Home to affluent Manhattanites, celebrities, and various descendants of lumber barons, oil tycoons, and steel magnates, the Hamptons are lined with sprawling estates separated by boxy hedgerows, charming farms where you can swing in for homemade goods, and boutique shops selling everything from designer wares to dusty antiques.
Historic lighthouses stand as reminders of the area’s maritime heritage, museums are filled with relics from a once-vibrant whaling industry, and a bouquet of picture-perfect towns envelops it all. Whether you’ve booked a night of Hamptons accommodation or are just looking to get out of the city for the day, there are plenty of things to do in the Hamptons and Long Island.
Sag Harbor, Shopping & Sightseeing
Get a lay of the land as you cruise around the Hamptons with an Empire Vacations guide, spotting celebrity homes, exploring quaint towns on foot, and taking time to do a bit of shopping along the way. After breakfast in Riverhead, check out the mansions in Southampton and toward the town of Sag Harbor. Take some time to explore this historic port’s charming waterfront, dig your toes into the sand at Havens Beach, and then head over to the Tanger Outlets to look for the perfect swimsuit before you head back to the Big Apple.
Coopers Beach & Main Beach
With white sand to rival most tropical destinations, Coopers Beach is a Hamptons must-do. Grab a beach chair and an umbrella to keep things cool and shady, dip into the cool blue waters of the Atlantic if you get too hot, and enjoy old-time concession stands filled with snacks that are sure to make your day on the beach one to remember.
If you’re looking to rub elbows with the Hamptons’ ritziest residents, Main Beach is your go-to destination. With beach activities ranging from volleyball to celebrity sightings, this exclusive strip of sand is as exciting as it is hard to reach. Parking is by permit only, so grab a taxi from somewhere nearby. Make sure to wear your star-worthiest sunnies and best beach duds—you never know who you might see.
Just a short drive out of Manhattan, and a slight detour on your way to the Hamptons, the nostalgic rides and boardwalk of Luna Park hearken back to Coney Island’s bygone days.
Grab admission with unlimited rides and spend the afternoon screaming down the Steeplechase, swooping around on the Brooklyn Flyer, and clattering down the slopes of the Cyclone, Luna Park’s historic wooden roller coaster. Play some waterfront beach games to win kitschy prizes, grab a hot dog from Nathan’s, or go for a stroll down the boardwalk, listening to the symphony of surf and circus.
Where to stay
To experience one of America’s most exclusive destinations, check into a gorgeous Expedia + VIP Access hotel. The Montauk Yacht Club Resort and Marina may be secluded, but it boasts a prime spot on Star Island. Stay near Montauk Marine Basin and Gin Beach, or embrace your inner landlubber on the golf course at Montauk Downs State Park. A study in nautical chic, the resort sprawls along the waterfront, with a fabulous pool and a first-class marina. So, bring your bathing suit and your boat, too! Each guest room or suite is equipped with its own entertainment system and lavish amenities, including cozy bathrobes, private balconies and patios, and premium linens. Between adventures on the lake and sea, dine at one of the resort’s eateries or bars for good vibes and excellent cuisine.
However you decide to spend your vacation in the Hamptons, you’re in for a treat!