Alfresco pingpong tables, lawn games, fire pits — going out in the Hamptons feels more fun this season. Besides food and drinks, more spots are offering crowd-pleasing diversions that make it easy to linger.
George’s Lighthouse Cafe
2000 Montauk Hwy., Montauk; 631-668- 2058
YOU GET Eat, drink and relax with the iconic lighthouse just a minute-walk away. Sit by a fireplace when the air gets chilly or take it outdoors to a deck on the bluffs that looks down on the Atlantic. Play at an indoor shuffleboard table or board games. There's a calendar of free live music.
WAY IN Show up. You’re in.
FOOD AND GAMES
E.M.P. Summer House
341 Pantigo Rd., East Hampton; 212-889-0905, empsummerhouse.com
YOU GET The summer outpost of Manhattan's Eleven Madison Park is back. Primarily a restaurant (you'll need an American Express credit card and a bit of luck to secure a reservation), it's also a casual hangout where people can roll in to try thought-out cocktails such as the “Peter Piper,” pineapple, pickled passion fruit and black pepper. Backyard lawn games abound — pingpong, cornhole, pétanque.
WAY IN Walk in or make reservations. Cash only if you aren't an Amex cardholder.
290 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk; 631-668-2345, gurneysresorts.com
YOU GET Socialize right on the sand at the resort's beach club or head up to the fire-pit deck for amazing views and a touch of warmth. DJ-driven and live music events are planned many weekends.
WAY IN Anyone can hang by the fire, but the beach club is for hotel guests and members only (day rentals available).
CLASSIC HAMPTONS CLUB
125 Tuckahoe Lane, Southampton; 516-492-0346; amsouthampton.com
YOU GET A scene that is probably the closest to the standard Hamptons club formula: celebrity entertainers, superstar DJs and bottle service. Crowds come to see producers, remixers come to spin hip-hop and dance, while rap stars and famous faces grace the stage most weekends.
WAY IN Advance tickets and cover charges can get you through the velvet ropes, but the best way to secure entrance is by reserving a table for bottle service.
GOOD FOR LIVE MUSIC
183 Edgemere St., Montauk; 631-483-5037, thesurflodge.com
YOU GET It's a chance to hang out with a mellow crowd in what might be the most “in” scene on the East End. The Lodge's storied annual free concert calendar stars popular artists and talked-about indie bands who play outdoors as the sun sets, creating a magical, musical event for those who map their way in.
WAY IN A dinner reservation paves the way in. Short of that, you won't pay a cover charge, but there are almost always dozens of people vying to get past the doorman. Expect a long wait.