Things To Do

UNDERRATED TOWNS ON LONG ISLAND THAT ARE BETTER THAN THE HAMPTONS

By KATY LYN

Summer unleashes a fervent need to escape the sweltering city for coastal breezes and open air. But who wants to trade crowded streets and overpriced drinks for jam-packed beaches and restaurants catering to the ultra-rich? Trust us, there are much better options out east than fighting for elbow room on a crowded Jitney. For a real change of pace, skip the Hamptons and head to one of these underrated Long Island towns.

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Greenport

Why it's so great: The allure of this North Fork hamlet is that it still remains relatively undiscovered by the swarms of summer visitors that descend on the Island every weekend. A former shipbuilding center, Greenport's nautical history is notable all over town. It’s home to the Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation, honoring the area's rich maritime tradition. The historic village even has a working blacksmith, housed in a replica of the original building from the 1870s. All of this surrounds the town's waterfront epicenter of Mitchell Park.

What to do: Wander the streets around Mitchell Park for shopping at independent boutiques and antique stores. For lunch, go for a classic Long Island staple -- a platter of local steamers enjoyed dockside -- at Claudio's Clam Bar. If you need a change of scenery, take the shuttle to Shelter Island for further exploring (it leaves every 12 minutes) or stick around for dinner at the Frisky Oyster. The ocean-to-table restaurant is lauded for its interesting twists on fresh seafood. Finish the day with a cocktail at Brix & Rye, a bar that aims to elevate classics like the gin gimlet or Sazerac to new heights.

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Katy Lyn is a magazine editor and LI resident whose goal is to visit every brewery on this island (wineries don't hurt either).