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The Hamptons vs. Montauk & a couple of unexpected surprises!

A tale of two, rather different, "cities"

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After the wedding, we headed to the eastern most point of Long Island.  We meandered down lazy lanes and through the various hamlets that make up The Hamptons:  Westhampton, Quogue, Southampton, Amagansett, Sagaponack, Bridgehampton, Water Mill, Easthampton, Hampton Bays, etc.  High hedges hid most of the hydrangea-hugged Hamptons hideaways (sorry, couldn't resist), but sometimes you could catch a glimpse of the stately homes with their immaculately tended gardens.  I was surprised at how big and widespread "The Hamptons" are, and how many separate little villages there are.  I was under the misconception that The Hamptons was one compartmentalized area, but it is quite spread out, with each of the hamlets having its own feeling.  Some of them are quiet and quaint with more farm-style homes, and others, such as Southampton, in particular, are very chic and high-falutin', as they say in the South.  Pretense is high, with smartly dressed patrons walking along the expensive shops, while Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bentleys, Maseratis, Aston Martins and Range Rovers (apparently the Official Vehicle of The Hamptons) cruise up and down the streets.  Bratty young teens in trendy stores using daddy's credit card to buy marijuana-print shorts (and then confidently stating they are going to wear them on the first day of school) was an interesting experience.  So was the open-air Southampton Farmer's Market, with a big banner proudly declaring that it's vendors accept Food Stamps.  Really?  With more super exotics driving the streets than I have seen anywhere else?  Really?  I suppose the attitude is:  "Well, 'The Help' has to eat, too.  If they can't afford fresh produce, then Let Them Eat Cake.  We're certainly not paying them a penny more, as it would cut too deep into our shoe budget." It just seemed such an odd juxtaposition.

Leaving The Hamptons and moving east along the South Fork of Long Island, we passed through several miles of unspoiled natural land, and came upon Montauk, which has a decidedly different feel.  Much more bohemian, surf town, this place was more laid-back and beachy, and clearly owes its roots to the fishing and boating industry.  Some consider Montauk part of The Hamptons, but I would argue that it is a distinct and separate place.

Taking a recommendation from a friend, we stayed at the Montauk Yacht Club, and are very thankful we did.  They have done a wonderful job at renovations, with a smart blue and white nautical theme throughout.  We had a second floor room, with a balcony overlooking a little beach on Montauk Lake.  Perfect relaxation!
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As the first surprise, we ran into our friend from Sarasota who moors his Hatteras at The Yacht Club, when not at Marina Jack's (and who's wife made the recommendation to stay there).  We thought they would already be gone on a fishing trip to Nantucket, but caught them a day early.  We joined him aboard for a cocktail, while he and the crew regaled stories of their fishing adventures and all the Yellowfin and Big Eye Tuna they had caught.  That is one impressive fishing machine, and the name "Fish Tank" is certainly appropriate.  Too bad we weren't there a day earlier when he was hanging out with Jay-Z and Kanye West on their 200' yacht.
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The next day we took a tour of the Montauk Point Lighthouse, climbed its steep 137 steps, and enjoyed the views of the bluffs and Block Island, and drove around the nearby defunct military installation with its absolutely enormous rusted hulk of a radar tower.
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As a nice second surprise, our wedding hosts decided to bring their boat for an overnight at the Yacht Club on their journey back to their home port.  So instead of not seeing them until October, it was only a day!  Could it get any better?  Oh, yes!  Upon another recommendation from our friend, we ended up at Navy Beach, a remote little restaurant with a picture-perfect setting along an almost deserted  beach-lined cove with two mega yachts bobbing at anchor a few dozen yards offshore.  Italians tendered in and sat next to us while sipped yummy drinks.  It felt like another world, as if we were in a remote cove of the French Riviera.  Fantastique!  We highly recommend Navy Beach.
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We went by an old hotel that our friend used to stay at when he was a kid and the same giant tiki statue was still there all these years later, and it merited  us taking silly pictures, laughing all the way.
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We had a great time and would likely go back to Montauk!

Posted by jim-n-mark 05:35 Archived in USA Tagged the club yacht montauk hamptons

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