Summer on the East End is known for nightclubbing, dining, shopping and playing in the sun — and while parts of that typical social experience are on hold, there still are some popular stops that'll provide ways to have food and fun. Here's how to spend a socially distant day.
VISIT A PARK
The East End is home to many state, local and county parks and beaches. That gives families looking for wide-open spaces several options, including Orient Beach State Park (40000 Main Rd., Orient; 631-323-2440) on the North Fork and Shelter Island’s Mashomack Preserve (47 South Ferry Rd.; 631-324-7493), which are spots for nature watching and hiking.
For a chance to check out several state spots all in one hamlet, try Montauk, starting with Hither Hills (164 Old Montauk Hwy.; 631-668-2554), Camp Hero (1898 Montauk Hwy.; 631-668-3781), Shadmoor (900 Montauk Hwy.; 631-668-3781) and Montauk Point (2000 Montauk Hwy.; 631-668-3781). These parks are pet-friendly (expect for Hither Hills) and have equestrian trails (save Shadmoor). Golfers can try the course over at Montauk Downs (50 South Fairview Ave.; 631-668-5000) where play can vary in complexity from day to day, depending on the winds that famously blow in from the ocean. Get all the details and updates for each state park at parks.ny.gov. Entry fees vary.
For a spot not so far east, Sears Bellows County Park (63 Bellows Pond Rd., Hampton Bays; 631-852-8290) also has lots to do. And while the park’s rowboats are still off-limits to rent, freshwater Bellows Pond remains a picturesque (as in Instagrammable) sight.
STOP BY A FARM STAND
Over the years it’s a common sight to see a lengthy line of people waiting to purchase a pie at Briermere Farms (4414 Sound Ave., Riverhead; 631-722-3931), and that’s still very doable, but now at a social distance. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily, check the website to see what pies are currently on the menu, which also holds various other baked goods. Read the list carefully, as some items aren’t ready until 2 p.m. Further down the road, Harbes Family Farm (715 Sound Ave., Mattituck; 631-298-0800) is offering a $55 “Farm Fresh Box” that contains a changing assortment of fresh baked goods, produce and ready-to-munch snacks (including kettle corn, apple cider doughnuts and an individual pie); boxes can be preordered at harbesfamilyfarm.com or directly at Harbes until they sell out. The farm stand (selling hot dogs, roasted corn, cookies and doughnuts) is also open. Starting this weekend, the property will be open for outdoor dining.
Harbes isn't the only vineyard opening for outdoor distant dining this weekend. With the start of Phase 2 on Long Island, wineries such as Paumanok's Palmer Vineyard and Sannino Vineyard, among others, are reopening their outdoor patios. Call ahead as reservations may be required. Group sizes will be limited. Several Hamptons restaurants are also slated to open up their outdoor seating areas. Noted for its celebrity crowd, 75 Main (75 Main St., Southampton; 631-283-7575) owner Zach Erdem says he'll be placing over 20 tables in front of his restaurant, and has also created a garden behind the eatery that will sport 10 more. Southampton Social Club (256 Elm St., Southampton; 631-287-1400) is opening an outdoor dining and lounge space in its large courtyard (starting June 11, available by reservation only), and Dockers Waterside Marina and Restaurant (94 Dune Rd., East Quogue; 631-653-0653) — famous for its sunsets — will be offering full-service dining (starting at 3 p.m. on Friday, June 12).
As of June 5, the Viking Fleet (462 West Lake Dr., Montauk; 631-668-5700) is back in operation, sailing daily for spring porgy fishing from the 144-foot Viking Starship (5 a.m. to noon; limited to 50 passengers, fares $70-$120) and doing “Half-Day Family Fun” fishing trips on the 104-foot Viking Star (daily 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.; limited to only 36 passengers, $35-$60). Reservations are required for all trips, boats and rental rods will be sanitized before and after trips; attendees must wear face coverings when unable to be six feet away from others. Call 631-668-5700 or visit vikingfleet.com to book or find out what’s included in each package.
Peconic Star Express has started its open boat season for porgies (7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; masks are required, gloves are requested). Other charter fishing boats may be operating as well; call the vessel of your choice to verify.
Stephen Talkhouse (161 Main St., Amagansett; 631-267-3117) has recently launched a free “Talkhouse Live” series that features musicians playing live on its Facebook page and YouTube channel; artists to already appear include the Nancy Atlas Project, Josh Brussell and Bosco Michne (of Little Head Thinks) and Klyph Black (Zen Tricksters).
Notable actors appearing on the Guild Hall stage (158 Main St., East Hampton; 631-324-0806) every summer is a commonplace happening, and come 8 p.m. June 16, Austin Pendleton (“What's Up, Doc?”, “My Cousin Vinny,” “Amistad”) will perform a virtual staged reading of “James Joyce: A Short Night’s Odyssey From No to Yes” (free, donation options available); more info and register at guildhall.org. Elsewhere in East Hampton, Bookhampton (41 Main St.; 631-324-4939) is hosting several virtual conversations with authors; most are free, RSVP and see who’s scheduled at bookhampton.com.
Southampton Golf Range (668 CR-39; 631-283-2158) is currently open 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Social distancing guidelines are in effect and rental clubs are not available for the time being, but the driving range, mini golf and batting cages are open for play. Hungry folks can also stop in and grab something off the menu featuring Local Burger Co., which also has eateries in Bay Shore and Patchogue. Additionally, interactive LED target greens that flash colors when struck by golf balls are expected to be installed before July.
GO ON A NATURE WALK
The South Fork Natural History Museum (377 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Tpke., Bridgehampton; 631-537-9735) has created Zoom programming that is set to run through the summer (some are free, others many cost $15, $20 for two people or $25 for a family of up to five). For a more personal experience, the museum has relaunched its outdoor nature walks program (for up to 10 people; participants must observe social distance protocols and wear masks). Check online at sofo.org or email the museum at email@example.com for more info.