The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill.
You hustled to Penn Station and made that 4:06 Cannonball, only to rise to a devastating forecast shift the next morning. But just because coastal weather is unpredictable hardly means your time out east has to be a wash. Here’s how to rain check your beach day with true Hamptons panache.
Dip in those stores you’ve only driven by.
Perhaps you’ve pavement-pounded the villages enough to leave permanent footprints in the sidewalk. Why not explore those places away from town centers you’ve only passed on the highway—like that mid-century modern home shop in Sagaponack, or the punky architectural salvage place on the way to the wineries? Chances are you’ll have an easier time parking, too, which means less time and distance under those wringing clouds. You might find you’ve truly saved the best for a rainy day.
Game on at The Clubhouse East Hampton.
It’s a gull! It’s a jet! No, it’s a smorgasbord of indoor activities to leave your plans set! Something of a classy Dave & Buster’s, this “clubhouse” behind East Hampton Airport is hardly one in the sense of its shingled south-of-the-highway counterparts, but rather a covered recreational oasis offering indoor bowling, bocce, tennis, arcade games, and countless other activities to get everyone out of the beach house. Live music is a given during peak times, and there’s a delightful putt-putt course outside for when the scattered thunderstorms scatter.
Brush up your ceramics skills at Clay Art Studio in Water Mill.
Your day certainly can’t go to pot if you’re making one (except literally, of course). Clay Art Guild of the Hamptons delivers an experience far beyond your average paint-a-mold, offering courses and independent shop time for ceramicists of any skill level to get behind the wheel. With two spaces in Water Mill, including that adorable studio beside the hamlet’s landmark grist-grinding namesake, there’s no better place to throw it all away. Advanced registration is required for supervised and unsupervised sessions, so be sure to plan in advance.
Indulge with bespoke spa treatments at Shou Sugi Ban House.
Gurney’s Seawater Spa might be closed for renovations, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t retreat yourself in style. This tranquil Water Mill wellness resort, opened in 2019 a cork’s pop from Duck Walk Vineyards (another summer t-storm sanctuary), embraces the virtues of wabi-sabi, the Japanese art of finding innate beauty in nature’s imperfect world. From aromatic steam rooms to the therapeutic ice fountain, it’s a hot ticket that’s every bit cool. For a wholly immersive experience, replete with plant-forward dining, spend the night, or two, or three—who’s counting?
The just-reopened Sag Harbor Cinema boasts a rooftop bar with views of Peconic Bay.
See a matinee at the East End’s newest historic theater.
It’s the oldest move in the book short of an actual rain dance, but after a year-plus away from the big screen, going to the movies on a soaked Saturday or soggy Sunday couldn’t possibly feel more right. There’s no better place out east to catch off-net flicks than the freshly-restored Sag Harbor Cinema, resplendent with three state-of-the-art screens, an indoor-outdoor roof bar, and a commissary with frozen morsels from SoHo’s own Mochidoki. If it’s still coming down after the show, head upstairs for a Negroni and watch the clouds retreat over the bay—surprise a friend with the first round and get their name on the pay-it-forward chalkboard.
Channel your inner artist at The Parrish.
The Parrish isn’t a Hamptons art museum so much as it is a world-class art institution that happens to be in the Hamptons. Tracing its roots to the Shinnecock Hills Summer School of Art, led by noted impressions (and Parsons founder) William Merritt Chase, today’s Parrish features a permanent collection of 3,000+ works from the 19th century onward, several from artists who lived and worked on the East End: Chuck Close, Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, and Willem de Kooning, to drop a few names. When the rain relents, wander the paths outside its double-gabled Herzog & DeMeuron digs to see even more.
Go for a spin at SoulCycle BARN.
What better excuse to sweat out some lobster roll-and-rosé calories? When the skies roll opaque with cumulonimbus and the air’s denser than a two bouchon at Carissa’s, escort yourself right to SoulCycle’s chic Butter Lane studio, a delightful alternative to the Water Mill location if mounting a bike beside Montauk Highway isn’t for you. And unlike Barry’s, it’s nowhere near Levain Bakery, ensuring your willpower won’t be challenged in the name of a gooey scone-sized chocolate chip walnut cookie.
Glimpse into Hamptons past at the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum.
You probably know this Hamptons village has serious whale tales to tell, but perhaps you’ve never taken the time to visit its actual temple—an old Masonic one, specifically—to learn about them. For example, did you know Sag Harbor whaling ships ferried prominent East Enders to California’s Gold Rush? How about that a Southampton captain’s rescue of stranded harpoonists led to the first American contact with shogunate Japan (and a stolen map that guided a famed expedition by Commodore Perry, commandant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard?).