So youve done the Hamptons scene, surfed in Montauk, drank yourself silly on the North Fork wine-tasting circuit and youre looking for a more unchartered Eastern Long Island escape? The answer: Shelter Island. Floating between the two eastern forks, the 11 square-mile isle is home to pebbled beaches, sandy bluffs, the Mashomack Preserve (which protects wildlife and takes up nearly a third of the island), a smattering of private homes, and now La Maison Blanche, a new 8-room boutique hotel serving all fleeing urbanites now through summer (actually, it's open year-round). Located near lovely Crescent Beach and dating back to the 1800s (the property was formerly known as The Old Country Inn), the historic hotel's new look says contemporary beach chic. Theres a lounge, garden bar, and cuisine by Chef Charles Le Tous, of LAbsinthe and Bistro Vendome fame. La Maison Blanche also has a bakery on site and offers complimentary bicycles to guests. The only way to Shelter Island is by private boat or ferry from Greenport or North Haven. Rates from $325/night for summer weekends and from $225/night for summer weeknights; maisonblanchehotel.com.
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