The Hamptons, a world-renowned string of seaside communities, has long been celebrated as a popular summer retreat for many city dwellers, especially affluent New Yorkers.
However, this beguiling East End of Long Island is more than just an escape— it’s a lifestyle, a state of mind, and a dream. This introductory guide to the Hamptons will ensure you enjoy every minute of your visit; from the best beaches to gourmet eateries, art galleries, and trendy boutiques, we’ve got you covered.
Enjoying the Hamptons and the North Fork
The Hamptons is a general term for the villages and hamlets in the townships of Southampton and East Hampton. This string of communities forms the South Fork of Long Island and extends roughly 50 miles eastward from Westhampton to Montauk and includes Sag Harbor on Gardner’s Bay.
It’s the playground of the wealthy, famous, artists and musicians and any who appreciate an exquisite blend of natural beauty, historic charm, and an upscale lifestyle. It’s also an active agricultural preserve where the uniquely temperate climate is perfect for wine-growing, orchards, and farm-to-table produce.
The North Fork (essentially from Riverhead to Orient Point) is the “quieter,” more rural East End experience, richly carpeted with vineyards, artisanal farms and charming small towns. Wonderful restaurants, roadside vegetable stands, antique shops, and local artisans can be found all along this beautiful peninsula.
Best Time to Visit
Peak season in the Hamptons is summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It’s when the beaches are vibrant, the sun is warm, and the towns come to life with events, garden parties, weddings, and more.
However, “off-season”—fall, winter, and spring— offers its own unique appeal. The crowds thin out, prices become more reasonable, and the natural beauty shifts from sunny beach days to colorful autumn leaves, peaceful winter snowscapes, and blooming spring flowers. Any time of year, the Hamptons and the North Fork are a special joy to visit and experience.
The Hamptons are located at the eastern end of Long Island, about 100 miles from New York City. Accessible by car, train (the Long Island Rail Road) , or bus (Hampton Jitney or Hampton Luxury Liner). If you’re feeling fancy, you can also charter helicopters or small planes to Westhampton or East Hampton Airports. (Note: the Hampton Jitney Westhampton Line stops directly in front of the Quogue Club.)
Where to Stay
Accommodations in the Hamptons range from ultra-luxurious hotels and resorts to quaint bed-and-breakfasts and vacation rentals. Voted 2019 Best Luxury Hotel in Suffolk County by Lux Review, The Quogue Club at Hallock House, a private club and four-star boutique hotel, is among the top-rated places to stay (Check Availability).
The Quogue Club (for short) has been featured in Architectural Digest, Modern Luxury, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Hamptons Magazine and more. (View All Press Mentions)
Best to book well in advance if you plan to visit in summer!
Beaches and Outdoor Activities
The Hamptons is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast. If you’re staying at the Quogue Club, you’ll have free access to the beautiful Quogue Village Beach.
In addition, Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton, Tiana Beach in Hampton Bays, Coopers Beach in Southampton, Main Beach in East Hampton, and Ditch Plains in Montauk are all lovely public beaches and local favorites within a short driving distance, with small fees for non-residents.
Besides sunbathing and swimming, enjoy water sports like ocean fishing (deep sea and shoreside), surfing, paddleboarding, and sailing from spring through our beautiful falls. The area also boasts numerous hiking trails, vineyards for wine tasting, golf courses, and the Quogue Wildlife Refuge.
Dining in the Hamptons
The Hamptons’ and North Fork dining scene reflect the variety and quality you would expect, from informal shoreside restaurants to sophisticated gourmet fare… and everything in between. Needless to add, fresh seafood is abundant, courtesy of the professional fishing fleet docked at Hampton Bays and delicious local clams and oysters.
There are also plenty of casual diners, farmer’s markets, coffee shops and food stands serving everything from lobster rolls to artisan ice cream.
Hotel guests at the Quogue Club can experience exceptional fare, courtesy of their highly regarded executive chef, Matthew Birnstill. He’s an LI native who has been head chef for some of the best restaurants on the East End, most recently including Zagat’s highly rated 1770 House in East Hampton.
Shopping and Culture
The Hamptons offers a diverse shopping experience with upscale boutiques, antique stores, and local artisan shops. Additionally, it’s a thriving hub for arts and culture.
Be sure to visit the Quogue Gallery (directly across from the Quogue Club) , the Parrish Art Museum, Guild Hall, and the plethora of galleries featuring local and international artists. In addition the Bay Street Theater puts on exceptional theater productions, often featuring major stars as well as local talent all year long and the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center boasts major artists and comedians from around the US.
The Hamptons is more than just a tourist destination—it’s home to a relaxed community of fulltime and seasonal residents. Please be mindful of the local etiquette: keep noise levels down, respect private property signs, keep our beaches clean, and always tip your servers and staff.
A visit to the Hamptons is a chance to experience a unique blend of beachside relaxation, refined luxury, and a rich cultural scene. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, we hope this guide will help you make the most of your Hamptons adventure.