East Hampton is a peculiar twist of a town. It’s a summer and weekend playground for the ultra-rich trendsetters of New York, but also a staid and stodgy village with some laws dating back to King George. The treaty granting control of the property underneath the waterways, for example, predates the state of New York.
None of these strange ego-filled court battles about the size of mansions should interfere with your stay however, East Hampton is also a tourism dynamo in the area, with houses and hotels for rent and an activity for every afternoon should you want to get out and about.
Things to do
The East Hampton sand castle contest is a bit competitive for family fun, but touring the creations of some of the most creative sand sculptors on the east coast does make for a great afternoon. It’s almost hard to believe what they can do with sand these days.
The competition takes place every August, so if you’re there for the summer, you’ve got ample time to polish your sculpting skills. Remember, start with the fundamentals: moats and walls.
Most towns in the Hamptons have a whaling museum or some sort of tribute to the maritime world, but in East Hampton, the Marine Museum is in the center of a whole district of history, with access to the buildings, gardens and squares limited only by your interest.
The historical district has an old windmill, a town library with archives and a town pond that used to be the stock watering pond for local farmers to let their cows drink.
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East Hampton has a glorious collection of beaches and places from which to enjoy the water. Whether it’s the acclaimed Main Beach whose white sand, beautiful dunes and a steady procession of people coming consistently ranks among the top five beaches in the country, or Two Mile Hollow Beach, which is just about identical, yet unranked, there is no shortage of places to swim or lay in the sand.
Parking permits are required for vehicles parking from May 15th through September 15th.
Main Beach: Highly rated, picturesque white sands. Off Ocean Avenue near Nyborg Pond. Parking permits available for purchase by the day
Georgica Beach: Lifeguard and facilities located near Lily Pond Lane. Parking permits available through rentals or residence or for purchase for a full season only.
Wiborg Beach: Located off the Highway behind the Pond. Parking permits available by the season.
Egypt Beach: East of Wiborg, this beach is another spot reserved for locals during the summer. You can go there, but you sure can’t park close. Head down Old Beach Lane to the water.
Two Mile Hollow: At the far Northeast edge of town on Two Mile Hollow Road. Parking permits available for daily purchase.
Where to stay
East Hampton has a multitude of places to stay and even though this part of New York is famous for its money, there’s probably something to fit your budget. Bed and Breakfasts are a great way to spend a night in the Hamptons: the quaintness of a B&B complements the old world flavor of the somewhat rural area that surrounds East Hampton.
If you’re bringing the entire clan, a house rental might fit your space needs more nicely. Houses range from giant gaudy rentals to cottages tucked away from the crowds.
Getting to East Hampton
East Hampton is the most convenient neighborhood to reach in the Hamptons as it is convenient to every type of transportation. There’s an airport for those flying on their own or a chartered plane, the Hampton-Jitney bus line stops at the doorstep of many of the Bed and Breakfasts and hotels, and the East Hampton train station is located within walking distance of the center of the city, so it’s easy to get to the Hamptons.