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Destination Summer

Whether your idea of five-star relaxation is on an island beach, at a mountain lake or in a cabin in the woods, these seasonal getaways—just a road trip away—will have you and your loved ones basking in sheer luxury no matter the direction the GPS

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Surf Lodge | Montauk, New York

Why Go:
For those who dream of eternal summer, long sundrenched days filled with surf and song, the ultra hip Surf Lodge is the place to be. This nod to West Coast bohemian chic is the brainchild of owner Jayma Cardoso, who has made a name for herself having opened the super-hot nightclubs Lavo and GoldBar in New York City.  

What To Do:
When in the surf capital of the East Coast, you must surf. Don’t know how? No problem: The professional team from Coreyswave will have you standing up in no time. They say 99 percent of students stand up in their first lesson. They even include the wet suit in your rental. Not sure hanging ten is for you? Try stand-up paddleboarding; if you can keep your balance, you can do it. Surf at iconic Ditch Plains or take a free paddleboard out from the lodge and try your skill on Fort Pond Bay.

Where To Eat:
The Byron at the Surf Lodge offers up fab fare such as crab spaghetti along with summer staples like the lobster roll. Stay through the evening when the bar gets seriously clubby and often features marquee-name live bands. For those looking for a more serene dining experience, head over to the Montauk Yacht Club. Despite its name, it’s open to the public. With two superb restaurants, a private beach and a marina that houses the mega yachts that come to stay, it’s a lovely complement to the nightclub feel of the Surf Lodge. 

Insider's Tip:
Michele Ross, owner of Letarte swimwear in Greenwich, is a Surf Lodge regular. She brings her own kiteboard and teen daughter; surfing is not just for kids, you know.

The Point | Saranac Lake, New York

Why Go:
The Point in Saranac Lake is so exclusive that you won’t find it on a map; guests are provided the address only after booking (and paying). This private luxurious estate is one of the last of the Great Camps of the Adirondacks, considered by many to be the premier resort in the country. The Point was built as a private retreat for the William Avery Rockefeller family in the early 1930’s. Eleven distinctive guest rooms are spread among the four original log buildings, so even when fully booked, the property still leaves guests feeling as if they have their own Rockefeller-esque retreat.

What To Do:
Head out on a private tour of Upper Saranac Lake on the resort’s thirty-three-foot Hacker Craft. You’ll learn much about the Great Camps built by oil and steel barons in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Trust us; the salacious stories alone are worth the tour. The resort offers guests access to their fleet of boats that include canoes, mahogany electric inboards and a glass-enclosed electric boat that is used for relaxing rides, leisurely meals and, during summer, evening cocktail cruises, as some things can really only be seen from the lake. On land you can enjoy a wealth of activities including tennis, fishing and croquet.

Where To Eat:
Put on a tuxedo and head to the Great Hall, after cocktails, of course. (The Point is an all-inclusive property.) Jacket and tie are required during the week, and Wednesdays and Saturdays call for formal attire in the tradition of the great lodges of yesteryear. After dinner, guests head out to the nightly bonfire to enjoy s’mores and truffled popcorn.

Insider Tips:
No children under seventeen are allowed, and you might as well leave your iPhone at home as there are no TVs or cell service, and Wi-Fi is meted out in one small office to the truly desperate. Emily Liebert, a Westport resident and author of You Knew Me When, says: “The Point is the perfect marriage of old-world charm and modern elegance. It’s like camp for adults in the best possible way.” She suggests booking The Boathouse, if you can. It’s the most coveted room on the property. “The dramatic canopy bed and spectacular views of the lake are to die for.”

The Wauwinet | Nantucket, Massachusetts

Why Go:
Nantucket looks much as it did when the whaling industry left more than 150 years ago, and the locals wouldn’t have it any other way. The island has more homes on the National Register of Historic Places than Boston does. This “elbow of sand” off the coast of Cape Cod draws visitors looking for everything from gourmet cuisine to isolated beaches and a day of surfcasting. The Wauwinet is Nantucket’s only Relais & Chateaux property and is ideally situated at the northeast point of the island.

What To Do:
Take a ride in the hotel’s prized 1948 “Woody” (a vintage Chevy Fleetmaster station wagon) to the charming town of nearby S’conset. Rent a four-wheel drive or buy an oversand vehicle permit and cruise the beaches looking for the perfect picnic spot. (The hotel’s award- winning restaurant Topper's will pack a picnic for you.) Take a ride across the water and into town on the Wauwinet Lady for a day of shopping.

Where To Eat:
Wauwinet is the home of Topper's, named the No. 1 overall restaurant on Nantucket by Zagat, so no need to leave the property for world-class cuisine. Or you can head into the heart of Nantucket’s historic district for a feast at Company of the Cauldron, though be forewarned; it’s so popular that locals start making reservations in April for summer dining. The menu changes weekly, so it’s a bit of a lottery what you will end up eating. For a more low-key meal, check out the new Lola Burger; we hear the tuna burger is the dish to try. 

Insider Tips:
The Nagler family of Rowayton makes the trek to Nantucket annually and suggests booking a surf lesson for your teens at Cisco Beach with the Nantucket Surf School. Tasha says to “book an 8 a.m. lesson to enjoy both an empty beach and gorgeous morning light for picture-perfect photos of your new surfer.”

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