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The Ultimate Travel Guide To The Hamptons & Things To Do There

Located on the eastern edge of New York’s Long Island, the Hamptons is a popular summer destination. It comprises a beautiful town and some of the prettiest villages in the country, including Sagaponack and Westhampton Beach. Vacationers will also find smaller hamlets, such as East Quogue, Hampton Bays, and Westhampton.

The Hamptons is brimming with spectacular beaches, lighthouses, scenic coastline, and incredible outdoor opportunities. While this destination is mainly associated with the wealthy and celebrities, anyone can have fun exploring what it has to offer, even on a budget. Here is the ultimate travel guide to the Hamptons and things to do there.

How To Get Around The Hamptons

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Southampton, New York

Visitors cannot expect a swift public transportation system in the Hamptons. It is essential to have a car when planning to explore this area of New York since most people drive.

Arriving at one of America’s best beach destinations is simple, but once there, a car makes moving much easier. And while travelers can rely on Uber and cabs, they are not always timely and may make it difficult to reach some places in time.

Taxis are expensive, especially during the prime hours, but prices are always negotiable.

Always ask taxis what they’re charging if many options are available. One may be less expensive than the other.

Circuit is a great option for vacationers exploring the Hamptons between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Also known as the Free Ride, the Circuit offer shuttle services in East Hampton Southampton, and Montauk.

It is an excellent choice for travelers exploring the Hamptons on a budget. The car picks up visitors and takes them to the beach.

Biking is another great option for getting to the beach, especially for those visiting this place on a budget because they won’t have to pay the hefty parking fees that travelers with cars do.

There are several bike shops renting bikes, most of which deliver to the hotel, at a fee, of course.

What To Know Before Visiting The Hamptons

Montauk, United States
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Montauk, United States

  • The Hamptons is a must-visit location for outdoorsy vacationers from NYC. Brimming with several outdoor opportunities, the Hamptons are a perfect destination for an outdoor escape.
  • Make reservations for restaurants in advance. Vacationers should make a restaurant reservation in advance, especially when traveling during the summer months.
  • Some private beaches require visitors to have passes to access them.
  • If exploring the Hamptons in a car, it is important to know that there is a need for a permit to acquire parking at most of the beaches.
  • Public transportation is not as robust in the Hamptons as in many cities. So, options to get around include biking, walking, car rentals, taxis, and Uber.

When To Visit the Hamptons

While the Hamptons is a popular summer travel destination, the best time to explore it is during the shoulder season, May and September.

Related: These Are The Rookie Mistakes To Avoid If The Hamptons Are Your Summer Destination

These months are associated with lower prices, thinner crowds, and great weather. The temperatures are warmer than in most places like NYC, meaning that visitors can go to the beach.

Southampton: Best For Luxury Travelers

Southampton, NY, USA
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Southampton, NY, USA

Some vacationers may prefer East Hampton over Southampton when it comes to experiencing luxury at its best. But for travelers looking for modern-day luxury, Southampton is the perfect place to find it.

This area is brimming with celebrities, thanks to its amazing beach life and the historic own center. One of the historic sites to explore in Southampton is First Presbyterian Church, dating back to the 17th century.

Montauk: Perfect For Outdoorsy Travelers And Families

Montauk is located in the easternmost end of the Hamptons and is one of the most popular neighborhoods because there is a lot to experience for tourists.

Boasting six state parks with fun activities, such as fishing, hiking, and biking, this charming town would be an excellent choice for outdoorsy travelers and families.

Explore places like Hither Hills and Montauk Point State Park and enjoy fireplaces, beautiful picnic areas, and scenic views of the surrounding area.

East Hampton: Excellent option For First-Time Tourists And Spotting Some Celebrities

East Hampton is one of the most beautiful villages in the Hamptons, and among the top getaway destinations, especially among celebrity singers, artists, actors, and actresses.

Also referred to as the Soho of Long Island, East Hampton has plenty of pristine beaches, colorful shops, and top-notch restaurants to explore.

Westhampton: For Budget Travelers

Westhampton, NY, USA
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Westhampton, NY, USA

Being a playground for the rich and celebrities, the Hamptons is generally perceived to be expensive.

However, in Westhampton, vacationers can have an affordable vacation, making it a perfect accommodation spot for budget vacationers.

  • Traveling by bus from NYC to Westhampton: Costs around $25
  • Duration by bus: Three hours

There are three options for getting there by bus, including Hampton Jitney, Hampton Ambassador, and the Hampton Luxury Liner. All these services are available in Manhattan and Queens.

Related: Berkshires Vs. The Hamptons: Should You Choose The Beach Or The Mountains?

Train services are available in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island City.

Where To Stay In The Hamptons: Best Hotels

Hither Hills, Montauk, NY, USA
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Hither Hills, Montauk, NY, USA

Beachcomber Resort At Montauk (Luxury)

Beachcomber Resort At Montauk gives direct access to the beach, thanks t its location. It features stylish rooms and an outdoor heated swimming pool.

The gorgeous Montauk village is located only eight kilometers away. Each room has free internet access, cable TV, and a terrace with incredible ocean views.

  • Address: 727 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY 11954
  • Amenities: Private beach, outdoor pool, fitness center, free Wi-Fi, tea/coffee maker, coffee machine, free parking, cable or satellite TV, and free toiletries.

North Harbor Montauk (Mid-Range)

North Harbor Montauk is located only a 13-minute stroll away from Gin Beach, and visitors enjoy world-class amenities, including private parking, free internet, and beautiful views from the balcony.

  • Address: Montauk, New York
  • Amenities: Private beach, lake view, kitchen, terrace/patio, balcony, outdoor dining area, air-conditioned, coffee machine, washing machine, and tumble dryer.

Windward Shores Ocean Resort (Budget)

Windward Shores Ocean Resort gives incredible access to the beach and endless outdoor opportunities.

Napeague State Park is located a few steps away, while Hither Woods Preserve is a 3-minute drive away.

  • Address: 2062 Montauk Highway, East Hampton, NY 11930
  • Amenities: Private beach, outdoor pool, tennis, free Wi-Fi, coffee machine, free parking, flat-screen TV, cable or satellite TV, free toiletries, and internet.

Where To Eat In The Hamptons

East Hampton, NY 11937, USA
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East Hampton, NY 11937, USA

  • John Papas Café: A Greek restaurant opened more than 20 years ago, and is one of the most popular restaurants to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner in East Hampton. The eatery is open from as early as 7:00 am and offers the most amazing meals prepared by home-style cooking.
  • Montauk Lobster Rolls: This restaurant has been in operation since 1965, and provides top-quality food and drinks. Sometimes known as LUNCH, Lobster Roll Restaurant is a renowned seafood hotspot and some of the tastiest cocktails.
  • Harvest on Fort Pond: Established in 1994, this is one of the best restaurants in Montauk that mostly serve Italian-inspired dishes.

Related: Best International Restaurants In The Hamptons To Try This Summer

Things You Can Do In The Hamptons

There are many things that visitors can do in the Hamptons. Whether planning a day trip, a long-weekend vacation, or exploring for days, these are the best things one can do in the Hamptons.

Go Surfing At Coopers Beach

Coopers Beach, Meadow Lane, Southampton, NY, USA
Photo by Clay LeConey on Unsplash

Coopers Beach, Meadow Lane, Southampton, NY, USA

Coopers Beach is one of the most impressive in the Hamptons and is easily reachable from Southampton. The beach is always stunning and entices travelers no matter the season.

Families can go picnicking, sunbathing, or catch some waves. Weekdays are the best times to visit the beach without crowds.

Enjoy The Dunes

One of the most outstanding features of the Hamptons is the dunes, which were formed centuries ago. Sometimes they shift and can stand as high as 80 feet. Climbing can be challenging, but the breathtaking views of the surrounding make it all worth it.

One of the places to experience the perfect Hamptons dunes is the Amagansett National Wildlife Refuge. Its dunes are unique and rare. Plus, vacationers will find some of the rarest plants there.

Related: (Beyonce And Jay-Z) And 19 Other Celebs With Houses In The Hamptons

Visit The Charming Village Of Greenport

Greenport is an over 100-year-old fishing village, brimming with lots of fun activities for travelers of all ages and interests.

Tourists will find some of the tastiest oysters in the local restaurants. Strolling through the country road, biking, and antique shopping is the best things to do in this charming village.

Explore Windmills In the Hamptons

Long Island has the highest number of windmills in America, with some being over three centuries old.

Tourists interested in the history of the Hamptons can spend some time exploring the local windmills because they are some of the most significant features of the history of the Hamptons and Long Island at large. One can get a map of the windmills from a local shop.

Tips For Visiting The Hamptons

Montauk, NY, USA
Photo by Barry Riela on Unsplash

Montauk, NY, USA

  • Visit during the off-season. While many vacationers see the Hamptons as a perfect beach destination in the summer months, the off-season is the most affordable time to explore it. Winter is the most affordable time to visit the Hamptons.
  • Opt for hotels in the Hamptons’ smaller hamlets, including Noyack and North Sea.
  • To save more money, choose strolling, biking, or a free ride to get around the Hamptons.
  • Instead of eating in a fine establishment or heading for a pricey nightlife, buy some food items from a grocery store.
  • There are many free activities that travelers on a budget can take advantage of, including exploring farmers’ markets, concerts, and live music on some beaches.

How To Spend A Perfect Day In The Hamptons

Hampton Bays, NY 11946, USA, United States
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Hampton Bays, NY 11946, USA, United States

Vacationers can visit the Hamptons on a perfect day trip, especially from New York City. It is an excellent spot for a relaxing escape, away from the hustle and bustle of the city lifestyle. So, a perfect day in the Hamptons starts with breakfast in one of the local restaurants.

One can choose to start their ours from the gorgeous villages. Westhampton and Westhampton Beach are full of fun adventures and would make a Quogue Wildlife Refugee an incredible attraction to explore in this area.


Q: Are the Hamptons worth visiting?

The Hamptons is brimming with spectacular beaches, lighthouses, scenic coastline, and incredible outdoor opportunities. Plus, there are several accommodation options that cover all budgets. A visit to the Hamptons is always worth it since there is a lot to explore, even for NY locals.

Q: What is the best time of year to visit the Hamptons?

While the Hamptons is a popular summer travel destination, the best time to explore it is during the shoulder season, May and September.

These months are associated with lower prices, thinner crowds, and great weather. The temperatures are warmer than in most places like NYC, meaning that visitors can go to the beach.

Winter might also be a good choice for the holiday offerings, though there may be some crowds.

Q: Do you need a beach pass in the Hamptons?

Some beaches are privately owned and may need a beach pass for public access. Some of these beaches require an advance permit, while others allow visitors to obtain daily passes onsite.

To avoid fees, aim for a budget-friendly Hamptons vacation in free and cheap spots.