Tanning on the roof of your apartment building is so last year. This summer, pack a beach bag, grab your friends, and head out to the Hamptons for a refreshing escape from the city heat.
Whether you’re a seasoned visitor with a three-month share house or a stranger to this distant, dreamlike realm sprinkled with celebrity mansions, the Hamptons is a fun and relaxing scene accessible to anyone and everyone.
Getting to the Hamptons
The Hamptons refers to the stretch of beach towns located approximately 75-100 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.
The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is the cheapest and fastest option. Head to Penn Station and hop on the Montauk Line, which makes five trips daily.
- Cost: A round-trip ticket to Montauk (the last stop) costs $40 during peak hours and $29 during off-peak hours. Other towns are less expensive and costs vary depending on the distance from Manhattan.
- Time: Two hours from Penn Station to Westhampton; three hours to Montauk. On Friday afternoons, you can take the Cannonball express service from Penn Station, which leaves at 4:01 PM and arrives in Westhampton by 5:39PM.
The Hampton Jitney is the most popular bus service available, which is why reservations are a must. The bus stops in four different Upper East Side locations and makes more than twenty daily trips to Montauk.
- Cost: $51 round-trip. For an extra $9, the Jitney’s Ambassador Service offers wider seats and half the passenger load. With an outlet at every seat, you can finish up work on your laptop before you hit the beach.
- Time: With good traffic karma, the trip to Montauk will take roughly 2.5 hours. During rush hour or peak times, the trip can take 3.5 hours or more.
- Luxury Bus
For an even more comfortable trip, book a seat on the Hampton Luxury Liner. Ride in style with a complimentary snack, beverage, and feature movie, as well as a full library stocked with the latest magazines and periodicals.
- Cost: $37 for one-way, 1st class seat (3 seats per row). $31 for one-way, Comfort Class seat (4 seats per row).
- Time: You'll travel in comfort, so it will seem faster.
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.
Hamptons BeachesExplore the Hamptons’ many beaches and find a location (and crowd) perfect for you.
- Calling all frat boys and party girls! Tailgate coolers and Ultimate Frisbee games are the norm onSagg 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.
Beaches that permit parking by the day include:
- Main Beach and Two Mile Hollow Beach in Easthampton Village. The cost is $20 per day, valid on weekdays only.
- Tiana Beach, Ponquogue Beach, Foster Memorial Beach, Mecox Beach, Sagg Main Beach(weekdays only), and Pikes Beach in Southampton
- Amagansett’s Atlantic Avenue Beach
- Beach Lane Beach, Wainscott
- Essex Street Beach, Gin Beach, Kirk Park Beach, South Lake Beach, Montauk
Learn More About the Hamptons and Plan Your Hamptons Trip
- Hamptons Online -- Learn more about Hamptons nightlife, top restaurants, and recreational activities.
- About Long Island -- Check out the Hamptons Trip Planner and photo gallery from Dawn Rosenberg McKay,the About.com Guide to Long Island.