Keep Fit: An Outdoor Summer Bucket List

At the Vineyard Vines Cornhole Tourney
At the Vineyard Vines Cornhole Tourney

I’m very possessive of summer in the Hamptons; I don’t like to leave the beach for an extended period of time. New baby cousin in Atlanta? Sorry—you’re going to have to wait until October for a visit from Aunt Kelly…

I often internally debate whether I would appreciate warm weather as much if it was this nice year-round. Probably. But perhaps there would be fewer opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Like this past Saturday. I played in the first annual (I hope!) Vineyard Vines Cornhole Tourney. VV Southampton sponsored the event, which pitted customers against store employees in a friendly game of the time-honored tailgating tradition. What ensued was a harking back to my college days down South, only I now prefer playing on the beach to playing in a parking lot. Fun, casual and friendly competition. Can’t beat an evening barbecue on the beach. Kudos to VV for putting on such a well-run event, with ample Vineyard Vines swag offered to participants.

In my ongoing musings about soaking the most out of every summer day in the Northeast, I present a bucket list of outdoor adventures, to be completed before the cold takes over:

1. Bike around Shelter Island. There’s a “secret” seafood place somewhere around Crescent Beach that’s easily found by bicycle. It’s in a residential area, but is clearly marked with a sign out front. I recommend the crab cakes.

2. Join Lululemon’s running group. They meet Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in front of the East Hampton store.

3. Do a bicycle wine tour. Whether organized or on your own, the North Fork is prime for biking between vineyards.

4. Run Ellen’s Run. The annual 5K is this Sunday, August 18 at 9 a.m. in Southampton. The race begins in front of the hospital on Meeting House Lane. Proceeds benefit The Ellen Hermanson Breast Center at Southampton Hospital and Ellen’s Well, which provides patient support services. Visit to register.

5. Toss around a Frisbee.

6. Play mini golf at the Puff ‘n’ Putt in Montauk. One of the only mini golf courses out here, visiting the Puff ‘n’ Putt is one of the things left on my personal summer bucket list. There’s a definite small-town charm to the mostly wooden, 18-hole course right on Fort Pond.

7. Go to Block Island. Yes, this does require leaving the Hamptons. But there’s a reason why they call this pork-chop-shaped piece of land the “Bermuda of the North.” It’s easily a day trip with the Cross Sound Ferry, as they’re running a special “Long Island to Block Island” promotion from Orient to New London to Block.

8. Run on the beach. Being by the water’s edge is as close as East Enders get to running on trails. If you start and end at Coopers Beach in Southampton, you can even rinse off before getting back in the car.

9. Go to the Montauk Brewing Company. The tasting room offers ample outdoor space to enjoy a flight. They’re open until 8 p.m. every day. Take the LIRR and don’t worry about driving.

10. Hike the trails around the Montauk lighthouse.

11. Dine al fresco. Hit up a favorite restaurant, your backyard or revel in a beach picnic.

12. Host a beach bonfire.

13. Play Bocce Ball.

14. Grill. Hot dogs, sausages, hamburgers, corn, veggies. Everything tastes better when it’s slightly charred.

15. Spend an entire day on the beach. It’s strangely difficult to make time for a solid beach day, but there’s still time to soak in the sun.

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