Before we even start, let’s get one thing straight: the Hamptons is not just for the rich and famous! Though it’s known for its luxurious mansions, massive yachts, and glitzy A-lister parties, there is so much more to the eastern end of Long Island that you may not know about.
Beyond the glamor is a quaint beach town overflowing with hospitality and charm. Whether you’re a New York native who wants to explore their own backyard or a visitor who wants to get off the beaten path, you’ll never run out of amazing things to do in the Hamptons.
For instance, you can find quiet serenity in a nature preserve like Napeague State Park or Indian Island County Park. Go swimming, surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, boating, or sunbathing at Coopers Beach in Southampton Village and Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett Village.
For culture, the Southampton Cultural Center hosts world-class art exhibits and theater performances year-round. With so many options like the Parrish Art Museum, the Water Mill Museum, and the Guild Hall, make sure to add museum hopping to your Hamptons bucket list as well.
And don’t forget about the shopping! Whether you’re looking for high-end brands or antiques and second-hand treasures, you’ll find something that suits your fancy at places like the Tanger Outlets and Agora Antiques & Design Center.
With so many unique things to do in the Hamptons, it’s hard to know where to begin. So we’ve compiled our list of some of the absolute best things to do in the Hamptons to help you plan your trip. Whether you’re traveling with friends and family or flying solo, you’re going to love these awesome Hamptons activities!
Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 15 Best Things to Do in the Hamptons, NY
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15 Cool and Unique Things to Do in the Hamptons, NY
1. Climb to the Top of Montauk Lighthouse
Any trip to the Hamptons should include a stop at Montauk Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in the state of New York. Built in 1796 and fully automated since 1986, this beacon is still shining brightly for all ships passing through the area.
Wear your most comfortable shoes because you’ll be climbing 137 steps to reach the top, but trust us, the workout is worth it. The views will take your breath away, and on a clear day, you might even be able to see all the way to Connecticut!
Once you’ve made it down from the lighthouse, grab yourself an ice cream cone at Montauk Ice Cream Parlor and walk around the Montauk museum and gift shop on the ground floor.
To get even more out of your day in Montauk, book a whale watching tour with Viking Fleet whale watching company. You’re almost guaranteed to see some whales splashing around in their natural habitat!
You can also go fishing or surfing off of Montauk Point State Park. If you want something more low-key, visit one of the local restaurants or take a drive down Old Montauk Highway. This road is paved with crushed seashells, which makes for an amazing driving experience.
2. Explore the Historic Sag Harbor Village
Known for its gorgeous whaling-era architecture and close proximity to the water, Sag Harbor is the place to go when you want to see what old-school Hamptons life was like.
Start your journey at the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum with an in-depth education about whaling during the 1700s and 1800s. Then, head over to the Sag Harbor Historic District and take a stroll down Main Street. This is also where you’ll find several sites of historical significance, including the Old Burying Ground, where many of Sag Harbor’s earliest settlers are buried.
When you’re done exploring the area, you can head to John Jermain Memorial Library on Main Street for a quiet afternoon of reading or take a peek at the many art galleries along West Water Street.
Finally, depending on when you visit, don’t miss the fun festivals such as the HarborFest and Sag Harbor American Music Festival!
3. Admire the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center
If you’re an art lover, you’re never going to run out of artsy Hamptons attractions! The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center celebrates the lives of Jackson Pollock, one of America’s most beloved painters, and his wife, Lee Krasner, who was also a painter as well as an important figure in the New York City art scene.
Make sure you stop by the studio where Jackson Pollock created some of his most famous pieces. You can even get a feel for exactly how tall he was by measuring yourself against the marks he made on the walls.
You can also linger in his bedroom, see some of his personal belongings, and take a peek at his collection of books. We also recommend stopping by the museum’s library to check out the thousands of volumes on modern art as well as biographies about artists like Pollock himself.
When you go, try to visit on a Sunday morning when the museum holds its weekly art class outside. It’s a great chance to meet local artists!
4. Discover the Hampton’s Finest Beaches
We can’t have a post about the coolest things to do in the Hamptons without talking about the beaches! You’ll find some of the best beaches in the US and in the world in this tiny corner of NY. Best of all, each beach has a distinct personality.
For instance, the most famous Hamptons beach, Main Beach, offers a lot more than just beautiful sand and water. With volleyball nets, basketball courts, a snack bar, playgrounds for kids, and plenty of grassy areas for relaxing with friends or family, this is one beach where you won’t get bored.
If you’re into surfing, boogie boarding, or fishing, Ditch Plains in Montauk is your best bet. If you want a nice stroll along a beautiful shoreline, Fort Pond Bay Beach in Montauk is perfect.
For something more lively, try Coopers Beach in Southampton Village. Coopers has something for everyone: gorgeous views of the water and people-watching galore. You can rent chairs and umbrellas here and get food from the snack bar, too!
5. Pick Up Local Goods at the Amagansett Farmers Market
The Amagansett Farmers Market is easily one of the most fun things to do in the Hamptons. Only open for a few short months each year, this open-air market features everything from farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly caught seafood, artisanal baked goods, homemade jams, fresh flowers and plants, locally sourced honey, and so much more.
Much of what you’ll find at this market is made within miles of the market itself. It’s as local as it gets!
In addition to all of the wonderful products that you can buy at the Amagansett Farmers Market, you can also watch live music acts and demonstrations from local craftsmen during the weekends.
Tip: Buy a bunch of goodies from the Amagansett Farmers Market, then set up a picnic at your favorite Hamptons beach!
6. Visit the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill
If you’re planning a getaway to Long Island anytime soon, put the Parrish Art Museum at the top of your Hamptons bucket list.
Their mission is to inspire people through art – and they’ve definitely succeeded! You’ll be blown away by their amazing collection and beautiful space.
Housed on over 25 acres of land, this expansive Hamptons museum boasts an eclectic collection featuring work from American artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, as well as European artists like Picasso and Monet.
In addition to its permanent collection, you can also view several rotating exhibits at the Parrish Art Museum throughout the year. The outdoor sculpture garden featuring light-based installations is also one of the coolest things to see in the Hamptons!
Aside from the art itself, there are also plenty of family-friendly events at the museum, including art classes for children and adults, summer camps and storytime for kids, hands-on activities, concerts on the lawn, and more.
7. Taste the Wines at Wölffer Estate Vineyard
You can’t visit the Hamptons without indulging in wine (and lots of it!). And whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just looking for something to do, there are plenty of reasons why Wölffer Estate Vineyard should be on your list of the top things to do in the Hamptons.
Located in Sagaponack, this boutique winery features one of the largest selections of wines in the Hamptons, and it’s also home to an estate-to-table restaurant, a farm stand with locally grown produce and wine, and a tasting room that you can visit as part of a tour.
The vineyards offer a variety of tasting programs, so no matter what you’re looking for, there’s something for you here! If you’re just starting out with wine tasting, try one of their introductory classes or drop by for a quick glass paired with cheese and charcuterie. If you’re more serious about your vino, book one of their private tastings instead.
Not into wine? Wölffer Estate also has two restaurants that serve delicious food and drinks. The Harvest Kitchen offers gourmet meals made with seasonal ingredients, while the Wölffer Kitchen Amagansett serves simple American fare like burgers and salads in a more relaxed atmosphere.
You can also experience the vineyard’s other offerings, such as Friday night music concerts, Saturday morning yoga classes, and Sunday afternoon horseback rides through the vineyards.
If you only have time for a few Hamptons attractions during your trip, we definitely recommend spending a few hours at the Wölffer Estate!
8. Catch a Concert at the Stephen Talkhouse
The Stephen Talkhouse is the place to catch live entertainment in the Hamptons. This legendary venue has been around since the ’70s and has hosted everyone from The Rolling Stones to Coldplay and countless amazing local artists.
The schedule is jam-packed with shows all summer long, ranging from rock and roll, electronic dance music, folk, jazz, open mic nights, and comedy shows.
The Stephen Talkhouse also doubles as a sports bar, so you’ll still have plenty to do even if there’s no concert for the night. The bar has a jukebox with an impressive selection of country, blues, and rock and roll, plus pool tables and darts for a super fun night out!
Finally, the Talkhouse menu is packed with tasty drinks and delicious bar bites. Explore their wide selection of wines and beers, as well as expertly mixed cocktails.
The house burgers are particularly tasty – try the specialty burger topped with bacon, mushrooms, and blue cheese for a truly decadent experience.
9. Shop for Treasures & Trinkets on Main Street in Easthampton
It’s hard not to fall in love with Easthampton’s Main Street, and it’s undoubtedly one of the must-do things in the Hamptons. You can easily spend a couple of hours walking up and down its charming streets, peeking into boutique stores, antique shops, and galleries.
Main Street and its surrounding streets are home to dozens of luxury brands, including Gucci, Ralph Lauren, and Manolo Blahnik, but it’s also got a unique selection of independent boutiques and galleries.
For instance, pop into Lily Pond Lane Art Gallery or Halsey McKay Gallery to explore pieces created by local artists. Take the kids to Bonne Nuit, an upscale store with an adorable selection of dresses and suits for kids.
And don’t forget to stop by any one of the candy stores on Main Street, like Dylan’s Candy Bar, for homemade fudge, saltwater taffy, and other delicious treats!
10. Cycle the Hither Hills Bike Trail
Nature lovers wondering what to do in the Hamptons can’t go wrong with a day at the Hither Hills. This 16.5-mile trail through the Hither Hills State Park connects Montauk with Napeague along with other trails in the park such as the Montauk Point Lighthouse Bike Trail and Gin Beach Bike Trail.
Arrive at the trailhead on West Lake Drive and head east toward Napeague Harbor. As you cycle along, you’ll see panoramic views of the sea and coastal dunes, which are home to many species of plants and animals. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, foxes, and even dolphins!
If you’re looking for more things to do in the Hamptons while on your bike ride, there are plenty of restaurants nearby, such as Surfside Inn or Gosman’s Dock, where they offer fresh seafood dishes like lobster rolls or clam chowder soup served right by the sea.
11. Spend a Nice Afternoon at LongHouse Reserve
LongHouse Reserve is hands down one of the best sights in the Hamptons. The massive reserve features a variety of art installations and sculptures by some of the most famous names in the world.
In the 16-acre gardens of LongHouse Reserve, you will find magnificent sculptures by artists such as Yoko Ono, Buckminster Fuller, Sol LeWitt, and Willem de Kooning.
The reserve is also home to four acres of perennial gardens that host a variety of colorful flowers, plants, and other flora throughout the year.
Finally, LongHouse Reserve is also an educational center where there are many events held throughout the year. Some of these events include concerts, workshops, lectures on horticulture and gardening, exhibits, and even poetry readings, all of which are perfect for kids and adults alike!
12. Explore Mashomack, The Nature Conservancy on Shelter Island
For an authentic Hamptons nature experience, you should head to the “Mashomack” The Nature Conservancy on Shelter Island. At just under 3,000 acres, Mashomack is the Hamptons’ largest nature preserve. It’s only accessible by ferry, adding to its mystical and remote feel. The preserve is home to a wide array of flora and fauna, including several rare species.
The Nature Conservancy has five different hiking trails, ranging from short and easy to long and challenging. There are also opportunities for kayaking, biking, and horseback riding. A visit to the Mashomack Preserve will help you get in touch with nature – which is one of the best things about being out in the Hamptons!
13. Enjoy Fresh Oysters at Greenport Fishing Village
For all the fine dining and fancy wine that you can get in the Hamptons, nothing beats a fresh, salty oyster straight from the bay! Greenport Fishing Village is one of those places where you can get your hands on some freshly-shucked oysters or sit down for a full meal with them baked into a casserole.
You can also buy oysters right off the boats, take them to one of the waterfront tables, and enjoy them with a cold beer while you observe daily life in the village.
The town itself is a charming place with dozens of restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, boutiques, art galleries, and even a winery. We recommend learning more about the maritime history of New York at museums like the East End Seaport & Marine Museum, then dropping by the Long Island Aquarium for a closer look at the aquatic life in the area!
14. Travel to the Colonial Past at the Mulford Farm Museum
The Mulford Farm Museum is another wonderful example of why the Hamptons are such a great destination for all kinds of travelers. It’s a beautifully preserved example of a 17th-century English farmhouse, as well as a fascinating window into what life was like centuries ago.
As you wander through the property, you’ll see where settlers worked and slept. Plus, many of the furnishings are original to the house and its period.
You can tour the house, walk through the vegetable and herb gardens, stroll through the “meetinghouse” – where town meetings were held during colonial times – and explore the outdoor buildings, including a barn and smokehouse.
We also love the special period activities during the summer! For example, you can step into the past and learn about 18th– and 19th-century farming by churning butter, weaving fabric on an authentic loom, and shearing sheep. Talk about next-level sightseeing!
15. Hike Your Way Through Quogue Wildlife Refuge
Quogue Wildlife Refuge is another wonderland for those who love the outdoors. The refuge boasts over 300 acres of forest and wetland preserve, a butterfly garden, and four trails that meander through the woods, ponds, and marshes.
Some paths are short and easy for beginner hikers, while others are more challenging for those who like to walk further distances. There is even an ADA-accessible trail that makes it possible for everyone to enjoy being outdoors during a visit to this attraction.
Aside from hiking, you can also check out the live animal exhibits, which are home to native animals that are injured or unable to survive in the wild on their own. Getting out into nature is one of the best things to do in the Hamptons – just don’t forget to pack sunscreen and bug spray!
There you have it! The 15 best things to do in the Hamptons! Now it’s your turn – what’s your favorite thing to do in the Hamptons?
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