Whether you’re making a quick trip to the nearby coast for Memorial Day Weekend or traveling abroad for an adventurous holiday, be sure you celebrate what this first big summer weekend is all about: sun, good food, friends and family, and fun! Here is a guide to my favorite summer spots near and far.
NEAR: THE HAMPTONS
In East Hampton, the Farmer’s Market launches it’s 8th season. The market is held in the Nick and Toni’s parking lot at 136 North Main Street in East Hampton and will run—rain or shine—every Friday 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM from May 24th through August 30th. Pick up some local foods for a healthy summer feast!
Prefer to hit the restaurant scene? Try Sen in Sag Harbor! There isn’t much of a Japanese restaurant selection in the Hamptons, but this little wooden sake box is a favorite. It’s also in a prime location for a stroll while you wait for a table to open up. Slow Food docks at Fishbar on the Lake, a jaunty seafood restaurant that’s just the kind of place you’re looking for when on a casual beach vacation. The fish doesn’t get any fresher than this — the chef picks up the day’s catch in a wheelbarrow and steers it to the kitchen. Don’t forget about my favorite daily treat – a stop at Hampton’s Coffee! Whether you need your caffeine fix, pastries on your drive in from the city, or a stack of their amazing gluten free cookies to snack on over the weekend, Hampton’s Coffee is a must!
Family time: On Saturday, take the kids to learn about art at the Jackson Pollock Family Drip Painting Workshop. Families tour the Pollock-Krasner House and studio in East Hampton, followed by a drip painting workshop for children.
Need more? FATHOM put together a list of the best Hamptons guides online!
FAR: TULUM, MEXICO
It’s easy to feel at home in Tulum, a place that has survived the hype and become a solid travel destination. Whether you’re taking the kids, a date, or yourself (why not!), there’s something for everyone here.
These are the best places to stay, eat, and play, via FATHOM:
Coqui Coqui Tulum is the hotel for couples, and everyone here says to visit the spa before you leave. Jashita is the quiet, chic and intimate 14-room boutique hotel no one knows about. It stands alone on Soliman Bay and delivers on contemporary luxury while hinting at Tulum’s roots. If you’re with a group (up to ten), you can rent their standalone Villa Jasmine. Ana y Jose is the best bet for full service with rustic, charming, and cool touches. It’s beachfront and there’s a pool as well as a good restaurant. Great for families, couples, and friends alike; they make everyone feel at home. Be Tulum on Sian Ka’an nature reserve park has a hip-cool-urban vibe and doesn’t allow children under 12, but it’s no less charming than its neighbors. The vibe is very designy, Philippe Starck, I’m-here-to-be-seen-in-my-white-bikini.
Hartwood is an open air restaurant on the jungle side of Tulum’s beach road. Beautiful, and the food is so good! All of their cooking is done in a wood burning oven or an open grill. Azulik is a tiny, beautiful, inexpensive complex of cabanas perched on cliffs either above or on the water. You’ll feel at one with nature. There’s no A/C, so be careful during the hottest summer months (July-August). There’s no on-site restaurant, but it’s on Tulum Beach, so dining options abound. Amansala offers yoga retreats and a great and rigorous fitness program unfortunately called Bikini Bootcamp. Come with friends or totally come alone — if the goal is to eat well, exercise, and detox. A warning: The focus is more on the low-key vibe than on comfort. The cabanas are nice but not luxurious.
Que Fresco: An excellent fresh fish restaurant right on the beach at Zamas Hotel serving lunch and dinner. There’s live music in the evening, everything from reggae to rock, which makes it a bit of a scene. Ana y Jose: The hotel’s beachfront restaurant is excellent for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The service is friendly and professional; the menu is primarily authentic Mexican fare with universal appeal. Le Zebra: Located closer to the Si’an Kaan nature reserve, it has a lovely outdoor lounge area on the beach. A good spot for sunset.
Cetli: A gracious, more formal, romantic restaurant run by chef Claudia Pérez Rívas a couple of blocks off the main drag in town. Cash only; closed Wednesdays. Hemingway: There are only five super cozy and darling tables right on the beach within an eco lodge. No menu; you just tell them what you want. Sahara Café: The restaurant at Jashita Hotel serves an excellent mix of Italian and Mexican cuisines, relying on local ingredients.
Xcaret and Xel-Há are commercialized nature resorts where you can snorkel in underground rivers, swim with dolphins and manatees, and visit Mayan ruins. They’re especially good for families. Tulum is also known for its Mayan ruins. Visit a little history high on the cliffs. The three main ruins are El Castillo, the Temple of the Frescoes, and the Temple of the Descending God. Of course, when you have beaches this beautiful at your disposal, don’t feel guilty if all you want to do is lounge!