Early in Edible East End’s history, we declared that September was the new August. (Yes, that was us.) And then a few years later we pivoted and argued that October was the new August. Now we know we were right both times. Because September and October are both the new summer.
“I always say that September and October are like my summer,” said Joni Brosnan of Joni’s in Montauk. Brosnan, and other local business owners on the East End, operate near full capacity from May through August, which takes a certain stamina. And deserves some R&R.
Plus, our martiime climate means summer dies grudgingly. We can see days in the balmy 70s into late October. Even “summer” joints are still open for business. And there’s an order of magnitude fewer people. 😉
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. And locals and tourists get to bask in this change of scenery and lagging change of season. Studies have shown that vacations are one of those expenses that result in serious happiness. But who has time for vacations in our 24-hour, device-tethered lives? That’s why we recommend rocking the spontaneous, midweek staycation this September and October. True, you’re not jetting off to St. Barth. But since you’re getting some R&R in the same state, often the same township, you get more time for beach walks, coffee shop crawls and fish tacos.
To get your juices flowing, here’s some tips on why now is the perfect time to plan your staycation to Montauk. Not just because the weather is rocking and the sunsets are all gram-worthy. It’s actually kinda cheap right now, with rates trending in the mid-100s to low-200s per night. That’s cheaper that in New York City, and out here you have the beach. And practically no one around, at least relatively speaking.
Recently, when we surveyed the Montauk hotel/motel landscape, we found half-price or better offerings at most locations. Many, like Sole East, Crow’s Nest and Rushmeyer’s boast destination restaurants onsite. Others, like The Surf Lodge and Montauk Beach House pack them in with the thump-thump of poolside DJs (“Cake by the ocean!”).
Here’s a list of some accommodations to consider:
Full disclosure, earlier this summer we stayed at Solé East for two nights, when our family embarked on a spontaneous staycation: the best kind. Off Second House Road, just past Ruschmeyer’s, is Solé East, a camp-like complex with a Tudor main building filled with 60 renovated rooms. There are also 7 garden cabana suites, which front on a small glen filled with hammocks and swings. There’s a heated pool with beds for lounging and a poolside bar and restaurant that welcomes guests not only for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but also locals like Winston Irie and JettyKoon and the Montauk Project.
This past summer the popup music venue has packed them in to see Gary Clark Jr. and Lola Wolf in thumping fashion. And that’s just before the sun goes down. Surf Lodge is offering $199 rooms and other deals. Try the summery Finlandia concoction they serve at the bar.
And here’s a list of some things to do when you’re not lounging in your room:
It’s still prime SUP season!
Get on over to Paddle Diva, rent a board and discover a whole new way to be on the water. Or, bump it to the next level. On Saturday, October 29, Paddle Diva offers a SUP Instructor Water Rescue course from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Stroll in Amagansett Square
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On your way home from Montauk, you will pass Amagansett. As we’ve previously noted, Amagansett Square, the mini mall inside Amagansett, is in a great upswing. In the last few years, it added no fewer than five new food and drink businesses, all of which meet our full Edible approval. With the beer and cheese offerings of Cavaniola’s, it can be Oktoberfest all year.
Montauk Brewing Company
On our recent Montauk staycation, we stopped by Montauk Brewing Company. Just down the street from Harvest and North by Northeast, the brewery is a gem for a town that has lots of gems. It’s New York’s easternmost brewery. And with the recent expansion there’s not many food enthusiasts in New York Metro area that don’t drink Montauk cans or order at their favorite restaurant. Vist the brewery to try only-on-site creations and go home with a Crowler, which is like a Growler, but smaller (32 oz.), made of metal and mechanically sealed before your eyes.
Smell really good
This past spring, Leilani Bishop and Bethany Mayer opened the shop Botanica Bazaar in the Amagansett Square. Vogue called it “your one-stop shop for summer wellness.” An apothecary for the era of gastropubs, Bishop and Mayer have collected cocoa-flavored toothpaste (you don’t need to spit it out), brain-stimulating Chagga teas and Living Libations lotions and potions that make you and your loved ones smell like Mark Anthony and Cleopatra before a party.