It may be just ninety minutes from New York City, but when you visit the Hamptons, you enter an entirely different and refreshing part of New York State. The destination has gorgeous beaches, dramatic dunes, shingled windmills, and famous light that attracted artists like Jackson Pollock and Winslow Homer to paint in its hamlets. The Hamptons are a group of towns on Long Island — perhaps the most famous area on Long Island — that have gained famed as the residence or summer home of some of America’s most elite. Thousands escape the hot city each summer to Southampton and East Hampton and their many hamlets and villages, including Sag Harbor, Water Mill, and Bridgehampton. They have miles of museums, quirky antique shops, and placid bays that are perfect for beach-combing.
Things Not to Miss in the Hamptons
• Let a Hamptons tour guide show you around Sylvester Manor, a 17th-century estate on Shelter Island
• Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center at Riverhead offers an in-depth look at the ecology of the Hamptons.
• The Montauk Point Lighthouse was built at the end of the 1700s and is well-worth a visit and photo-op.
When to Go to the Hamptons
For a respite from the crowds, the best time to travel to the Hamptons is before the tourists arrive at Memorial Day or after the end of the summer season at Labor Day. However, the Northeastern region gets quite cold in the winter, so don’t plan your Hamptons travel around the holiday months.