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True, we are past Labor Day but don’t count out Sag Harbor and Shelter Island for your weekend retreat. This is the best time of the year for it. The 5th avenue crowd is already over it, the rich kids are back in school and the amazing restaurants and vineyards are still open for business.
Take the train if you must but drive out if you can. This way you can pull off to the farms stands along the way and get fresh vegetables, fruit and preserves. Avoid the Hampton’s glut and head straight for the old whaling village of Sag Harbor. It has a gorgeous main street with eclectic shops and great food. LT Burger is serving up sustainable beef and milk shakes with amazing flavors cooked up by chef Laurent Tourondel. After your burger, cut through the beef with a great espresso at Sag Town and enjoy the best cafe for miles.
Not in the mood for burgers? Smart, stroll beyond Main Street to the pier on Long Warf Street and get fresh clams, scallops and lobster from The Dock House. Walk off your meal and visit some shops.
Dinnertime? Take the car ferry to Shelter Island for a little more seclusion and natural beauty. Best bites include Sweet Tomato’s and 18 Bay using all local ingredients from the earth and sea. Stay the night and brunch the next day at Ram’s Head Inn, a historic spot to take in the breeze and some eggs benedict.
Now you’re properly stuffed and sea’d out, head home and hit the vineyards of the North Fork on your way home. Enjoy tasting at Castello di Borghese and Martha Clara Vineyards; grab a case of apples and pumpkins from Harbes Farm and Orchard to get your first taste of fall.