offer a little more room and privacy for travel companions. Guests check in at the bar, where they can clock ephemera that helps tell the Silver Sands story — books, small-batch objects and art from artists near and far, and the original motel room numbers (painted on giant clam shells). Restoration of the mid-century on-site diner is in the works; the mobile pizza oven and outdoor oyster bar are ready for action. Fun trivia: Silver Sands controls 15 acres of private underwater land in front of the motel and the previous owner's oyster beds are now under the care of Pipes Cove Oysters in partnership with Oysterponds Shellfish Company.
The1927 resort has been managed by the Petry family since 1961; 2023 is its first full summer season as part of Cape Resorts, a NY-NJ hospitality company that loves adaptive reuse and historic preservation. The team renovated the 33-room Main House and added two additional freestanding cottages (for 16 total) that stretch across a sloping patch of land facing Crescent Beach. Tennis courts and the chicken coop are located up behind the cottages, as is a nice little clearing in the forest with a wooden platform and risers — perfect for some kind of ceremony or nature talk. The cottages are perched up high; a set of stairs leads down to a pretty pool overlooking the water. Read more on Fathom.
In the last century, "America's oldest inn" — welcoming guests heading east since 1697 — survived a fire (1921), society and political hijinks (early 20th century), and nightclub antics (the '90s). Now reborn at the hands of New England-based High Street Hospitality, the compound includes plenty of green spaces, modern artwork, public areas, including a renovated ballroom, and varied guest accommodations. Twenty guest rooms in the main inn have sophisticated but relaxed decor and fancy amenities like Frette linens and full-sized Costa Brava toiletries. Five cottages with one- to four-bedroom options have the same amenities, as well as firepits and fireplaces. The residential options at The Boathouses across the canal are managed by Inspirato. Lounge by the pool, have a meal on the plant-filled terrace or in the cozy Tavern. Relax with a massage at the the spa run by clean beauty company Onda or with a nightcap by the original fireplace in the Library Bar.
The modern farmhouse-inspired, 20-room hotel on the Long Island Sound has blonde wood millwork, spa showers, fireplaces, and terraces. The lobby has an all-day cafe and adorable gift shop. You can see across the bluff and to the sea from the heated saltwater pool. Catch the sunset from a striped beach chair under a fringed umbrella on the private rocky beach.
New Places to Eat
Generally speaking, the North Fork is more about the food and the South Fork is more about the scene.
Love this "tide-to-table" bar in a cute white house run by the oyster farmers of the delightfully briny Peconic Smiles variety (the Happy Oyster folks also have a self-serve farm stand).
Five-time Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded chef Melissa O'Donnell of Manhattan's Salt, Thelma on Clinton, and Li'l Gem fame debuts her first East End endeavor this season in the former Dockside space. The sustainable menu and wine list are costal-inspired; a partnership with the nearby American Legion will benefit local veterans.
Delicious pies, salads, and gluten-free options abound at this sister property to the NYC pizza parlor. (The branding is a real treat.)
French-Italian fare made from the islands's incredible produce, centered around a large hearth.
A charming 16-seat osteria and Italian food market from the people who run SoHo's beloved Peasant restaurant.
A funky outfit on a remote beach serving fruity cocktails and casual seaside plates.
A nice spot to arrive by boat — eight slips in the Peconic are available for this thoughtful, sustainable seafood restaurant.
When this Caribbean spot opened, the West Indian community gave it the stamp of approval. Quick service and quality ingredients make up meals like breakfast roti and rice and peas.
The brewing company opened a weekends-only pop-up beer garden with pizza, live bands, and a skate ramp.
A stylish steakhouse with a seafood habit run by people who know what's good (WildFlower Farms wine director Vanessa Price and James Beard-nominated chef Jeremy Blutstein).
A very stylish little bar and sun-filled dining room that will probably be a brunch-time nightmare. See if you can sneak a seat for weekday aperitif.
A daytime cafe spin-off of the popular Southampton and Sag Harbor restaurants of the same name will offer breakfast and lunch options and lovely bakery items like tartes and brioche.
Places to Explore
Between dinner parties, pool parties, and bicycle time, can you squeeze in a little culture?
Lots of cool programming (art exhibitions, lectures, workshops, classes) inside a beautiful old building fosters local creativity and honors the living history of the "maker village."
The beautiful space along Old Montauk Highway is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year with a roster of talks, exhibitions, site-specific installations, and classes for adults and children. Check the schedule to experience jazz performances in the museum's expansive outdoor gallery.
The non-profit learning center dedicated to LI’s family farming roots hosts a July barn dance, picnic concerts, and workshops on canning, preserving, and basket-weaving.
Interactive and immersive exhibits take curious kids through a magic bedroom into a forest, onto a fire truck, behind the soda fountain at a General Store, for a stroll along Main Street, and at the farmstand. Plus: Bilingual mini golf!
Come Home with a Glow
The Italian beauty guru will run a popup in August, offering his signature services (cotton thread technique, dry massage, and intra-oral massage), holistic facials and massages, and workshops and classes on gua sha and lymphatic drainage. Exclusive to the Hamptons are his Trilift DMSt protocol, a treatment billed as a natural face lift, and one-on-one masterclasses to learn how to best care for face and body skin ecosystem. Book through firstname.lastname@example.org or +1-347-918-6295.
The interesting Summer Healing series includes overnight stays exploring cranio sacral therapy, sound healing, and traditional Chinese medicine.
If you haven't yet had a restorative therapy session in a room surrounded by 13 tons of pink Himalayan salt bricks under glowing, twinkly lights, it's only a matter of time before the wellness trend takes you in.