Weekends in the Hamptons are a summertime tradition on Long Island. Traffic is an everyday tradition. When 27 merges into single-lane in Water Mill, so too do these two quintessential Long Island experiences. But come on, it’s summer. The livin’ is supposed to be easy, even when going over 5 MPH isn’t. When you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place (or an Audi and an SUV), take a breather at one of these favorite Hamptons spots located right off the highway.
Highway, East Hampton
This rustic-yet-contemporary restaurant is a favorite of the Baldwin clan. The stone fireplace that divides the bar from the dining room is more for show during peak season; the eclectic, delicious menu choices are not. Wander in for some comfort food, like the tender steamed pork buns made with a spicy red cabbage slaw, or a classic cheeseburger. Gridlock is easier when tastebuds and stomachs are satisfied. Phone: 631-527-5372 | Address: 290 Montauk Hwy. Click to Taste
Yesterdays Treasures, Southampton
If you’ve driven to the Hamptons before, you may endearingly call this shop “the place with gigantic Superman and T-Rex sculptures on the lawn.” Though not hailed as an iconic roadside attraction in the same vein as Flanders’ Big Duck, it’s a landmark in its own right for anyone who frequently makes the trek East. Stop in if you’re craving hospitality (because you’re likely not getting it from the person tailgating you)—the staff is known to be as sweet as a farmstand pie. Customers need not freak out if they fall in love with a piece but don’t have space in their cars. Larry Schaffer, the store owner who once sold a 50-foot dinosaur to a Florida amusement park, ships. Phone: 631-283-5591 | Address: 1547 County Rd. 39, Southampton Click to Shop
Princess Diner, Water Mill
Located right where the traffic becomes single-lane, Princess Diner allows vacationers to take a deep breath and get into a standstill-state-of-mind—while eating, of course. If all my years watching Gilmore Girls taught me anything, it’s that all-day breakfast and generous portions of fries are the perfect cure for nerves, tempers and hunger pains. Phone: 631-283-4255 | Address: 54 Montauk Hwy. Click to Taste
The Golden Pear, Bridgehampton
The Golden Pear boasts four Hamptons locations (Southampton, Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton and East Hampton), but Bridgehampton’s is right on Montauk Highway. The fast casual joint is perfect for grab-and-go fare, but consider staying a while and enjoying a classic egg-and-cheese sandwich. Those trying to adhere to their swimsuit diets can order off the low-fat, low-carb breakfast and lunch menus. The fresh chopped salad with chicken and avocado is equal parts filling and healthy. Phone: 631-537-1100 | Address: 2426 Montauk Hwy Click to Taste
Serena & Lily Beach Market, Wainscott
This dreamy outpost reminds stuck-in-traffic customers why they’re on their way to the Hamptons: beach-y vibes. The store is stocked with colorful throws, vases and trays that make a summer home sweet. Phone: 631-537-5544 | Address: 332 Montauk Hwy Click to Shop
Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill
Roy Lichenstein’s sculptures “Tokyo Brushstroke I” and “Tokyo Brushstroke II” sit on the lawn of Parrish Art Museum and welcome guests to Water Mill and single-lane traffic. Take a cultural timeout and get lost in Long Island art history. A permanent gallery in the museum showcases artists with Long Island ties like Pollock Krasner and Willen de Kooning. Phone: 631-283-2118 | Address: 279 Montauk Hwy Click to Browse
Though we don’t condone snapping and driving, when you finally reach your Hamptons destination, take part in our #SummerofPulse challenges. Follow us on Instagram for weekly themes and prizes.