How To Plan A Couples’ Weekend Getaway To The Hamptons That Isn’t Lame

If you happened to tie the knot before or during the pandemic and have put the honeymoon on pause until flying feels safe again, sneaking in an end-of-summer or early fall escape is still plausible—and probably much-needed.

Enter the Hamptons: an easily-accessible destination if you happen to reside in the tri-state area—or even parts of New England—and don’t mind a drive or a scenic ferry route.

With an expansive backyard that checks all the vacation-worthy boxes (sun, surf, and sand), heading out east is always a good idea in our book. Responsible, socially distant practices and policies also make the Hamptons feel not only doable these days, but welcoming. 

Below are our picks for where to stay, dine, and explore after your weekender bag is packed and you’re ready to go.

Where To Stay

Amangansett’s newest residence, The Roundtree, is beyond dreamy, and ideal for getting away in style. The 15-room, pet-friendly boutique hotel just opened last month, so you know it’s clean, disinfected on the regular, and COVID-compliant. There are even cell phone sanitizing stations in your personal quarters. Now, how’s that for safety precautions?

You can choose between deluxe rooms, suites, and cottages in centuries-old refurbished digs that all come with Frette linens, Matouk towels, and Grown Alchemist bath products. The Roundtree is basically our #1 pick for romance, intimacy, and luxury, all wrapped up in one. And when you book four or more nights, they’ll set you up with a chef for a fall harvest dinner experience for two on the property.

 

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“A stay at The Roundtree means you’ll get to know your neighbors, since there’s so few of you. Perhaps you’re just drinking rose, or, since The Roundtree allows pets, your dog will inevitably run up to greet another on its rolling green grounds. Then you’ll start chatting (six feet apart, of course), and soon enough, you’re waving to them at breakfast or giving them a nod as you both dive into yet another Zoom call. Everything is so laid back, so friendly, that it adds to the atmosphere.” – @ejtay @voguemagazine Consider one of our stand-alone cottages or rooms for weekly and monthly rentals this fall for a socially distanced #workfromvacation experience #theroundtreeamagansett #theroundtreehotel #theroundtree

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Smack dab in the middle of Montauk is the notoriously laid-back “End of the World” Surf Lodge. Kitschy balcony hammocks and a fleet of loaner bikes are part of the perks when it comes to staying here, as is close proximity to the beach—making it a coveted hangout for eating, sleeping, surfing, and repeating. Standard rooms (plus junior and master suites) are boho, yet minimalistic. Their famous outdoor concert series is on pause given the pandemic, but the restaurant remains open with six-feet-apart al fresco seating.

 

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aaaand we’re back! Starting today we’re officially open to hotel guests (only!)—with a new set of safety protocols in place. In the face of all this uncertainty we hope to bring you some sense of comfort and familiarity, and create the escape we all need right now. Rooms are still available for the July 4th weekend and we have take-away dining starting Friday for our neighbors, so let’s finally get this summer started! … Protocols include: -Employees wear masks at all times -Employees are tested weekly -Contactless sanitizing stations -Both in-house cleaning and professional commercial cleaning -Encouraging staff to social-distance outside of work -Immediate response and transparency to a positive test

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One of the sweetest stays in the Hamptons can be found at Baron’s Cove in the quaint whaling village of Sag Harbor. Ideal for a lover’s retreat, the year-round sophisticated refuge boasts 67 rooms, many with gated terraces tailored to sitting outside for sunset cocktails. Its upstairs restaurant is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The spacious pool and surrounding gardens serve as the perfect adult playground, so it’s no wonder Billy Joel, Truman Capote, and Jackson Pollock have all checked in over the years. Pro tip: book in the fall and winter to save on rates.

Where To Eat

If you happen to be near Bridgehampton, our go-to romantic dinner for two is always at the Topping Rose House. The uber-chic Jean-Georges restaurant is a must for celebs, socialites, and diners who want a meal in a swanky setting. It’s also one of the few premiere spots that’s open year-round for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails. As far as the menu goes, the black truffle and Fontina cheese pizza is a must, as are the roasted Maine lobster, seared black sea bass, and crispy salmon sushi. 

 

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Dinner plans anyone? #toppingrosehouse #jeangeorges #longislandrestaurants #hamptonstyle

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Down the road in Bridgehampton is the quaint Bridgehampton Inn & Restaurant, with an idyllic backyard and locally sourced menu that changes from season to season. On Fridays, there’s live music, and Kyle, their esteemed wizard behind the bar, will be more than eager to whip up a bespoke aperitif of your choosing. The family-run establishment also owns the Loaves & Fishes Food Store next door, so be sure to stop in for newlywed must-haves for the home—or to update your registry. 

More staples in Montauk include roadside seafood shack The Clam Bar for lobster rolls and fried whole belly clams, plus a smorgasbord of other seafood favorites under a cascade of yellow umbrellas. It’s only open for lunch, and highly addictive after you go the first time. 

 

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Perfect Clam Bar weekend. This beautiful 📸 by @newyorkfoodbabes #lobsterroll #joinusforbreakfast #theclambar

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Navy Beach is another spot for good vibes and good times, with picnic tables nestled in the sand and a stay-all-day mentality that makes it hard to leave—and harder to not order more wine. (They have one of the largest selections of rosé in the Hamptons.) Food highlights include the buttermilk fried chicken, jumbo lump crab cake and, obviously, the navy burger. Their sunset views are legendary, and their 200-foot private beach is prime real estate for honeymoon happenings (aka Instagrams).

 

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Stay Safe! Wear your masks, wash your hands, and socially distance! And while your at it, take in the view 😍

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Get a taste of Manhattan in Montauk at Scarpetta at Gurney’s Montauk Hotel & Spa, which is not only on the beach, but set under a cascade of twinkling lights for the ultimate ambiance. You’ll undoubtedly order the classic Italian pastas for the table, but don’t overlook the fresh crudi, the black cod, or the Wagyu strip. Then there’s Showfish at Gurney’s Star Island, with an ingredient-driven menu of veggie-forward dishes as well as crazy good land and sea options.

Duryea’s may sound like a laid-back lobster deck with a view, but it’s more like St. Barths or St. Tropez when you arrive to the chic AF destination. Here, the rosé is always flowing, and the plateau de fruits de mer are on point. They’re renowned for their lobster Cobb salad and crudité platters, but it’s the cushy banquettes, overhead fishnet canopy, and effortlessly cool attitude that makes us fall in love with this Montauk mainstay again and again. 

If you’ve never been to Tutto il Giorno, make a reservation now. So f*cking pretty, it’s exactly where you want to toast to your nuptials over shared plates of Mediterranean fare. Designed (and owned) by Donna Karan and her daughter, Gabby Karan De Felice, it’s the epitome of backyard garden goals. And they have outposts in both Sag Harbor and Southampton, so you’ll have ample opportunities to visit, depending on where you’re staying.

 

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The family table. Tutto Sag Harbor. Tutto il Giorno. Tutto family. @urbanzen #uzxtutto

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Main Street Tavern is a new spot that just opened this summer, from the team behind Highway Restaurant & Bar in East Hampton. Already gaining a considerable amount of buzz, MST is the tasty newbie on the block with delicious food and charm to boot. They’re currently only offering dinner through takeout or in their outdoor socially distanced beer garden, but definitely order the crispy shrimp, fish and chips, and baked clams.

 

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Cooking up a very tasty opening… Join us THIS Thursday at 5pm! #mainstreettavern

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Other strong contenders for breakfast, lunch, and dinner include: Cowfish (Hampton Bays), Nick & Toni’s (East Hampton), Coche Comedor (by the team behind Nick & Toni’s, La Fondita, and Towline BBQ), The Backyard at Sole East (Montauk), Wölffer Kitchen (Amagansett), Le Bilboquet (Sag Harbor), Greek gem Elaia Estiatorio (Bridgehampton), and il Buco at Mostrador Marram

 

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Breakfast is served. @chefjsmillie @marrammontauk 📷: @giadapaoloni

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What To Do (Socially Distanced)

Yes, the beaches are open—as are almost all restaurants and shops in the various towns—but, obviously, wear your mask and lay your towel, chair, etc. away from others to do your part. For more information on beach permits and parking, check out this handy guide.

 

SoulCycle 

Spinning to the beat may be paused at most indoor studios around the world still, but, naturally, the Hamptons takes it outdoors. Grab a bike for SoulOutside at any of the the Southampton, Bridgehampton, Water Mill, and Montauk locations, but be sure to book early.

Wölffer Estate Drive-Thru

Chances are you’ve seen the socially distant drive-through rosé cart on the ‘gram, because it’s pretty much the cutest thing ever. Pull up, select your pink or bubbly of choice (along with whites, reds, and ciders), then be on your way, contact-free. Should you desire more of a vineyard-type experience, the Estate and Wine Stand are currently offering tasting reservations (with food) six feet apart. 

The drive-thru can be found at the Wölffer Estate Wine Stand in Sagaponack, New York. It’s open daily from 11am to 7pm.

Bike Around Town

Most hotels provide complimentary wheels to scoot around the Hamptons in the summer, and you can be as spread out as you want when riding. Should you be in a house or Airbnb, here are a few more places to rent from:

  1. Khanh Sports
  2. Amagansett Beach & Bicycle
  3. Dan’s Bike Rental
  4. Sag Harbor Cycle Company
  5. Rotations Bicycle Center

Plan A Clambake On The Beach

Hampton Clambake will bring the beach party to you, with a fully organized and delicious clambake on the South and North forks. 

Take Advantage of NYC-Turned-Hamptons Pop-Up Restaurants

This summer, New York City notables such as Marea, Carbone, Kissaki and the aforementioned il Buco have traveled out East to bring the people what they want: platters of spicy rigatoni to go. Some of these pop-ups come with a hefty price tag (like Marea’s dinner for four for $450), but you get to enjoy a Michelin-starred meal in the comfort of your own home. Plus, it’s a serious spread. Think: marinated olives, lobster and burrata, panzanella salad, steak with salsa verde, summer squash, sautéed greens, seasonal pie, and a bottle of Hampton Water Rosé.

Image: Hamish Duncan / Unsplash; theroundtreeamagansett, thesurflodge, baronscove, toppingrosehouse, bridgehamptoninnandrestaurant, theclambar, navybeachmontauk, scarpettarestaurants, duryeaslobsterdeck, tuttoilgiorno, themainstreettavern, monstradormarram, wolfferwine, mareanyc / Instagram