Get Ready, It's Almost Hamptons Season

There is an art to mastering the Hamptons. And walking into summer without a little prep work is ill-advised. So here is a primer to the Hamptons for you to study up and plan ahead for that fast-approaching, lusted-after Memorial Day weekend. Rev your engines...

If you're looking to arrive in style, board a sleek and sexy eight-passenger Cessna plane that hotelier André Balazs runs from 23rd Street and the East River in New York City. In just 45 minutes, StndAir will deliver you and your cargo to East Hampton or Shelter Island. A one-way flight will set you back about $495 unless your schedule is flexible and you can fly off-peak. Check the Flight Board, where flights can be found for as little as $29.

The simple, fresh, and low-key La Maison Blanche has eight sweet rooms and is only steps from Crescent Beach. It has a lovely garden, an outdoor bar, petanque court, complimentary bikes, and a French brasserie menu that's not to be missed. The Capri reopened last summer with newly designed beach-chic rooms designed by Cynthia Rowley. Guests spend the day lounging poolside at The Bathing Club or nibbling on fresh sushi at the beachside Nobu outpost.

Further east in laid-back Montauk, Ruschmeyer's beckons those looking to recapture an upscale, grown-up version of summer camp; tepees and grills included. The 20 guestrooms surround a central lawn and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy from morning till night. Or there is The Surf Lodge, with its cool surfer vibes and generously outfitted bungalows with water views.

Where to eat? The Living Room at the C/O the Maidstone serves slow food-meets-Scandinavia-meets-American food all day, including a "Slow To Go" picnic lunch menu offering items like grilled local vegetables with Mecox Bay cheeses, Swedish meatball sliders, and green goddess potato salad. In Bridgehampton, try the beloved bistro Almond, which returned last summer with a menu of seasonal and local ingredients. East Hampton eatery Spring Close Restaurant sits in a renovated farmhouse on Montauk Highway, serving straightforward fare in a casual setting. Book a table at Nick and Toni's, a bright and airy dining room offering an array of Tuscan classics like wood-oven whole branzino and roasted polenta.

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