The Hamptons Destination Overview
The iconic Hamptons, a refuge for A-listers everywhere, form a truly luxurious getaway. The group of wealthy enclaves and villages sit along the South Fork of Long Island, New York, where they're split up into Southampton and East Hampton. If you want to roll with the suave, the famous or the carefree, the Hamptons are the place to be. Beyond housing celebrities, this elite escape offers a break from the day-to-day hustle.
Situated in East Hampton, the LongHouse Reserve combines 16 acres of a stunning secret gardens with art and sculptures. Wander through the woodsy glades to check out the collection of art created by some of the world's greatest contemporary artists. Then, stroll around Peter's Pond, which features lilies and lotus plants. Picture your inner happy place - and you have the LongHouse Reserve. It's perfect for all ages during all seasons of the year. The reserve is especially nice for losing the crowds in the often hectic Hamptons. If you seek to take the edge off, look no further than here.
A trip to the summer colony of the Hamptons is not complete without a visit to Cooper's Beach. This picturesque beach spans along the Atlantic shore, affording a view of the historic mansions in the distance. Here you can kick back and listen to the waves lap onto sand. Beautiful and clean, Cooper's is great for a relaxing day with the family. The only downside of this regal beach is the royal price of parking.
Hither Hills State Park
At Hither Hills State Park, visitors can discover a gorgeous two-mile beach, complete with dunes and facilities. Take a walk along the shore and don't leave too early, because the sunsets here are stunning. The park includes a 40-acre freshwater lake where you can paddle board, playing fields and a playground for children. The dunes of Napeague Harbor are situated on the eastern edge of the park, which also contains woodlands filled with hiking, biking and cross-country skiing trails. The beach is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center
Bring the kids to the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center for a day of fun. This two-in-one attraction features the largest all-living coral reef display in the Western Hemisphere, a 120,000-gallon shark tank and more than 100 exhibits. Let the youngsters feed the stingrays in the Ray Bay touch tank in the morning, then land in the Butterflies & Birds exhibit or Discovery Tower. When you arrive, don't forget to check the daily events schedule since there's so many events to see!
Restaurants and Shopping
Unless you're Alec Baldwin or P. Diddy, finding a delicious decently-priced bite to eat in the Hamptons can be tricky. During the summer, visitors often have to wait in long lines for a $40 lobster biscuit, but there's still hope. Scattered through the area there are a few places that will keep you satisfied without denting your wallet too much.
Lucky J's Chicken & Waffles
Get some Southern soul food at Lucky J's Chicken & Waffles, a joint that originally started in Austin. It's open 24 hours a day, and the menu includes waffle tacos and all-day bacon platters. It's ideal for teens in the family who are looking for lick-lipping, home-fried chicken.
For those who opt for white linen dining, don't miss Sienna Restaurant & Ultra Lounge. At the helm of the kitchen, Chef Ben Zwicker stirs up specialties with local produce and ingredients, ranging from sauteed Maryland lump crabcake with tomato remoulade to crispy Long Island duck. The house-made cocktails are unrivaled. On top of delicious foods, Sienna adds Pink Elephant on a summer residency, which is a party scene with a live DJ and state-of-the-art sound and lighting. Take your significant other here for a date to remember.
Swing by this family-friendly restaurant, which serves Hamptons clientele with organic, local and gluten-free dishes. The menu offers quinoa, chopped salads, grilled hanger steak and homemade ice cream. Even discriminatory eaters can find something they like here.
Don't worry, there's plenty of shopping therapy in the Hamptons as well. East Hampton carries all the high-end stores, including J. Crew, Ralph Lauren and Scoop, while Southampton boasts boutique-style stores. Montauk, the small town, has mom and pop stores, but if you're willing to drive, you can track down the huge outlet mall in Riverhead.
For more info on the area, take a look at HomeAway's guide to