Most Americans will be acquainted with this famous summer holiday destination. The Hamptons are on the eastern tip of Long Island in New York, less than two hours from Lower Manhattan. The Hamptons is pluralised because it is not just one destination but a combination of towns, villages and hamlets between Westhampton and Montauk on the tip of Long Island’s southern fork.
Villages in the Hamptons include Westhampton Beach, Quogue Sag Harbor and Sagaponack. There are smaller hamlets like Westhampton, East Quogue, Shinnecock Hills, Hampton Bays, Bridgehampton and Water Mill. These villages and hamlets are split between two townships, Southampton and East Hampton.
This area of the world is home to breathtaking beaches, characterful lighthouses, incredible coastline and a plethora of other things to do. The Hamptons is a playground of sparkle, glitz and celebrity life, but don’t let that put you off. The Hamptons has so many elements to it that it’s a shoo-in for a good time. Here are 20 of the best things to do in the Hamptons.
- The Hamptons
- 20 Things To Do In The Hamptons
- 1- Explore Montauk Point Lighthouse
- 2- Bike Along the Coast
- 3- Spend The Day At Coopers Beach
- 4- Attend a Wine Tasting at Wölffer Estate Vineyard
- 5- Indulge in Delicious Baked Goods at Carissa’s
- 6- Devour Lobster Rolls at Bostwick’s Chowder House
- 7- Enjoy Art At Southampton Art Center
- 8- Explore Nature At Camp Hero State Park
- 9- Enjoy “Blunch” at Rosie’s
- 10- Shop in Amagansett
- 11- Stroll Down Billionaire’s Lane
- 12- Rub Shoulders With Celebrities On Main Beach, East Hampton
- 13- Visit Pollock-Krasner House and Studio
- 14- Drink Beer At Montauk Brewing Co.
- 15- Soak Up The Vibe At John Scott’s Surf Shack
- 16- Admire The Sculptures At LongHouse Reserve
- 17- Visit The Shinnecock National Cultural Center & Museum
- 18- Unwind At Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa
- 19- Search For Windmills
- 20- Go Antiquing in Sag Harbor
- 20 Things To Do In The Hamptons
20 Things To Do In The Hamptons
1- Explore Montauk Point Lighthouse
At the tip of the southern fork of Long Island stands the Montauk Point Lighthouse, which gets its name from the Montauket Indians one of the four local tribes in the area.
The lighthouse sits in the beautiful Montauk Point State Park and was the first lighthouse to be built in New York State, which also incidentally makes it one of the oldest lighthouses in the U.S.
Unlike some of the other lighthouses on the east coast, you can explore inside the Montauk Point Lighthouse.
Montauk Point Lighthouse is at 2000 Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY 11954.
2- Bike Along the Coast
Renting a bike and exploring the Hamptons on two wheels is a sure way to get you acquainted with the area and lots of fun.
There are so many excellent places to cycle that there isn’t much need for a car.
Peddle down Dune Road, 13.1 miles (21 km) in length (one-way), for breezy breathtaking ocean views and cycle along Meadow Lane (more on that later) to ogle at all the fancy mansions.
You can also cycle through Orient Beach State Park on the northern fork of Long Island.
Bring your swimming gear as it’s the perfect place to ditch the bike and explore the waters and maybe even see some turtles.
Southampton Town and Suffolk County started a bike-share concept where you can scan and unlock a bike using your phone, the perfect way to move around stress-free.
There are currently bike stations in Downtown Hampton Bay, Good Ground Park, Ponquogue Beach, Shinnecock Inlet and Tiana Beach.
3- Spend The Day At Coopers Beach
Coopers Beach is arguably one of the most popular beaches in the Hamptons and is conveniently located near Southampton.
Tuffs of long green grass sticking out of the sand are prominent at Coopers Beach.
Stroll along the white sandy shores. Rent chairs and umbrellas and bring a picnic with some refreshingly cool drinks, and you’ll be sure to have a good day.
There is a $40 parking charge if you visit with a car, so fill your backpack and take one of those rental bikes instead.
4- Attend a Wine Tasting at Wölffer Estate Vineyard
The Hamptons brings out that innate desire to relax and indulge.
A trip to Wölffer Estate Vineyard for a spot of wine tasting will certainly satisfy both of those counts.
The vineyard is next to the hamlet of Bridgehampton and has been in operation since 1988.
The tasting room and the stone terrace are the perfect place to enjoy and sample some of the vineyard’s top wines.
Tasting flights are typically priced between US$15 and $25 and include four wines.
Wölffer’s tasting rooms are open all year round, seven days a week.
You can also tour the winery and vineyard for an additional $15.
It’s a relaxed place that invites conversation and class, a great addition to any Hamptons vacation.
Wölffer Estate Vineyard is at 139 Sagg Road, Sagaponack, NY 11962.
5- Indulge in Delicious Baked Goods at Carissa’s
With sweet and savoury goodies that look and taste so delicious, you won’t be able to resist a trip to Carissa’s Bakery.
There’s something for everyone: cakes, cookies, pies, coffee, fig slices, meringues, and more.
The location at 68 Newtown Lane is perfect for grabbing a quick treat on the way to the beach.
Carissa’s the Bakery is at 221 Pantigo Road, East Hampton and 68 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, NY 11937.
6- Devour Lobster Rolls at Bostwick’s Chowder House
If you are craving lobster rolls and let’s face it, who isn’t when visiting the coast, then Bostwick’s Chowder House in East Hampton is the place to go.
Most people go back time and time again for Bostwick’s lobster and salad rolls, but there are plenty of other things on offer.
Clam chowder, fish tacos, seafood pasta, and the catch of the day; it’s seafood heaven at Bostwick’s.
This is a regular spot for locals and popular with visitors too, so there might be a bit of a wait, but don’t worry, the food is more than worth it.
Bostwick’s Chowder House is at 277 Pantigo Rd, East Hampton, NY 11937.
7- Enjoy Art At Southampton Art Center
The art scene in the Hamptons can barely compare to that of its neighbour New York, however, the Southampton Art Center has done well to offer the community some great pieces.
The Southampton Art Center aims to build community through art, with its art pieces representing a wide range of the Hampton community.
During the summer, they also host the Hampton Fine Art Fair, where you can snap up some of the incredible pieces of modern art on offer.
They are also currently hosting an Indigenous art exhibition celebrating Shinnecock artists.
This exhibition addresses the triumphs and struggles of the native American people.
Southampton Art Center is at 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton, close to Agawam Park and Agawam Lake.
8- Explore Nature At Camp Hero State Park
This undisturbed part of the Hamptons is on the tip of Long Island’s southern fork.
Once a military base, Camp Hero State Park has a diverse, dense forest and wetland landscape.
Despite the old run-down military buildings and dilapidated satellite tower, this park is tranquil and it’s quite easy to lose yourself in nature for a while.
Follow the park’s many trails, either on foot, by bike or even by horse. You can also enjoy surf fishing, though a permit is required.
Camp Hero State Park is at 1898 Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY 11954.
9- Enjoy “Blunch” at Rosie’s
Rosie’s is the perfect place to eat breakfast or lunch, or as Rosie’s calls it, “blunch” (breakfast and lunch).
Located right in the middle of Amagansett along Main Street, Rosie’s the perfect place to watch Hamptons life unfurl.
You can’t go wrong with smashed avocado on toast, this time with spicy zhoug, and their smashed burger is also a good shout. Why is it that everything in dining these days has been smashed? Once upon a time that was a cause for concern, but today it’s an indication of good grub.
If you’re after more of a boozy lunch affair, Rosie’s also serves a good range of cocktails, wines and beers.
It should be noted that Rosie’s only opens for the summer season.
Rosie’s is at 195 Main St, Amagansett, NY 11930.
10- Shop in Amagansett
After “blunch” at Rosie’s, stick around in Amagansett for retail therapy.
Amagansett provides Hampton goers with some of the best shopping around.
While Southampton, East Hampton and Sag Harbor provide you with a diverse range of stores, Amagansett excels at boutique-style shopping.
Botanica Bazaar is your go-to boutique for all things beauty and wellbeing.
The owners test each of their products on themselves first before stocking them on their perfectly pristine chalk-white wooden shelves.
If you didn’t pack enough beachwear, then head to Kailani, which fittingly means “seawater and sky” in Hawaiian, for all you could possibly need, from maxi dresses to bikinis.
Kelly B oozes a boho-chic vibe, with its ever-changing garments pleasing the locals as much as the summer visitors.
11- Stroll Down Billionaire’s Lane
Meadow Lane, colloquially known as Billionaire’s Lane, is home to the ultrawealthy and the Hamptons top real estate.
Meadow Lane runs for five miles along the beachfront in Southampton.
These beachside, ocean-view mansions regularly sell for tens of millions, if not billions of dollars.
Ultramodern homes line the beach, equipped with swimming pools, tennis courts and a community helipad (because obviously, anyone who can afford property in the Hamptons isn’t taking the Jitney).
You can nosey around this affluent area via Billionaire’s Lane or the beach.
12- Rub Shoulders With Celebrities On Main Beach, East Hampton
Main Beach is one of the closest beaches to the downtown area, within easy walking distance to many shops and restaurants, making it a great beach to spend the day.
You’ll certainly get a good dose of pearly white sand at Main Beach, after all, we are talking about the Hamptons.
Spend enough time on Main Beach, and you might also get a glimpse of a celebrity or two.
Before hitting the sand at Main Beach, head into East Hampton and find some paddleboards, kayaks or surfboards to rent, making for an extra exciting day at the beach.
Main Beach is at 101 Ocean Ave, East Hampton, NY 11937.
13- Visit Pollock-Krasner House and Studio
The Pollock-Krasner House and Studio was the former home of two of America’s best abstract painters (Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner) and is now a National Historic Landmark.
Wearing special padded slippers, visitors can wander through the paint-splattered house, marvelling at the array of colours in Pollock and Krasner’s masterpieces.
Pollock-Krasner House and Studio is at 830 Springs Fireplace Road in East Hampton.
14- Drink Beer At Montauk Brewing Co.
Visiting the Montauk Brewing Co. is a great way to start the evening.
Montauk is one of the most laid back parts of the Hamptons and heading to a brewery feels in keeping with that vibe.
This microbrewery was founded in 2012 by high school friends and Montauk locals Vaughan, Joe and Eric.
The brewery is located in a characterful red barn and the owners believe that each beer should reflect the person who brewed it.
They describe their Montauk beers as reflecting the “gritty and rustic, hardworking tradition of the town”.
Be sure to try the house favourite, Driftwood Ale and the ESB.
Montauk Brewing Co. is at 62 S Erie Ave, Montauk, NY 11954.
15- Soak Up The Vibe At John Scott’s Surf Shack
John Scott’s Surf Shack is the perfect place to kick back, enjoy some good grub, a drink and a gorgeous sunset.
Located along Long Island’s attractive sand bar in Westhampton, this surf shack has a good feel.
Once you step inside, you instantly feel a local warmth.
The shack’s ceiling and wooden walls are cluttered with surfboards, fishing nets and other seaside objects and trinkets.
Try the Cajun calamari as a starter, tuck into a popcorn shrimp wrap for your main and leave room to squeeze in a piece of pie.
John Scott’s Surf Shack is at 540 Dune Rd, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978.
16- Admire The Sculptures At LongHouse Reserve
Situated in East Hampton, the LongHouse Reserve is a 16-acre sculpture garden created by textile designer Jack Larsen.
This tranquil reserve was Larsen’s home and an attraction for visitors.
The sculptures are impressive, especially Will Ryman’s giant red roses sculpture surrounded by green trees.
Dale Chihuly, a famed glass artist, also has sculptures in the garden.
LongHouse opens for the holiday season in April and is at 133 Hands Creek Rd, East Hampton, NY 11937.
17- Visit The Shinnecock National Cultural Center & Museum
The Shinnecock National Cultural Center & Museum opened in 2001 as a non-profit organisation dedicated to displaying the living history of the Algonquin people.
The museum aims to show its visitors the lives of the Shinnecock Native American people, creating awareness of their history and culture.
Many historical artifacts are on display, showing the different periods throughout Shinnecock history.
You can even request a guided tour where knowledgeable guides will give you additional details that you could otherwise miss.
Shinnecock National Cultural Center & Museum opens in spring and summer at 100 Montauk Hwy, Southampton, NY 11968.
18- Unwind At Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa
Gurney’s Montauk Resort is a luxury hotel located right on the beach near the end of Long Island’s southern fork.
The hotel’s Seawater Spa offers guests or day visitors the perfect opportunity to unwind away from the beach.
With their new spa renovations due to be complete in April 2022, guests will be able to enjoy oil-infused steam rooms, a saltwater swimming pool, full-body treatments, cardio rooms, and studios for group fitness classes.
After relaxing at the Seawater Spa, you can indulge at Tillie’s, the resort’s relaxed breakfast and lunch dining facility.
Pancakes, acai bowls, omelettes, and freshly pressed juices are on the menu, served up in a modern yet rustic setting with a great ambience.
Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa is at 290 Old Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY 11954.
19- Search For Windmills
If there’s one thing the Hamptons has plenty of, it’s windmills (and celebrities, of course).
Most of the Hamptons’ windmills are in the northeast of Long Island and are just waiting to be photographed.
The windmills have become such an iconic symbol of the Hamptons that Robert Downey Jr. bought the Edward DeRose Windmill Cottage in East Hampton in 2017.
The best way to enjoy the windmills is to embark on a self-guided windmill tour.
Start at Southampton Windmill, then head east to Hook Windmill, Corwith Windmill, Beebe Windmill, Wainscott Windmill and Hayground Windmill.
If by the time you’ve reached Hayground Windmill, you feel like you could stretch to one more windmill, then visit Gardiners Island.
The Gardiners Island Windmill was built in 1795 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Gardiners Island Windmill is at 01 Harbor View Ln, East Hampton, NY 11937.
20- Go Antiquing in Sag Harbor
Sag Harbor is on the northern side of the southern fork of Long Island, overlooking the Sag Harbor Bay and the Peconic River.
Sag Harbor has become well-renowned as one of the best spots in the Hamptons for antiquing and vintage shopping.
Monc XIII, Sage Street Antiques and Black Swan Antiques offer some great antiquing and vintage shopping options.