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
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the 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 June 21, 2013
    Debora Toth answered the question: Debora Toth

    What are the best wineries to visit in The Hamptons?

    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

    What is the art scene like in The Hamptons?

    Artists have been drawn to the Hamptons for decades and the art scene remains lively with many influential artists living in the area and continuing to show their work. This is the first summer to visit the new Parrish Museum along Montauk Highway in Water Mill; it showcases the story of America’s most enduring and influential artists’ colony on Eastern Long Island. The house and studio of the legendary artists Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner in the village of Springs in East Hampton invite visitors to put on little slippers and walk upon his paint-splattered studio floor. Nearby, Green River cemetery is Pollock and Krasner’s final resting place along with numerous East End artists with unique headstones that are works of art themselves.
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  • On June 21, 2013
    Debora Toth answered the question: Debora Toth

    What are the best beaches in The Hamptons?

    Inhale the salty sea air, dig your toes into the white soft sand, and admire those majestic mansions along the oceanfront — you’re in the Hamptons. But beware: Parking is hard to come by and you’ll be fined if you don’t have a resident pass. East Hampton’s sublime Main Beach and Two Mile Hollow Beach offer $25 per day parking on weekdays and a limited number of daily parking tickets on weekends and holidays. Ditch Plains Beach, two miles east of Montauk, is a popular spot to watch surfers and take a swim. (Hungry? Look for the Ditch Witch food truck in the parking lot with a menu scrawled on a beat-up surfboard.) Coopers Beach, considered the gem of Southampton, stretches 500 feet along the Atlantic shoreline. It offers a concession stand, chair and umbrella rentals, bathrooms and freshwater showers.
  • On June 21, 2013
    Debora Toth answered the question: Debora Toth

    Where is the best nightlife in The Hamptons?

    Chances are you won’t get a last-minute invitation to a private Hampton’s fundraiser with the A-listers. No problem. The Stephen Talkhouse along Main Street in East Hampton draws a lively young crowd and amazing live music performances. In the past, well-known musicians have dropped by unexpectedly to sit in on stage. Tucked away in an alley off Main Street, the Blue Parrot, described as East Hampton’s favorite dive bar, brings together local residents and summertime visitors with its casual attitude. Originally opened in 1981 by a group of surfers, it’s now owned by actress Renée Zellweger, billionaire Ron Perelman, and rocker Jon Bon Jovi, who has been known to drop in from time to time. (Tex-Mex food and local bands take the stage on other nights.) The Memory Motel bar in Montauk, immortalized by the 1970s Rolling Stones song, offers live acts, strong drinks, plenty of dancing, and a party crowd.
  • On June 21, 2013
    Debora Toth answered the question: Debora Toth

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

    Traffic is one of the biggest complaints about the Hamptons — be sure to bring a lot of patience, take a taxi, or try a few alternatives. Join others and rent some wheels at Bermuda Bikes, the easiest way to see the manicured lawns and gated mansions along Ocean Avenue (and get a guaranteed spot at the beach.) Bike rentals are available by the hour, the day, or the week. You can also take to the water with Hampton Marine and Charter for a half-day or full-day tour of Gardiners and Shelter Island with stops to swim or tour Sag Harbor. Kayak rentals from Main Beach Surf & Sport allow a few hours to see the natural beauty of Georgica Pond and the stunning multimillion-dollar estates of those such as billionaire Ronald Perelman and director Steven Spielberg.
  • On June 21, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the 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 June 21, 2013
    Debora Toth answered the question: Debora Toth

    What are the best places to eat in The Hamptons?

    Although spread throughout the Hamptons, great restaurants are pretty easy to come by — if you know where to look. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors picked these top spots:

    1. Gosman’s. Get a panoramic view of the ocean with lunch or dinner at this Montauk spot. Enjoy a hearty bowl of fresh Manhattan clam chowder followed by Montauk jumbo fluke or local sea scallops.

    2. B. Smith’s. Located in the charming and historic village of Sag Harbor, B. Smith’s has outdoor seating with views of the bay as well as the yachts lined up in the harbor. Start with a cool summer gazpacho soup and try the tasty Block Island swordfish or fresh Maine lobsters.

    3. Bobby Vans Steakhouse. This Bridgehampton restaurant is known for its melt-in-your-mouth seafood and rib-eyes as well as its outdoor seating perfect for people watching.

    4. Silver’s Restaurant. Lunch is the only meal served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Silver’s Restaurant along Main Street in Southampton. Our favorites? The heavenly lobster bisque made with cognac and sherry and the fresh lobster roll.

    5. 1770 House. This tony and historic inn located in East Hampton features its own restaurant with chef Michael Rozzi at the helm. Expect dishes such as local swordfish, suckling pig confit and Scottish salmon.
  • On June 21, 2013
    Debora Toth answered the question: Debora Toth

    What are the best places to stay in The Hamptons?

    In the Hamptons you’ll find chic, beachy inns, not big hotel brands. It can be difficult to decipher one from the next without a little help and insider knowledge. To wit, here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the best places to book an overnight stay in the Hamptons:

    1. c/o The Maidstone Hotel. This luxury Scandinavian-cool boutique hotel in East Hampton offers individually decorated rooms, views of the village pond and an on-site restaurant.

    2. Baker House 1650. If you’re looking for an English manor feel with gorgeous grounds and beautiful architecture in East Hampton, this is your spot. An infinity-edge pool, spa, library and a full-stocked bar are just some of the amenities here.

    3. East Hampton Point. This elegant waterfront place may be the closest thing to a full-blown resort in the Hamptons — it’s got a pool, tennis courts, playground, a restaurant and full service marina where you can park your boat.

    4. The Inn at Windmill Lake. While there are only seven guest rooms at this quiet spot in Amagansett, they are all-out luxe with wood burning fireplaces and marble bathrooms. The three cottages each have a gym and steam room.    

    5. The American Hotel. In the picturesque enclave of Sag Harbor, this charming red brick Victorian hotel has a welcoming front porch along the village’s main street and is steps from the harbor.
  • On June 21, 2013
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best places to stay in The Hamptons?

    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.
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