Explore the Top Things To Do In the Hamptons

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  • There’s no better beach town in North America than the Hamptons, due to its close ties to Manhattan, sunny shorelines, and unique boutiques. 
  • With a wealth of beaches to choose from, you can take in a sunrise, sunset, or bask in the afternoon rays with no problem. 
  • When you’re done, you can dine in delight with hundreds of top-shelf restaurants to choose from all throughout the island. 
  • Some of the boutiques can also give the streets of New York a run for their money. 
  • While you’re here, be sure to check out one of the most beautiful nature preserves with sumptuous gardens and out-of-the-ordinary sculptures.  

10 of the Top Things To Do In the Hamptons

If the Hamptons could be scooped up and placed inside a snow globe, most people would try. You almost want to keep this treasure all to yourself, but you simply can’t with its close proximity to New York City and remarkable beaches. 

With a thorough examination of the top things to do in the Hamptons, you can easily escape the heat in any number of ways. You can be the life of the party at Cooper’s Beach or any one of Montauk’s hotspots. Or you can quietly stroll through Parrish Art Museum before taking in a sunset at Main Beach. 

No matter what you’re in the mood for, this is about to be one of the most spectacular vacations of your lifetime. Here’s everything you need to know before you go. 

1. Laze the Day Away On a Beach

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The Hamptons is renowned for its impeccably-maintained beaches. Facing the Atlantic, this little island is a mere hour and a half away from New York City and boasts some of the finest sunrises and sunsets in the world. 

After you’ve taken in a sunrise, plan to laze the day away on the sunny shorelines until happy hour. These two beaches are top contenders for everybody’s shortlist of things to do in the Hamptons this weekend. 

Cooper’s Beach

Time and again, Cooper’s Beach is named one of the best beaches in America. It’s astonishing because, for the Atlantic, it has pristine white sands, much like a Gulf Coast beach. You’ll also find gentle waves and crystal-clear views of the Atlantic. 

Main Beach

The name might not be unique, but the experience is. Main Beach offers a relaxed atmosphere, with its sweep of grassy dunes and clear waters. With lifeguards on duty, concession stands, and bathrooms, this is one of the best things to do with kids in the Hamptons. 

For a complete guide to the best beaches throughout the island, check out this complete list of the best beaches in the Hamptons

2. Spend an Afternoon At a Winery

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All the world’s travel guides should feature wineries, right? If you choose to sleep in one morning (or take a soothing nap after a morning sunset), plan to take an Uber or a limo service out to one of the many picturesque wineries on the island. There are several postcard-pretty wineries that top everyone’s list of the best things to do in the Hamptons. Here are two of your most magical choices.  

Wölffer Estate Vineyard

Located in Sagaponack, this is one of the most popular vineyards in the Hamptons because of its breathtaking views and high-quality wine. Book ahead for a lovely, relaxed experience where you can be totally catered to. 

Channing Daughters Winery

If you’re on a girl’s trip, you might consider visiting a winery named after the owner’s daughters. Located in Bridgehampton, you’ll find a very relaxing atmosphere here, as well as a diverse range of wines. It’s very likely you’ll need another nap once you get back to your hotel or Airbnb, but it’ll be one of your best naps ever! 

3. Visit the Montauk Point Lighthouse

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The Montauk Point Lighthouse is to the Hamptons what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. Prepare your Instagram grid for this colorful and historical monument. 

It stands tall and proud as the oldest lighthouse in New York State and frames some of the prettiest vistas out and over the Atlantic, making it one of the top things to do in the Hamptons this summer. 

4. Stroll the Streets of Sag Harbor

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Out of all the quaint Hallmark-movie-style villages on the island, Sag Harbor is, perhaps, the most well-known. This is the place to come to buy trinkets and jewels for your loved ones and yourself to commemorate your stay. The boutiques offer an array of clothing you won’t find anywhere else, home goods stores, and delectable coffee shops to fuel your smoking credit card. 

5. Shop in East Hampton and Southampton

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Don’t stop in Sag Harbor. If you have a car, it makes village-hopping very easy. Otherwise, you can easily train hop along the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Only the best travel guides feature beaches, wineries, picture-perfect shopfronts, and close proximity to New York City. 

East Hampton and Southampton are known to have some of the finest upscale shopping anywhere along the East Coast. Here, you’ll find designer wares and high-end boutiques. 

But, you’ll also come upon cute little local shops with handmade goods and unique home decor. Hopefully, you saved room in your luggage because you’re guaranteed to go home with some gorgeous finds. 

For more on how to get around the Hamptons and back to New York City and JFK Airport, you can rely on our tips for how to travel from JFK to the Hamptons

6. Patronize the Parrish Art Museum

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If you enjoy American art (and are having a fabulous time out on the island), you must visit the Parrish Art Museum. While most destination guides are not complete without a museum, this one is quite unique. 

Not only does it offer a nod to American history, it also features gorgeous depictions of your current setting. Many of the featured artists are locals who are lucky enough to call the Hamptons home. Even the building itself is a work of art, designed by the international architecture practice Herzog & de Meuron.

7. Luxuriate In LongHouse Reserve

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When you visit the Parrish Art Museum, look for paintings and photographs of LongHouse Reserve. You’re sure to find a few. It’s a 16-acre reserve in East Hampton that gracefully combines nature, design, and art. 

Founded by Jack Lenor Larsen, a famous textile designer, LongHouse Reserve showcases luscious green gardens and an impressive array of outdoor sculptures. 

If there’s anyone in your party who enjoys a hearty stroll, this is your opportunity. It’s also the perfect opportunity to wear that colorful romper and those comfy flats that you packed, courtesy of our guide to what to wear in the Hamptons

8. Dine to Your Heart’s Delight

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Much like the shopping in East Hampton, Southampton, and Sag Harbor, you’ll be blown away by the culinary delights in the Hamptons. Restaurateurs have a very high-class group of people to cater to, and they do not disappoint. 

Call ahead when making reservations for most restaurants on the island, especially during peak season. This is your chance to have some of the freshest seafood on the eastern seaboard.

If you’re in the mood for some Mediterranean delights as you savor the evening breeze, check out Nick & Toni’s, known for its celebrity sightings and incredible dishes. 

The 1770 House is another elegant choice, perfect for that Versace maxi dress you packed. It’s elegant and offers some of the best gourmet finds in all of New York. 

9. Find Some Fun At a Festival

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An island full of picturesque beaches and blossoming villages all but beckons a festival or two. On any given day, you’ll find art fairs, music festivals, farmers’ markets, and even a polo match or two. 

In the summertime, Bridgehampton polo matches bring out the Pretty Woman in all of us. In October, the Hamptons International Film Festival also attracts filmmakers and film aficionados from all around the world. Can you imagine the memories you’ll make with a day at Wölffer Estate, followed by a film festival under the stars? Glorious.

10. Rent a Boat

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When we go to the beach, we often sit on the beach and watch others partake in water sports. What if, this time, you were the one dropping anchor and listening to the soothing splash of the waves? 

You can pack a glorious picnic basket at any one of the gourmet shops in town and then head out to live the life of a daylong yachter. There are a plethora of places to choose from and these photos are sure to compete with your Montauk Lighthouse snaps. 

Enjoy the Vacation of a Lifetime

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It’s not often we can be in a metropolis like New York City in the morning and a safe haven like Sag Harbor in the afternoon. But, this is the magic of New York. The list of things to do in the Hamptons is never-ending, just like the Big Apple. 

With a wide-brimmed hat and a weekender in hand, you can make all your dreams come true in this part of the Northeast. And, if you’d like our advice on what to see in New York City and beyond, check out our guide to the best things to do in New York. Whatever time of year you choose to visit, you won’t be disappointed. 

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