Spend $15 on a dirty martini at a Hamptons club and you'll fit right in. Pick your own apples, though, and the only thing dirty will be your hands. Following are 10 spectacularly un-chic ways to spend an autumn day on the East End.
1Go fish. Try your luck on the town dock in Sag Harbor, where the fall catch includes snappers and porgies. Autumn's striped-bass run is among the best in the world; head to any of the area's ocean beaches for a little surfcasting.
Tight Lines Bait and Tackle (Bay Street, Sag Harbor, 631- 725-0740) will supply you with everything you need. An entry- level rig is about $100 (no rentals).
2 Get on a bike. Once the BMWs and Land Rovers have thinned out, almost any of the Hamptons' flat terrain lends itself to pedaling, but the roads of Sagaponack, Springs and Promised Land stand out. (In Springs, be sure to stop at the famed Green River Cemetery, final resting place of painters Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner and Stuart Davis; press critic A.J. Liebling; and corporate titan Steve Ross.)
For a list of shops that rent bikes, check with the East Hampton or Southampton chambers of commerce (see Details, this page).
3 Grab an oar and start paddling. A yacht may be snazzy, but a kayak will take you into coves and inlets a larger boat could never manage. Grab a sandwich at the Springs General Store (29 Old Stone Hwy., Springs, 631-329-5065) and use one of its kayaks to explore Accabonac Harbor. It'll rent through Thanksgiving weekend, if the weather's warm enough. Main Beach Surf & Sport rents kayaks, canoes and paddleboats at Cedar Point County Park through mid-September (for directions, call 631-852-7620; for rental info, call the shop at 631-537-2716). Main Beach also launches kayaks and canoes later into the fall at Sagg Bridge in Bridgehampton -- and ask about its private guided tours.
4 Pack a picnic. The Villa and Razzano's are Italian delis that rank with the best. Both make their own mozzarella, not to mention sandwiches that will leave you unable to think about dinner. This is definitely not the delicate finger food passed around at tony Hamptons benefits. If you have any room left, head to the Candy Kitchen for your ice cream fix.
A hefty hero will run you less than $10 at both the Villa (7 Railroad Ave., East Hampton) and Razzano's (Bridgehampton Commons Mall, Bridgehampton). Treats at the Candy Kitchen (Main Street, Bridgehampton) start at $2.75 for a single-scoop cone.
5 Pick your own. The Halsey family has been farming the East End since the 1640s, and their farm store (the Milk Pail on Route 27) is legendary -- not only for some of the planet's best peaches, but come fall, for two dozen varieties of apples, excellent cider and cider doughnuts. Visit their U Pick Apple & Pumpkin Farm a couple of miles away and pluck your own Macouns and luscious Fujis.
U Pick Apple & Pumpkin Farm, 757 Mecox Rd., Water Mill. The Milk Pail, Route 27 between Bridgehampton and Water Mill. Info: 631-537-2565, www.milk-pail.com.
6 Buy your own. Harry and Barbara Ludlow's fall crops at Fairview Farm include fresh-picked corn, tomatoes, red and green leaf lettuce, and fingerling potatoes. If your lodging doesn't have a kitchen, be sure to pick up some of their roasted corn on the cob -- perfect fall beach food. Harry's brother, Art, began selling his camembert and tomme cheeses commercially only a year ago, but he's already a master cheeseman. When you drive down their nearly undeveloped road, you'll catch a quick glimpse of Bridgehampton as it was. And if you're bringing kids (or even if you're not), check out the corn maze ($9 adults, $6 children).
Fairview Farm is off Mecox Road on Horsemill Lane in Bridgehampton. Info: 631-537-6154.
7 Eat a lobster while a chicken watches. Some call it the Fish Factory, some call it the Fish Farm, but its official name is Multi Aquaculture Systems. Don't quibble about the name -- just go. This is about as un-Hamptony as it gets -- industrial-size lobster tanks, a retail fish operation and a few beat-up picnic tables where you can eat great seafood as long as the warm weather lasts. The bay-and-marsh-grass view is killer, and the steamers just jumped out of the ocean. BYOB and settle in for the afternoon, but watch out for the patrolling chickens -- they're waiting for your leftovers.
429 Cranberry Hole Rd., Amagansett. Lunch for two is about $30. Info: 631-267-3341.
8 Go natural. The beach is far from the only eco-amazement on the East End. Forage for mushrooms, explore the chain of ponds hidden away between Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor (the Long Pond Greenbelt); investigate the sci-fi-scape that is the Walking Dunes in Amagansett (so named because the shifting winds constantly make the sand "walk," and change the dune formation); or investigate the Nature Conservancy's Big Woods Preserve in Southampton or the vast acres of the conservancy's Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island.
For trail maps, guided walks and other activities, contact the South Fork Natural History Society (631-537-9735, www.sofo.org), East Hampton Trails Preservation Society (631-329-4227, www.hike-li.com/ehtps), Southampton Trails Preservation Society (631-537-5202, www.hike-li.com/stps) or the Group for the South Fork (631-537-1400, www.thehamptons.com/group/main.html).
9 Gaze at a sunset. Anywhere on the bay side of the island is the place for this. Two great spots are the Gardiners Bay beach at the end of Gerard Drive in Springs and another directly across the narrow channel at Louse Point (a 1963 Willem de Kooning painting is "Rosy-Fingered Dawn at Louse Point"). If you must have a cocktail with your color, try the Dockside Bar & Grill (26 Bay St.) in the American Legion Hall in Sag Harbor or Montauk's fabulously cheesy Montauket Hotel bar (88 Firestone Rd.), on a hilltop overlooking Fort Pond Bay.
10 Watch a movie. The seats at the old Sag Harbor Cinema aren't comfortable, the smell is Eau de Must and the projection's not exactly state of the art. But there's always something interesting onscreen, the ladies' room holds a comfy armchair and you're likely to have most of your row to yourself.
90 Main St., Sag Harbor. Info: 631-725-0010.
-- Anne Glusker