What are the best wineries to visit in The Hamptons?

Debora Toth

It’s true — Long Island is the Napa Valley of the East Coast. This summer Long Island will celebrate 40 years of cultivating grapes on its East End. Sixty active vineyards dot the landscape and offer world-class wine tastings and other public events. In the Hamptons, try Duck Walk Vineyards in Southampton where you can enjoy award-winning wines including Vidal Ice Wine made with grapes frozen on the vine, or the Blueberry Port crafted from wild Maine blueberries, or the unique Pinot Meunier. Wölffer Estate Winery, located for 25 years in Sagaponack, is perched on a rise overlooking the lush vineyards and gently rolling Hamptons’ landscape. Take a sip from its selection of whites, reds, roses, apple and dessert wines. Its popular “Summer In a Bottle” selection, served at its breathtaking back patio, is a great deal for only $16.

  • On June 21, 2013
    Debora Toth answered the question: Debora Toth

    Where is the best shopping in The Hamptons?

    East Hampton’s central business district along Main Street is the place to give your credit card a serious workout or to let your eyes do the shopping. You’ll find high-end jewelers, such as Tiffany & Co. and London Jewelers, unique boutiques like Blue & Cream sell a collection of well-curated designer duds, and big-named brands. (Don’t miss the iconic Ralph Lauren outpost, a two-story ivy-covered barn with exposed interior beams and large American flags displaying his unique vintage clothing line.) Around the corner from Main Street on Newtown Lane are more shops, including designer Tory Burch’s boutique, Scoop NYC and a favorite mainstay, The Monogram Shop.
  • On June 21, 2013
    Debora Toth answered the question: Debora Toth

    What are the best things to do with kids in The Hamptons?

    The Hamptons may be known as a playground for adults, but our Forbes Travel guide editors found that there are many activities catered toward kids. Here are five of the best:

    1. Visit the windmills. Take a peek into those large windmills dotting the Hamptons landscape — East Hampton’s Hook Mill, Pantigo Mill and Gardiners Mill, all built in the 18th and 19th centuries, will capture a child’s imagination.

    2. Go crazy for candy. Hit up the unique and colorful Dylan’s Candy Bar in East Hampton (owned by Dylan Lauren, daughter of the famous Ralph). It’s filled with hundreds of sweet treats in a rainbow of colors.

    3. Hit the beach. Cooper’s Beach in the exclusive enclave of Southampton has been voted the top beach in the country — and for good reason. Its soft-white sand, enticing ocean waves, designated lifeguard area, and wooden beach chairs and umbrellas make for an idyllic day for you and the kids.

    4. Board it up. Seeking adventure? Sign up for a stand-up paddleboard or surf lesson at Main Beach Surf & Sport in Wainscott.

    5. Indulge in ice cream. For a special end-of-the-day treat, try the Bridgehampton Candy Kitchen offering homemade ice cream and fudge.
  • On June 21, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best things to do with kids in The Hamptons?

    The Hamptons aren’t just a playground for adults — kids will find plenty to keep their little hands occupied too. Here are the five best things to do with kids in The Hamptons.
                                                             
    1. The beach. Build sandcastles and dip little piggies in the water on one of the Hamptons beautiful beaches. East Hamptons’ Main Beach has all the amenities your kids will love (including a concession stand), while Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack will be a little less crowded, giving your children room to rove.

    2. The Children’s Museum of the East End.  A perfect indoor activity for a rainy day, the Children’s Museum of the East End will let your kids’ imaginations run wild with its free art studio, read along and host of interactive displays and exhibits.

    3. The Fudge Company. Indulge your little one’s sweet tooth at this Southampton institution. With more than a dozen varieties of fudge — including old fashioned chocolate and maple walnut fudge — the hardest decision you’ll make all day is picking just one (if that’s possible).

    4. Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center. Get up close and personal with wildlife at this Atlantis-themed aquarium flanking the Peconic River. Feed the sting rays, waddle like the penguins or take in the spectacular sea lion show, one of the aquarium’s most popular attractions.

    5. Mashomack Preserve. This nature conservancy on Shelter Island is a hiker’s paradise with 10 miles of coastline and acres of creeks, woodlands and fields to explore. A word to the wise: you’ll probably want to reserve this activity for older children.
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  • On June 21, 2013
    Debora Toth answered the question: Debora Toth

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

    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.
  • On June 21, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

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

    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.
  • On July 19, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the five best Hamptons food experiences?

    From savory seafood to sweet treats, The Hamptons is a hot spot for fresh, local and seasonal food, especially in the summer. Here are our picks for the five best food experiences in the Hamptons.
     
    1. Lobster roll. Succulent lobster married with rich mayonnaise and tucked into a grilled bun — “sandwich” just isn’t enough to describe this seafood delight. Outside of Maine, the Hamptons may be the best place to indulge in this traditional fare, and you have plenty of options to choose from, including East Hampton’s Bostwick’s, Southampton’s Silver’s and, of course, Amangasett’s eponymous Lobster Roll.

    2. Wine. With its mostly mild climate, The Hamptons is one of New York’s many wine-producing regions, and there are a number of wineries to savor a sip of the local vintages, including Wölffer Estate Winery and Channing Daughters.

    3. Salt water taffy. A trip to the beach wouldn’t be complete without popping a salt water taffy or two. Stop by the Fudge Company to stock up on chocolate, banana and creamsicle varieties.

    4. Chefs and Champagne. The Hamptons play host to a number of food festivals throughout the summer, the glitziest of which has to be the James Beard Foundation’s annual Chefs and Champagne, in which more than 30 chefs (many James Beard award winners) gather to provide tastings of their most delicious dishes.
     
    5. Mecox Bay Dairy. Bucolic pastures probably aren’t the first image that comes to mind when thinking of the Hamptons, but the East End is home to a number of stellar dairies, including Mecox Bay. Sample some of the farm’s tasty cheeses including the Mecox Sunrise and Farmhouse Cheddar and take a wheel home for yourself.
  • On July 19, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see The Hamptons in one day?

    You’ll probably want to spend at least half of your day in The Hamptons lazing on the beach soaking up some rays, so we recommend booking a centrally located hotel to enjoy both the surf and the turf of The Hamptons. For instance, the Maidstone Arms Inn is situated smack dab between Main Beach and the town’s tony shopping district. (Plus, you can avoid parking fees by simply walking to the beach.) Once you’ve had your fill of sand and sales, finish off your day with a bite at one of East Hampton’s hot spots, like Nick and Toni’s. Or, if you’d prefer to stay a bit further afield, Gansett Green Manor is a short walk from the beach and the Amagansett Farmers Market. End the night with live music at the nearby Stephen Talkhouse.
  • On July 19, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the five best places to eat in The Hamptons?

    Restaurants in The Hamptons make ample use of locally harvested seafood and seasonal produce, crafting delectable dishes you won’t soon forget. Plus, there’s a plate to satisfy nearly every price point. Read on for Forbes Travel Guide’s list of the five best places to eat in the Hamptons.
     
    1. Almond. Located in downtown Bridgehampton, Almond offers up traditional French bistro fare with an eye toward unfussy, friendly service. The steak frites are always a solid choice, which we recommend pairing with the rich, unctuous macaroni and cheese.

    2. Stone Creek Inn. Head to East Quogue for French Mediterranean cuisine created with a modern twist. French chef Christian Mir has been crafting tasty meals in the crisp, neutral colored dining room since 1996, making this eatery a staple in the area. Choose from a la carte or prix fixe menus, with dishes like strozzapreti pasta with veal shank ragu, mini lobster eclairs and bouillabaisse. The wine list won’t disappoint either.

    3. The North Fork Table & Inn. Seasonality is the focus at this lavish restaurant, where the menu changes frequently to reflect the freshest ingredients available to James Beard-nominated chef Gerry Hayden. The summer tasting menu includes dishes such as butter poached Maine lobster with baby bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, pea shoots and a carrot-ginger emulsion as well as raw hamachi and seared Hudson Valley foie gras.    

    4. Lobster Roll. Known locally as “Lunch” thanks to the jaunty red-white-and-blue sign atop its roof, this Amangasett spot has been a Hamptons tradition since 1965. There’s plenty to love on this seafood joint’s menu (the lobster bisque and crab cakes come to mind), but you’ll kick yourself if you don’t sample the restaurant’s juicy namesake.  

    5. Nick & Toni’s. Reservations can be hard to come by at this East Hampton hot spot, but it’s well worth the wait. Reminiscent of a Tuscan farmhouse, colors are warm and walls are adorned with both American art and charming kids’ drawings in the three separate dining rooms. Fresh, local products are the highlight of the menu, which boasts Mediterranean and rustic Italian influences.
  • On July 19, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Where is the best shopping in The Hamptons?

    For the best upscale shopping in The Hamptons, take a stroll down Southampton’s tony Main Street. Here you’ll find a mix of smaller boutiques (Prim Rose Lane and Renaissance) and the sort of high-end retailers you’d expect to see in Manhattan (Saks Fifth Avenue, Lilly Pulitzer and Intermix). Of course, there’s also an array of local retailers, like independent bookseller BookHampton and the drool-worthy Fudge Company.

    If you’re looking for a taste of days gone by in the Hamptons, the enclave is rich with top-notch antique shopping, as well. Locals will likely disagree over which village is best, but we suggest making your way to Bridgehampton, where Hampton Briggs Antiques and English Country Antiques are particular standouts.
  • On July 19, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the five best things to do with kids in The Hamptons?

    The Hamptons aren’t just a playground for adults — kids will find plenty to keep their little hands occupied too. Here are the five best things to do with kids in The Hamptons.
                                                              
    1. The beach. Build sandcastles and dip little piggies in the water on one of the Hamptons beautiful beaches. East Hamptons’ Main Beach has all the amenities your kids will love (including a concession stand), while Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack will be a little less crowded, giving your children room to rove.

    2. The Children’s Museum of the East End.  A perfect indoor activity for a rainy day, the Children’s Museum of the East End will let your kids’ imaginations run wild with its free art studio, read along and host of interactive displays and exhibits.

    3. The Fudge Company. Indulge your little one’s sweet tooth at this Southampton institution. With more than a dozen varieties of fudge — including old fashioned chocolate and maple walnut fudge — the hardest decision you’ll make all day is picking just one (if that’s possible).

    4. Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center. Get up close and personal with wildlife at this Atlantis-themed aquarium flanking the Peconic River. Feed the sting rays, waddle like the penguins or take in the spectacular sea lion show, one of the aquarium’s most popular attractions.

    5. Mashomack Preserve. This nature conservancy on Shelter Island is a hiker’s paradise with 10 miles of coastline and acres of creeks, woodlands and fields to explore. A word to the wise: you’ll probably want to reserve this activity for older children.
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