What are the best things to see and do in The Hamptons?

Answers from Our Experts (3)

The Hamptons offer a satisfying blend of indoor and outdoor activities. Here are the five best things to see and do during your vacation:

1. The beach. Okay, this one’s a no-brainer, but picking the perfect sandy spot is essential. If you want to be in the thick of things, opt for East Hampton’s Main Beach, where you can people watch for hours and snack on cool treats from the nearby concession stand. If you prefer a quieter, more restful piece of property, lay your beach blanket at Georgica Beach, which has more of an exclusive feel thanks to the adjacent, multi-million dollar manors. And if you have little ones in tow, try Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack, which has ample space for your brood to frolic.

2. Montauk Point Lighthouse Museum. The oldest lighthouse in New York, Montauk Point Lighthouse was commissioned under George Washington and completed in 1796. Still used for navigational aid, the lighthouse is now a museum and open for tours year round. (Be sure to pack comfortable shoes for the 137-step climb to the top!)

3. Shopping. Whether you prefer high-end labels or cherished antiques, you’ll sate your urge to splurge in the Hamptons. For shopping to rival nearby Manhattan, head to Southampton’s tony Main Street, where you can stock up on the latest from Theory and Ralph Lauren. Antiques also abound — we recommend Bridgehampton for home furnishings, knickknacks and more.

4. Parrish Art Museum. Indulge in eye candy of the canvas sort at the Parrish Art Museum, where a distinguished collection of American art from the 19th century to present resides. The museum places a particular emphasis on the works of Long Island’s East End.

5. The Sag Harbor Whaling and Historic Museum. Sag Harbor was once one of the
busiest ports in New York, and this whaling-rich history comes to life at the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historic Museum. Four galleries of permanent and rotating collections feature whaling implements, kids’ toys and antique household objects.

Sag Harbor and Venice [California] are very different, and I live in both places. In Sag Harbor, I love going to the beach or the bay. We live on the bay side, but just 15 minutes from the ocean side too. That’s my favorite thing to do. All year long, too — the beach has just a whole different feel in the fall and winter there. I love taking my dog to the beach. Also, there are wonderful little shops in the Hamptons and wonderful little restaurants all over. Sag Harbor is really home for me.

Debora Toth

Whether you visit for a beachy weekend getaway or for a posh summer-long escape, the Hamptons are flush with things to do and see. Here are five of the best:

1. Explore East Hampton. The most historic and chic village is East Hampton, with its lovely central park, freshwater pond and noteworthy buildings and windmills. In this picturesque town, you’ll see the influence of the early Dutch and English settlers as well as iconic beaches and glorious mansions.

2. Watch softball. You may want to plan your trip for mid-August when the annual Artists and Writers Charity Softball game is played in East Hampton’s Herrick Park. This fun charity event has drawn celebrities such as Christie Brinkley, Chevy Chase, Alec Baldwin and Dustin Hoffman.

3. Escape in Montauk. At the very end of Long Island sits Montauk, a low-key but hip fishing and surfing village known for its historic lighthouse and fishing dock (which famously inspired the movie Jaws).

4. Gawk at Sag Harbor. This old whaling village was settled in the early 1700s, but today its Long Wharf Marina offers up-close views of jaw-dropping mega-yachts docked in its harbor.

5. Watch polo. The sport of kings is played each Saturday at the Bridgehampton 2013 Polo Challenge. The season opens in July and runs through August. Join spectators as they divot-stamp and admire the handsome polo players.

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