Hamptons With Kids in the Offseason

Coopers Beach in Southampton, courtesy of www.discoverlongisland.com

People may think that the Hamptons is dead during the non-summer offseason, but it’s actually very lovely to visit during the more quiet times. There are enough restaurants, cultural activities and stores that are open to give you something to do, and you don’t have to deal with the horrible traffic driving in from the city. The beach is always open, and while you may not be able to swim in the water, sunsets are beautiful any time of year. It’s a lovely place to bring children since there’s a great infrastructure of museums, restaurants, playgrounds and wide open spaces set up all times of the year. If you’re going to the Hamptons in December, April or an offseason month and are wondering what you can do with your kids, here’s a list of recommended places that will make your offseason vacation awesome.

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Weekend in the Hamptons: Highway Diner & Bar

Highway Diner - menu

Last weekend we were in the Hamptons and decided to have lunch at Highway Diner & Bar in East Hampton. The restaurant itself is relatively new and the interior has all the de rigueur trappings of a high-end beach town establishment. But despite all the niceties, I couldn’t quite embrace Highway Diner & Bar because the place lacks character and a distinct identity. It sort of feels like a country club, other times a surf lodge, and maybe even an old-timey diner. What exactly is it trying to be? It looks like the owners tried to incorporate anything and everything that would evoke nostalgia and summer vacation. If the term people-pleaser could be personified by a restaurant, then Highway Diner & Bar would be it.

Now if the food were delicious, I would be willing to cut the restaurant some slack, but everything we had was pretty meh. It was this close to being solid, but not quite. The roasted beet and goat cheese salad I ordered was a prime example of this. Nothing about the salad was offensive, but at the same time it was nothing to write home about. The flavorful chicken andouille gumbo was a great improvement, but the ratio of sausage to soup was a little too high. While the gumbo was good, it was good in that corporate cafeteria kind of way. The fried local flounder sandwich and fries were the only items that were legitimately good and worth recommending.

Highway Diner - roasted beet and goat cheese salad
roasted beet and goat cheese salad

Highway Diner - chicken andouille gumbo
chicken andouille gumbo

Highway Diner - fried fish sandwich
fried local flounder sandwich

Most standard lunch items cost around $10-$12, whereas mains typically cost $20+. Apparently this is pretty reasonable pricing for the Hamptons, so perhaps that alone should convince you to try this place. And it is very pretty and pleasant inside. But I personally think Highway Diner & Bar is a pit stop I would skip.

Highway Diner & Bar
290 Montauk Highway
East Hampton, NY 11937