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Beach towns: Off-season adventures in Sag Harbor and Long Beach

Consider exploring beach towns like Long Beach and

Consider exploring beach towns like Long Beach and Sag Harbor post-summer.  Credit: Howard Schnapp

Post-Labor Day, you can still get a taste of summer at Long Island destinations primed for daylong visitors. You'll likely encounter (far) less traffic and enjoy the streets, sights and sounds like a local would.


The summer never ends in the City by the Sea. While your offseason day may not be centered on getting time on the sand, you can soak in the laid-back vibe all over town. Grab coffee and pastries at acclaimed pastry chef Catherine Schimenti’s Baked by the Ocean. Alternatively, fuel up with a "southern fried brunch" at Swingbelly’s barbecue restaurant. Then head toward the water.

The iconic Long Beach boardwalk is open for social distance strolls and bike rides until 8 p.m. every day, as are the town’s white sandy beaches (see for updates on COVID-19 restrictions).

Surfing is a year-round sport in Long Beach. Surf lessons can be arranged (along with rentals of boards and wet suits) through Unsoundsurf. Codfish Cowboy stocks trendy jewelry, candles, and greeting cards if you’re looking for souvenirs.

End your day with cocktails and an early dinner at Lost at Sea, where a Happy Time Lemonade (vodka, rose, lemon, and lavender) pairs nicely with a plate of fish’n’frites.


If working from home has inspired a desire to redecorate, head to Sag Harbor, which has a dozen high-end home furnishings shops open for socially distanced business. Fisher’s sells everything from bed linens, lighting, and antique accessories to custom-upholstered furniture and offers interior design services as well. Monc XIII specializes in midcentury modern and Scandinavian furnishings and accessories along with gorgeous organic ceramics and fluffy wool throws in neutral tones. Sylvester and Company sells beachy home accessories like outdoor rugs, bamboo lanterns, and iron fire pits as well as tabletop and kitchen accessories and unusual coffee table books.

Grab lunch on the patio of Tutto il Giorno, a safe people-watching perch. Or buy sandwiches at Cavaniola’s Gourmet and eat them on the newly renovated Long Wharf. The go-to treat in town is coffee and inventively flavored doughnuts from Grindstone.

Cap the day with a late season summer sunset cruise aboard the American Beauty, a charter boat that runs limited Saturday evening cruises at 5:30, weather permitting, priced at $45.

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