3 Awesome Summer Getaways That Aren't The Hamptons

We may never be able to go back to the Lafayette Street Duane Reade store again (and that's one beautiful DR). This week alone, we've already gone there for three Degree Ultra Clears. Ugh, TMI. The point? It's hot. Steam-room hot. Combustion hot. Not-a-good-look hot. Yes, Gotham, we love you, but sometimes distance makes the heart grow fonder, especially when our A/C bill costs more than half of a pair of Chanel ballet flats. So, we're taking a break—a weekend break—with three suggestions for a two-day (or, if you can swing it, longer) trip to the beach. Because we, and everyone else, have already clued you in on the Hamptons, head somewhere a little different with our mini-guides to Nantucket, Fire Island, and Newport, Rhode Island. We're dishing on where to stay, eat, and shop—so, all you really have to do is show up. Preferably with just one deodorant.
Get away now to one of these stylin' escapes. Or, all three!
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Newport, Rhode Island
Once the definition of "The Gilded Age," if you're looking for a getaway that's high on culture, Newport most definitely fits the bill. Just a four hour drive from the city brings you to a unique retail scene (fudge shops share street space with preppy-staple J. McLaughlin and gently-priced antique shops), plus stunning architecture—peep America's castles, the former homes of the Vanderbilts and the Astors, for a taste of elegant excess that gives Architectural Digest envy a new name. Coupled with gorge-irino beaches, The International Tennis Hall of Fame, fresh, fresh, fresh seafood, and what might be the region's hottest new hotel, and history majors and college-dropouts will have no trouble mingling over Forty 1° North's ice-cold martinis.
STAY
Forty 1° North
Although it's only been open for a year, Forty 1° North is already one of the chicest spots on the island and arguably the most exciting new hotel happening in New England. If New England glam was a movement, this would be it—each room boasts luxe accommodations (we're talking fire places in each room, high-end bedding and baths, iPads with a playlist we've already copied, big LED TVs, football field-sized showers, and more), in addition to two crazy-good restaurants; The Grill serves up fresh, sophisticated seafood and Newport Harbor-views, while Christie's (reminiscent of New York's Cafeteria) has got the whole Asian tapas thing meets raging bar scene on lock, and a tiny-tiny dance club that might be the end result of Le Bain swallowing the "Drink Me," bottle in Alice in Wonderland.. Did we mention the haute-hostelry is completely eco-friendly (hello Malin + Goetz bath products), picture windows that never miss the sunset, and Frette bedding? With accommodations like that, you might forget you have the rest of Newport to explore.
Forty 1° North, 351 Thames Street (between Perry Mill wharf and Christies landing); Newport; 401-846-8018.
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EAT
The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar
This is high-end food in a low-key setting done right. Far from the tacky nautical decorations that many seaside restaurants can have, The Mooring lets their spectacular Narragansett Bay views speak for themselves and opted for simple but elegant decor that's still relaxed and casual. The menus is chock-full of creative fish dishes like Seafood Pie and Georges Bank Scallops, which features toasted almond polenta, chive blossom vinaigrette, and pancetta crisps. You'll want to save room for desert, too—White Chocolate-Lavender Creme Brulee and Grand Marnier Chocolate Cake will be hard to turn down no matter how much you've eaten—we speak from experience. The icing on the (white chocolate) cake? The 900-label wine list, delivered to each table in iPad form. We haven't even seen that in New York!
The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, 1 Sayer's Wharf (at America's Cup avenue); Newport; 401-846-2260.
SHOP
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Endless Wave
You might already know Endless Wave for their ingenious, world-famous Wax Buddy, an awesome little tool that effortlessly removes old wax from your surfboard. This sleek, new addition to the Bellevue shopping crawl is sort of like The Saturdays Surf of Newport, with custom T-shirts, rotating exhibitions, and, oh yeah, a clutch of h-o-t surfers who trade wave gossip (and just look so damn good). Built on the idea of creating simple, innovative, and well-built products, Endless Wave also boasts beautiful, custom-made Wave Tables http://www.endlesswave.net/wave_table.html which are so nice, you'll find it hard to kick your feet up on 'em.
Endless Wave, 148 Bellevue Avenue (between John and Prospect Hill streets); Newport; 401-619-2997.
Nantucket
Nantucket is definitely one of our favorite getaways for relaxation, New England style. Although it's a little bit of an excursion— about six hours and a ferry ride away— a world-class dining scene (book, like, three months ahead), serious shopping, and epic beaches might make you want to leave the concrete jungle for good.
STAY
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Vanessa Noel Hotel
Italian marble, Armani bedside tables, Bulgari toiletries, feather beds with custom 300-count sheets, stocked mini-bars and plasma screen TVs—shoe designer Vanessa Noel's self-named hotel brings "lap of luxury" to a whole new level. Although the place only has eight bedrooms (meaning you'll have to plan ahead for this getaway), the property also houses the chic Cafe V Bar and, of course, a Vanessa Noel boutique, not to mention that it's location on Chestnut Street gives you instant access to the island's best attractions.
Vanessa Noel Hotel, 5 Chestnut Street (between Center and Federal streets) ; Nantucket; 508-228-5300.
EAT
Dune
We could go on and on about the food at Dune, but we'll let the food do the talking. From Miso Marinated Swordfish to good old Maryland Soft Shell Crab, we gladly return again and again for seconds, thirds, and fourths at this Nantucket hotspot, whose jumping veined-marble bar is final destination for the Island's very pretty people. If you're in town for special event, you can even book a private room and create your own custom menu—just remember to invite us, okay?
Dune, 20 Broad Street (between Center and Federal streets); Nantucket; 508-228-5550.
SHOP
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Gypsy
A weekend escape is the perfect time to treat yourself to something super special—and everyone knows that shopping doesn't count when your on vacation. But, ladies, watch your Amex here and don't let those charming Massachusetts shingles fool you: Gypsy stocks more high-end designers than your local Barneys. From Thakoon to Givenchy, Celine to Rick Owens, you're sure to be lusting after something as soon as you step inside the souped-up interior.
Gypsy, 20 Federal Street (between Center and Federal streets); Nantucket; 508-228-4404.
Fire Island
Sometimes you want a getaway without too much fuss. Sure, we love luxe hotels and high-end boutiques as much as the next person (and maybe even more), but we love Fire Island for its simplicity and its focus on its natural surroundings—and it's just a short trip from the city. From Ocean Beach to the Sunken Forest, when you want a weekend of beach, beach, and more beach you'd be hard pressed to find a better getaway than this Long Island hotspot. And if you're gay, well, enough said.
STAY
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The Madison
Fire Island Pines isn't exactly, say, Miami when it comes to haute hostelries, but The Madison, one of the area's newest hotels, wouldn't have jet-setters complaining. A roof deck with panoramic views, hot tub, gorgeous pool, massage therapists, limousine service, private balconies, elegant furnishings, and just a few minutes from the beach, this LGBT-friendly hotel ensures your Fire Island getaway is all about relaxing. Flash your room key—we guarantee you'll get lucky.
The Madison, 22 Atlantic Walk (between Fire Island boulevard and Ocean walk); Fire Island Pines; 631-597-6061.
EAT
The Landing
Fire Island may not be the trendiest spot for restaurant addicts, but with simple and elegant decor with beautiful beach views, The Landing at Ocean Beach certainly isn't gnarly. Their menu's got fresh, local seafood and uses seasonal ingredients—Baja Fish Tacos and Shrimp Po Boys are major for a beach-break; Spectacular dinners like Macadamia Crusted Halibut and Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon go great with The Landing's specialty cocktails—just make sure you wait 20 minutes after eating before you go for another dip (and do some discreet crunches, it's Fire Island after all).
The Landing, 620 Baywalk (at Ocean Breeze Walk); Ocean Beach; 631-583-5800.
SHOP
OAK Beach House
Okay, OAK may already be a city staple, but they've fine-tuned their offerings to be more, well, beachy, if you couldn't guess by the outpost's tongue-in-cheek name. Be the hippest swimmer in that very packed pool—the boutique features Orlebar Brown bathing suits, Han sunglasses, Acne gladiator sandals, Miansai hook bracelets (in midnight black, obviously) and even A.OK sunscreen. Because you're that cool.
OAK Beach House, Harbor Walk (between ); Fire Island Pines; 631-597-6813.
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