Play Hooky At Our Shelter Island Hot-Spots

Ok, so we're not exactly endorsing lying, but no one will kill you if you take a mid-week "sick day" or two, this summer. And instead of melting away in the city's sweltering heat, watching re-runs of Friends, why not make the most of your precious time and create a memory that actually lasts longer than a fight between Rachel and Ross. Our suggestion: Shelter Island, a super-sweet destination that feels like a major vacation even though it's only two-and-a-half hours away. It's the Hamptons done right: no crazy clubs, tricked-out Range Rovers, and over-gelled bankers in sight. The isle, a short 8 minutes away from the mainland, is real chill, with tons of protected wetlands (one-third of the Island is owned by The Nature Conservancy), untouched beaches, and jaw-droppingly beautiful 20th-century manses. So, cop a cold when the weather gets hot, just don't blame us if you get the flu for real, too.
Here's a cheat-sheet for your quickie Island adventure:
STAY: Sunset Beach—The crown-jewel of this perfect paradise is Andr&eacute' Balazs' hotel, which opens for the summer today. Though it gets a lil' crazy on the weekends, the week is the perfect time for you to enjoy the epic views (it's definitely not mis-named) and the Mykonos vibes without a million other peeps. Plus, the complimentary mountain bikes, French beach-side restaurant, and sleek, colorful rooms make your sunset that much sexier. Sunset Beach, 35 Shore Road, Shelter Island; 631-749-2001.
SHOP: Sunset Beach Boutique—So, there's not that much clothing-wise on the Island that will appeal to the major fash girl's charge-card, but why venture too far from your hotel room—there's tons of stylish swag on tap, from Erés bikinis to DVF dresses, just in case you forgot your bathing suit or you want to get a little more glammed up for cocktail hour. Sunset Beach Boutique, 35 Shore Road, Shelter Island; 631-749-2001.
PLAY: Shell Beach—According to André Balazs Properties Creative Director Claire Darrow, you "can find these really special translucent peachy flat shells that are great for some DIY jewelry." Plus, with a recent restoration, the tranquil tides are that much more picturesque. If you're into fishing, bluefish and striped bass are a favorite catch off the point.
EAT: Redding's Market—This gourmet market, opened by a chef from Per Se, looks like it came out of a Roald Dahl novel, it's just that enchanting. Yummy snacks for anytime of day (think homemade bagels or a crispy zucchini parmesan sandwich), the stand-out treat is definitely the made-to-order Cotton Candy--there's even a cute little chalkboard where the day's flavors are displayed. Pink Vanilla, please! Redding's Market, 184 North Ferry Road, Shelter Island; 631-749-0003
DRINK: The Dory—If you want to explore the Island a little, then head to this super-local spot to grab a gimlet (or a signature dark and stormy) or two. You'll find all the locals, and the rad juke-box will put you in an old-school frame of mind. The Dory, 185 North Ferry Road, Shelter Island; 631-749-4300
Now this is some serious summer lovin'. ALL of our readers will score 10% off mid-week (Mon-Wed) rates at the hotel, and a free bottle of André Balazs Reserve Rosé at check-in. Just mention R29 when you're making your reservation. Start packing!
One reader will get the perfect excuse for a hooky: One free night mid-week stay (Monday-Wed*), a complimentary bottle of ros&eacute:, and 20% off the hotel store (opening May 30). To win the prize, comment on this story with your best get-out-of-work excuse. The most plausible answer wins!
*Black-out dates may apply

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