Just like that, the summer is almost over — so if you’ve yet to take a vacation and unwind, here are four places to try not too far from Long Island that offer sun, surf and plenty of things to do to fulfill an endless summer:
This East End hot spot has become a year-round destination for fun and things to do. For those looking to soak up the sun, Hither Hills State Park (164 Old Montauk Hwy.; 631-668-2554, parks.ny.gov) has a lifeguarded beach ($10 per car daily) and there’s an option to camp ($35 nightly for state residents; $70 otherwise). The hamlet is also home to tons of nightlife, but venues like Montauk Beach House (55 S. Elmwood Ave.; 631-668-2112, thembh.com) and Surf Lodge (183 Edgemere St.; 631-250-8439, thesurflodge.com) have event calendars with mainly free events (but reservations are highly recommended due to capacity restraints). For a historic experience, the tower of the Montauk Point Lighthouse (2000 Montauk Hwy.; 631-668-3781, montauklighthouse.com) has reopened to the public following a two-year pandemic shutdown, so if you’re willing to climb the 137 steps, you can get an incredible view of the surrounding area — or stay on the ground floor and explore the museum (look for the original commissioning document signed by then-Potus George Washington).
Sole East Resort is a boutique hotel with its own restaurant, a heated outdoor pool and lawn space with fire pits. The venue also launched (as of Aug. 1) a free virtual personal training program for guests that can be performed anywhere (where there’s Wi-Fi). COVID cleaning procedures remain in use, including the use of peroxide-based cleaners on all flat surfaces and deep cleanings between checkouts.
INFO 90 Second House Rd.; 631-668-2105, soleeast.com. Rates start at $399.
The western end of the Fire Island communities, it can be reached by ferry from Bay Shore (99 Maple Ave.; 631-665-3600, fireislandferries.com) or walk from Robert Moses State Park Field 5 (about 1.8 miles) — and along that jaunt one can stop by the Fire Island Lighthouse (1 Burma Rd., Fire Island National Seashore; 631-583-5901, fireislandlighthouse.com); the tower is open for tours daily (masks are still required). Once in the hamlet, the beach is open to all and there are a pair of sit-down restaurants to try: Kismet Inn (1 Oak St.; 631-583-5592; thekismetinn.com) and Dive (1 Bay Walk; 631-583-7400, divekismet.com), which both feature live music at various times before the summer wraps; there’s also slices and Italian heros-to-go at the Pizza Shack (21 E. Lighthouse Walk; 631-583-8388), which also has picnic tables and (new for 2022) the Lightcastle pop-up coffee menu.
Margarita Villas is in the heart of the hamlet, and still has some two-bedroom villas available (can sleep up to six) that feature AC, private kitchen and bathrooms, TV and private decks equipped with gas grills that overlook the Great South Bay. All contact surfaces are disinfected and units are sanitized between guests with fresh bedding. The venue is also home to Fire Island Tap (631-583-9463), which serves beer, wine and cocktails plus light bites.
INFO 177 Pine St.; 631-583-5325, margaritavillasllc.com. Monday through Friday stays start at $1,800, Friday 4 p.m. to Sunday 4 p.m. $1,850, full week is $2,695.
UPSTATE NEW YORK
The region is a largely rural area (consisting of Delaware, Greene, Sullivan, Ulster) home to woodlands, mountains, lakes, rivers and preserves — so a getaway here is made easier by picking a place with lots to do. For a spot with plenty of amenities, Emerson Resort and Spa has a “Midweek Escape” Sunday-Monday two-night package that starts at $542.02 and includes a $50 resort credit. Guests can peruse its “Shops at Emerson” shopping zone where clothing, furnishings, toys, local food products and farmhouse décor can be purchased, as can handcrafted artisan kaleidoscopes. The Shops lays claim to having the world’s largest kaleidoscope. The spa offers a wide variety of wellness treatments and beauty sessions; dining is found in both the Woodnotes Grille restaurant or its “Spa Bites” menu.
For nearby adventures, the Rail Explorers pedal railbike group (70 Lower High St., Phoenicia; 1-877-833-8588, railexplorers.net) offers an electric pedal-assisted eight-mile roll through the Catskill Mountains (overnight guests of the resort receive discounts of up to 10% off on select tours), and the Ashokan Rail Trail recreational trail (ashokanrailtrail.com) runs close to 12 miles between the towns of Hurley and Olive along the Ashokan Reservoir and is open to the public for hiking and cycling. The resort also partners with the private Woodstock Golf Club (114 Mill Hill Rd., Woodstock; woodstockgolf.com) and semiprivate Wiltwyck Golf Club (404 Steward Ln., Kingston; 845-331-0700, wiltwyck.org). Emerson also employs a “Stay Safe Pledge” system of health protocols intended to meet EPA guidelines, including cleaning of surfaces; all remote controls are cleaned, sanitized and wrapped in protective coverings. (The spa is closed Tuesdays-Wednesdays for cleaning and sanitizing.)
INFO 5340 RT. 28, Mount Tremper; 845-688-2828, emersonresort.com. Rates start at $289.
This upstate region holds a Great Lake (Lake Ontario) and 11 glacial lakes across 14 counties and is also mainly bucolic. For a unique stay with built-in options, Belhurst Castle and Winery is a boutique combination of three lodging areas, including a 19th-century mansion, a farm manor and a modern inn. The venue also has its own exclusively made wine, hard cider and craft beer. Cleaning policies are handled around the clock by the Belhurst lodging department and housekeeping team.
Visitors looking for outdoor fun will find trails running throughout the area, and Seneca Lake State Park (1 Lakefront Dr., Geneva; 315-789-2331, parks.ny.gov) is about 2.5 miles away. For live music, the Smith Opera House (82 Seneca St., Geneva; 315-781-5483, thesmith.org) features an event calendar that runs through the rest of the summer and into the fall, and is 2.2 miles away.
INFO 4069 West Lake Rd., Geneva; 315-781-0201, belhurst.com. Rates start at $185.