It’s (almost) summertime and the living is easy. For some that is. For many, five-day work weeks are still the norm. The good news for us in NYC is that there is an endless supply of quick-and-easy jaunts that will take us out of the city and into wide-open spaces.
For those of you who are not into The Hamptons’ glittering scene, but still ache for sandy moments by the sea, there is Quogue, New York.
Situated between Westhampton and Hampton Bays, Quogue is a sleepy seaside town that comes to life after Memorial Day, but not with the same bombastic intensity as her Hampton sisters. Just 90 minutes from NYC via railroad or car (keep in mind that dealing traffic can leave you incensed), this getaway will heal your battered soul and leave the family feeling whole again.
WHERE TO STAY
The Quogue Club At Hollack House
Right down the street from Michael J. Fox’s summer home is the Quogue Club at Hollack House.
Stepping though the door is like walking into someone’s immense and gorgeous home. The building is almost 200 years old, but while all the delicious historical details are there, any sign of age or weathering has been erased by a recent renovation.
The 14-room boutique hotel features premium in-room amenities (including one of the best beds we have ever slept in), exclusive beach privileges and easy access to the rest of The Hamptons, should you want to party.
Quogue Club’s color palette of tranquil blues, yellows and greens, which run though the several placid common rooms, to the large, bright and airy guest rooms.
The Club offers its overnight guests the unique opportunity to be part of an otherwise members-only social and dining club that includes a fully accessorized fitness center, yoga studio, massage room and child-friendly lounge.
Enjoy free bicycle rentals, the free fitness classes (barre, yoga and core training: see the website for days and times), as well as complementary continental breakfast during the week and gourmet brunch on weekends.
WHAT TO DO
Head to the Beach! Guests at the Club have member privileges at the Quogue Village Beach: about a 15-minute bike ride away. Ask for a towel, get a map, and then head to Dune Road.
The 300-acre Quogue Wildlife Refuge, managed by the State Department of Environmental Conservation, offers bird-watching and hiking along a self-guided trail. There’s also a nature center with kid-friendly exhibits and a library.
Enjoy special rates at Westhampton Beach Tennis and Sport, located on 10 minutes from The Club. There are 23 Har-tru (clay) outdoor courts as well as indoor courts just in case there is inclement weather.
You can enjoy a round of golf at the private Laurel Links Country Club, which was named as one of the top ten best New York City area golf courses built in the past decade by Links magazine and has been rated by New York’s Metropolitan Golf Association on the same level as the other prestigious courses in the Hamptons.
WHAT TO EAT
Head to Dockers Waterside Marina & Restaurant on Dune Road. These guys are old-timers: The restaurant has been around for 26 years. Every seat in the house overlooks the water, and there are two outdoor waterside eating areas as well.
Start with the Littleneck clams or the Insanely Large Shrimp Cocktail (that’s the actual name), then move on to the Ahi Tuna BLT, which features grilled big eye tuna with crispy bacon, avocado and a wasabi mayo. To die for! Wash it down with one of the specialty cocktails, like the Golden Blonde (Grey Goose, St. Germain Elderflower, pineapple juice, and a splash prosecco).
You’re going to be tired, so why not have dinner at the Club? After all, that is what so many Quogue residents choose to do on the weekends! Chef Birnstill understands how to please and comes though with gorgeous international fare. Expect locally farmed produce, as well as meat and fish from local purveyors.
Start with the local fluke ceviche jicama, sorrel, red onion, chilies and blood orange; and then move on to the NY strip steak…the spinach sautéed in bernaise butter with garlic is amazing.
Grab a bottle of chilled Sauvignon Blanc from the Quogue Liquor Store right down the block from the Quogue Club (130 Jessup Lane), then head back, sign out a bike and peddle down Quogue Neck Lane until it bottoms out at the water. You’ll find yourself in a looking out into Quantuck Bay and, if you time it correctly, the most beautiful sunset you have ever seen.