Perhaps the Hamptons are not famous like Sex and the City, but I bet a lot of people are curious about it – like the Big Apple, the area has also been featured in a lot of movies and TV series – like Gossip Girl, Revenge, Sex and the City, and The Affair. I’ve always been curious about it and, after a day trip to Southampton back in 2016 (?) I’ve always wanted to explore more. So, in 2019, in 2020 and in 2023, we spent some time in the area and explored a lot of spots – especially in Montauk. So, I decided to put together this guide with helpful tips about accommodations, restaurants, and things to do in the Hamptons – especially if you are not an inheritor or successor, lol. I feel many people have few references in the area – trust me: it is more than luxurious houses – you will find a lot of nature and spots for breathtaking sunsets.
What are The Hamptons?
Nestled along the eastern end of Long Island, New York, the Hamptons comprise a group of villages in the cities of Southampton, East Hampton and Montauk. The area is famous in the summer – it is the high season – but the truth is that the Hamptons have become increasingly a year-round destination for New Yorkers seeking refuge on weekends. Also, the Hamtons are also known as a playground for the elite, since everything is expensive – especially real state – residential properties in the Hamptons are among the highest in the US, and private golf clubs in Southampton are among the most exclusive and expensive in the country.
Where to stay in the Hamptons – Ocean Colony Beach & Tennis Club
Considering that the Hamptons are a huge area, you will find a lot of accommodation options. You can search for hotels – you will find from the most luxurious beachfront resorts to the simplest ones. Another good idea is to use Airbnb – the offer of houses and apartments is high throughout the area – and prices drop greatly during the fall/winter. Believe it: The Hamptons go beyond the beaches and can be an excellent option off the tourist route for travelers to New York City or those living there.
On our first and second time in the area, we stayed at Ocean Colony Beach & Tennis Club in Amagansett, a village between East Hampton and Montauk. It is a beachfront resort, and the rooms, in fact, are mini-apartments, with amazing structure: bedroom with TV, super spacious closet, bathroom, living room, and fully equipped kitchen (coffee maker, toaster, dishwasher, microwave, and oven), huge balcony. We were very pleased with the hotel, it was far beyond our expectations. It has free parking and easy access to the beach, with chairs, umbrellas, and towels included. In addition, the hotel has a swimming pool and a tennis court. There was no breakfast – but this was not a problem with our structure. We bought food at a market in Montauk and had breakfast in the room.
We loved this resort so much that we stayed there two times – in 2019 and in 2020. You can find better rates if you stay during the week. Unfortunately, last time I checked, this place is not pet-friendly.
For anyone planning to explore the Hamptons, I suggest pinning a map with the spots that interest you and then looking for a place to stay halfway there. Overall, the distances from the places that I will suggest in today’s post are 15-20 minutes of driving from one point to another on average.
Where to stay in the Hamptons – Airbnb
This is another accommodation that I recommend – it’s an Airbnb, and it’s located in Montauk, 5 minutes walking from the LIRR Train Station. It’s a charming cottage with a small kitchen – oven, microwave, refrigerator, toaster, coffee maker – living area, bathroom, closet and a deck with chairs and umbrella, plus a grill and access to the beach. It’s located in a very quiet area, with beautiful surroundings and it’s pet- friendly!
How to get to The Hamptons?
When I visited the Hamptons in 2019 and in 2021, we rented a car, and, at that time, it was very convenient, considering everything we covered. On average, it ill take you 3h to drive from Manhattan to Montauk. The car gives you much more freedom and flexibility to explore everything. Regarding renting in New York, getting the car off Manhattan is cheaper – usually, airports have the best fares. You can also get a car in Bridgehampton or Southampton.
- Check cars on Turo.
- I have a special link for you to sign-up for Gearound that offers $20 free credit.
You can also go to the Hamptons by bus. Hampton Jitney is a renowned transportation company that provides a premium and convenient travel experience between New York City and the Hamptons.
You can also use public transportation – LIRR – Long Island Rail Road – runs year-round service to the Hamptons and Montauk, with extra trains and longer trains during the summer months. I highly recommend downloading the TrainTime app to plan your trip.
From Manhattan, trains depart from PennStation or Grand Central Madison. All stations from Westhampton through Montauk are in Zone 14. A ticket to any of them is valid to all of them. A peak ticket from Zone 1 (west of Jamaica) is $30.50 and an off-peak ticket is $22.25.
How to get around in the Hamptons without a car?
If some years ago I’d say this would pretty much limit your experience, today I can say it’s totally possible to explore the Hamptons without renting/owning a car. On my last trip to Montauk, I was positively surprised about the options – but I must say, I believe it’s better to stick to one or two towns/villages, so it’s easier to get around. Also, I’d say it’s probably easier to plan a trip without a car in the summer.
- Hampton Hopper – it is an app-based premium transportation service that makes getting around the Hamptons more convenient, affordable, and fun. They operate a free local route in Montauk that includes 15 stops between Hither Hills and the docks, including various hotels and points downtown. They also operate commuter routes, as part of the South Fork Commuter Connection, that help people get to work in Southampton, Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor, East Hampton, Amagansett, and Montauk – the fares for these rides are around $3. Download their app or check their website for more info and details about routes and schedules.
- Uber / Lyft – I was so happy to know that Uber and Lyft are working well in the Hamptons – and yes, you don’t need to wait long for your ride. We used in Montauk – even to get to/from the Montauk Lighthouse and it was easy. Use my code and get $10 in credits on Lyft: PERUCHI93715
- Circuit – this company works with cities, agencies, and developers to provide easy-to-use, on-demand electric transportation. They are available in East Hampton, Southampton and Montauk. The service is completely free to ride. Think about Circuit as tiny shuttles – you can catch a ride by downloading their app and there’s a designed service area.
- Bike rentals – renting a bike can also be an excellent way to get around – in Montauk, you can rent a bike at Montauk Surf & Sports.
- Private taxi companies – besides all these options, there are also local taxi companies, like Pink Tuna Taxi, Surf Taxi and Ditch Plains Taxi in Montauk, and Ted’s Taxi East Hampton in East Hampton.
Restaurants in the Hamptons
The Restaurant at Baron’s Cove – this is a hotel/resort in Sag Harbor – if you are driving, it may be worth the stop. The restaurant is super charming and has a beautiful view. The vast majority of restaurants in the Hamptons focus on seafood (but there are other options, of course). This restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, and brunch. The food is a bit pricey (as a lot of the things in the Hamptons), but the experience was worth it; the place is a delight for a summer day. I recommend the oysters, Fish Tacos and Fish & Chips. The food was tasty, but nothing extraordinary. As I mentioned, it was worth the whole experience.
The Surf Lodge – It’s one of the most famous spots in Montauk and guess what? It was founded by a Brazilian, Jayma Cardoso. When it opened in 2008, she intended to create a space that was true to the simplicity and beauty of Montauk – to remind her of Brazil. It is a boutique hotel, but even if you do not stay, you can enjoy the vibe of the place at the restaurant or at the bar. For you to have an idea, the Obama family has already stayed there, as well as supermodels and pop stars. Another cool thing is that from June to September they promote a series of cool concerts. Tip: the nearest parking is at the train station, then you walk for about 5 minutes. The hotel’s parking is for guests only. We only had drinks here, but the vibes are amazing. Here, we order a drink and a beer. You can check the menu by clicking here.
- Open all year.
Navy Beach – it is one of my favorite spots in The hamptons – and it’was where I saw (one of) the most beautiful sunsets of my life! Founded in 2010, Navy Beach quickly became the favorite seaside restaurant in Montauk. It has a private beach overlooking Fort Pond Bay and is a good wedding spot. In addition to the seafood menu, it has one of the largest selections of rosé wines in the Hamptons. It has an incredible sunset and was voted by Newsday as one of the top five ocean-view restaurants in the East End. You can either get a table outside or inside. The seafood-based menu features small plates (starting at $17), which are great for sharing. You can check out the full menu here. Even if you do not want to dine, do yourself a favor and go there for a drink and watch the sunset. It’s simply fantastic!
- Open from April to September
Inlet Seafood Restaurant –another restaurant with incredible views, very crowded at sunset. The menu is also focused on seafood; however, honestly, I opted not to include the photos of the dishes because we did not enjoy the food. We had baked oysters, grilled whole fish, and sushi. They were not bad, but they were not worth the price. Here, I recommend going to have a drink and enjoying the sunset, because the view is very beautiful and worth it!
Bostwick’s Chowder House – this is a good choice of a seafood restaurant in East Hampton. It’s cute, it has an outdoor and indoor space, and it gets very busy on the weekends. The menu features dishes with lobsters, oysters, shrimp, and other seafood. Here I recommend the Clam Chowder, Fish Tacos and Crab Sandwich, with fries. I loved the food! Everything was very delicious and we were very satisfied! Check the menu.
- Open from April to November.
The Montauket – this is a favorite spot in Montauk for a beautiful sunset. It is a bar, a restaurant, and a hotel that was established in the 20’s and family-owned since 1959 and is known by locals as “the hill” because of the location. The menu features lobster rolls and fresh locally caught seafood, besides local beers and special drinks. The place is very casual, the food is delicious – and the view is just perfect. Make sure to plan accordingly since they don’t take reservations. Plus, they are open from Thursday to Monday.
A special tip: when we arrive, we had to put our names on the list and wait for 45 minutes, so we went to a walk towards the west through Fleming Road and we found this hidden spot with the chairs. Is beautiful!
Clam Bar – another traditional spot in the Hamptons, is on the road, on your way to Montauk – it is actually in front of the resort I recommend on this post. This place opened more than thirty years ago and features, of course, a seafood menu. The highlight here is the lobster roll, a must-have, and also the sea salt caramel cheesecake.
Scarpetta Beach – this restaurant has a location in Manhattan as well and it is located at Gurney’s Montauk, a huge and beautiful resort in front of the ocean. It is a perfect spot for a romantic dinner or special occasion. It is so beautiful! Open nightly year-round, this Italian hotspot features classics as well as seasonal dishes, fresh seafood selections, and a world-class wine list. From the 148-seat dining room, French doors open onto an outdoor deck, which seats another 106, every table has a panoramic view of the ocean.
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Roberta’s – this spot is super famous in New York City – their pizza is always featured as one of the best pizzas in NYC and honestly, I didn’t know they had a location in Montauk – almost in front of the LIRR station. We didn’t have a chance to dine there, but we ordered a pizza (pickup) and, of course, it didn’t disappoint, so good! I hope I can get back to soon and actually dine at the restaurant, they open for dinner and brunch. Check their menu.
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668 The Gig Shack – this restaurant is located on the “main street” in Montauk and it’s such a delight. We loved the vibes and the decor and our favorite dishes here were the pork empanada and the fish tacos. They have tables outside and it’s really good to sit there on a sunny and warm day.
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Duryea’s Montauk – this restaurant and bar is next to the Airbnb I recommended. They have a beautiful waterfront dining area – unfortunately, we couldn’t experience that cause it was about to rain and our dog was with us. So, we ordered food at the cafe – you can order the same food from the restaurant. The baked clams were so delicious, as well as the lobster roll and the Clam Chowder. Also, the cafe has some pastries and some groceries – but be prepared, it’s very pricey!
Gosman’s Dock – this place is so cute! It reminds me of San Francisco in some way. You will find some stores, an ice cream place, some restaurants, a small event area, and a fish market. We bought some beers and fish and chips from Gosman’s Clam Bar and got a table with a view to sit. Just be aware of the seagulls, lol.
Places to visit
Sunset Beach – you can walk from Gosman’s Dock to this beach to watch the sunset. It is magical, I think I don’t need to say a lot of things, just look at the pictures and you will understand why.
Main Street East Hampton – those who go to the Hamptons and love the TV series need to include a visit to East Hampton (or Southampton) in the script. Basically, the idea is to walk down Main Street and enjoy the cute architecture of the shops, cafes, and restaurants. Another thing you should do is driving from Main Street to Main Beach. The path is simply fantastic, with tree-lined streets and you see the famous mansions behind their vegetation walls. Main Beach has parking and a nice structure, considering that most of the beaches are quite desert.
Wölffer Estate Vineyard – once you are exploring Long Island, you should definitely visit a winery! The Wölffer Estate Vineyard was founded in 1988 by Christian Wölffer, a man with a great creative vision and a huge passion for life. The property today belongs to and is operated by its sons, Marc and Joey Wölffer and Winemaker / Partner Roman Roth. The estate spans approximately 470 acres including the acclaimed 55 acres sustainably-farmed estate vineyard located in Sagaponack, NY, 52 acres on the North Fork of Long Island, 200 acres in Mendoza, Argentina, 2.5 acres in Mallorca, Spain and 160 acres managed in collaboration with North Fork growers. At the winery, you can obviously buy wines and also drink. The tasting with four varieties costs $25, but they also offer glasses, bottles and cheese boards.
- Open all year
- Check more recommendations on the map
Bike rental – as I mentioned earlier, you can rent a bike in Montauk – and that’s a great thing to do even if you are driving a car. A great route is biking to Liar’s Saloon through S Essex St – it’s a beautiful and quiet road!
Camp Hero State Park / Montauk Lighthouse – I love this place! We got there because the idea was to see the Montauk Lighthouse – but the park surprised me more. To get there, put in the GPS Camp Hero Parking (the second one on the map). Arriving at the parking lot, you will already come across incredible sea views, beautiful cliffs, an immensity of water and a charming silence. Seriously, what a place! The light at the end of the day leaves everything much more beautiful. We walk along the trail until we see the lighthouse – it’s a favorite spot for weddings. Then we took the car and drove to the parking lot of the lighthouse, took a side path, and arrived at a beautiful beach. There’s also the Georges Lighthouse Cafe in the area for a drink or a snack. Parking costs $8, but it’s free after 4PM. You can also enter the lighthouse – the ticket costs $12. But you have to be aware of the times on the official website.
If you want to hike, I recommend starting at Camp Hero Parking (the first one on the map, near the Camp Hero Radar Tower) and then follow the signs to Bluff lookout and then the lighthouse. It will take a little bit more than one hour to get there, but it is an easy trail.
Turtle Cove – when you arrive at the Montauk Lighthouse, check the trail maps in the area, follow the path and go to the other side of the Lighthouse – you will arrive at Turtle Cove, a famous beach for surfing and fishing. It is so calm and beautiful! If you watch The Affair, you will remember some scenes! If you are following the trail I recommended above, it ends here.
LongHouse Reserve – LongHouse Reserve is a 16-acre reserve and sculpture garden located in East Hampton featuring pieces from Buckminster Fuller, Yoko Ono and Willem de Kooning to name a few. LongHouse Reserve was founded by Jack Lenor Larsen, an internationally known textile designer, author, and collector. His home, LongHouse, was built as a case study to exemplify a creative approach to contemporary life. He believes visitors experiencing art in living spaces have a unique learning experience – more meaningful than the best media. LongHouse contains 13,000 square feet and 18 spaces on four levels. The gardens present the designed landscape as an art form and offer a diversity of sites for the sculpture installations. I was delighted with this place – and it reminded me of a lot of Storm King, but in a smaller proportion. The place is charming and I’m glad we got to know it!
- It is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from April to November, tickets are $15.
Did you like my tips? Always remember to check Google’s opening hours. All the places mentioned in the post are marked on the map, including other suggestions of places we couldn’t check!
Please feel free to recommend more places in The Hamptons!
Content creator and journalist in New York City. Here, I share lifestyle, beauty, NYC tips, thoughts, and the struggles about living in the most amazing city in the world! I’m not gonna pretend to be another person: I’m a Brazilian immigrant and I think this is my soul, it is part of who I am. I hope you enjoy my content! Follow me on Instagram!