Beach House Spectacular: Long Island
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Wednesday, Jaunted launched the first of a three-part series covering the places you'll be this summer if you're vacationing in the Northeast. Yeah, yeah, we know we are seconds away from our first email pointing out a Northeastern bias. You can change that:
Send along tips, photos, rumors, gossip, recommendations, locations and traffic busters to our map editors, become a member and comment on the beach house stories below, and add to the Jaunted-Flickr photo pool so your fellow readers can satisfy their voyeuristic summer fantasies. Why? While this may be a lofty goal, we are hoping by the end of the summer, these maps and stories will leave you with a helpful guide to beach housing in the Northeastern U.S., circa 2006. Whether or not that happens is up to you.
We started things off with Maine Wednesday, continued yesterday with the Jersey Shore, and end today Long Island. Don't forget your sunblock.
Long Island! Ugly Stepsister during the winter months, this New York City annex becomes the place to be in the summer. Beautiful beaches, beautiful people, ugly traffic, conspicuous consumption; it's all here. Where do you fit in?
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Fire Island: Fire Island along the southern shore of Long Island, is a car-less vacation spot that is a popular alternative to the Hamptons. In fact, the 32-mile long barrier island runs all the way along the southern shore, up to the point where the Hamptons begins, but it's far less pretentious. The area is protected by a National Seashore designation--hence the lack of cars. It's also one of the biggest gay resort areas in the nation, accessible by ferry from Sayville, Bay Shore, or Patchogue. The Pines and Cherry Grove are popular "hangouts" there--you can use your skills of deduction to figure out which is popular with the men and which is popular with the ladies.
As for eats, once again, seafood is the name of the game. Matthew's Seafood House has fresh seafood entrees, but there are also 75-cent clams at the bar on Sunday nights. Yum.
Typical Rental: Super classy beach houses. This beachfront two-bedroom, with cathedral ceilings, 1950's collectibles, and two outdoor decks runs $2500 a week.
Hamptons:The Hamptons--really Long Island's south fork--have been getting progressively sillier since they first became popular as a vacation destination in 1870 when the railroad came to the area. The area itself is made up of a bunch of different towns. Montauk is at the very tip of Long Island, and is good for surfing and meeting Kate Winslet if you're Jim Carrey; Southampton is where you'll find big old houses; Sag Harbor is where you'll find Martha Stewart (and a town that fits her aesthtic perfectly) even though she actually lives in Easthampton, where Billy Joel drives drunk and the arrivistes live.
Since we're in a decidedly lower income bracket, we'll direct you to where you're likeliest to see train wrecks. In that case, you're going to want to finagle your way into the Star Room or Jet East. Jet East is the more old school of the two, and is where socialites and bankers come to mate in the summertime. The Star Room is more celeb heavy and used to be a Tara Reid favorite; tough bouncers means that unless you're famous or have the wallet to back it up, you're unlikely to get in anytime soon.
If you don't want that kind of thing, head to the Montauk Point Lighthouse Museum. Placed all the way east on Long Island, the lighthouse was built in 1796; the view 110-feet up is decidedly fabulous. It's so good that you can see all the ego floating over Southampton.
Typical Rentals: It's the Hamptons, which means the rental situation is dire by this time of year. But if you must attempt it, you're going to find a lot of big houses. This 7-bedroom in Sag Harbor is $9,500 a week; this Southampton six-bedroom is a mere $6,500 a week.
Long Beach/Jones Beach: Long Beach and Jones Beach are within an hour of Manhattan, and offer all the sewage-free swimming and surfing that Coney Island so sorely lacks. It's mighty crowded on summer weekends, naturally, but Long Beach is ideal for playing hooky from work and spending the day in the water.
Long Beach does requite a $6 beach pass for the day, but since it is an easy walk from the LIRR stop--even in flip-flops--you save on parking. There's also an exceedingly long boardwalk, full of amusement park type shops and enough fried food to cause you serious gastrointestinal distress.
Jones Beach is most famous as a concert venue; it hosts quite a few big acts each summer at the Jones Beach Amphitheater. Don't miss Jimmy Buffet and the Coral Reefer--they're playing there July 1st. Do bring a blanket, though, especially at the beginning and end of each season; because it's on the water, the venue can get a bit brisk at night. It is not accessible by train--it's bus or car over the causeway or bust.
Typical Rentals: There are some good deals to be had, relatively speaking: A 2-bedroom with a private beach in Lido Beach (near Long Beach) tops out at $1,750 a week.