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Why Fall in the Hamptons is Underrated

5 tastemakers share their favorite ways to spend time on the East End during cooler months

Summer is certainly the season in the Hamptons, but it’s a matter of debate whether it’s the best. The fall, when the crowds dissipate and the air cools, is, if not the most delightful time of a year, then at least a uniquely delightful one. The water is still warm and the farm stands overflowing with fruits and vegetables, but the mad crush of the summer social scene vanishes along with the humidity. In fact, it kind of feels like what summer in the Hamptons used to feel like: a vacation. We asked five East End tastemakers what they love best about fall in the Hamptons.

Jay McInerneyauthor

“Fall here is great because most of the New Yorkers are home. I love the way it gets colder and socially it’s slower. In August there are parties every night—screenings, benefits, friends wanting to show off their houses—in the 1980s, when I started coming out, there was not a lot of organized activity. In the fall, the light is more beautiful and it’s easier to envision what F. Scott Fitzgerald called “the fresh green breast of the new world.” You can imagine what Jackson Pollack or Willem de Kooning or Peter Matthiessen saw, what it used to be like.”

Laurent Tourondelchef

“I think everything is beautiful about the Hamptons in the fall, the leaves turn a different color, the sun gets very red. And what I really like is going to beach, the sea, it changes, the tides are different, it’s rougher. Also, there are less people, less pressure, it’s more just the locals. I don’t know if I can call it a good thing, because I have a business, but I like it.”

Terrie Sultandirector, Parrish Art Museum

“The thing I like about the fall is when the air starts to smell different and the leaves start to turn and even though it’s still warm, there’s a little crispness to the air. The color palette changes, even the farmsteads change color, from the greens and yellows of summer to oranges and the heavy reds of beets. And the nicest thing about being here in the fall is that people turn their attention to things that they can do inside, like the museum. This will be our third fall, but every day is a new adventure.”

Curtis Bashawhotelier

“It’s easier to explore the Hamptons in the fall, when you don’t have the crush of traffic. You can go kayaking, wine tasting on the North Shore—there’s just so much to do that doesn’t involve the beach. One of my favorite things to do in the fall is to ride a bike from Sag Harbor to the South Fork ferry, take it to Shelter Island. Then you can quickly traverse Shelter Island and take the North Shore ferry to Greenport. The ferries break up the bike ride and give the trip a sense of adventure.”

Katie Leecookbook author and television personality

“As someone who likes to cook, when the fall vegetables start coming in, it’s a reason to celebrate. I go to The Green Thumb in Water Mill quite a bit in the fall to pick up squash, pumpkins and apples, and I find myself going to Mecox Bay Dairy in the fall to buy cheeses. I also find myself dining out a lot more in autumn; we have great restaurants in the Hamptons, but in the summertime it’s so hard to get a table anywhere that I usually just eat at home.”