Nantucket, Newport, Shelter Island—these curmudgeonly haunts along the Northern Atlantic seaboard were once the place to be. Then, as their stardust faded and their ye-olde design stylings started to look more rickety than romantic, they became outdated beachfront relics easily bypassed on the way to hipper haunts. But now that a surge of development has seen the christening of new resorts and the restoration of some of the dowdiest to their former glory, we’re predicting a sea change among the summering set. Mark our words, this year the cool kids will be hitting the sand in these hoary old spots.
We’re not sure if it’s the second coming of Prep or the constant stream of Vampire Weekend tracks playing everywhere, but the Cape and its cronies haven’t felt this stylish since the Camelot days. Summer 2011 will be embroidered-chinos optional as fusty cottages ditch doilies and lace in favor of a more boutique feel. Jonathan Adler pitched in on the update of Kennebunkport’s Victorian grand dame, The Tides Beach Club, while boaters have a greener place to drop anchor with Newport’s new LEED-certified Forty 1° North. And if you’re totally sold, we’d suggest buying into billionaire Steve Karp’s year-old White Elephant Residences in Nantucket, along with the rest of the New England royalty.
It seems the conversion of Montauk from sleepy surfer spot to fashion playground over the past few years has inspired a bit of jealousy in its more buttoned-up neighbors. This summer, tony Southampton gets in on the indie-rock action with Escape to NY, the inaugural US edition of the popular British arts festival that brings together edgy types from the fashion, art and music worlds. But those who like to keep their Hamptons haute will also have two new hangouts this summer with the opening of the Capri hotel, complete with outposts of Nobu and Cynthia Rowley, and Andre Balázs’s Sunset Beach —which quietly opened in ’09, but is primed for discovery this year—on Shelter Island.