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Possessing all the characteristic checkboxes of the choice road trip destination, and then some, is none other than Long Island’s very own Sag Harbor, and with September right around the corner, it’s time once again for the annual Lexus Road Trip to Sag Harbor!
Once a sprawling whaling oil port that in 1789 Congress declared the United States’ first official port of entry, this (not-so) secret village by the sea is rich in history, rife with natural beauty, and offers adventure-seeking travelers everything from breathtaking views and beaches to myriad shops, art galleries, museums, and absolute food-and-drink galore.
Sag Harbor is also known as a writer’s colony, with such past residents including William Demby and John Steinbeck, and was the birthplace of poet George Sterling.
When he’s not wowing audiences during sold-out gigs at Madison Square Garden, The Piano Man himself, Billy Joel, calls this seaside oasis home, and even docks his famous boat Downeastern Alexa at the Sag Harbor Yacht Club.
For all these reasons and so many more, you simply cannot roll into a magical realm of this magnitude in just any old ride, dear auto aficionados. Well, you can, but why would you? No good justification. You need a worthy pair of wheels to transport you and your loved ones to the bountiful joy that surely awaits you here.
Yes, you need an ultra-special chariot for this ultra-special journey. A ride unlike no other. Some wheels that will not only get you there in comfort, but will turn heads upon arrival. With its distinct and stunning elegance, style and reputation, yes, you’ll need a 2016 Lexus ES Hybrid. This beauty is the epitome of cutting-edge aerodynamics and luxury—while with a 40 MPG combined rating, it’s also easier on the environment.
What’s that you say? You’ll be hungry once you arrive? Well worry not, for great food is definitely on the menu in Sag Harbor. So is excitement, sheer, splendid wonder, and of course, truly remarkable, absolutely memorable times.
Swing by Bay Burger on your way into town and enjoy a delicious, homemade beef, turkey or fish burger, accompanied with some “loaded Fries-N-Tots” (Yes, those scrumptious lil tattlers!) sprinkled with crumbled bacon and melted chee, along with a shake or two. B-Squared churns their own ice cream, too, so dig into a tub of Joe & Liza’s many flavors while you’re here as well! Each tender morsel and gooey spoonful consists of all-natural and local ingredients!
Stop by Cappelletti Restaurant for some amazing “Original Focaccia Sandwiches,” veal cutlet parm, pasta, pizza and calzones and leave s-a-t-i-s-f-i-e-d. For dinner and lunch the next day, change it up and take your pick: Doppio, Il Capuccino, Page At 63 Main or Muse In The Harbor—you can’t go wrong! Muse offers a must-devour brunch menu, touting such beautific creations as the “Smoked Salmon Stack,” “Tuna Menage A Trois” and “Peanut Butter Stuffed French Toast.”
[Editor’s Note: Ummm. Must we really finish this blurb? Are we really expected to sit here and describe this stuff and not hop in the car and hit this, like, right now!? Yummm!! Sorry.]
There’s simply too much to do and experience in this treasure trove of fun, so stay overnight at B&Bs Forever Cottage, just steps from Main Street, the equally charming Harborwoods Guesthouse, or any of the Saggler’s hotels and motels: Forever Bungalows, Baron’s Cove, Sag Harbor Inn and the historic The American Hotel, among them.
You’ll also want to mosey on down to the Bay Street Theatre, home to countless show-stopping performances—Billy Joel made a surprise appearance here just last month!
Of course, no such viewing would be complete without an ice-cold fresh brew of java at the ready (perhaps even two), so you’ll also want to shimmy and shake your way into The Golden Pear Café and/or BuddaBerry Frozen Yogurt & Waffle Bar (What a combo!) for a sweet, refreshing caffeine interlude.
Hold your loved one’s hand as you stroll Sag Harbor’s quaint, vibrant Main Street, lined with shops and restaurants and brimming with life. Walk along the water, gentle breeze at your back, full, shining sun on your face and skin and the eminence of the hazy hot sun sprinkling sparkling slivers of sunlight dancing atop the waves and rippling magnificent tiny swirling vortex-miracles that make you question how such a paradise can exist so close to New York City, yet truly be so very far away.
Pick up a copy of the award-winning Sag Harbor Express, peruse its pages and learn a little about the people, the places and the politics [Yuck!] that make this village what it is.
If history is your thing, then you are in for a grand treat, indeed. Head up the hill to the Old Burying Ground and Old Whaler’s Church—the former the scene of a raid during the American Revolutionary War and the latter once boasting a 168-foot-high steeple, formerly the tallest structure on Long Island, which collapsed in the Great Hurricane of 1938, aka “The Long Island Express.”
Visit the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum—which in addition to its many artifacts, houses a nearly 160-year-old Masonic Lodge—and genuflect before The Broken Mast Monument in nearby Oakland Cemetery, one of many memorials to those sailors who lost their lives at sea in the pursuit of those majestic sea mammals.
[Fun Sag Harbor factoid: The village is actually mentioned in Moby Dick!]
A lil sleepy from all the chompin’ and explorin’? Take a lil nappler on any one of Sag Harbor’s many gorgeous beaches as the soft splashing waves upon the pristine shores lull you to slumber: Sagg Main Beach, W. Scott Cameron Beach and Havens Beach are but a few. When you awake, check out the mysterious critters abounding at the 187-acre Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge, hike the diverse Long Pond Greenbelt—an 1,100-acre nature preserve—and/or wander Emma Rose Elliston Park, located along the shore of Big Fresh Pond!
Mark your calendars, too, because Harborfest Weekend arrives in Sag Harbor on September 12 & 13,
featuring an arts and crafts fair, farmers market, boat races, vendors and music!