Unplug & Unwind
“When phones were attached to walls, people were free,” the meme goes, and it’s hard to disagree. From the glow of your seatmate’s Twitter feed during previews at the movies to the thunk! of slamming head-on into another pedestrian who refuses to look up from their screen, our phones keep us plugged in – and tuned out. But a summer escape to the East End is the perfect time to change that and immerse yourself in an activity so diverting, you can’t be bothered to stop for a selfie. Here, a few of our favorite ways to back slowly away from the ’gram and the ’book and be utterly, blissfully present this season.
Sure, the idyllic rows and plump berries of Hank’s Farmstand (324 County Rd. 39A, Southampton, 631.726.4667) are Instagram- worthy. But when your hands are occupied by picking your own fresh summer strawberries – and occasionally, popping a juicy scarlet sweetie or two into your mouth! – who has time for filters? Stop by throughout the season, first for strawberries, then again as raspberries ripen in July and blackberries appear beginning in August. In a rush? Skip the picking and just hit the farmstand, where berries are appealingly packed in pints and quarts alongside mountains of red ripe tomatoes, ears of sweet summer corn, and bunches of colorful blossoms.
GET HIGHWhen all else fails? Jump! There are strict legal barriers preventing you from bringing a camera – or a phone – along on your first leap from an airplane, so don’t even think about it. Instead, leave the videography to the pros at Hamptons Skydiving (133 Dawn Dr., Shirley, 631.351.5867). These tandem-jump specialists boast an impeccable safety record, and their location offers spectacular views of all of Long Island and New York City, from the azure inlets of Montauk at one end to the glittering towers of Manhattan at the other. Take in the expansive blue of the Atlantic Ocean and savor a little smirk (and a moment of silence) as you soar over all the poor suckers stuck in traffic on their way to the very beach that’s spread out like a white ribbon beneath you. You’ll return to earth invigorated, rejuvenated – and utterly, completely unplugged. Ahhhhhh.
SALT AIRSome of us need more than polite urging to leave our phones behind. And that’s okay! The kind folks at Montauk Salt Cave (552 W. Lake Dr., Montauk, 631.668.7258) actually require that you leave your tech outside of the cave for your session, whether in one of their cubbies or in your car (or – gasp! – at home altogether!) Once inside the salt cave, you’ll spend 45 blissful minutes in a zero-gravity chair while soothing meditational music helps you quiet your mind and the healing energy of Himalayan Pink Salt, imported from the Punjab region of Pakistan and believed to be left over after the evaporation of the primordial sea, cleanses you from the inside out. A salt cure (as in halotherapy, not the process of making bacon delicious) can be transformative, with benefits that include clearing pollen, viruses, pollutants and toxins from your lungs and nasal passageways and natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti- viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial (and anti-tech!) properties.
ROSÉ ALL THE WAY
Want to really take your phone out of your hands for the day? Put it on handlebars instead, with Pour & Pedal (231 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill (Duck Walk Vineyards), 855.POUR.ME.1). This is no ordinary bike tour, though they often include local points of interest or fascinating tidbits of Long Island history. What makes these rides special is their purpose: visiting, touring and tasting at top-notch wineries. Their custom bikes come with a basket to hold any purchases you might make along the way (now that’s a souvenir!), and their knowledgeable guides will confidently direct you to their vineyard partners, where everything from private tastings to a gourmet picnic lunch in the vineyard await you. Because let’s be honest: if a bike ride through beautiful scenery bookended by wine tastings can’t convince you to unplug for a few hours, we’re not sure how we can help you.