We've teamed up with our friends at Rachel Zoe to bring you the best of where to eat, sleep, play and party in the Hamptons. Pack your bags: this is your best summer ever.
The Surf Lodge During the summer, this hotel-meets-bar-meets-club is the cornerstone of Hamptons nightlife. Dressed in fringed caftans and platform mules, leggy fashionistas gather on the 2,600-square-foot outdoor deck to take in late-night performances by the likes of the Flaming Lips, Tove Lo and Lana del Ray. But it's not just the party that draws the young and the beautiful to this hipster hang. With on-site activities like vinyasa flow yoga classes, stand-up paddle boarding and bonfires on the man-made beach, the Surf Lodge is like a summer camp for grown-ups. It's no wonder that celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio and Solange have been spotted lounging on its hammock-strung patio.
Forever Bungalows The charm of the roadside motel is alive and well at this lovingly restored sleep—a collection of six detached bungalows and 8 hotel rooms just off Route 114 in Sag Harbor. The budget-friendly accommodations are simply-decorated, but have free WiFi, eco-friendly toiletries and bucolic views of the surrounding six wooden acres. Rent a cruiser from the hotel and explore nearby Main Street or Havens Beach (just 10 minutes away).
Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa Gurney's may be nearly a century old, but thanks to a 2014 facelift, the Montauk institution has never looked better. There's an Olympic-size seawater pool (the only sand-filtered and ocean-sourced pool in all of North America), a full-service spa with Roman Baths and a Finnish-style rock sauna and beach club with the kind of amenities (think: luxurious daybeds, a bikini-conscious menu, DJ-led dance parties) you'd expect to find in South Beach. Don't leave without tucking into the fresh seafood at Scarpetta Beach, the seaside outpost of the iconic Meatpacking District eatery.
The Montauk Beach House In downtown Montauk, a block from the Atlantic Ocean and prime surf beaches, this 33-room summer pad is the ideal spot for alfresco parties and poolside posing. Unabashed in its celebration of the summer scene, the three two-story accommodation blocks are set around the busy public spaces so you're never out of ear shot of the daytime action and DJ sets.
You can't hit the Hamptons without the proper wardrobe. This get-up will take you from day to night in style.
Rachel Zoe Elias Fringe Dress This knitted number with a fringed sleeve hem is a versatile option to pack on your Hamptons-weekend getaway. Style it with a mini cross body bag, lace-up sandals and a bright mani/pedi.
Rachel Zoe Babette Lace-Up Sandals Skip the 5-inch heels and lace up these trendy sandals instead. With gold hardware detailing, they're dressy enough to be worn out when the sun goes down.
Rachel Zoe Kacee Drop Earrings Pair these bedazzled, 14k gold earrings with a breezy off-the-shoulder top and a loose fishtail braid for an effortless, beach-chic look.
Grey Lady At this month-old New England-style restaurant on Lake Montauk, pretty young things sip local wine and chow on freshly-caught seafood like seared monkfish and bacon-wrapped scallops. Go for Happy Hour, when oysters sell for $1 and a vintage sailboat takes guests for sunset tours.
Arbor Once the home of home of Ciao by the Beach, this airy waterfront spot is now Arbor—an airy, beach-chic restaurant that opened earlier this month. Owned by billionaire Marc Rowan (who also owns Montauk's legendary Duryea's Lobster Deck) the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant has a clubby vibe and a sexy, sun-kissed clientele to match. Highlights include the extensive by-the-glass vino list and a prix fixe weekend brunch that doesn't skimp on the booze.
Ruschmeyer's Restaurant With long pine tables, gingham-check seat covers, Japanese white orb-style lanterns and naval blue and orange color accents, Ruschmeyer's dining hall bears unmistakable evidence of its former life as an East Coast summer camp. But the fresh, locally-sourced grub (South Fork greens salad, buttery lobster rolls and swordfish with summer squash succotash) is anything but meal hall-grade. Dine early before the party crowd comes to play at the hotel's cool backyard patio.
Ditch Plains Beach Ditch Plains is arguably the most scenic beach in the East End, thanks to its low-rolling dunes, high cliffs and surfer-friendly breaks. On weekends, stake out a spot on the powdery sand to watch pro-surfers ride the swells. There are plenty of food trucks parked at the beach's entrance (Ditch Witch is a JS favorite), so there's no reason you can't stick around all day.
Knockout Beauty It may be a beach destination, but we all know the Hamptons are just as image-conscious as NYC. To keep your summer beauty game on point, stock up on all-natural products at this just-opened Bridgehampton pop-up shop from Cayli Reck—the beauty aficionado behind @knockingonforty. There, you'll find indie beauty brands such as Lake & Skye, Sunday Riley and Tenoverten.
The Parrish Art Museum In the event of rain, plan a visit to the Herzog & de Meuron-designed Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill. Its exhaustive permanent collection includes works by 19th century heavyweights like Roy Lichetenstein, Cindy Sherman and Fairfield Porter. On view through July 24, 2016 is "Radical Seafaring"—a 50-work collection of "offshore art" like handmade rafts and vessels.
400 Rabbits Tequila Bar Rosé may be everyone’s favorite summertime beverage, but you’d be remiss to not sample the tequila-based libations at 400 Rabbits Tequila Bar in Southampton. Located inside the new Union Cantina—a buzzy Mexican eatery from Ian Duke and David Hilty of the Southampton Social Club—there's an outdoor bar and more than 100 types of tequila on offer. Our favorite? The Cinnamon Sol—a refreshing mix of Don Julio Reposado, cinnamon, pineapple and fresh lime juice.
Sloppy Tuna Everyone from Charlie Sheen to Scott Disick have partied at this infamous beachfront surf shack, which reopened just in time for summer 2016 after noise violations and internal disputes forced the hotspot to close earlier this year. Locals say the place has classed up since, but not to worry—there are still purple cocktails, a lax dress code (shirts and shoes optional!) and plenty of raucous shenanigans.
The Crow's Nest Of all the amazing places to watch the sunset in the Hamptons (and trust us—there are many), Crow's Nest gets our vote as the best spot to toast the magic of the hour. The romantic beachfront bar has cabanas, fire pits, lake views, twinkling lights, and some of the best cocktails in the Hamptons. Our pick? Dayton's Ruse (the house version of a margarita).