Most people associate things to do in New York with the busy streets in New York City, not the Hamptons. Yet, the Hamptons are a unique area of the state that offer a more peaceful vibe.
This location is found on the eastern Long Island’s South Fork, and it’s known for beaches, farmlands, and smaller towns. So, it’s the perfect peaceful getaway from New York City.
Here are 12 of the best things to do in the Hamptons.
#1 – Cooper’s Beach
The Hamptons are home to several beaches, but Cooper’s Beach is certainly the most popular. It stretches across 500 feet of shoreline, and it’s known for its great waves, clear waters, and clean sand.
It has lots of quality amenities, including chairs, umbrellas, bathrooms, showers, and concessions. Some even consider it one of the best beaches in the country, but there’s one downside. It’s near where many wealthy homes are, so the price for parking is unusually expensive. So, if you park for the day, make sure to enjoy some other sights in the area too.
#2 – Montauk Point State Park
Montauk is a popular area of the Hamptons, and the Montauk Point State Park doesn’t disappoint. It has a clifftop hiking trail along the Atlantic Ocean, so it has some of the most beautiful sights.
The most popular spot in the park is the Montauk Lighthouse, which is the oldest lighthouse in the state. It was commissioned by George Washington back in 1792. This area is also a great spot for activities like paddle boarding, windsurfing, and exploring. You might even see seals hanging out at the shore.
#3 – Wine Tasting
This might not be one specific attraction, but it’s one of the most popular activities in the area. Lots of local wine is made in the Hamptons, so there are plenty of opportunities to go wine tasting.
Most of the popular vineyards are located in North Folk, which is the more rustic side of the Hamptons. Some of the best vineyards include Croteaux, Wölffer Estate Vineyards, Duck Walk Vineyards, Corey Creek, and Channing Daughters. You might as well stop by at least one on your trip.
#4 – Main Beach
Main Beach might not live up to Cooper’s Beach, but it’s still one of the best things to do in the Hamptons. It’s another one of America’s best beaches due to its litter-free white sands and blue waters.
This beach has concessions, bathrooms, and a lifeguard on duty. Like Cooper’s Beach, the main concern is the pricey parking fees, but it’s possible that you’ll run into a celebrity during your visit. It’s recommended that you plan ahead to make sure you get a good parking spot.
#5 – Ditch Plains
Ditch Plains in Montauk is considered the best place in the area to go surfing. Not only are the waves ideal for the occasion, but it also has beautiful cliffside views while you’re surfing.
The waves get bigger the further east you travel, so this area is recommended for more advanced surfers. Of course, if you decide to take a break early, there are some food trucks you can stop at after. Like the popular beaches, Ditch Plains also requires an expensive parking permit to enter. So, many visitors will try to get a ride there to avoid the additional cost.
#6 – Parrish Art Museum
The Parrish Art Museum building isn’t what you’d expect from a museum. It’s a long, barn-like structure with two peaked roofs. Yet, the uniqueness doesn’t stop there.
The museum was built in 1987, and it was a home for Quaker Samuel Parrish’s art collection. This building’s collection has expanded so much since then, especially after a local resident donated their art collection as well.
The exhibits and galleries change regularly, and a lot of the art showcased in this museum is from local artists.
#7 – The Big Duck
The Big Duck is certainly one of the most unique things to do in the Hamptons. It’s exactly as it sounds: a statue of a large duck.
The duck is 20 feet tall and 30 feet long. It’s actually a small building, where a duck farmer used to sell ducks and eggs out of it. Today, it’s simply a wacky gift shop and information center for tourists.
The duck sits on Big Duck Ranch, which is now registered as a historical place. So, this silly photo opportunity is also a historical duck!
#8 – The Surf Lodge
The Surf Lodge is a popular motel in Montauk, but you can enjoy it even if you’re not staying there. It’s an excellent bar and restaurant, but it’s best known for its summer concert series.
It has hosted plenty of famous acts like John Legend, Patti Smith, and the Flaming Lips. You can even watch the show from a boat in the water if you plan accordingly.
It’s also known as a popular location for celebrities to hang out at. The Surf Lodge might look just like an everyday motel, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.
#9 – Pollock-Krasner House and Studio
The Hamptons were once the home of many famous artists. One of which was Jackson Pollock and his wife Lee Krasner.
Today, the couple’s home has been renovated into a beautiful museum that guests can tour. It sits on a 1.5-acre property, and it’s open to visitors from May to October.
Guests can see where the couple lived, the studios they worked in, and even some of the structure’s original furnishings. Of course, you’ll also see many spectacular pieces on display, so it’s a dream come true for any art enthusiast.
#10 – LongHouse Reserve
The Hamptons aren’t just about beaches. There are also plenty of beautiful green nature spaces too. LongHouse Reserve is a 16-acre garden that’s beautifully landscaped.
One of the most notable parts of the park is Peter’s Pond, which is full of bullfrogs, water lilies, and lotus plants.
An area of the attraction is even a sculpture garden, where you can find many unique outdoor installations. Some sculptures include a giant chess set by Yoko Ono and a dome with many round openings. This is a peaceful place to visit that’ll give you a breath of fresh air.
#11 – Quogue Wildlife Refuge
The Quogue Wildlife Refuge is another one of the best things to do in the Hamptons for nature lovers. It has seven miles of hiking trails that pass forests, ponds, and animals.
This refuge is a home for native New York creatures that can no longer survive in the wild on their own. Bobcats, bald eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons are just some of the animals you might see during your visit.
This refuge is also home to rare dwarf pines, which you might encounter while you’re hiking. If you’re hoping to learn even more, there’s a nature library, wildlife exhibits, and even a gift shop.
#12 – Camp Hero State Park
Camp Hero State Park is a famous park located near Montauk Point State Park. Yet, this attraction is a little more eerie. It’s a mysterious former military base, and sci-fi fans might recognize it as an inspiration for the showStranger Things.
A fenced-off radar dish is one of the signature landmarks, which was built in 1958. It also has many concrete structures scattered around, which have lots of rumors about them.
Many believe that these buildings were once used for human experimentation and other horrific events. This park also has trails near wooded areas and beaches, but the mysterious parts are certainly the most intriguing.
If you’re planning to travel to the Hamptons, you’ll realize that it’s different than the most famous part of New York. But luckily, there are still plenty of fun things to do in the Hamptons, so you’ll have the trip of a lifetime. These 12 fun attractions are sure to make it a trip you’ll never forget.