The dog days of August are upon us and thought it would be fun to take some time out from BIZ and focus on FUN. For those of us lucky enough to take some time off at the end of the summer, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite things to do in NYC’s backyard of Westchester and the Hamptons (with a focus on Westchester since, for me, Long Island is really all about the beach!):
For the Art Lover: Check out Storm King Art Center – the most amazing outdoor sculpture garden. I could literally walk around here for hours and never get tired of it. And Kykuit – the Rockefeller mansion in Pocantico Hills/Sleepy Hollow is an awesome half day trip. We would ALL love to live like this.
For the Foodie: Try and get a reservation (for a special occasion) at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. These guys basically invented the farm to table concept. Come early and walk around the grounds and see all the animals, vegetables, etc. right there. For the best Italian outside NYC, visit the Cookery in Dobbs Ferry. It ROCKS! And when you are done there, head around the corner for the best Sushi in Westchester – Sushi Mike. For a quick casual meal, check out Bar Taco in Portchester. A great vibe and great food. If in the Hamptons, don’t miss John Scotts – a great surf shack on Dune Road Westhampton with music every night! And for desert, not matter where you are, drive over to the North Fork of L.I. and visit Brieremere Farms on Sound Avenue. They have the best and freshest pies on the planet!!
Most foodies love wine so go to the North Fork of Long Island for a great day of wine tasting. My favorites are Paumanok, Leib, and Wolffer (although Wolffer is on the South Fork). And if doing a day of wine, don’t miss Catapano Goat Farm in Peconic – great homemade cheeses, soaps and anything else goat-related.
For the Music Lover: Want to hear great music? When driving in Westchester, tune into 107.1 the Peak. They coined the phrase “New York’s Backyard”. It’s where I hear almost ALL of my new music! Look at the schedule at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, CT. They have GREAT music ALL the time. The Watercolor café in Larchmont is great for some wine and jazz. And of course Stephen’s Talkhouse out in Amagansett can’t be beat. And at Wolffer Vineyard in Sagaponack, they now have music on Saturday’s. What’s better than sitting outside, drinking some nice wine, and listening to great music, ALL while looking out at the beautiful vineyards!
For the Whole Family: forget Yankee Stadium or Shea (that’s right, Shea – NOT Citifield). Go to see a Bridgeport Bluefish game. They are a fun minor league team and you can sit basically ON the field and literally go on the field after the game. It is truly FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. You can also go old school retro and hit Rye Playland. It may not be Great Adventure or Disney, but it’s a ton of fun and right on the water. If you want to hit the beach, Sagaponack Beach (at the end of Sagg Main Rd) is one of my favorites. And walk a little to the left and check out the pond right next to the ocean.
And although it’s August, we can all start some planning for fall and even winter. A few things NOT to miss:
- Apple and pumpkin picking at Wilkens Farm in Yorktown Heights is a MUST. Stuff yourself with fresh apples and then go to the store and buy apple donuts and apple cider and apple pie!!
- Day skiing at Mountain Creek in NJ or Catamount or Thunder Ridge off 684 in NY. All within 2 hours of NYC and a great way to get “out there” without making a big production or spending a ton of money.
Hope you enjoyed Cliff’s Notes on NYC’s backyard!! Power down the computer and get out and enjoy the summer!