The Hamptons are a New York City getaway staple in the summer. While many people from the city flock out east to their vacation homes for the entire summer, most *normal* people don’t have that luxury. You can still enjoy the luxuries of the Hamptons without owning a giant estate. Below you’ll find my Hamptons Travel Guide on what to do in East Hampton if you’ve only got long weekend to spare. I’m also including our full trip itinerary at the very bottom of this post.
What Are the Hamptons?
The two townships of Southampton and East Hampton make up the Hamptons, but within each area you’ll find different hamlets with their own unique character.
“The Hamptons” are a group of towns on the eastern end on Long Island in New York. Because of its rural, nature setting tied in with many NYC staples and outposts, it’s a popular vacation destination for city dwellers looking for space. It’s expensive to own a home there, and notably draws an affluent crow and celebrities.
While many of the city’s elite opt to spend the entire summer in the Hamptons, you can still enjoy a nice weekend out of the city.
Amagansett in East Hampton
Matt and I stayed in Amagansett for a couple of days. It’s a delightful little town in East Hampton with a laid-back vibe but enough to do where you won’t get bored. Some of the other parts of the Hamptons are a little sleepier; Amagansett is a nice balance between being able to relax in nature and find a nice place to eat for dinner.
Hamptons Travel Guide
Where to Stay
If you’re not one of the lucky ones who know someone with a house out east, there are still plenty of accommodations in the Hamptons. If you’re going with a large group, you can always rent an Airbnb (book early!), but if you’re going with a friend or significant other there are plenty of hotels.
The only way I can describe this place is a modern bed and breakfast. It has a quaint feel of a traditional B&B (including an outdoor continental breakfast in your room fare) but with modern touches like sleek décor and Grown Alchemist bathroom amenities.
Every night they do a complimentary s’mores bar, and there’s a big lawn with lounge chairs, hammocks and corn hole.
They also offer free beach parking passes, and can get your set up with beach towels, bags, and chairs at no additional charge. For me personally, all of these little conveniences made a big difference in our experience and why we ended up booking The Roundtree in the first place. They are also a dog friendly hotel, and provide bowls, beds, and even chew toys for your furry friend. (Not all places in the Hamptons are pet-friendly, so be sure to check.)
What to Do in Amagansett
Go to the Beach
No Hamptons travel guide is complete with an obvious trip to the beach. It was a bit chilly when we went, but still felt nice to curl up under a towel and read for a few hours. There are a handful of beaches in the area, both private and public, and generally easily accessible from any spot in town.
Whether you go for a walk or a bike ride, get outside and enjoy the nature of the Hamptons. I personally loved riding bikes through the neighborhood to look at all of the homes. We even spotted an entire herd of deer on our trip!
There’s some local great shopping in Amagansett, including a Love Adorned boutique, home décor stores, and even a record store. (I found a vintage Abbey Road record there – major score!)
If you’re looking for a bigger shopping area, head into the village of East Hampton. This has designer shops like Gucci and Ralph Lauren, plus a mix of high-end boutiques. Hamptons fashion consists of lots of linen and white; check out this post for a full guide on what to wear in the Hamptons in the summer.
Even if you’re just window shopping, it’s still a treat to walk around the towns.
During the summer, tons of brands do pop-up events and shops. Many are exclusive and invitation only, but give Google a search and see what you can find that’s open to the public!
Go Wine Tasting at Wolffer Winery
The Wolffer name is a staple in the Hamptons thanks to its expansive winery there. Stop at the Wolffer Estate Vineyard if you’re interested in a proper wine tasting. For something more laid back (my preference) you can go to The Wine Stand for a picnic charcuterie box and hang out on their expansive lawn overlooking the vines. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of wine to take home.
Where to Eat
Arguably the most important part of this Hamptons travel guide: where to eat. Here’s where I have eaten at and loved:
- Nick & Toni’s – an East Hampton staple
- Lobster Roll – also known as Lunch, and where I fell in love with lobster rolls
- Il Buco Al Mare – perfect for a nice “treat yourself” dinner with a great ambience
- Goldberg’s – pick up bagels for a day at the beach
- Carissa’s – delicious, Instagram-worthy bakery
- Scarpetta Beach – Located in the trendy Gurney’s Montauk hotel, they have a large outdoor deck right on the water. If you can’t get a reservation, you can always stop by the The Firepit for a drink and light bites.
- Crow’s Nest – this place has beautiful sunset views lined with big wooden picnic tables. They do not take reservations, and it gets full quickly, so if you’re too late to dinner you can grab drinks on a lower lawn and private beach. The drinks here’s were overpriced, but the vibe was great and relaxing.
Our East Hampton Itinerary
Here’s a sample itinerary I would recommend to get the most out of a long weekend in East Hampton and Amagansett:
Leave the city in the late morning and arrive about 2.5 hours later to Lobster for lunch.
If you’re waiting to check into your hotel, get the lay of the land and enjoy a nice drive around town to look at the beautiful homes. You could even drive about 30 minutes out to Montauk, another Hamptons town at the tip of the island.
If you head to Montauk, be sure to grab a drink at Crow’s Nest.
Check in to your hotel, get dressed, then enjoy dinner. I highly recommend you make reservations before your arrival. It’s also worth a try to call if a restaurant is booked online – that’s how we got into Il Buco Al Mare.
Walk or bike to the local coffee shop or bakery for breakfast. Enjoy a few hours at the beach, then get dressed and head to Wolffer’s Wine Stand for a late afternoon snack and wine. From there, head to dinner.
Get ready for the day, then check out. As you head back to the city, grab breakfast at Carissa’s and then go into East Hampton for shopping and to walk around the town.
If you leave early enough, you can stop by Tate’s Bakeshop in Southampton for some road trip cookies on your way back to the city. Note that the bakery closes promptly at 3pm and from experience they will not wait for you.
*TRAVELER’S NOTE: If you’re traveling during the week, be sure that you check websites ahead of time for what is open and closed. Many places in the Hamptons are closed on certain weekdays, and the Apple Maps app isn’t always accurate on hours.
You can definitely enjoy everything the Hamptons offers in just a short 48 hours. Sit by the beach, eat great food, and window shop. If you go to any of the recommendations in this post, let me know! I hope you enjoyed reading this Hamptons travel guide and much as I enjoyed recapping our adventure.