At the end of Atlantic Avenue is a wide and wonderful public beach (off Route 27, Amagansett, 631/324-2417). Equipped with lifeguards and a large concession stand, the beach was once known as “asparagus beach” because it attracted bunches of singles who stood together watching everyone else. Now it attracts a more mixed crowd. Parking is $10 during the week; on the weekends, a permit is required.
At the intersection of Montauk Highway and Windmill Lane stands a snug Colonial home (631/267-3020, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Fri.–Sun. late June–Sept., adults $3, children $1). Miss Mary Amelia Schellinger lived here between 1841 and 1930, and a look inside her house—still furnished with her belongings—gives visitors a good sense of what life on the South Fork  was like back then.
Behind the cottage is the Roy K. Lester Carriage Museum (631/267-3020, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Fri.–Sun. late June–Sept.) which contains about 30 restored carriages, including a surrey with a fringe on top.
On the outskirts of town is the long, creaky East Hampton Town Marine Museum (Bluff Rd., 631/267-6544 or 631/324-6850, www.easthamptonhistory.org , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily July–Sept., adults $4, seniors and children under 13 $2), filled with artifacts relating to whaling, fishing, and the sea. On the first floor are boats and more boats, along with an exhibit on shipwrecks. Upstairs are exhibits on shellfish harvesting, scalloping, ice-fishing, harpooning, and whaling.
The museum also offers great views of the dunes and Atlantic. To reach the museum from Montauk Highway, turn south onto Atlantic Avenue. Watch for Bluff Road and turn right.
The Merrill Lake Sanctuary (off Fireplace Rd., near Hog Creek Rd., 631/329-7689, dawn–dusk daily, free admission), run by the Nature Conservancy, is an easily accessible salt marsh especially good for bird-watching. A trail leads through the refuge. Ospreys nest here in late June and early July.
The oldest and most beloved of nightspots on the South Fork  is Stephen Talkhouse (161 Main St., 631/267-3117), where first-rate musicians—everyone from Bob Dylan to Billy Joel—have played for decades. The place was established in 1932 and has a nice laid-back feel, with worn wooden tables and a friendly wait staff. A limited menu is available.
If you’re wondering if there’s been an accident or why there are parked cars lining the road for a good quarter mile on an otherwise fairly desolate stretch of highway, you might have reached Cyril’s Fish House (2167 Montauk Hwy., 631/267-7993). A happy, tan, somewhat raucous crowd is often spilling out of the bar around happy hour, though these things change, so whether this will remain the hotspot for a roadside pit stop (a questionable concept) is anyone’s guess. If imbibing the famed BBC (Bailey’s Banana Colada) and in need of munchies, fried clam strips are usually a safe bet here. However, this is more of an outside bar scene than eatery.
The Mill-Garth Country Inn (23 Windmill Ln., 631/267-3757, $225–350 d in summer, $165–230 d off-season, breakfast included), parts of which date back to 1840, is a romantic and eclectic B&B composed of cozy cottages and studio rooms clustered around small patios. Lush vegetation and wicker furniture are everywhere, and the beach is about a half mile away.
A formerly well-touted roadside eatery has slipped in quality and service, making Clam Bar at Napeague (2025 Montauk Hwy./Rte. 27, 631/267-6348, $13) the best spot to pull over and snag a picnic table for an unpretentious, satisfying meal of fried clams, lobster roll, or clams on the half shell and a bucket of beer.