Our last roadtrip of the summer was to a location a bit closer to home–the Hamptons. The area is made up of several towns on the South Fork of Long Island. I’ve lived in New York for 10 years and never visited until this summer. I attended an event in Southampton in July and wanted to return for a weekend. Most towns in the Hamptons range from a 2 -3 hour drive from the city and is also accessible by bus and train.
We drove so that we could see the quaint towns, visit friends and go to the beaches. We stayed in East Hampton, visited Amagansett and later drove to Montauk. In just a few days, we experienced some of the best food and wine in the area. We had lunch at Babette’s, pizza from Sam’s and drank wine from Wolfer Estate (I highly recommend “Summer in a Bottle”).
Our last stop before heading home was to visit a friend and chef at Arbor Restaurant in Montauk. The beautiful restaurant had ample seating, a neatly landscaped patio and was near the water. We arrived during brunch and had a glass of rose until our friend’s shift ended. We walked to the beach to chat and catch up before our drive home. The trip was relaxing and fun. We enjoyed visiting friends, popping in and out of restaurants and shops. Although the traffic on the way home was horrific, the time away was well worth the additional hour in the car.
A few weeks ago, my family took a roadtrip to one of our favorite places, Newport, RI. A longtime friend grew up in the area and invited us to come visit with him and his family. The beach town with beautiful homes and a charming atmosphere is just 4 hours from our home in Manhattan. Last summer, we attended the Newport Jazz Festival and it was so enjoyable, we scheduled our trip to overlap with the event again this year.
We attended the Saturday shows at the Newport Jazz Festival, roamed from stage to stage, had tacos from Tallulah’s and drank Del’s lemonade. Then grabbed popcorn at Inpopnito before heading to the main stage. There, we listened to jazz legend Chick Corea and music artist Norah Jones. Drained from the heat, we headed home before the official end of the day. We rested and later freshened up for a night out (just the grownups).
While in Newport, we had five things we wanted to do:
Knowing that we would do some of the same things as last year, I made it a point to seek a new place to visit while in Newport. Our friend took us to the Newport Shipyard, where we had breakfast right next to massive boats. The outdoor seating at Belle’s Cafe was filled with patrons having their delicious hash browns and other breakfast classics while the inside seating stayed quiet. I think it will become one of our usual spots.
This summer, my family did not take a summer vacation to a faraway place. Instead, we took a series of weekend road trips to have family time and discover something new. Our only guideline was that the car ride to the destination had to take 4 hours or less. Our first outing was to Mystic, CT which is around 3 hours from our apartment in Manhattan.
My only knowledge of Mystic was from the 80s movie “Mystic Pizza“—so, clearly I had to brush up. From our research, we found that it was a quaint seaside village with beautiful scenery, shopping, an arts scene and an amazing aquarium. Oh, and that the actual Mystic Pizza is still thriving.
On this short trip, we had just five things we wanted to do:
The aquarium was by far, our favorite part of this outing. There were large exhibits and hands-on, interactive stations. We also saw penguins, seals and beluga whales. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable which prompted my son to engage with them and learn more. Aquariums can be hit or miss and this one was definitely worth the drive!