Year-Round Delights

Discover the Hamptons launches new off-season activities, including its first annual harvest fest.
One can always find a fireplace to sit near at The Baker House 1650. Photography: Chris Foster and Jeff Heatley

By Charlotte DeFazio

It’s no secret that when the summer sun exits the Hamptons so do all of its seasonal visitors—many of whom have limited knowledge of life out East beyond the beautiful beaches and star-studded parties. But it’s not entirely their fault. “I was shocked at how little is done to promote tourism here, and how little the hospitality industry works together,” says Liz Brodar, owner of White Fences Inn in Water Mill. Antonella Bertello, who celebrates 15 years as proprietor of The Baker House 1650 in East Hampton, agrees: “There is so much more that we can accomplish together—strength in numbers and in partnerships.”

Brodar and Bertello combined forces with a few friends to create Discover the Hamptons, a source for both locals and out-of-towners, bringing the community together via events and workshops curated around three main pillars: Hamptons Harvest (Oct. 10-Nov. 17), Winterfest (Feb. 7-March 8) and Thrive (April 2-May 15). Some of the committee’s upcoming favorites include Purist’s wellness lounge at The Baker House (Oct. 11); a Painting Intensive Workshop at the Parrish Art Museum (Oct. 18/19); the Hamptons Harvest dinner at Topping Rose House, a fundraiser for the East Hampton YMCA and Live Strong (Nov. 3); Aspiring Authors Weekend (Nov. 8-10); fairs organized by the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce; mixology classes at The Baker House; cooking classes; and more.

Joining Brodar and Bertello in their post-summer tourism mission are Glenn Vickers II, fellow board member of the East Hampton Chamber of Commerce and president/executive director of the YMCA East Hampton RECenter, and Diane Tucci, founder of Main Street Agency, who is responsible for the Long Island Winterfest and Alive On 25. They also partnered with Discover Long Island and local inns like Topping Rose House, 1770 House and The 1708 House.

The spike in organized, fun cultural events adds to a preexisting incentive to escape out East during the least crowded months of the year when you can take a deep breath, relish the quietude and remember the importance of stillness. Take a walk down Wyandanch Lane in Southampton, enveloped by the tunnel of white trees after a snowstorm; park on the beach, hot beverage in hand, with the windows down for the sound and smell of the ocean; dine at the best restaurants sans a two-hour wait; explore each hamlet’s historic corners; get lost driving down roads you’ve never heard of; and cozy up by a fireplace at the end of each day. As Brodar says, this is “more than a beach destination.”