Summer Travel Guide: Where to Stay in the Hamptons (Plus Other Essential Tips)

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The Modern Travel Agency


    a luxe modern interior with a gray couch and a central fireplace

    Image courtesy of Shou Sugi Ban House

    As summer approaches, the annual pilgrimage to the Hamptons begins. New Yorkers — as well as travelers from across the country and the globe — are lured to the Hamptons for its seaside charm, sandy beaches and luxury offerings. 

    For travelers looking to indulge in the epitome of East Coast luxury, read on for our guide to planning your Hamptons summer. We tapped our expert travel advisors for the very best Hamptons hotels, plus their favorite restaurants and other essential travel tips. (While our guide is designed for summer visits, many of the recommendations can be applied for year-round travel).

    Ready to travel to the Hamptons, New York? Connect with the featured advisors to plan and book your getaway today. 

    How to get to the Hamptons

    Roughly 100 miles from New York City, the Hamptons can be reached via several modes of transportation. There are many options for travelers, but if you’re coming from NYC (which is the case for most), all the routes are essentially the same (head east!). How far east you go will depend on your destination: Southampton is close to a 2-hour drive, while Montauk (the very end of Long Island) is closer to three hours. It’s worth noting that many people refer to Shelter Island as part of the Hamptons, but it is technically not (it is not connected to either fork).

    Each method of transit has pros & cons. Below, we’ve listed the different options in order of least to most expensive.

    By bus (Jitney or Ambassador)

    The bus ride is one of the most cost-effective ways to head Out East. It takes roughly two-and-a-half hours to Southampton, three-and-a-half to East Hampton and four-and-a-half to Montauk.

    Fora Advisor Chloe Kletsa says the Jitney is a solid option, and recommends leaving early in the morning — ideally on a Friday if you want to maximize a weekend trip. 

    “The journey may take a little longer, but I found that I arrive more refreshed than I would as a rushed Friday afternoon driver,” said Fora Advisor Chloe Kletsa.

    Pro tip: if you need to catch up on work, book the Ambassador bus; they have free WiFi.

    By train: LIRR

    “If trains are your thing, hop on the LIRR from Penn Station which makes frequent stops throughout the Hamptons,” Fora Advisor Gianna Quattrini said. “Once a week on Fridays, there’s a direct express train (the 'Cannonball') that operates from Penn Station to East Hampton.” 

    By car

    Driving will offer you the most flexible option to get to the Hamptons. After all, you can come and go based on your own preferences and schedule.

    If you’re driving, remember that seasonal traffic is a force to be reckoned with. Consider driving at off-hours, such as in the morning or late evening. Thursday and Friday afternoons are the busiest. 

    By helicopter

    Those up for a splurge — and speed — should consider riding in style with BLADE, a helicopter service that transports city dwellers to the Hamptons. From their private airstrip in Manhattan, travelers are whisked to Montauk in just 45 minutes. Fora Advisors can help you book BLADE. 

    What to do in the Hamptons

    Activities in the Hamptons revolve around sun & sand. The region is known for its expansive, sandy beaches that are perfect for beach days. (Bring a picnic and cooler, surfboard, volleyball net — whatever works.)

    There are a number of beaches throughout the Hamptons, but two of the top choices are East Hampton Main Beach and Coopers Beach. When not enjoying the shore, travelers can explore the Hamptons’ shops and markets, restaurant and nightlife scenes. Remember, a trip to the Hamptons is all about doing as the locals do, which means farmers’ market runs, al fresco dinners and enjoying the area’s natural beauty.  

    Hamptons travel guide by destination


    Closest to New York City, Westhampton and Westhampton Beach offer easy access to Long Island’s North Fork, as well as their fancier neighbors to the east. Known for its wide sandy beaches, Westhampton is a perfect backdrop for relaxation. The village center boasts high-end boutiques, art galleries and stellar dining.

    Where to stay in Westhampton

    There aren’t too many hotels in Westhampton, but there are numerous stunning home rentals. Options span from cozy cottages to waterfront mansions equipped with luxe amenities like fireplaces, private pools, outdoor grills and tennis courts. Your Fora Advisor can help matchmake you to one that’s the best fit for your party’s size and budget.

    Where to eat in Westhampton

    • Daphne’s, a vibey spot for craft cocktails, a Mediterranean-inspired menu and great music.

    • Fauna, an elegant, sophisticated haunt with a robust wine list.

    • Farmers Market Farm Stand, a must for locally grown produce, local honey and homemade treats.


    Many would argue that South

    ampton — with its gilded history and picturesque main street — is the most sophisticated of the Hamptons. Southampton counts prime real estate, upscale shopping and Coopers Beach among its allures.

    Where to eat in Southampton

    • El Verano, for elevated Mexican fare and a vibrant atmosphere. 

    • Tutto il Giorno, an ultra-romantic Italian staple with several Long Island locations.

    • Sant Ambroeus, for Milanese cuisine and sweet treats, served to-go or on their shady patio. 

    • Citarella Gourmet Market offers gourmet fixings and provisions, plus prepared meals to go.


    a black pot filled with branches sits on a wooden floor

    Images courtesy of Shou Sugi Ban House

    This lovely hamlet is known for its scenic beauty and historic charm, boasting a fantastic stretch of coast known as Flying Point Beach. Water Mill’s namesake museum delves into the area’s 17th-century history, while art lovers get their creative fill at The Watermill Center. With just a few eateries and shops, Water Mill retains a welcoming, small-town vibe.

    Where to stay in Water Mill

    Shou Sugi Ban House: At this luxe spa retreat in Water Mill, every aspect of the experience is carefully curated to promote wellness — from yoga and meditation sessions to spa treatments, organic in-room amenities and gourmet cuisine.

    “Shou Sugi Ban House is a slice of heaven that provides a zen vibe to restore your mind and body away from NYC,” said Fora Advisor Gianna Quattrini.

    Where to eat in Water Mill

    • Bistro Ete for classic French fare in an airy space with outdoor seating.

    • Suki Zuki, an unfussy stop for Japanese dishes and sushi specialties.


    Between Southampton and East Hampton,  Bridgehampton is a family-friendly enclave known for its history and equestrian legacy. This area boasts several horse farms, with riding schools dotting the bucolic landscape. The village center offers a few boutiques, antique shops and tasty cafes, as well as more upscale dining.

    Where to stay in Bridgehampton

    Topping Rose House: Nestled in the picturesque Bridgehampton, this historic inn boasts exquisite guest rooms, a sleek pool and a tranquil ambiance. Don’t miss a meal at the restaurant by Chef Jean-George, featuring caviar and oysters.

    Where to eat in Bridgehampton

    • Pierre’s, a delightful French restaurant and bakery with cozy vibes.

    • Jean-Georges at Topping Rose House, for farm-to-table fare at its best.

    • Elaia Estiatorio, a Bridgehampton staple offering Greek classics and a homey atmosphere.

    • L&W Market, a beloved local market serving breakfast and lunch fare, along with small-batch provisions with outdoor seating.  

    Sag Harbor

    an outdoor pool surrounded by white lounge chairs and umbrellas

    Image courtesy of Baron’s Cove

    On the eastern end of Long Island's South Fork, the village of Sag Harbor is a favorite for its laid-back atmosphere and rich maritime history. Charms include its quaint harbor, gallery-lined streets, farm-to-table cuisine and whaling museum, as well as a local theater.

    Where to stay in Sag Harbor 

    Baron’s Cove: This Sag Harbor staple has a history dating back to the 1950s when it was a beloved retreat for artists and writers. Today, Baron's Cove offers a blend of modern amenities and classic elegance, with beautifully appointed rooms and suites featuring nautical-inspired decor and breathtaking views of the harbor or village.

    Where to eat in Sag Harbor

    • Estia's Little Kitchen, for all-day Mexican cuisine.

    • Sag Pizza, a local-approved choice for wood-fired pizza & cocktails in a casual setting.

    • Le Bilboquet, an outpost of Manhattan’s buzzy restaurant, where guests are transported to the South of France.

    • Carissa’s Bakery, for James Beard Award-winning treats served in a sleek setting.

    • Sagtown Coffee, a local watering hole serving coffee, smoothies & açai bowls.

    • Bonus: Goop Sag Harbor, for the brand’s famous wellness & lifestyle products.

    East Hampton 

    During summer months, East Hampton is the place to see and be seen. The bustling village streets are lined with upscale boutiques and stylish eateries, plus a thriving gallery scene featuring local artists.

    Where to stay in East Hampton

    Journey East Hampton: Set on an idyllic country estate, this sophisticated hotel beckons with its boutique, bed-and-breakfast vibe, shaded saltwater pool and lovely backyard with fire pits.

    Where to eat in East Hampton 

    • East Hampton Grill, for excellent American cuisine and a buzzy bar scene.

    • Bostwick Chowder House, a quintessential Hamptons eatery serving up seafood favorites.

    • Moby’s, where guests come for the pizza and stay for the see-and-be-seen atmosphere.

    • Si Si, serving vibrant Mediterranean cuisine and harbor views.

    • Round Swamp Farm, a local market and East Hampton staple known for its fresh produce,fish and meals on the go.


    Located between East Hampton and Montauk, Amagansett offers a more laid-back and unassuming atmosphere compared to some of its neighbors. Travelers get an authentic beach town experience here, between Amagansett’s stunning natural beauty, farm stands and ever-popular live music venue, the Stephen Talkhouse.

    Where to stay in Amagansett

    The Reform Club: Just a short stroll from town, the Reform Club is all about its lush natural landscape, featuring an outdoor pool and manicured gardens. Book a room here to enjoy beautifully appointed lounges, a gourmet restaurant and a stylish bar serving handcrafted cocktails.

    The Roundtree, Amagansett: “The Roundtree hotel is perfectly situated to walk to all the best restaurants, bars, and more in Amagansett and East Hampton,” said Fora Advisor Michelle Zelena. “You feel like a local at your home away from home.” 

    Fora Perks: Hotel / resort credit, a welcome amenity, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

    Where to eat in Amagansett

    • The Lobster Roll, for its eponymous dish (and other seafood staples) served in a laid-back setting.

    • Fini’s Pizza, an outpost of an NYC classic.

    • Amber Waves Farm, Market & Cafe, a local market on Main Street with groceries, farm fresh produce and local wines.


    weathered wooden terraces overlook the beach

    Image courtesy of Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

    Montauk, located at the very eastern tip of Long Island, New York, offers stunning natural landscapes and a laid-back vibe, distinct from the more opulent Hamptons. It is famed for its beautiful, rugged beaches, such as Ditch Plains, which is popular among surfers for its consistent waves. Montauk is also home to the historic Montauk Point Lighthouse, which provides panoramic views of the Atlantic. The area boasts rich biodiversity, especially at Montauk Point State Park, where visitors can engage in hiking, bird watching and fishing.

    Where to stay in Montauk

    Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa: With contemporary design in true Long Island style and access to a private beach club, Gurney’s has always been a staple in the Hamptons.

    “When choosing hotels, you can’t go wrong with Gurney’s, a luxury oceanfront property with beautiful, clean and airy bedrooms,” said Fora Advisor Chloe Kletsa.

    “If you are a spa addict (like me), you’ll love the authentic Thalasso Spa,” Chloe said. “Seawater is pumped and heated and used to fill the pool, Roman baths and hydrotherapy pools, so you can relax whilst absorbing all the health benefits of the sea’s minerals too.”

    The Marram Montauk: Set on a gorgeous stretch of beach in Montauk, the Marram has a laid-back vibe, with soothing neutral tones and rooms with balconies. A seasonal outdoor pool and relaxing fire pit area encourages guests to share the day’s adventures.

    Hero Beach Club Resort: Offering a quintessential Montauk aesthetic, Hero Beach Club is a favorite for its location just steps from the beach, as well as its charming outdoor space, complete with a pool, day beds and stylish gathering area.

    Montauk Yacht Club: With stunning views of Lake Montauk, Montauk Yacht Clubdates back to 1928 and leans into its nautical heritage with the area’s largest marina and plenty of water sports. The resort’s range of accommodations is a plus, with cozy rooms, spacious suites and villas to choose from.

    After a multi-million dollar renovation, Montauk Yacht Club will be joining Proper Hospitality under their "The Collective" brand when it opens for the season in May 2024.

    Where to eat in Montauk

    • Duryea’s for an upscale revamp of a Montauk classic.

    • Mostrador Marram for a seasonal menu served in a casual, welcoming outdoor setting.

    • Alimentari Beach for a casual option serving authentic Italian favorites in town.

    • Gosman’s, an old standby serving seafood on the waterfront.

    • Inlet Seafood, a fishermen-owned seafood staple with ocean views.

    • 668 The Gig Shack for fun, casual bites and drinks in town.

    • Harvest on Fort Pond for Tuscan fare featuring local produce.

    • Joni’s, a breezy café serving healthy breakfast and lunch. 

    • Mavericks, sleek and stylish, serving sustainably sourced surf-and-turf.

    Book your trip to the Hamptons

    If a Hamptons getaway is on your summer bucket list, connect with Fora to get started. Your advisor can curate an itinerary to your preferences. Whether you’re looking for a luxury hotel or boutique hotel, your advisor can help you match-make your stay to your travel preferences (plus, unlock perks at many of the best hotels). Reach out to us today to plan and book your trip.

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