The Hamptons might be home to gorgeous crash pads, beautiful beaches, glamorous restaurants — but the popular getaway spot is also the site of posh-people microdramas every weekend. If you're craving something a bit less scene-y, try these alternative destinations for a range of personality types and interests.
1. For Photographers: Aurora, the Finger Lakes
If you ever owned an American Girl doll, you’ve helped make Aurora great. That's right, Pleasant T. Rowland, the founder of the American Girl doll collection initiated a five-year makeover of her old college town. The result is an adorable doll house-like village with freshly painted homes, charming inns, and unrestricted views of the Finger Lakes. While Aurora is still home to Wells College students, the doll-like setting now attracts travelers far and wide. Samantha would totally approve.
2. For Culture Seekers: Margaretville, the Catskills
Sure, the Catskills are a popular winter ski destination but summer is just as enticing. So, instead of visiting nearby Woodstock or Bethel, give Margaretville a shot. For a small town, it's brimming with culture. Main Street is a one-stop-shop for culture: independent designer boutiques, restaurants serving farm-to-table fare, and art galleries featuring local talent. Instead of dining out, stock up on grass-fed beef and fresh veggies at the Pakatakan Farmers' Market. Throw in a bottle of wine and you’re picnic-ready.
3. For Outdoorsy Types: Saranac Lake, the Adirondacks
If it's outdoor adventure you seek, head straight to Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks. Whether you're a paddling pro or a complete novice, try your luck canoeing or kayaking on the lake. Stand-up paddleboarding is also completely doable, as the water is calm. Hiking is another popular pastime here. The base of Mt. Baker is close to town and arguably the best hike in the area. At a leisurely pace, it'll take you an hour-and-a-half to reach the top. Once there, enjoy village views and more mighty mountains.
4. For Foodies: Greenport, the North Fork of Long Island
When it comes to decadent parties, the Hamptons still reign supreme — but Greenport rules the foodie scene. North Fork has long since been known for its great tasting wines, and Greenport takes gastronomy to a whole new level. Surrounded by sea, sky, and restaurants galore, it's like a mini Manhattan within blocks from your hotel. Chow down on delicious eats at the landmark South View Restaurant or keep things casual at Billy's by the Bay. Feeling frisky? There's a restaurant for that too!
5. For History Buffs: Rhinebeck, Dutchess County
Chelsea Clinton got married here in Rhinebeck and you can too… or at least escape for the weekend. The picture-perfect village is only a 90-minute Amtrak ride away from Grand Central, making it a no-brainer for city slickers. The historic down is a mix of old and new, with tree-lined streets paired with an innovative culinary scene. On the hunt for the perfect souvenir? Spend the afternoon antique shopping at the Beekman Arms Antique Market. Look for the big red barn... you can’t miss it.
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