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WestHouse Guide to the Hamptons

06/07/16

From 18th-century singled houses to estates hidden behind boxwood hedges, the Hamptons have long been a summer destination for NYC residents. To escape the summer heat, head to points east with our guide to the famed seaside communities on Long Island’s South Fork.

 

Getting There

The Hamptons are approximately 100 miles from Midtown Manhattan. Here’s how to get there.

Long Island Rail Road. The hassle-free trip from New York Penn Station takes approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes, and a one-way, off-peak ticket is $20.

Hampton Jitney. The preferred method of transportation to the Hamptons for decades, the Hampton Jitney is a bus service departing multiple Midtown locations 365 days a year. The journey is approximately 3 hours, and tickets are $28 dollars one-way when you pre-purchase.

Uber. Fares may vary due to traffic and other factors, but if you like your own space, the low end of the fare estimate starts at $220 one-way.

Helicopter. For a cool $2,900, you can get to the Hamptons in no time by chartering a flight with New York Helicopter in Downtown Manhattan.

 

Where to Go

The Hamptons is not a single town, but a string of 19 villages and hamlets within the towns of Southampton and East Hampton. Some notable destinations include:

Southampton. The oldest and largest community in the Hamptons, it’s the commercial center of the southern fork of Long Island.

Bridgehampton. Home to the Hampton Classic, a horse show that takes place every summer.

Sag Harbor. Half in East Hampton and half in Southampton, the town’s upmarket shops and restaurants has a more laid back maritime vibe compared to its other chic neighbors.

Montauk. Located at the top of the south fork of Long Island, Montauk is 118 miles east of Midtown Manhattan. A major tourist destination with six state parks, it’s particularly famous for its fishing—claiming to have more saltwater fishing records than any other port in the world.

 

Best Beaches

Coopers Beach, Southampton. Florida International University professor Stephen Leatherman (AKA “Dr. Beach”) always includes Coopers Beach on his institute’s prestigious Best Beaches list. Large dunes hide everything but the rooftops of coastal mansions.

Main Beach, East Hampton. A-list celebrities live in East Hampton, so this beach is the best one for star-spotting.

Sagg Main Beach, Sagaponack. The second most popular beach in the Hamptons according to New York Magazine, the party at Sagg Beach “starts in the parking lot” where beachgoers tote coolers of beer and sandwiches from the General Store to the shore.

Ditch Plains Beach, Montauk. With a more laid-back vibe than points west, Ditch Plains Beach is dog-friendly and offers some of the best surfing on the East Coast.

 

Best Bars and Restaurants 

The Palm, East Hampton. Since 1980, the Hamptons outpost of The Palm—a Manhattan staple—has been an institution on East Hampton’s Main Street. Sample the best of Italian-American cuisine, from prime aged steaks and jumbo Nova Scotia lobsters to Italian classics like Chicken Parmigiana and Veal Martini.

Navy Beach, Montauk. Located on a 200-foot private beach, Navy Beach is a casual spot for burgers and seafood. Post up with a glass of rosé to catch a Hamptons sunset.

Wolffer Estate Vineyard, Bridgehampton. Eastern Long Island is dotted with vineyards, and the Wolffer Estate is one of the best. Across 55 acres of vines, the vineyard grows Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as small lots of Trebbiano, Pinot Noir and Vignole.

Sunset Beach, Shelter Island. Moules à la plancha, salad niçoise, bouillabaisse are on the menu at this restaurant designed to evoke the feeling of the French Riviera. Every dish is seasonal and sourced as much as possible from dayboat fishermen and local farmers, while the wine list is from coastal Italy, Spain and France.

 

Best Arts and Culture

Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill. This museum in Water Mill is inspired by the natural setting and artistic life of eastern Long Island. Through its collection, exhibitions, programs and artists-in-residence, the Parrish Art Museum offers a center for cultural engagement. Featured works include artists Childe Hassam, John Sloan, James Whisler, Dan Flavin and John Chamberlain.

The Stephen Talkhouse, Amagansett. The likes of the Rolling Stones, the Who, Billy Joel and Patti Smith have passed through the doors of The Stephen Talkhouse. It’s been around since 1970, and is still a friendly spot in the Hamptons to grab a drink and listen to live music. This summer, Steve Earle and Judy Collins take the stage, along with dozens of other acts.

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