On July 19, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: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 18, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:You won’t find high-rise hotels or big-name chains in the Hamptons — this resort area favors quaint inns and bucolic bed and breakfasts over hotels. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the five best places to stay in the Hamptons.
1. 1708 House. As its moniker would suggest, 1708 House was once an 18th-century residence, renovated in the 1990s into this Southampton B&B (conveniently located on Main Street next door to Saks Fifth Avenue). With its mix of rustic charm and old-world elegance (the wine cellar has been restored to museum-quality), 1708 House is an inviting place to call home for your Hamptons vacation.
2. A Butler’s Manor. Owned by a former butler with 20 years of experience in the U.S. and abroad, A Butler’s Manor doesn’t skimp on the white-glove experience. From independently operated thermostats to private bathrooms for each guest room, this cheery, yellow shingled bed and breakfast caters to its guests like few others. Situated on an acre of manicured gardens surrounding a picturesque pool, you may be tempted to abandon the beach for an afternoon spent on the luscious grounds.
3. The Baker House 1650. You won’t miss the prestige of a hotel when staying at the Baker House 1650 — considered the most luxurious (and expensive) B&B in The Hamptons. This 17th-century-built residence boasts nearly every amenity imaginable, from lavishly appointed rooms (complete with L’Occitane toiletries) to a luxury spa. Beneath the guest rooms you’ll find a lap pool, sauna, steam shower and spa tub. Expect to be pampered.
4. The Hedges Inn. Built in the 1800s, the Hedges Inn underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 2008, meaning its 12 guest rooms boast modern comforts while reflecting the residence’s antique appeal. Overlooking Town Pond, the Hedges Inn is a convenient walk from restaurants and shopping.
5. Southampton Inn. The Southampton Inn is a particularly good choice for families as 21 of the Tudor residence’s rooms adjoin with second rooms to accommodate larger groups. And with five expansive acres, which include a heated outdoor pool, tennis courts, and volleyball, they’ll be well entertained too. If you head to the inn during the winter months, you’ll find the charming library outfitted with a Steinway piano and crackling fireplace to warm any chilled fingers and toes.
On July 11, 2012Caroline Patek answered the question:Whether you’re looking for a casually raucous night or a sophisticated dinner out, The Hamptons has you covered, especially during the sweltering summer months when the area’s nightlife comes alive. First, there’s Rowdy Hall in East Hampton, where burgers and beer reign supreme. If you’re looking for live music, head to the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, where everyone from Billy Joel to Paul McCartney have taken the stage. (Cover varies depending upon the act.) For something a little more refined, head to Le Flirt, where you can enjoy a live cabaret performance or dance to music from the DJ. Other notable hotspots include Surf Lodge in Montauk, SL East in East Hampton and Southampton Social Club.
On July 11, 2012Caroline Patek answered the question:There are almost as many ways to get to The Hamptons from Manhattan as there are beaches to lie on once you get there. The best way to get to the East End? We recommend avoiding the highway gridlock in favor of an air-conditioned car on the Long Island Railroad. Come summer, the LIRR offers its Fridays-only Hamptons Reserve Service aboard the Cannonball Express, which leaves from various points around the city with stops in Hampton Bays, Southampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Amagansett and Montauk. The entire trip takes about two hours and 45 minutes. If you buy a one-way ticket before boarding, it’s only $37 ($43 once onboard).
If you’re not leaving on Friday — or would prefer highway transportation — there’s always the Hampton Jitney bus, which departs from Manhattan’s East Side daily. Or if you’re yearning for slightly fancier wheels, try the Hampton Luxury Liner, which boasts leather reclining seats, ample legroom and a snack bar.
On July 11, 2012Caroline Patek answered the question:With the ocean just steps away in The Hamptons, how can you not take home a sampling of the area’s fresh catches for a little grilling? Forbes Travel Guide's editors suggest stocking up on flounder, tuna and striped bass at a local mart, like Stuart’s Seafood Market, which has been serving the Hamptons since 1955. If you’re looking for something a bit more portable, get the market’s Clambake To Go, a ready-to-heat pot layered with lobsters, steamers, mussels, potatoes and corn on the cob.