My wife and I have been going to the Hamptons for ten years, and we were very excited to share this special place with Karina. While there are hotels and bed & breakfasts in the area, we recommend renting a house (or, as in our case, be invited by a generous friend). As expected, prices in the Fall are much less expensive than Summer, and let's face it, with a newborn you'll be avoiding the beach and mostly be going on walks and hanging around the house. It's important to have some space and a nice location, and in my case, a large kitchen to make dinners and baby food.
Transportation is easy. For this trip, we opted to rent a car, but on every subsequent trip we've taken the train. Trains are perfect for babies. You can nurse them, walk them, and entertain them by facing them toward the scenery zipping by outside. During the summer it can be tricky to get a seat if you're traveling sans baby, but once your little one enters the equation, I've found that people will always offer their seat to you.
Milk Pail Orchards for Apple Picking
For the best deals on lodging, I recommend going in early Spring or after Labor Day. And if you choose the Fall, you'll get the opportunity to go apple picking. This is probably the most baby- friendly activity we have done to date. Strap baby onto your chest with an Ergobaby (for review click here) and stroll down the orchard picking apples at your leisure. This one was tops.They also serve some of the best hot chocolate and hot apple cider around.
Hank's Pumpkin Town
Don't forget about pumpkins! If you happen to be near Southampton, we highly recommend you take the family to Hank's Pumpkin Town. To get into the main attraction area there is no admittance fee. Hank's knows the more fun you have, the more likely you will buy pie and pumpkins.
And there is no shortage of fun or pumpkins here. Giant wooden play structures dot the area. Some are reserved for the older kids, but others are perfect for your one year old. Breathe in the Fall air, pick up some of the delicious kettle corn, and take a lot of pictures.
Golden Pear Restaurant on Main Street
This local favorite has long lines but is worth the wait. The "Spa menu" as it's called has some healthy options, and the Turkey Chilli is the best I've tasted. I also appreciate the large selection of coffee and creamers available. If you're lucky, snag a seat on the sidewalk and do some people watching as you eat.
Typically my wife and I will take turns eating while the other entertains Karina. When we eat with friends, one of us will take Karina for a walk if she gets fussy. Main Street in Southampton is one of my favorite places to do this. Charming boutiques and restaurants make for great window shopping, and the people you encounter are very friendly. Check out one of our favorite clothing stores, Tenet, and grab some juice at the JuicePress.
We cook a lot in the Hamptons, and this place has quickly become our favorite grocery store. The hamburger meat is pre-prepared into sliders for easy grilling, and vegetables have already been sliced and diced and placed on kabobs to cook alongside. The fish is some of the freshest around. Granted, you will be paying a bit more to shop here than Schmidts, which is just down the street. The prepared food here is also good if you are hungry and in a hurry.
Coopers Beach has been dubbed one of the top beaches in the nation in a few travel sites. And rightfully so. The water is usually calm, the soft sand never gets too hot and is perfect for Karina to play on, and it's a public beach so you can bring friends. Be sure to also bring an umbrella and large blanket so that you have some non-sand options for baby.
For a complete list of items to bring for a beach day. Click here to read our post.
Roast Pork Tenderloin recipe
As I mentioned above, I cook a lot in the Hamptons. This is my favorite non-BBQ recipe for when I'm there. Originally a Thomas Keller recipe, I've modified it for speed. Nobody with a baby has time to do the whole thing (and if you do please get in touch for your tips), and my way tastes just the same (Don't tell Thomas). For the original recipe click here.
How to modify:
Season the Pork with salt, pepper and garlic salt. Preheat the oven to 350. In a large saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of Canola Oil until super hot (high heat). Then, take the pork and sear all sides (about 2 minutes per side). When complete, take a quarter stick of butter and lemon slices and throw into the saucepan. coat the tenderloin generously with the melted butter.
Then transfer the pork to a pan with a raised roasting tray and put in over for 20 minutes. You can make some baby potatoes with it as well, but get those in the oven at least 30 minutes prior to the pork. Coat the potatoes with garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Boom. It's awesome and simple. Mic drop.