Tanning on the roof of your apartment building is soooo last year. This summer, pack a beach bag, grab your friends, and head "out east" to the Hamptons for a refreshing escape from the city heat.
Whether you’re a seasoned visitor with a three-month house share or a stranger to this distant, dreamlike realm sprinkled with wide swaths of beaches and celebrity mansions, the Hamptons is a fun and relaxing scene accessible to anyone and everyone, especially those of us based here in Manhattan.
Getting from NYC to the Hamptons
The Hamptons refers to the stretch of beach towns located approximately 75 to 100 miles east of Manhattan on the eastern end of Long Island. The area includes the towns and villages of Southampton, such as Westhampton, Quogue, and Bridgehampton, as well as the towns of East Hampton, which include Amagansett and Montauk.
You don't need a car to summer in the Hamptons; traveling to the Hamptons via train or bus is easy and fairly inexpensive.
- By Train
The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is the cheapest and fastest option. Head to Penn Station and hop on the Montauk Line, which makes several trips daily.
- By Bus
The Hampton Jitney is the most popular bus service available, which is why reservations are a must.
- By Luxury Bus
For an even more comfortable trip, book a seat on the Hampton Ambassador. Ride in style with more legroom and complimentary snacks, beverages, and feature movies.
- By Car
After you’ve gassed up and left Manhattan, the LIE (Long Island Expressway), or I-495, is the fastest way to get to the Hamptons. Once you’re off the LIE, take Route 27 East, which is also called the Sunrise Highway or Montauk Highway. This route goes through all of the Hamptons towns and villages and is basically the only way to navigate around the area.
The Hamptons Beaches
Explore the Hamptons’ many beaches and find a location (and crowd) that's perfect for you.
- Calling all frat boys and party girls! Tailgate coolers and Ultimate Frisbee games are the norm on Sagg Beach, Flying Point, and Main Beach.
- Seek recluse on Gibson Beach, a small and intimate stretch with rolling dunes and soft, pristine sand.
- Bring your bike to Wainscott Beach and, after you relax in the sun, explore the nearby mansions of the rich and fabulous.
- Ocean Road Beach’s relatively inexpensive parking makes it a perfect destination for a day trip.
If you opt to drive, keep in mind that parking permits are required to park at many beaches in the Hamptons. Where applicable, you must display a valid village parking permit on your vehicle during the height of beach season.
Learn More About the Hamptons
- Hamptons.com: Learn more about Hamptons nightlife, top restaurants, and recreational activities.
- About Long Island: Check out info on the Hamptons and more Long Island in About.com's Long Island guide.
-- Updated by Elissa Garay