When the heat and humidity blanket New York each summer, city residents make a beeline for the beach—the farther from the five boroughs, the better. Montauk, once a sleepy fishing hamlet at the eastern tip of Long Island, has in recent years come to rival the popularity of the more traditionally posh Hamptons, and since I’m going the full length of the South Fork today, I’ll need something that covers the miles quickly. Fortunately, I’ve gotten my hands on an open-topped rocket ship with wheels: the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet.
The first 80 or so miles of my trip, along the Southern State Parkway and the Sunrise Highway, go faster than I care to admit in print. Just past Bridgehampton, in Sagaponack, hedgerows give way to grapevines at my first pit stop, Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Opened in 1988, this winery has become a Hamptons staple both for its Instagram-friendly tasting room and for its Summer in a Bottle rosé, which makes a perfect souvenir to squeeze into the Porsche’s trunk.
With the sun high and the traffic heavy on the Montauk Highway, I take the top down and cruise into East Hampton. While this mansion-laden town has long drawn well-heeled cityfolk (I park behind a Rolls-Royce on Main Street), the downtown got a little hipper last year, when, amid pandemic lockdowns, a few renowned Manhattan art galleries opened satellite venues here. On my hop through downtown I see playful flowery pieces by Trevor Paglen at Pace, drawings by Enoc Perez at Skarstedt, and a wild mix of works at Chase Contemporary. (Note: These spaces rotate their exhibits often.)
Lunch is just a few minutes down the road. The Lobster Roll, a red, white, and blue roadside Amagansett spot, draws locals and celebrities (from Bill Clinton to Yoko Ono) for its signature treat, and it gained national notoriety as a location in the hit Showtime melodrama The Affair. I’m not here for any illicit activities, though—just the classic lobster salad roll.
A little more than 10 miles farther, I hit the literal East End. While Montauk’s trendiness is fairly new, Montauk Point State Park is home to the oldest lighthouse in New York state, a National Historic Landmark that was commissioned by George Washington in 1792. I park the Porsche and go for a long walk—up to the Lighthouse Museum, which displays 19th-century whaling tools, and then down to the beach, where I watch fishermen cast into the surf.
I’m somehow already hungry again, so I zip back into town for dinner at Sel Rrose Montauk, the two-year-old second location of a sleek Manhattan oyster bar. The open-air dining room’s A-frame walls are lined with hand-painted flowers and mollusks, but the real works of art are the oysters—both raw and Rockefeller—on my plate.
The Porsche is still running fine, but I’m just about out of gas, so it’s time to hit my hotel. Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa is the only luxury beachfront resort in the area, and I make a point to enjoy the last hour or so of daylight from a cabana on the sand. The wind begins to whip the waves as dusk settles in, so I head upstairs to sip a Montauk Summer Ale next to one of the firepits on the deck. I could easily knock these back all night, but I’m turning in early. I want to make sure I wake up in time to watch the sunrise from my ocean-facing suite.
2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet
Few vehicles on the planet get the pulse racing like the Porsche 911 Turbo. The stats are staggering—the 3.745-liter twin-turbo flat-six engine puts out 572 horsepower and 553 pound feet of torque, pushing the car from zero to 60 in 2.8 seconds and up to a top speed of 199 miles per hour—and yet, in a way, they understate the Porsche’s appeal. The true essence of a 911 Cabriolet is something that’s only felt, with the top down and the exhaust set to sport mode, so the roar of that precisely tuned engine drowns out even the wind. The sonic barrier feels not only attainable, but imminent.
From $183,600, porsche.com