Lifestyle Wanderlust

Hellooo, Hamptons! Your Guide To The Hamptons Hotspots

22 February 2018

When the sun shines, New Yorkers trade the concrete jungle for the Hamptons. The group of towns on Long Island are just a couple of hours from the city, but they may as well be a world away. On your next trip to the States, plan a cheeky jaunt to one of these Hamptons hotspots – where the beaches are as sparkly as the people.

SOUTHAMPTON

For an ultra-glamorous getaway, you can’t beat Southampton – that is, if you can get in. It’s the Hamptons’ version of the Upper East Side, a haven for the filthy-rich and famous. The ocean is lined with stunning, multi-million dollar mansions, many of which belong to the kind of families who have buildings named after them, and stars like Jennifer Lopez, Calvin Klein and Jimmy Fallon, But before you go snooping, we’ll warn you that the (expertly maintained) hedges are high enough to keep away prying eyes!

What to do…

While you might not be able to vacay exactly like the locals do, Southampton is a sweet day spot. Make your way to Coopers Beach, an immaculate white-sand beach with some of the best people-watching this side of the city. When you’re sun-kissed, towel off and go for a ride at the Southampton Hunt and Polo Club (because you’re classy), or straight to Calissa for cocktails and a boogie at Apres Beach.

Where to play…

Dress up, grab the girls, and go to 75 Main or Southampton Social Club, a cocktail lounge with a courtyard that turns into a debaucherous dance club. If bottle service and perving on popped collars is your thing, head to AM Southampton, a party palace with big-name DJs and burlesque dancers. For a more chilled vibe, do Southampton Publick House – it has happy hour on weekdays and a DJ on Saturdays.

BRIDGEHAMPTON

Sitting pretty in the middle of the Hamptons, Bridgehampton is elegant and low-key, so it’s great if you want to escape the craziness of the city and actually chill. It’s also easily accessible: the Jitney (that bus Serena van der Woodsen and a chocolate-covered strawberry made famous) stops right on Main Street, and the area is dotted with mum-and-dad shops and restaurants. It’s cheaper – though Madonna still has a horse farm there, and Bey and Jay-Z are known to rent estates for the summer.

What to do…

Bridgehampton might be less of a scene, but that’s why people like it. Start your day on Main Street, which is lined with one-of-a-kind boutiques, galleries, and eateries. When you’ve splashed enough cash, make a beeline for the beach. Ocean Road Beach is never too crowded, and Mecox Beach is fab if you hate waves. Only have a day? Go to Sagg Main Beach, a sprawling beach that’s somehow stayed an insider gem. And if you’re nursing a hangover, stop by Candy Kitchen for chocolate fudge brownie ice-cream, then head to the South Fork Natural History Museum. Its lush vineyard and butterfly garden will remind you of the beauty in the world. 😉

Where to play…

The nightlife is relaxed, too. Pop into cocktail bars like Topping Rose House, Yama Q and Almond, or Mercado for tequila. Better yet, drive to Wolffer Estate Vineyard for sunset. Locals love the rose that much, they’ve dubbed it ‘Wolffer water’ – welcome to the Hamptons! Buy a couple of bottles to take back to your time-share (holiday house), and sip them by the pool.

Spotlight on Sag Harbor: With its iconic windmill and quaint storefronts, Sag Harbor is a seriously cute village. After dark, check out Murf’s or The Corner Bar. And if you’re there in the morning – what? – grab a brioche doughnut at Grindstone.

EAST HAMPTON

If you came to the Hamptons to p-a-r-t-y, East Hampton ticks all the right boxes. The town is teeming with bars and stars, but if you spot one, do what the city slickers do and… ignore them. Yep, really! Nightlife aside, this part of the Island has plenty to offer: gorgeous beaches, boutiques selling staples and high-end labels, and restaurants foodies flock to.

What to do…

During the day, it’s all about the beach. To dive right in, head to Main Beach, which is said to be one of the best stretches of sand in America. Try to get there early to score a sunbaking spot. Wiborg Beach is another busy beauty, while Two Mile Hollow is a little less crowded, and a mecca for tanned, toned New Yorkers. If you want to pretend you’re summering in Italy, the rocky Egypt Beach will help. When happy hour rolls around, park yourself at Bay Kitchen Bar or the buzzing outdoor area at East Hampton Point.

Where to play…

Now for the nightlife! Doll up in your Showpo finest and decide on your vibe. If you’re in a club mood, The Leo doesn’t blink when people dance on tables, and Harbor East and Miss Chloe have a DJ on the decks on weekends. For a sports bar setting, get a bev at Rowdy Hall, The Springs Tavern, or Cove Hollow Tavern, and for cocktails, go to The Living Room.

MONTAUK

Dubbed ‘The End of the Earth’, Montauk is as far east you can go on Long Island. Once a fisherman’s village, it’s refreshingly relaxed while being a magnet for young Manhattanites. It has more than one claim to fame. Along with being a surfer’s and sunset lover’s dream, the bar scene has something to suit every mood, and the beach clubs are pumping – and you don’t need to empty your bank account to get in.

What to do…

Wander to Bluestone Lane for a coffee – it’s Australian, so you know it’s good. Then, stroll to the lighthouse, Montauk Point Light, or head right to the beach. Kirk Beach is the most popular spot, while Ditch Plains boasts the best waves on the Island. For a quieter vibe, set yourself up at South Edison Beach, Gin Beach and Hither Hills State Park. To kick off the party early, go to Gurney’s, a private beach club with cabanas and bottle service. Otherwise, try Sloppy Tuna – a beachfront bar that’s as sloppy (and fun!) as it sounds.

Where to play…

Montauk is famous for its sunsets, so you want to be in prime position for magic hour. On date night, sip under the fairy lights while looking over the lake at Crows Nest. Or, make your way to Navy Beach, a chic restaurant and bar on its own stretch of beach. And if it’s Sunday, The Surf Lodge’s summer concert series is the only place to bop. (Insider tip: To avoid the looong line, make a dinner reservation). Once it’s dark, move on to The Grey Lady, The Arbor or Ruschmeyer’s.

Words by Katia Iervasi.