During summer in Manhattan, when quitting time rolls around on Friday afternoons, half of New York has the same thought: "It's time to get the heck out of Dodge." Like mother nature telling birds to fly south for winter, something stirs in me and my fellow Gothamites between Memorial Day and Labor Day to head East. Weekend bags packed, we head to the Hamptons. The further out on Long Island, the better.
There have always been a few different methods to get there and each New Yorker will tell you what he/she thinks is the best way. However, starting May 24, the Long Island Rail Road's Cannonball train will be leaving out of Penn Station for the first summer ever making for an even speedier getaway.
The train that previously departed out of Queens is now boarding right smack in the middle of Manhattan. It's a one-way non-stop express train that leaves on Fridays at 4:07 p.m. and catapults passengers to Westhampton in 94 minutes and then makes further stops to Southampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton and finally Montauk. Friday tickets are $47, and returning Sunday tickets on the Cannonball West are $39.75. So sit back, order yourself a little something to take the edge off, and let your weekend begin.
Seeing as there's no modern-day Gatsby to entertain you, we recommend you buy one of these deals before you go:
All skill levels are welcome to paddleboard tour off the shores of Southampton led by Captain Mike. For $45 per person get equipment, a quick lesson on the basics then paddle out to sea with Coast Guard-certified Master Captain as your guide. If you haven’t quite gotten your sea legs yet, ride through North Fork's vineyards on two wheels with Vintage Bicycle Tours starting at $75 per person.
Either way you’ll have worked up an appetite by days end, so reserve a table for a night out at Michael Anthony's Food Bar in Wading River, NY. For $25, order $50 of food and drink from this Zagat praised "inventive menu of awesome eclectic dishes."