It’s time to take back the Hamptons. When the summer share crowd rolls out of the South Fork after Labor Day, native Long Islanders know there’s still a few good weeks of warm-weather fun to be had before fall’s apple- and pumpkin-picking frenzy brings swarms of visitors right back in. Here’s how you can spend some late-season time out and about in the Hamptons.
HIT THE BEACH
Locals know Hamptons beaches are beautiful year-round, and post-Labor Day, the crowd size is vastly smaller. In Montauk, surfers tackle the waves all year. “The water stays quite comfortable through October,” says Kristin Senese, an owner of CoreysWave Professional Surf Instruction. Fall is a particularly good time to learn how to hang 10 — newbies can have more freedom in the water with fewer people, Senese says. Even in a popular spot like Ditch Plains Beach. Private lessons start at $150 an hour.
Once winter hits, Cupsogue Beach County Park in Westhampton Beach is popular for seal watching.
GO OUT — FOR LESS
Come summer, AM Southampton might be the hottest spot to hang, given its celebrity sightings and long lines waiting behind velvet ropes. It’s more attainable to masses off-season, with DJ-led parties every Saturday through next spring. “It’s all locals [once] the summer scene is gone,” says owner Zach Erdem. And the club changes its bottle menu to make it “cheaper for our local customers,” he says. The usual off-season cover charge is $20 at the door, unless it’s a special event night (516-492-0346, amsouthampton.com).
A day trip to the Hamptons calls for at least one pit stop. Be it a family with kids or a group of friends, the summer’s popular new fun spot, The Clubhouse in East Hampton, is staying open. On a nice day, play cornhole on the back lawn or mini golf before dining outside on the patio. Inside, there’s boccie, an arcade, 10 lanes of bowling, billiards and TVs tuned to sports games. Stick around later and you might find live music or a DJ (631-537-2695; ehitclubhouse.com).
EATING IS A TREAT
Some of the most popular restaurants in the Hamptons continue to serve long after the famous folks have fled. For example, it’s much easier to get a table at celebrity hangout Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton in the off-season, and the upscale Italian-inspired menu remains fancy. The restaurant is also bringing back its annual offseason Sunday brunch (11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sundays through Memorial Day; 631-324-3550, nickandtonis.com). Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor brought in new executive chef Jay Lippin in mid-August, and the hotel restaurant features a fresh menu just in time for fall (631-725-2101, baronscove.com). Meanwhile, there’s still time to check out the trendy EMP SummerHouse — that’s the seasonal spot in East Hampton that requires an American Express credit card and (normally) lots of planning to nab a table. The indoor-outdoor spot is taking reservations through Sept. 22, and there are openings ($50 deposit per person; no phone, empsummerhouse.com).
STAGE AND SCREEN
Arguably the Hamptons’ top spot for live music, The Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, segues from summer’s star-heavy calendar to more of a local scene through winter. Of note: Celebrated rocker Elliot Murphy is slated for 8 p.m. Nov. 23, and former “Saturday Night Live” bandleader G.E. Smith plays 8 p.m. New Year’s Eve (631-267-3117, stephentalkhouse.com). Count on a crowd for the Hamptons International Film Festival Oct. 4-8. Academy Award-winning director Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”) already has been announced as attending; his latest film, “First Man” (Ryan Gosling, Jason Clarke), is screening.