Discover 8 of the Best Beaches in the Hamptons

a lighthouse sits on top of a hill overlooking the ocean
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  • Although the Gulf Coast is often touted for its white sandy beaches, the Hamptons gives those shorelines a run for their money. 
  • Southampton and East Hampton, in particular, have some of the softest sands (as well as some best shops in town).
  • Montauk features its famous lighthouse, but it also offers two beach options, including one that’s dog-friendly. 
  • If you’re in the mood for something quieter, head to Long Beach with its softer bayfront breezes. 
  • For a little more action, consider Ditch Plains where you can watch the surfers ride the waves and live out their dreams.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Long Island is such a treasure. Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine how this sparkling jewel can stand in such close proximity to the bustling streets of New York. 

But, life is nothing if it isn’t filled with wonder. Best of all, there are many ways to easily glide from the streets of New York to the Hamptons shorelines. While there are many more than what’s on this list to choose from, below you’ll find eight of the best beaches in the Hamptons. 

Nearly all of them require the purchase of an advanced permit from the Town Clerk’s Office. So, don’t make the mistake of packing up for a lovely day only to find you can’t access the beach. Rather, take a moment to plan ahead and then get ready to luxuriate along some of the finest shorelines in America. 

1. Cooper’s Beach | Southampton

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Beach destinations are easily some of our favorite travel guides. At the top of every guide to beaches in the Hamptons, you’ll find Cooper’s Beach. It’s interesting because the Atlantic Ocean can sometimes have rough sands with lots of debris, sticks, and other oceanic remnants. 

Yet, somewhere, Cooper’s Beach manages to offer some of the softest spreads of white, sandy beaches. For a moment, you’ll wonder if you’re on the Gulf Coast of Florida or the shores of the Atlantic. Come camera-ready because the picturesque dines with soft bushels of grass swaying in the wind beckon for an entire roll of film. 

In a way, it’s a mini miracle that this makes a list of public beaches in the Hamptons because it’s such a treasure. You will, however, have to purchase a pass which can run about $50. 

2. Main Beach | East Hampton

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Second to Cooper’s Beach, you’ll find Main Beach sitting atop nearly every list of the best public beaches in the Hamptons. Like Cooper’s, you’ll need a non-resident beach parking permit and, boy, is it worth it. 

Although its name isn’t exactly show-stopping, its pristine shorelines and clear blue waters are. This beach is beautifully maintained, and you’ll feel glorious as you bask in its sunny rays. 

This is a popular locale for families because they staff lifeguards, feature snack bars, and have clean facilities, including bathrooms and showers, an important point of reference in all our destination guides.

When you rise from your beach blanket and go for a stroll, you won’t be short on scenery, either, because a long row of impressive mansions look down on these sandy shorelines, giving you plenty of eye candy to enjoy along your walk. 

3. Two Mile Hollow Beach | East Hampton

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As beautiful as Main Beach is, it can get a tad crowded if you’re there during peak season. For something a little more quaint, see if you might like Two Mile Hollow Beach. It, too, has lifeguards and public facilities to put you at ease. 

Two Mile Beach tends to feel a little more relaxed, but it still has one major attraction: surfers. You’ll find a sea of surfers out there on any given day, catching rays, wiping out, and doing everything they can to live their best life while they feature on everybody’s best travel guides.

4. Gibson Beach | Sagaponack

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Southampton and East Hampton are certainly known for their beaches and village shops, but let’s move over to Sagaponack, another popular destination on the island. 

For something even a little quieter and more secluded than Two Mile Beach, you might consider Gibson Beach. It’s a little bit further off the beaten path, but if you’re more in the mood for a good book and a sun hat than a boom box and a bikini, you might like this quaint locale. Like every beach on this list, you’ll find it’s perfectly maintained with soft sands and wide open views of the Atlantic. 

5. Sagg Main Beach | Sagaponack

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Also in Sagaponack, you may see Sagg Main Beach pop up quite a bit because it tends to host activities and events all throughout the summer. If you have your heart set on any one of these activities, you might like to come here and camp out in advance. 

You can pack a glorious picnic basket, thanks to all the lovely shops in town, and not have to worry about a restroom because you’ll also find restrooms and concession stands here. 

When it’s time to change out of your suit and into your maxi dress for the evening event you’re attending, be sure to consult our style guide of what to wear in the Hamptons.  

6. Long Beach | Sag Harbor

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Long Beach, also known as Foster Memorial Beach, has a special feature. Located on the bay, it showcases calmer waters and an even quieter, more relaxed atmosphere. If, indeed, a book and a beverage are your speed, this may be the shore you keep coming back to throughout your stay. This is also a nice spot for families with small children because the waves are far gentler and, as a result, a lot safer. 

Don’t be fooled just because you’re facing east when you’re in the Hamptons. You’ll find some of the most glorious sunsets along these shorelines and, because of its inherent tranquility, Long Beach may just be the best place to come for captivating sunset after captivating sunset. 

7. Ditch Plains Beach | Montauk

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We’ll close out with two beaches in what’s known as “The End,” Montauk. Although you’re likely to savor the sight of a few surfers at Two Mile Hollow Beach, you’re almost guaranteed to enjoy the show here. Surfers from all across the northeast come here for its prime conditions. 

It also has terrain that’s slightly more unique than the white, fluffy dunes of Cooper’s Beach or Main Beach. Here, you’ll find a border of rugged cliffs with breezy views of the Atlantic. 

Perhaps it’s the surfers or just the area in general, but delicious food trucks like to hang out here throughout the day and night, offering a bevy of savory treats for you to enjoy throughout your stay. 

8. Montauk Beach

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Finally, let’s end with one of the best dog-friendly beaches in the Hamptons. After a day at the lighthouse, go back to the Airbnb, pick up Fido, and treat him to the happiest day of his life. There are a couple of different entry points to what’s about to be a most magnificent day, including Old Montauk Highway and the center of town. 

When all is said and done, be sure to take Fido to any one of the eleven dog-friendly restaurants in Montauk to finish the day right. The Backyard at Sole East, Goaman’s Clam Bar, and Tauk at Trail’s End are some of the most popular spots. 

If you’d like to make an entire day out of Montauk, be sure to check out Montauk Lighthouse, the oldest beauty in the state of New York. That’s one of many activities you’ll find on this list of the best things to do in the Hamptons

These Are the Best Days of Your Life

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Knowing that this isn’t even the most comprehensive list of the best beaches in the Hamptons should give you plenty to look forward to. No matter which village you’re stationed out of, there’s sure to be a beach with nearby access. 

Just remember that the answer to, “Are there public beaches in the Hamptons?” is yes, but with a small caveat. You must plan in advance and be prepared to pay a fee in order to avoid the ruination of your perfect day in the sun. 

That detail aside, you’re well on your way to one of the best summers of your life. If you can, sandwich the sandy shorelines of the Hamptons into a few trips in and out of Manhattan. Our guide to the best things to do in New York will help you craft the perfect itinerary before, during, and after your Hamptons stay. 

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