It’s piping hot in New York City right now, and I’m wishing I’d planned a weekend at the beach. In more than a decade here, I’ve traveled to many of the area’s beaches and lakes. It’s the only way to avoid a meltdown- literally and metaphorically. Here are some of my favorite places to stay when I need an escape.
The iconic MONTAUK YACHT CLUB, which opened more than 80 years ago on the East End of Long Island, was recently renovated to keep up with Montauk’s rising cachet. I love that the new interiors are contemporary and breezy yet the place still feels like an old-school resort. There’s a waterfront restaurant serving classic American fare, a spa, an indoor pool and two smallish outdoor pools, along with a tiny but very pretty lake beach. The resort is about a 10-minute drive from the center of town, which I think is perfect- I prefer to be in quiet surroundings. Montauk’s hotspots are all spread out anyway, and the local taxi vans are quite affordable.
SUNSET BEACH, a small hotel with a restaurant, a cafe and a bar, is as chic as it is relaxing. This hideaway sits on Shelter Island, an idyllic town located between the North and South Forks of Long Island. You get there by driving to either Sag Harbor or Greenport, then hopping on a ferry (with your car) which takes you to the island in just five minutes. Susent Beach was opened by Andre Balazs, the famous hotelier behind The Standard properties in New York, L.A. and Miami, so you know there’s a solid team behind it. Even if you don’t stay overnight (the rooms are pricey), it’s worth spending an afternoon there, eating mussels, sipping margaritas and lounging on pillowed benches, then skipping across the street to take a dip in cool bay waters.
For those who want to stay closer to the city, the ALLEGRIA in Long Beach is a good option. Long Beach is a no-frills town edged by a wide, white-sand beach that’s been popular among New Yorkers for decades. You can get there on a train in 45 minutes, so it’s an easy day trip. But why not make it an entire weekend? The Allegria is the only upscale hotel in the area; it has a restaurant, Atlantica, that serves tasty seasonal food and offers ocean views.