One of New York City’s great draws – aside from some of the world’s best entertainment, dining and attractions – is its proximity to the Hamptons. This gorgeous cluster of tiny towns and hamlets is a playground for the rich and famous, especially in the summer, and home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country. Located on the eastern stretches of Long Island, it’s about 100 miles, or a good two-hour drive (three or more hours on busy summer weekends) from the Big Apple; bus and train will get you there, too, as will a charter plane, if you’re willing to splurge. So you could make it a day trip, although the allure will probably be enough to make you want to tack on an extra day or two here to any New York City vacation.
Many of the beaches here – we’re talking some 50 miles of powder-white sand – can be breathtaking. Boutique shops and art galleries abound. You can go fishing, golfing and wine tasting. And the dining, often served with a splash of glitz, is fabulous. Time it right – head there outside summer, like September and October, when the weather is still good, or November through April when the crowds thin out – and your Hamptons getaway can be affordable, too. Here are some of our favorite picks.
Here’s a wonderfully quaint place to stay in Sag Harbor, one of the lovely villages that comprise Southampton, on the northern shores of Long Island’s South Fork. Once a whaling village, the town’s vibe is relaxed and the attractions are beautiful, from its sailboat-laden marina to its quaint streets lined with Victorian and Greek Revival homes. Forever Bungalows, which draws guests with its sleek Scandinavian décor, offers bikes for a trip around the bay or a worthwhile two-mile ride to Main Street, home to eateries, galleries and an Art Deco theater. Staying here in the fall can save you more than 60% over summer rates.
The same Hampton beaches that draw water worshippers with their soft sand are also home to a bevy of water sports. This may be the perfect spot, actually, to join the paddleboard craze. Hamptons Paddleboard offers lessons and rentals at both the North and South Forks of Long Island, including Conscience Bay, a calm inlet in Southampton. Their guides are all certified professionals, catering to all skill levels. And the paddleboard options are endless: they offer guided leisure, extreme and even twilight tours.
You can make a day of it and visit some of the best wineries in the North Fork of Long Island, which are quickly becoming known for producing outstanding reds and whites. Hampton Luxury Liner will pick you up at a variety of location in Manhattan or Long Islands and whisk you away to hot spots like Pindar Vineyards, Duck Walk Vineyards and Baiting Hollow Farm. You’ll traverse the vineyards in style, enjoying amenities like reclining leather seats with individual power outlets, snacks, wi-fi and flat-screen TVs. Trips include breakfast and tastings at each stop.
Check out more Local Deals for the Hamptons, New York City and surrounding communities at www.travelzoo.com/local-deals/New-York-City/deals.