Things To Do In The Hamptons, New York
Located on the eastern end of Long Island, the Hamptons are a collection of towns and villages that stretch east from Westhampton to Montauk.
A popular summer and weekend escape from New York City, the Hamptons are a place to see and be seen and often a party destination for the young and well heeled. But the Hamptons also offer plenty of nature, culture and history.
Here are our recommendations for the 15 best things to do in the Hamptons, New York.
1. The Beaches
Spending some time on the beach is one of the best things to do in the Hamptons. It’s a big reason why many people go to the Hamptons in the first place. And there are many great beaches to choose from.
Cooper’s Beach is one of the best and most popular beaches in the whole region. Easily accessible from Southampton, it offers pretty white sand, grass-covered dunes and awesome waves.
The Main Beach in East Hampton and the Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett are also popular and offer good amenities. Head to Ditch Plains Beach for the best surf.
To escape the crowds, head to Cupsogue Beach County Park.
2. Parrish Art Museum
Visiting the Parrish Art Museum is one of the best things to do in the Hamptons for arts and culture. Located in Water Mill, the 14-acre site blends beautiful landscaping and architecture, in a light-filled space designed by Herzog & de Meuron.
Inside, multiple galleries showcase artwork from the 19th century to the present day. The museum’s collection covers more than 3,000 works, including important works by Merritt Chase and Fairfield Porter.
In addition to famous artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, the museum also showcases work by up and coming local artists from Long Island.
3. Wine Tasting
Going wine tasting is one of the best things to do in the Hamptons. One of the most popular vineyards is the Wölffer Estate, located in Sagaponack.
They’re known for their rosé but also offer other wines, cider, beer and gin. Enjoy a tour of the pretty vineyard, then taste a few wines while listening to live music. Their Friday and Saturday Wine Stand is especially popular, particularly around sunset.
The North Fork and South Fork of Long Island is home to several vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms. Other options include Corey Creek and Croteaux on the North Fork and Duck Walk and Channing Daughters on the South Fork.
To sample wines in style without worrying about driving, book a guided wineries tour.
4. Dune Road
Stretching for around 13 miles, from Ponquogue Beach to Cupsogue Beach, Dune Road is one of the prettiest roads in the Hamptons.
The road winds along right next to the ocean, and you’ll enjoy pretty views all the way. Besides the great views, there are also a number of impressive mansions on this road. The speed limit here is only 30 miles an hour, making it easy to take in the views as you drive.
Another great option is to rent a bike and cycle all or a portion of Dune Road. Either way, feel free to stop along the way to enjoy the views or stop at one of the many beaches along the road.
5. Montauk Lighthouse
Located on the most eastern part of Long Island, Montauk Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in New York state. Built in 1796, the lighthouse is a National Historic Landmark.
You can go inside the lighthouse, climb the tower and also visit a small museum.
The museum is located in the 1860s Keeper’ House, and displays photographs, artifacts and historical documents. You can even see documents signed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
The site also hosts a large number of events and festivals throughout the year so check the schedule before you go.
6. Local Breweries
Long Island may be known for its many vineyards and wineries, but wine is not the only beverage you can have here.
Beer is also popular and beer lovers have plenty of options as well. One of the most popular breweries in the Hamptons is the Montauk Brewery.
There’s a lovely outdoor picnic area and a taproom that offers tastings. One of the best beers to try is their seasonal Watermelon Ale. Other good brewery options include Westhampton Beach Brewing Company, Mustache Brewing Co, Jamesport Farm Brewery and Shelter Island Craft Brewery.
7. Pollock Krasner House and Studio
See the house where noted abstract expressionist painter, Jackson Pollock, and his wife, artist Lee Krasner, lived and worked. Located in East Hampton, Pollock and Krasner moved into this 19th century fisherman’s cottage in 1945 and lived there until their death.
Now a museum, much of the original furnishing is in place, including the artists’ personal library and some of their artwork. Tour the house and the small barn that was turned into a studio.
It’s where they completed much of their work. Guided tours are also available and will give more insight into the lives and works of both artists.
8. Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum
Learn all about Shinnecock culture and history at the Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum. Located on the Shinnecock Reservation in Southampton, it’s the only Native American-owned and operated museum on Long Island.
The museum is housed in a sturdy log cabin built out of Adirondack white pine, and has a large wooden canoe in front. Inside, you can see a life-sized wigwam and other artifacts. In the centerpiece “Walk with the People” exhibit, a series of murals traces 10,000 years of Shinnecock history and traditions.
Watch demonstrations by native interpreters in the Wikun Living History Village area outside.
9. Morton Wildlife Refuge
The Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best things to do in the Hamptons if you want to be among nature and wildlife. Set on a peninsula between Noyack and Little Peconic Bays, the 187 acre refuge offers a range of different habitats.
In addition to both sandy and rocky beaches, there are forested areas, wooded bluffs, salt marshes, lagoons and fields. Look for wildlife such as white-tailed deer, eastern chipmunk, painted turtles and many different types of birds.
Depending on the season, you could see ducks, ospreys, plovers, terns and songbirds. Several other wildlife refuges are also nearby, including the Amagansett National Wildlife Refuge and the Conscience Point National Wildlife Refuge.
10. Mulford Farmstead
Step back in time with a visit to the Mulford Farmstead, located in East Hampton. The Mulford Farmstead is one of the most significant and intact English Colonial farmsteads in the country.
Built in 1680, the farmstead has remained largely unchanged since 1750. Today, it’s a living history museum, interpreted as the year 1790. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the grounds include a house, barn, garden and several outbuildings.
Even when the historic buildings are closed, visitors are welcome to tour the grounds and gardens. Next door is the Home Sweet Home colonial museum and Pantigo windmill.
11. LongHouse Reserve
Located in East Hampton, the LongHouse Reserve is a lovely garden and sculpture park. The reserve spans 16 acres and is built around the concept of landscape as art.
Enjoy a peaceful stroll around numerous gardens, such as the vibrant Red Garden and the Dry Woodland Garden. Several ponds and water features add to the serene atmosphere. There are also more than 60 contemporary sculptures displayed throughout the reserve.
Admire large scale sculptures by the likes of Yoko Ono and Sol DeWitt. LongHouse Reserve also hosts art exhibitions and other programs from time to time.
12. Live Music
There are several iconic places in the Hamptons to enjoy live music. To enjoy your tunes outdoors, with the ocean nearby, head to the Surf Lodge in Montauk.
Over the summer, there’s usually a busy schedule of concerts and events. The Montauk Beach House is another great option for evening, and often hosts special events, along with live DJs.
At night, head to the legendary Stephen Talkhouse on Main Street in Amagansett. A small and rustic venue, it has hosted such big names as Rolling Stones, Billy Joel and Jimmy Buffet. Many local bands also play here.
13. Sag Harbor Whaling & History Museum
Sag Harbor was once a whaling village. Learn more about that history at the Sag Harbor Whaling and History Museum. The museum is housed in a Greek Revival mansion built in 1845 for a prominent whaling ship owner.
Today it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. See a unique collection of historic and whaling artifacts that reveal the history of the town. Don’t miss the nearly 200 examples of scrimshaw. Known as sailor folk art, scrimshaw are whale bones and teeth that have been carved or etched with designs.
The museum also hosts contemporary exhibits and events that relate to Sag Harbor.
14. Camp Hero State Park
Camp Hero State Park is said to have inspired the hit Netflix series, Stranger Things. Spanning 415 acres, the park includes a former military installation with concrete bunkers and defense artillery.
The base was also rumored to be a site of secret government experiments. Today, the military installation has been designated a National Historic Site. The rest of the park offers a variety of landscapes, from beaches to wetlands to woods.
Popular activities here include fishing, hiking, biking and horseback riding. The park is a great site for a picnic and also offers spectacular views.
15. South Fork Natural History Museum & Nature Center
Located in Bridgehampton, the South Fork Natural History Museum is the only such museum in the South Fork of Long Island. It’s the perfect place to take your kids, though it’s appropriate for adults as well.
The galleries include live and recreated natural habitats. There are terrariums, aquariums and marine touch tanks. Outside, there are butterfly and wildflower gardens and an educational pond. Visitors can enjoy nature walks in the Vineyard Field Preserve, or walk along miles of trails in the Long Pond Greenbelt.
For a hassle-free way to see the best in the Hamptons, opt for a guided tour that includes round-trip transportation from New Yor
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