Friday, May 24th marks the beginning of Memorial Day weekend, and the official “opening” of the gratuitous, rich-person breeding grounds known as The Hamptons. Coach buses of elderly WASPs, trains filled with socialite-seeking hopefuls, and private jets stuffed with celebrity douchebags migrate towards the farthest point on Long Island for what is sure to be another summer of caviar-encrusted nipples and Moet-drenched panties.
But the Hamptons are just as much fun if you’re a broke-ass traveler looking to cause a ruckus. Here’s how to slum it on the East End of Long Island this summer.
It’s about a three-hour drive from Manhattan to the Hamptons. Car is your cheapest form of transport, hitchhiking even cheaper as you can probably get away with not paying for gas, and you’ll get a chance to cruise in someone else’s convertible.
For the summer of 2013, the Long Island Railroad Cannonball line will take those from the city straight to the Hamptons in 94 minutes, for about $54 round-trip. You can also take one of the many coach buses, like the Hampton Luxury Liner or the Hampton Jitney, for anywhere between $49-$100.
Skip the lavish, seasonal restaurants stockpiled with celebrity paparazzi blinding you as you dine, for under-the-radar locales like La Hacienda in Southampton. Stuff your belly with piles of Mexican food for less than $10 a plate. The Sip ‘n Soda Luncheonette provides cheap midday options and old-fashioned ice cream sodas, where you can remember a time when Long Island’s beaches weren’t overrun with Jersey Shore wannabes.
Don’t leave the East End without trying a lobster roll. Budget your funds so you can shell out the $22 it will cost you to sample some fresh, chopped-up lobster bits mixed with mayo and celery and shoved between a toasted hot dog bun. DROOL. Better than the ones in Maine, just sayin’.
Your hangover helper breakfast comes in the form of the Hampton Coffee Company in Westhampton. Score a free latte when you follow their Facebook and Twitter pages. For crazy-tasty baked goods, seek out a slice of Crack Pie at the Momofuku Milk Bar popup stand in Montauk.
The ultimate trash bin of the Hamptons is the Boardy Barn, only open Sundays from 3-8pm. It’s a giant corral of guidos and guidettes from across the Island who want to stand around in the sun and drink $2 cups of beer. The two-hour wait to get in is worth it because there is a 99.8% chance you will get laid.
Other good places to kick back and relax with a beer and the beach crowd include Bub’s Tavern and Wolfie’s Tavern. These places are dive bars by snob standards, but if the locals like you they’ll buy your drinks for the night.
Find a celebrity, seduce them, and stay the night at their beach bungalow. Seriously; it’s free, it’s sexy, and you’re guaranteed to get a smoothie breakfast.
Aside from that, lodging in the Hamptons can be tricky. You can reserve space for a tent at Cedar Point County Park in East Hampton, which sometimes shows movies on the lawn behind the General Store.
Hotels book up quickly and can get expensive, especially those on the beach. They aren’t glamorous estates, but for about $200/night you can sleep at the Montauk Motel or the Longview Resort Motel. Your room might look like the scene of a murder, but when you split the cost between eight of your trashiest friends, who cares?
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Katka is a Contributing Editor and the Social Media Manager for Matador Network. She is based in New York and has worked in the travel industry for the past five years. Other contributions include articles for Vittana, Thought Catalog, Travel Fashion Girl, Yelp!, Where’s Cool?, TripAha! and more. Read more about how awesome she is at katkatravels.com.