There are many reasons why the rich and famous choose the Hamptons for their summer playground, but there is one reason you should- the beaches! This stretch of Long Island is jam packed with shore side treasures, laced with white sand and home to some of the clearest water in the Northeast, nothing beats a day at a Hampton, NY beach. Beach Day, Hamptons Style — Photo courtesy of Jessica Polizzotti
As in most seaside towns these days, many of the beaches require a permit, like the beach where I spend my favorite day of the summer: Napeague in Amagansett. Here, locals drive their 4x4's, packed with all kinds of beach gear (including grills) to mingle with friends and enjoy a full day and sometimes evening waterside. You can always park elsewhere and walk, or bike to Napeague, but to do it local style the drive on is a must.
If you do know a local who is willing to join you at the beach (or lend you a car for the day), but can't do the drive on head to Indian Wells in Amagansett or Beach Lane in Wainscott. Both are pristine stretches of shoreline, but are lacking in the amenities department (no lifeguards, bath houses or permanent food shacks). But pack a picnic, a sandwich from Breadzilla or Luigi's perhaps, and make yourself comfortable.
If you've lucked out in the "knowing a local" department, don't fret, you'll still be able to snag a stretch of sand at one of the Hamptons fabulous beaches, it just becomes a more pricey proposition. For about $40 a day, and an early enough arrival, you can score a parking spot at East Hampton's Main Beach or Southampton's Cooper's Beach. These two beaches are top notch. So much so that often times you can spot a celeb catching some rays at these full service finds (lifeguards, snack shacks and changing rooms all on site). And for all you surfers out there, Montauck's Ditch Plains is where it's at, waves are the rave of this beach, and surfers travel here to catch the best. Nothing beats these shores — Photo courtesy of Jessica Polizzotti
And after a day of sun, sand and fun there are plenty of places to go to let loose. Cyril's, not far from Napeague is as famous for the scene as it is for a sighting of Cyril himself. A man who says what's on his mind, even if it is not politically correct, (one summer my husband played on his softball team, and loves to share the story of how Cryil was their biggest heckler) Cyril has a made a booming business of this roadside dive. Drawing a well-dressed crowd starting late in the afternoon and ending well into the night, you'll want to shower and change before finding your seat at the bar.
Southampton — Photo courtesy of Jessica PolizzottiOr simply buy a cone at Sip n' Soda in scenic Southampton Village, where a stroll down the main street is like stepping back in time. The town center still sparkling like a crown jewel of another time. Sip n' Soda — Photo courtesy of Joe Polizzotti Jr.
In truly great seafood is what you're after, West Lake in Montauck sits on the water's edge, and from your table you can watch fishermen filet the fish they've just caught the catch of the day. Nothing fancy, but their great drinks, and even better fish are the perfect treat after a day at the beach.
And if you're rearing for a taste of the Hamptons after dark, the Talkhouse in East Hampton Village is the one place people I know return to year after year. Known for live music and a lively scene, the Talkhouse can be a tough place to get into, but if you make it through the doors of you'll be sure to have fun as you dance the night away. THen get reedy to wake early so you can do it all again another day!