10 Hamptons Secrets That Will Make Your Summer So Much Easier (and Better)

You know to avoid Route 27 at all costs, to go to Lunch for lobster rolls and to visit the Quogue Wildlife Refuge when you want to escape the crowds. Bud do you know where to go without reservations? Or how to beat the traffic to and from the East End (no private helicopter required)? These Hamptons secrets are your ticket to your best summer ever.

The 5 Spas Every Hamptonite Needs to Know About

la fondita
La Fondita/ Facebook

No Reservations? No Problem. 
Having to make a lunch reservation takes the fun out of vacation. Head to La Fondita, the Clam BarRowdy Hall or Townline BBQ without one (just be prepared for a short wait).

Where to Escape the Crowds
Some days you’re all about the people watching, but other days you’d rather not make small talk with your sister’s college roommate who you of course ran into at Ditch Plains. When you need to escape for a few hours, head to Peconic Land Trust’s Bridge GardensMashomack Preserve or Montauk Salt Cave.

fresno table wine plate meal chips
fresno restaurant/ Facebook

For Local Fare Without the Hype
Locals try to keep Fresno to themselves. The restaurant just outside of East Hampton village has been dishing up modern American fare with an emphasis on local seafood for nearly 15 years.

When You Need a Gift (That’s Not Another Candle)
Those in the know head to Amagansett’s chic shops when they need a gift for their most discerning friend. Don’t miss Love Adorned for a selection of new and vintage jewelry as well as a curated selection of home goods.

sag harbor shopping store fronts
Doug Kerr/ Flickr

The Most Un-Hamptons Hamptons Town
Sag Harbor is the bohemian younger sister of the Hamptons. It embraces its whaling history and keeps its small-town vibe (even when the population swells in the summer), it’s eccentric (full of vintage shops, funky art galleries and the occasional dive bar) and it’s home to one of the last single-screen movie theaters on all of Long Island.

The Bayside Beach
Every year we say this is going to be the year we manage to snag a summer home near East Hampton’s coveted Louse Point Beach. The gorgeous beach on the bay side of the island is the ultimate hideaway with calm waters, minimal crowds and an overall relaxing vibe.

f and w market
L and W Market/Facebook

When You Want a Restaurant Meal Without the Restaurant
Head to L&W Market in Bridgehampton and pick up some of Almond restaurant’s most popular dishes. From the marinated strip steak and famous mac and cheese to the sticky toffee date cake, you can prepare reheat a full meal at home. Pro tip: For the best selection and fewest crowds, go as early in the day as possible.

For a Taste of the Old Hamptons 
Tucked inside Offshore Sports Marina in Montauk, Liars’ Saloon is the dive bar you didn’t know existed out east. This is a fishermen’s bar and has been for 30 years. But it’s also where locals go for mudslides, killer martinis, foosball and karaoke.

chanel shoes on chair pink
Collette Designer Consignment/ Facebook

Affordable Vintage Shopping
It’s easy to splurge in the Hamptons—and why shouldn’t you?—but when you want to score a new (to you) outfit on a budget, there’s no place like Southampton’s favorite consignment store, Collette. From Alexander McQueen to Chloé, it’s not hard to see why locals make a point of stopping in frequently.

The Trick to Beating the Traffic
In our dream life, we’d have a private helicopter to whisk us to and from the Hamptons. In real life, the secret to beating the traffic to the Hamptons is to leave Thursday after work or Friday after 8 p.m. On the way back to NYC, set your alarm (and your coffee maker) and head out before the sun rises on Monday or, if you’re lucky enough to have one of those work-from-home jobs, mid-Monday morning.

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Freelance PureWow Editor