The Hamptons has long been the summer playground of the rich and famous, and today it’s also the home away from home to an eclectic melting pot of tastemakers, artists, writers, designers, artisanal chefs, surfers, and Manhattan’s cool crowd. The Hamptons are loved for the breathtaking beaches, quaint shopping villages, farm to table restaurants, and amazing coffee. As the summer season officially kicks off on Memorial Day, the scene will be a little more subdued as we navigate the new normal, but the allure of this little slice of paradise (just a two-hour drive from New York or much less by helicopter or seaplane) continues to burn bright as resident Hampton’s tastemaker Kelli Delaney (@kdhamptons) tells TC. “There is so much more to the Hamptons than the cute collection of hamlets and villages on Long Island.”
Enjoy our escapist guide to the best places to stay, shop, eat, play and dream, while maintaining a safe distance, of course. Stay safe, Happy Summer from Travel Curator.
Where to Sleep in the Hamptons
This round-up of our favorite Hamptons hotels has something for everyone, whether for a Hamptons weekend getaway or extended seasonal stay.
Topping Rose House, Bridgehampton
One of our favorite luxury Hamptons hotels, Topping Rose House, Bridgehampton is a full-service Greek Revival luxury hotel originally built in the 1840s. This stunning property is home to 22 elegant guest rooms, as well as a Naturopathica spa, fitness center, pool, courtesy house vehicles from Lexus, and Jean-Georges’ farm-to-fork restaurant that showcases locally grown produce.
Gurney’s Montauk & Seawater Spa
We’re dreaming about Gurney’s Montauk & Seawater Spa, on a pristine stretch of white sand for soaking up the sun, and for gazing out onto the Atlantic Ocean, cocktail in hand. Its full-service spa, with a sunny, heated saltwater pool is ideal for leisurely laps. At night, Scarpetta Beach, an Italian hotspot offers Italian classics and caught that morning fish, with locally sourced farm produce and decks with firepits, for a nightcap overlooking the ocean.
The Roundtree, Amagansett
Stylish Hamptons Escape
A clam’s throw from one of the world’s prettiest beaches, The Roundtree, Amagansett, (opens June 1) is the newest opening in the Hamptons for summer. Fresh off a full renovation, the 15-room property housed within centuries-old private cottages and a barn has maintained its coastal vibes but upped the chic factor with Frette linens, Matouk towels, and Grown Alchemist bath products. Roundtree is the epitome of what Summer should be – the property offers beach passes, chairs, umbrellas, toys for kids, morning yoga, and of course, evening s’ mores at the fire pit.
The Surf Lodge, Montauk
Cool Kid Hotspot
Too cool for school? Perhaps, but you can’t beat the people watching at The Surf Lodge, Montauk. Surfers, supermodels, fashion editors, and fishermen who look like models converge at this waterfront hipster hot spot on summer nights and all-day party weekends during its coveted Summer Concert series. Good luck at the door!
The Baker House 1650, East Hampton
Nestled in the historic East Hampton Village, with the best East Hampton restaurants at your fingertips, The Baker House 1650 is a masterpiece of 17th-century Cotswold-inspired architecture. While possessing the majestic aura of a superb English manor, this tony bed-and-breakfast caters to guests with luxe modern accommodations and comforts, including a dreamy spa and private carriage house with suites you can rent all summer long.
The American Hotel, Sag Harbor
Old School Classic
This Sag Harbor mainstay, which dates back to 1846, is nestled in the heart of this historic whaling village, just a three-minute walk from the tranquil harbor. Each of the eight rooms at The American Hotel, Sag Harbor are individually decorated and feature original artwork and period furniture throughout. Its dining room is a local favorite and draws crowds with its American-French fusion cuisine and award-winning wine list. If you can reserve the table “under the moose,” consider yourself a Hamptons VIP.
Where to Eat in the Hamptons
There is no shortage of dining options in the Hamptons. From al fresco to fine dining, mouth-watering lobster rolls while sitting on the bay to award-winning haunts using the best fresh produce on the East End. These are some of our must try’s:
Wölffer Sag Harbor
A sleek spot for area-sourced American & Mediterranean dishes paired with Wölffer Estate wines. Located on the main street of Sag Harbor Village, we love the indoor/outdoor tables at Wölffer Sag Harbor for some pedestrian watching while sipping on a chilled rosé.
The Beacon, Sag Harbor
No reservations are taken for this consistently packed harbor-side favorite, serving refined American fare in a chilled and relaxed setting. Get to The Beacon early to put your name on the list for an outside table and enjoy one of the best sunset views out east.
Vine Street Café, Shelter Island
Located on Shelter Island, Vine Street Café is worth the ferry ride to secure a prized table or seat at the bar. Serving local produce, seafood, and an extended wine list in a quaint American cottage.
Bell & Anchor, Sag Harbor
Upscale, seafood-centric New American cooking served in a bustling, nautical setting with bay views. Don’t miss our favorite dishes at Bell & Anchor, the lobster rigatoni, and steamed muscles ‘Anchor Style’.
Tutto Il Giorno, Southampton & Sag Harbor
Perennial hot spots serving some of the best Italian food in the Hamptons, in a cool vibe setting. We love Tutto Il Giorno Southampton’s garden tables and in Sag, the outdoor terrace is a hard ticket to secure, but worth the wait.
Duryea’s Lobster Deck, Montauk
While not new, Duryea’s Lobster Deck’s sleek makeover a couple of years ago had everyone buzzing about this self-serve seafood eatery with waterfront views. Lobster rolls, Lobster Cobb Salads, you get the drift. Its chic vibe could have you feeling you are more in Mykonos than Montauk.
Nick and Toni’s, East Hampton
Nick and Toni’s: the front runner of Hamptons’ eateries. The ultimate who’s who crowd-pleaser, the place to see-and-be-seen with a great farmhouse-style Italian-Med menu. The tricky part; snagging a front room table.
Things To Do in the Hamptons
Nothing says Hamptons like its seemingly endless, wide sandy Atlantic Ocean beaches. A Hamptons weekend guide wouldn’t be complete without sharing some of the best public beaches in the Hamptons and what to do in the Hamptons for a day.
Shou Sugi Ban Spa, Water Mill
The beautiful Shou Sugi Ban Spa offers an extensive menu of advanced skincare, bodywork and healing arts treatments. Designed as half or full-day Signature Spa Rituals, each is customized and includes a choice of treatments and access to the hydrotherapy circuit, thermal suite, chromotherapy shower, and solarium deck.
Surfing at Ditch Plains Beach, Montauk
This beach is considered the Holy Grail of the Hamptons’ surf scene. Warning to city slickers who think they can surf: do not “drop in” on a local surfer’s wave here…you’ll be sorry.
Wölffer Estate Wine Stand, Sagaponack
Located just off the Montauk Highway stopping at the Wölffer Estate Wine Stand is a fun way to spend a couple of hours on Friday and Saturday nights. Lots of family-friendly fun with live music, plenty of Wölffer rosé, and stunning views of the vineyards. A great pit stop after a long drive from the city.
Drum Circle at Sagg Main Beach, Sagaponack
It’s all happening on Monday nights on this gorgeous Sagaponack beach. A rousing drum circle takes center stage for a fun, laid back night with a lively crowd. All you need to do is pack a picnic hamper, pile up the Turkish beach towels and settle in for the evening. Warning, parking can be a bit tricky, so keep that in mind and get there early.
Cooper’s Beach, Southampton
Beloved by day-trippers and families alike, this glorious stretch of sand has been voted the country’s best beach many times. They also grill an epic cheeseburger at the ocean-front snack bar and host a drive-in movie night on Mondays. Try not to wince at the $45 parking fee; it’s worth it.
Surf Lodge Summer Concert Series, Montauk
The Surf Lodge Summer Concert Series is definitely the hottest ticket in town for live music. The Lodge’s outdoor deck serves up an impressive roster of talent each year with past artists including Lykke Li, Mavis Staples, and Nick Murphy aka Chet Faker. Reservations required.
Poxabogue Golf Center, Bridgehampton
The Hamptons is home to some impressive golf courses including members-only Shinnecock and National. For non-members, the Poxabogue Golf Center is a great place to get a few swings in and hit a bucket of balls. A nine-hole course and expansive driving range are open to the public. Lessons, clinics, and a junior golf program are also available.
Weekend Estate Sales
Looking to peer into the gilded lives of some well-known Hamptonites or wanting to pick up a great find for your beach shack, spend a few hours driving around to some terrific estate sales taking place throughout the season.
Where to Shop in the Hamptons
The list of fabulous places to shop in the Hamptons is quite endless, in a good way. From farm stands to fashion, home to lifestyle, here are some of our favorites.
Fashion & Lifestyle
The Hamptons truly sits at the intersection of fashion and lifestyle and each year brings new boutiques, seasonal pop-ups, and contemporary lifestyle offerings in the villages and hamlets. After a long rosé-all-day lunch with friends, you’ll find these stores a perfect place to pick up a few “essentials”.
· Wyld Blue, Montauk
· Joey Wölffer, Sag Harbor
· LoveShackFancy, Sag Harbor
· Figue, East Hampton
· Blue One, Bridgehampton
· TENET, East Hampton
· Goop, Sag Harbor
· Topiaire Flower Shop, Southampton
· Stoney Clover Lane, East Hampton
The Hamptons farming community has, for many years, been family-run businesses. Thankfully many still exist and offer the most delicious local produce and ready-to-eat goodies which are so good, you won’t have to cook all summer.
· Round Swamp Farm, East Hampton & Bridgehampton
· Serene Green, Sag Harbor
· Halsey Farm & Nursery, Water Mill
· Pike Farms, Sagaponack
· Babinski’s Farm Stand, Water Mill
· North Sea Farms, Southampton
· Hank’s Farmstand, Southampton
With oversized McMansions dotting the Hamptons landscape, home design is a big business out east. Luckily, we can all do a little window shopping even if not in the market for a sculpture garden in our city apartment. These stores will have you design dreaming all day.
· One Kings Lane, Southampton
· English Country Antiques, Bridgehampton
· Homenature, Southampton
· Wyeth, Wainscott
· Urban Zen, Sag Harbor
· John Salibello, Bridgehampton
· Homegoods, Wainscott