Known as Hollywood’s summer playground—glitzy parties, acclaimed restaurants and beautiful beaches, you know the lay of the land—the Hamptons attracts city dwellers and celebrities every year. And who can blame them? The area is immaculate. But there are more towns across Long Island that radiate summertime charm. Dig your toes in the sand at these three underrated gems.
Located on the Long Island Sound, this small town offers salty air and magnificent sunsets. In addition to pristine beaches like the Charles E. Ransom and Centre Island, Ocean restaurant at The Crescent Beach Club heightens the experience, allowing diners to nosh on fresh seafood and decadent sushi combinations while taking in waterfront views. Lobster and spicy crunch tuna, anyone? The coastal town also draws many to the annual waterside festival featuring live music from some of the area’s best bands, delicious food, drinks and rides.
Minutes from the beach, the train station and downtown area, Oyster Bay has summer day trip written all over it. The quaint seafaring community and local food scene continues to attract new restaurateurs. (Over the past year, restaurants like Southdown Coffee, 2 Spring and Gambino’s Italian Trattoria & Bakery opened with a 11771 zip code.) Not to mention, the historic Planting Fields Arboretum plays host to numerous summer events like a garden festival, champagne party and outdoor movies. And whether it’s by land or sea, all cameras should be on deck for the stellar views at Oyster Bay Harbor. Pro Tip: Boaters can anchor in Morris Cove or the busier West Harbor.
Ideal for those who value a sense of community, this neighborly town capitalizes on relaxation. Whether it’s taking a stroll along Ho Hum Beach, spending the afternoon on a historical walking tour or attending the annual July 4 art show, there is no shortage of simplistic beauty. Also in the summer are a series of outdoor concerts with performances ranging from jazz and R&B to modern day rock. End the night on an even higher note at Carla Marla’s Ice Cream Parlor where the ice cream sundaes are creating a noteworthy sugar high.