Best Things to Do in The Hamptons, NY: 12 Must-See Attractions

by Jen
Best Things to Do in The Hamptons, NY
This post may have affiliate links, where I receive a commission if you purchase through them. Here's our Disclosure and Privacy Policy for more info.

Are you thinking about visiting the Hamptons in New York this year? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in the Hamptons. These picturesque sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for an unforgettable vacation experience.

The Hamptons, a name that immediately brings to mind sun-soaked beaches, sprawling mansions, and a lifestyle steeped in luxury. Situated on the eastern tip of Long Island, this cluster of coastal communities serves as a haven for the affluent and renowned. However, don’t be discouraged, because the Hamptons provide a wide array of things to do that cater to various types of travelers.

While the Hamptons are often associated with summer getaways, there’s something to be said for its year-round appeal. Imagine sipping on locally-produced wine as you gaze out at a vineyard blanketed in snow, or taking a scenic hike through russet-colored forests in the fall. And let’s not forget the beaches—miles and miles of pristine coastline that offer a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

This destination is steeped in history, from its centuries-old windmills to its storied maritime past. Add to that a vibrant arts scene, delectable dining options, and an array of outdoor activities, and you’ve got a locale that’s as diverse as it is beautiful.

So, whether you’re planning a weekend escape or an extended vacation, the Hamptons promise a blend of luxury, adventure, and natural beauty that’s hard to resist. Ready to explore? Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in the Hamptons.

The top places to visit in the Hamptons, NY right now
This article on the Best Things To Do in the Hamptons, NY contains affiliate links where I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Best Places to Visit in the Hamptons

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in the Hamptons? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this underrated vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique Hamptons places to visit.

Are you looking to spend your days soaking up the sun on the beach? Or would you prefer exploring art galleries and attending upscale parties? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in the Hamptons can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in the Hamptons that you should know about.

1. Coopers Beach

Ah, Coopers Beach—a name synonymous with the quintessential Hamptons experience. Imagine sinking your toes into powdery white sand as the rhythmic sound of waves fills the air. This Southampton gem is not just a beach; it’s a sanctuary if you’re looking to escape the daily grind.

What sets Coopers Beach apart? For starters, it’s consistently ranked among the top beaches in America. The amenities are top-notch, with lifeguards, chair rentals, and even a snack bar serving up local favorites. But what truly makes it one of the best places in the Hamptons is its unparalleled beauty. The dunes are dotted with American beachgrass, and the horizon seems to stretch on forever, offering the perfect backdrop for a romantic sunset or a reflective morning walk.

Water sports enthusiasts will find their slice of heaven here. From paddleboarding to surfing, the options are endless. And if terra firma is preferred, the nearby shops and art galleries offer a different kind of adventure.

Coolest things to do in the Hamptons? You bet, Coopers Beach has it all. Whether you’re building sandcastles with the little ones or diving into a gripping novel, this beach offers a versatile playground that caters to all moods and preferences.

Coopers Beach is one of the best things to do in the Hamptons, NY.
Coopers Beach: Sink your toes into powdery white sand, embrace the rhythmic waves, and escape to a sanctuary.

2. Montauk Point Lighthouse

The iconic Montauk Point Lighthouse, where history and natural beauty converge. This is more than just a lighthouse; it stands as a tribute to the abundant maritime heritage of the Hamptons. Constructed in 1796, it holds the distinction of being New York State’s oldest lighthouse and a recognized National Historic Landmark.

The lighthouse offers more than just a pretty facade. Climb its 137 iron steps, and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views that are nothing short of breathtaking. From the top, you can see the Atlantic Ocean meeting Block Island Sound—a sight that will make your Instagram followers green with envy.

For those who love to fish, the area surrounding the lighthouse is a prime spot. Cast a line and you might just reel in a striped bass or bluefish. It’s one of those Hamptons attractions that offers something for everyone, from history buffs to nature lovers.

Where to visit in the Hamptons for a dose of culture? The Montauk Point Lighthouse Museum is a must. It houses fascinating exhibits that delve into the area’s history, including shipwrecks and the lives of the lighthouse keepers.

Montauk Point Lighthouse: A historic marvel and symbol of the town's maritime legacy since 1796.
Montauk Point Lighthouse: A historic marvel and symbol of the town’s maritime legacy since 1796.

3. The Parrish Art Museum

What to do in the Hamptons if you love art? Art enthusiasts, rejoice! The Parrish Art Museum is a sanctuary of modern and contemporary art that you won’t want to miss. Nestled in Water Mill, this architectural marvel is a testament to the vibrant art scene in the Hamptons. The museum’s design itself is a work of art, featuring a sleek, horizontal layout that mimics the natural landscape.

Inside, you’ll find a curated collection that spans centuries, from American Impressionist paintings to cutting-edge installations. The museum frequently rotates its exhibits, ensuring that there’s always something new to see. Unique things to do in the Hamptons? This is it. You can even participate in art workshops and attend lectures by renowned artists.

But wait, there’s more. The museum’s outdoor sculpture garden is a visual feast, featuring works from artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Willem de Kooning. It’s a tranquil setting where art and nature coalesce, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a moment of reflection.

Hamptons places to visit often focus on beaches and luxury, but the Parrish Art Museum offers a different kind of richness—a richness of the mind and soul. It’s a must-see for anyone looking to delve deeper into the artistic heartbeat of this glamorous destination.

Art lovers, rejoice at the Parrish Art Museum in the Hamptons. Contemporary sanctuary in Water Mill with landscape-inspired architecture, celebrating vibrant art scene.
Art lovers, rejoice at the Parrish Art Museum. Contemporary sanctuary in Water Mill with landscape-inspired architecture, celebrating vibrant art scene.

4. The Wolffer Estate Vineyard

The Hamptons, a place closely linked with opulence and, perhaps surprisingly, some of the finest wines on the East Coast. The Wolffer Estate Vineyard serves as a prime example, offering one of the coolest activities in the Hamptons—wine tasting in an undeniably idyllic setting.

The vineyard is set on a 55-acre property, complete with a Tuscan-style mansion that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a European daydream. Rows upon rows of grapevines stretch as far as the eye can see, offering a picturesque backdrop for your wine-tasting adventure.

Now, let’s talk about wine. From crisp rosés to full-bodied reds, the selection is diverse and impeccably crafted. The vineyard even offers seasonal wines, made from the freshest local ingredients. It’s a must-see in the Hamptons for any wine aficionado or anyone looking to elevate their palate.

And if you’re in the mood for a little romance, the vineyard hosts “Sunset Fridays” and “Sunset Saturdays,” where you can enjoy live music as the sun dips below the horizon. It’s the perfect way to cap off a day in this luxurious enclave.

Visit Wolffer Estate Vineyard, synonymous with luxury, it also boasts fine wines.
Visit Wolffer Estate Vineyard, synonymous with luxury, it also boasts fine wines.

5. The Hampton Classic Horse Show

When it comes to Hamptons attractions, the Hampton Classic Horse Show is in a league of its own. This annual event is a magnet for horse lovers, celebrities, and those who appreciate the finer things in life. It’s one of those Hamptons things to do that you won’t find just anywhere.

The show features a week-long series of competitions, exhibitions, and shopping opportunities. From the Grand Prix to the Hunter Derby, the events are a spectacle of grace, power, and incredible skill. The riders and their horses execute jumps, turns, and gallops that are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

The Hampton Classic also offers a boutique garden with over 70 shops, selling everything from bespoke riding gear to gourmet food. And let’s not forget the social scene; the VIP tents are a who’s who of the East Coast elite.

In the evenings, the venue transforms. Live music fills the air, and the atmosphere turns electric. It’s a Hamptons place to visit that offers something for everyone, from the equestrian enthusiast to the casual observer looking for a unique experience.

The Hampton Classic Horse Show is a unique attraction, drawing horse lovers and celebrities for an exceptional experience.
The Hampton Classic Horse Show is a unique attraction, drawing horse lovers and celebrities for an exceptional experience.

6. The Pollock-Krasner House

The Hamptons: Known for its glitz and glamour, but did you know it’s also a haven for art enthusiasts? One of the best places to go in the Hamptons for art lovers has to be the Pollock-Krasner House. This isn’t just a museum; it’s the former home and studio of abstract expressionist painters Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner.

Walking into this space is like stepping into a time capsule of 20th-century art. The floor of the barn-turned-studio is splattered with remnants of Pollock’s iconic “drip” paintings. You can almost feel the creative energy in the air, making it one of the coolest activities in the Hamptons for anyone with an artistic bent.

Guided tours offer insights into the lives and works of these legendary artists. You’ll learn about their techniques, their struggles, and their profound impact on modern art. The house itself is a charming, rustic abode that reflects the couple’s simple lifestyle, contrasting sharply with the complexity of their art.

Don’t miss the sculpture garden, which features works by local artists. It’s a serene spot for reflection, perhaps inspiring your own creative endeavors. For art aficionados and casual visitors alike, the Pollock-Krasner House is a Hamptons must-see.

Visit Pollock-Krasner House, once home to painters Pollock and Krasner, a must for art lovers.
Visit Pollock-Krasner House, once home to painters Pollock and Krasner, a must for art lovers.

7. The Children’s Museum of the East End

Speaking of must-see in the Hamptons that are family-friendly, the Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE) truly stands out. Discard any preconceived notions of museums being formal and hands-off; at CMEE, interactive engagement is the heart of the experience!

Nestled in the heart of Bridgehampton, CMEE offers a plethora of intehamp[tractive exhibits designed to spark curiosity and imagination in young minds. From a nautical-themed room where kids can pretend to be sailors to a mini farmers market complete with toy produce, the museum is a treasure trove of educational fun.

Parents will appreciate the thoughtful design of each exhibit, which aims to educate as much as entertain. The museum also hosts a variety of workshops and events throughout the year, making it one of the best places in the Hamptons for family-friendly activities.

And let’s not forget the outdoor space. With a ship to climb, a mini-golf course, and even a vegetable garden, it’s easy to spend an entire day here. For families looking to mix education with enjoyment, a visit to the CMEE is one of the coolest things to do in the Hamptons.

Children's Museum of the East End (CMEE) is one of the best things to do in the Hamptons, NY.
For family fun, the Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE) shines. Interactive engagement is key, redefining the museum experience.

8. The Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum

Unique places in the Hamptons aren’t hard to find if you know where to look. Tucked away in Southampton, the Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum offers a profound experience that’s both educational and deeply moving. This isn’t your typical museum; it’s a living testament to the rich history and vibrant culture of the Shinnecock people.

Upon entering, you’re greeted by a series of exhibits that tell the story of the Shinnecock Nation, from their early days as fishermen and farmers to their struggles and triumphs in the modern era. The museum is filled with artifacts, photographs, and traditional crafts that offer a window into a world that many know little about.

What makes this museum truly special are the guided tours led by Shinnecock members themselves. They offer invaluable insights into their culture, traditions, and ongoing efforts to preserve their heritage. It’s not just a visit; it’s an experience that leaves you enriched and enlightened.

Where to go in the Hamptons to witness indigenous cultures that offer more than just beachside glamor? The Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum is the answer. It’s a place that invites you to look beyond the surface and delve into the rich tapestry of America’s native history.

Discover a unique gem: Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum. Experience their rich history and culture in a profound and moving way.
Discover a unique gem: Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum. Experience their rich history and culture in a profound and moving way.

9. The LongHouse Reserve

The Hamptons boast their reputation for luxury and prestige, yet they are also home to some of the most fascinating and distinctive activities in the region. Take, for instance, the LongHouse Reserve. Situated in East Hampton, this 16-acre oasis offers one of the best things to do in the Hamptons, catering to both art enthusiasts and nature aficionados.

As you stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens, you’ll encounter a diverse collection of sculptures and installations from renowned artists. From Yoko Ono to Willem de Kooning, the art here is as eclectic as it is inspiring. But it’s not just about the art; the gardens themselves are a masterpiece, designed to evoke different moods and sensations as you wander through.

The LongHouse Reserve also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including art workshops, garden tours, and even moonlit walks. It’s a place that encourages you to engage with art in a more intimate, tactile way.

If you think they’ve seen all the Hamptons places to visit, the LongHouse Reserve offers a fresh perspective. It’s a feast for the senses and among the cool destinations in the Hamptons for anyone looking to experience the artistic soul of this iconic destination.

The town's allure extends beyond luxury, with unique activities like LongHouse Reserve. A 16-acre oasis in the east.
The town’s allure extends beyond luxury, with unique activities like LongHouse Reserve. A 16-acre oasis in the east.

10. The Madoo Conservancy

A place where the sea meets sophistication, and where you can find some of the best places to go in the Hamptons that aren’t just beaches or ritzy parties. One such treasure is the Madoo Conservancy. Tucked away in Sagaponack, this 2-acre garden is a haven to those who appreciate the subtler forms of beauty.

The Madoo Conservancy is not your average garden; it’s a living canvas painted with a diverse array of flora. From the whimsical to the exotic, each section of the garden offers a unique experience. Picture this: walking through a meadow of wildflowers, only to stumble upon a secluded pond surrounded by weeping willows. It’s like stepping into a Monet painting!

However, what genuinely distinguishes this location is its dedication to organic gardening and ecological responsibility. They provide educational initiatives and workshops that not only enhance your grasp of horticulture but also motivate you to enact positive change in your own outdoor space.

Hamptons attractions frequently revolve around luxury and elegance, but the Madoo Conservancy provides a tranquil contrast. It stands as a distinctive destination in the Hamptons, offering an escape from the fast-paced environment, allowing you to rejuvenate in nature’s embrace. Is this one of the best things to do in the Hamptons? You bet!

Where the sea meets sophistication, the Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack is a 2-acre haven of subtle beauty.
Where the sea meets sophistication, the Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack is a 2-acre haven of subtle beauty.

11. The Bridgehampton Museum

While many flock here for the beaches and the elegance, there are also Hamptons places to visit that offer a different kind of richness—historical richness. Enter the Bridgehampton Museum, a fascinating institution that serves as a time capsule for the area’s storied past.

Located in the heart of Bridgehampton, this museum is a treasure trove of local history. From vintage photographs to antique farm tools, each exhibit tells a tale of the community’s evolution. Imagine walking through rooms filled with artifacts that date back to the 17th century. It’s like a journey through time!

The Bridgehampton Museum goes beyond being a mere static display; it offers an engaging interactive journey. They offer guided tours, educational programs, and even seasonal events that bring history to life. Ever wanted to learn about the indigenous people of the Hamptons or the area’s role in the Revolutionary War? This is your chance.

Unique things to do in the Hamptons often involve the beach or high-end shopping, but a visit to the Bridgehampton Museum offers a refreshing change of pace. It’s a place where you can enrich your mind while taking a break from the sun and surf.

Beyond beaches and elegance, discover historical richness at the Bridgehampton Museum—a captivating time capsule of the storied past. | Source: https://www.bridgehamptonmuseum.org/
Beyond beaches and elegance, discover historical richness at the Bridgehampton Museum—a captivating time capsule of the storied past. | Source: https://www.bridgehamptonmuseum.org/

12. Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum

Ahoy, history aficionados and sea lovers! If you’re compiling a list of unique places in the Hamptons, the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum is a must-see. Housed in a 19th-century mansion with a view of the harbor, this museum is a nautical nirvana that celebrates Sag Harbor’s rich maritime history.

The museum is a labyrinth of rooms filled with whaling artifacts, ship models, and paintings that capture the essence of life at sea. You’ll find harpoons, old sea charts, and even a whaleboat that once sailed the high seas. It’s a vivid reminder of the town’s whaling era, which was a significant part of its economic and cultural fabric.

It encompasses more than just history; the museum also holds contemporary art exhibitions and educational programs. They even have a garden where you can sit and ponder the tales of seafarers and whalers. It’s a serene spot that offers a respite from the bustling Hamptons scene.

Best places to go in the Hamptons often involve the beach or swanky restaurants, but the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum offers a different kind of allure. It’s a place that invites you to dive deep into the past while enjoying the present.

Don't miss the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum—a nautical gem in a 19th-century mansion with harbor views showcasing Sag Harbor's maritime history.
Don’t miss the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum—a nautical gem in a 19th-century mansion with harbor views showcasing Sag Harbor’s maritime history.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in the Hamptons

Looking for more content on the top things to do in the Hamptons? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Hamptons:

What’s the best time to visit the Hamptons?

The Hamptons come alive from Memorial Day to Labor Day, offering a vibrant mix of beach activities, festivals, and social events. However, the shoulder seasons of late spring and early fall are equally delightful, with fewer crowds and mild weather.

How do I get to the Hamptons?

You can reach the Hamptons by car, train, or even a luxury helicopter service if you’re feeling particularly extravagant. The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) offers a convenient and budget-friendly option.

Are the Hamptons family-friendly?

Absolutely! From beach outings to museum visits, there are plenty of Hamptons things to do that cater to all ages. The area is not just a playground for the rich and famous; families will find a lot to love here too.

How can I spend a day in the Hamptons?

Spending a day in the Hamptons offers a blend of relaxation, luxury, and natural beauty. Here’s a suggested itinerary to make the most of your day:

Morning:

  • Start with Breakfast: Head to a local café like the Golden Pear to enjoy a classic Hamptons breakfast.
  • Beach Time: Visit one of the beautiful beaches such as Coopers Beach or Main Beach for some sun and surf.

Midday:

  • Lunch: Enjoy a leisurely lunch at a place like The Lobster Roll, also known as Lunch, for some of the best seafood in the area.
  • Shopping: Stroll through the high-end shops in East Hampton or Southampton, where you’ll find everything from designer boutiques to charming antique stores.

Afternoon:

  • Winery Visit: Take a trip to one of the local wineries like Wölffer Estate Vineyard for some wine tasting.
  • Art and Culture: Visit the Parrish Art Museum or another local gallery to soak in some culture.

Evening:

  • Dinner: Reserve a table at a fine dining restaurant like Nick & Toni’s for a sumptuous meal.
  • Sunset: End your day by watching the sunset at a scenic spot like Montauk Point.

Remember, the Hamptons can get quite busy, especially in the summer, so it’s a good idea to make any necessary reservations in advance. Enjoy your day!

Vibrant street scene in The Hamptons, New York, showcasing colorful shops, trees, and a bustling atmosphere.
Vibrant street scene in The Hamptons, NY, showcasing colorful shops, trees, and a bustling atmosphere.

Where do people go in Hamptons?

In the Hamptons, people have a variety of popular spots and activities to choose from:

  • Beaches: Coopers Beach in Southampton and Main Beach in East Hampton offer pristine sands and excellent amenities.
  • Villages and Towns: Southampton, East Hampton, and Sag Harbor have charming downtown areas filled with boutiques, art galleries, and cafes.
  • Wineries: The North Fork of Long Island is home to numerous vineyards and wineries, perfect for wine enthusiasts.
  • Dining: High-end restaurants like Nick & Toni’s and The Palm are hotspots for excellent food and celebrity sightings.
  • Nightlife: Exclusive clubs and bars cater to the social elite, although the Hamptons are not known for a bustling nightlife.
  • Outdoor Activities: Golfing, sailing, horseback riding, hiking, and cycling are popular activities.
  • Cultural Spots: The Parrish Art Museum and the Pollock-Krasner House are must-visits for art lovers.
  • Events: High-profile events like the Hamptons International Film Festival, charity galas, and polo matches are common.
  • Shopping: High-end boutiques to antique shops, the shopping scene is diverse and luxurious.
  • Spas and Wellness: Luxurious spas and wellness centers make the Hamptons a popular wellness retreat.

Each of these points offers a glimpse into what makes the Hamptons a diverse and luxurious destination.

Is it expensive to vacation in the Hamptons?

While the Hamptons have a reputation for being a high-end destination, there are options for various budgets. From boutique hotels to charming bed-and-breakfasts, you can find accommodation that won’t break the bank.

What are the Hamptons best known for?

The Hamptons are best known as a luxurious summer escape for New York’s elite, offering pristine beaches, opulent estates, and a vibrant social scene. Renowned for its natural beauty, the area also boasts art galleries, fine dining, and various outdoor activities, making it a diverse and coveted destination. It’s a popular summer destination where the New York elite often escape to relax and socialize, making it a hotspot for luxury and exclusivity.

Are the Hamptons worth seeing?

Absolutely, the Hamptons are a must-see destination that offers more than just glitz and glamour. With its stunning beaches, rich cultural experiences, and a plethora of outdoor activities, it’s a locale that appeals to both luxury seekers and nature enthusiasts. It’s a versatile getaway that truly has something for everyone.

However, the Hamptons can be quite expensive, especially during the peak summer season. Accommodations and dining can come with a hefty price tag, and some of the more exclusive venues may be difficult to access if you’re not a member or don’t have a connection.

If you appreciate a mix of beach relaxation, luxury amenities, and a touch of glamour, then a trip to the Hamptons could be well worth it. But if you’re on a tight budget or prefer a more laid-back, less exclusive atmosphere, you might want to consider other destinations.

Final Thoughts on Exploring the Hamptons

And there you have it, folks—a comprehensive guide to the best places in the Hamptons that offer a little something for everyone. Whether you’re an art aficionado, a beach bum, or a history buff, this iconic destination has a way of making every visitor feel like they’ve found their own slice of paradise.

From the salty sea air that greets you as you step onto the sandy shores, to the eclectic mix of activities that keep your days filled with wonder, the Hamptons are more than just a vacation spot; they’re a state of mind. So pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and come see for yourself why this corner of Long Island is a magnet for those in search of the extraordinary.

The top things to do in the Hamptons, NY for all types of travelers
Enjoyed reading about the top things to do in the Hamptons, NY? Pin it!

You may also like

Leave a Comment