Get that rubber duck floatie ready because we’re about to experience all of the very best Hamptons beaches that you ever did see!
After all, I’m a 30+ year local who knows all about the best beaches in the Hamptons that you do NOT want to miss the next time you’re out, living la vida local on Long Island.
So, if you’re raring to take a weekend trip from NYC to some of the most exquisite beaches on the eastern coast, then this my friend is the post for you – especially since these pristine beaches are brimming over with soft white sand, stellar views, and fantastic eateries that serve some fo the best food in New York.
Because I’m about to share all of my most secret, insider tips on how to make the most out of your trip from NYC to the Hamptons.
I mean, what many non-locals fail to realize is that most of these beaches actually require a parking pass, at least if you’re visiting with your car any time between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Thankfully though, you can use this handy guide to plan ahead and avoid steep parking fees during your time in the Hamptons.
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Table of Contents
Where to Stay in the Hamptons
Looking for an epic place to stay while exploring all of the best Hamptons beaches on this list, regardless of your budget? If so then try:
- Hyatt Place Long Island/East End (budget, Riverhead) – This awesome, well-reviewed hotel has rooms that start at around $130 per night and that are located near the Long Island Aquarium. So, spend the night here if you’d like to enjoy casual, well-furnished rooms with coffeemakers, spacious living areas, and giant beds. Guests will also love having access to indoor/outdoor pools, in addition to a 24-hour gym and a cafe/bar.
- The 1770 House (mid-range, East Hampton) – This posh inn sits inside a historic, clapboard house that dates back to 1663. It also features six classic, country-chic rooms with Italian linens, flat-screen TVs, and complimentary snacks. Guests can also relax in wood beam lounge with an antique fireplace before having dinner at an acclaimed, on-site restaurant serving modern American cusiine
- Mill House Inn (mid-range, East Hampton) – This refined bed and breakfast is located just across the street from the Hook Windmill and has exquisite, themed rooms that include antiques, fireplaces, WiFi, private bathrooms with marble tubs, and flat-screen TVs. In-room complimentary, gourmet breakfast is also available, as are free cookies in the lounge. Yup, it’s easily one of the most romantic hotels on Long Island.
- East Hampton Art House Bed and Breakfast (luxury, East Hampton) – This swank, bed and breakfast is home to enchanting rooms that feature WiFi, flat-screen TVs, and spacious sitting areas. Guests are also welcome to relax by the lavish stone fireplace in the lounge before enjoying complimentery breakfast and then visiting an on-site hot tub (plus a waterfall), a fitness room, a well-maintained garden, and an outdoor pool.
How to Get to the Hamptons
Luckily for you, the Hamptons are SUPER close to New York City. And by “super close” I mean about 2.5 hours away, depending on traffic.
And traffic can get pretty insane since everyone and their brother’s, sister’s cousin heads out to Long Island for the weekend throughout the summer.
So, if you don’t feel like sitting in hours of traffic on your way to the best Hamptons beaches, you could always:
- Take the LIRR (aka Long Island Railroad)
- The Jitney Bus
- Hampton Ambassador/Hamtpon Luxury Liner – Both are luxury buses that are a bit nicer than the Jitney.
Best Hamptons Beaches: 12 Awe-inspiring Beaches in the Hamptons
1. Main Beach in East Hampton
Easily one of the most popular beaches in the Hamptons, Main Beach sits right at 101 Ocean Avenue and is just a hop, skip, and jump away from the town of Jericho.
Therefore, it sits ALL the way on the eastern end of Long Island and is an ideal place to go shopping, see the vintage windmill at Old Hook Mill, explore the Home Sweet Home Museum, or play a round of golf at one of the area’s many clubs.
And, added bonus? This is one of the best Hamptons beaches that is consistently ranked as one of the top beaches on the East Coast.
Therefore, you can expect exquisite sand and surf, in addition to amenities like a snack bar, various lifeguards on duty, showers, lockers, a shaded deck (to get out of the sun), and a multitude of bathrooms.
This is also one of the best beaches in East Hampton that is pet-friendly – making it a great place to go for a walk in the surf with your favorite pooch.
Just be careful with small children since the waves here can be quite strong. The water is always crystal clear, making it an ideal place for a swim or to rent a kayak, paddleboard, or surfboard if you’re feeling super energetic.
Pro Tip: If you’re not a local resident, you’ll need to buy a parking permit for $50 per day. A limited number are given out though so definitely grab yours ASAP or take the free shuttle here from town. Also, get here early to avoid crowds and to make the most of your day since the beach closes around 11:00 pm.
2. Coopers Beach in Southhampton
This is one of the best Hamptons beaches on this list that features nothing but wide-open sand. Therefore, it’s an ideal place to relax and sunbathe since this is one of the top beaches in the Hamptons that never really feels crowded.
It’s a place that is also known for its fantastic surfing, that is surrounded by a series of stunning, next-level awesome mansions (it’s right off of Meadow Lane which is fondly referred to as Billionaire Lane), and that even has lifeguards on duty throughout the summer.
Showers, restrooms, and chair/umbrella rentals are also on offer here, and a $ 50-day pass is required to park here (per usual).
And if you’re feeling a bit peckish, stop by Henri’s Cafe for a delicious beachside meal on one of the top Hamptons beaches.
Pro Tip: Take the LIRR to Southhampton station from NYC and then catch an Uber upon arrival. Otherwise, you can bike or take a free shuttle from your hotel to avoid a steep parking fee. This beach is also NOT pet-friendly
3. Mecox Beach, Bridgehampton
Mecox beach is a 250 feet long slice of paradise and has long since been considered one of the best beaches in the Hamptons. This beach is really popular among people who are looking for a place to get away from the big city life.
It has everything that anyone could want from a beach. From games like beach volleyball to an assortment of meals from concession stands. You really don’t have to pack much when visiting here. Except for a change of clothes and sunscreen! Don’t forget to throw in a hat and sunglasses too!
Mecox is one of the livelier beaches in the area. If you are headed this way, don’t forget to carry your surfboard along. There are some really good waves for surfing. If you don’t know how, don’t be disappointed. You can rent a board and take a lesson!
Pro Tip: Many people choose to bike to Mecox beach. The reason is because it helps avoid parking fees. You will find that there is a bike rack on the beach. So you don’t have to worry about your cycle when you are having fun on the sand.
4. Ditch Plains Beach in Montauk
If you want to take a scenic drive to one of the best beaches in the Hamptons, then Ditch Plains is the ideal spot for you.
It’s also one of the best Hamptons beaches for experienced surfers who want to catch some seriously gnarly waves before enjoying this beach’s super chill vibes.
And if you’re not a pro surfer just yet, you can always take a lesson with one of the resident experts over at Speed Surf Shop.
In fact, these pros are so on top of it, that they even have beach cruisers, surfboards, and wetsuits for you to rent.
Also, be sure to avoid an always pesky parking fee by walking to one of the best beaches in the Hamptons from a free parking spot nearby.
And per usual, there are plenty of restrooms here, with lifeguards on duty until around 5:00 pm at this small but pet/family-friendly oasis of tranquility.
Pro Tip: While you’re here, don’t forget to visit the oldest lighthouse in the state (aka Montauk Lighthouse) before hitting up the Ditch Witch Food Truck for some stellar burritos, bagels, cinnamon buns, cubanos, and wraps.
5. Kirk Park Beach in Montauk
Located right off the Montauk Highway, this is one of the best beaches in the Hamptons that is positively brimming over with sand dunes.
And while no chair or umbrella rentals are available, this is one of the few best Hamptons beaches where you can park for free. So yeah, that’s gotta count for something.
Other than that, just sit back, relax, and enjoy amenities like on-duty lifeguards, toilets, showers, and an IGA supermarket within walking distance of one of the top Hamptons beaches of them all.
6. Gin Beach, Montauk
Gin beach is one of the best family friendly beaches in the Hamptons.This ultra cool beach is located at the end of East Lake drive and is a lifeguard protected bay beach. I think this is one of the reasons why families love coming here. Plus, you can bring your dog to the beach too. It is something that both the dog and kids love. There is quite frankly nothing as fun as frolicking with a dog in the water.
The beach is open all year round. The restrooms are unfortunately open only between mid May to mid October which is a bit of a bummer especially if you are visiting with kids. On the other hand it has food trucks so you will never run out of something to snack on.
One of the reasons the beach is popular is because swimming is permitted here. You do have to stick to the lifeguard timings aka 10am-5pm, which is definitely doable. Oh and this beach has surf wheelchairs! So if you need one, head to the lifeguards and they will help you sort it out.
Pro Tip: Parking here requires a Town of East Hampton parking permit. You can also get a Town of East Hampton Beach drive-on pass. This will let you drive on the beach. Mind you, there are designated areas for this activity.
7. Two Mile Hollow Beach in East Hampton
If you should find yourself in East Hampton but what to steer clear of the hordes of sun-worshippers who flock to Main Beach, then give Two Mile Hollow Beach a try!
After all, it has an awesome, chill vibe about it (think youngish people but minus the kids) and is conveniently located near the center of town, making it an idyllic place to swim.
Just be sure to pay for parking ($50 per day during the week) before making use of the restrooms, showers, and lifeguards. However, if you want to avoid paying for parking altogether, just rent a bike from Amagansett Beach & Bicycle Co. and hit up the Guild Hall arts center before you leave.
Pro Tip: Remember that this is one of the best beaches in the Hamptons that strictly prohibits alcohol and overnight camping.
8. Havens Beach in Sag Harbor
Located near the always awesome, ever-charming village of Sag Harbor, Havens Beach is one of the best Hamptons beaches where you can swim around in the shallow water before hitting up the area’s many playgrounds, changing areas, and bathrooms.
Just be sure to wear water shoes if you plan on swimming since the ocean floor here can be more than a little rocky. This beach is also a lot mellower than many of the other, best beaches in the Hamptons on this list since it’s mainly used by locals, not tourists.
However, you can still feel safe knowing that lifeguards are always on duty, and can even nab a seasonal parking pass if you feel like you’ll be in the area many times (FYI, you can only park here with a town pass).
And when you’re ready to get away from the beach, be sure to visit the nearby Sag Harbor Whaling and Historica Museum and The South Fork Natural History Museum with its wonderful educational, outdoor exhibits.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to take in stellar views of Cedar Point Lighthouse and several local fireworks displays that can be seen here throughout the summer.
9. Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett
Looking to frolic through soft white sand and be where all the cool kids are this summer in the Hamptons?
If so then say hello to your new best friend – Atlantic Avenue Beach. After all, it’s one of the best Hamptons beaches that quietly sits at the end of Atlantic Avenue, right off of Bluff Road.
It’s also known for being a super sweet surf spot and for its killer sand dunes, in addition to being home to rad amenities like a snack bar and super clean bathrooms.
Just be aware of the fact that you CANNOT park at the beach during the weekend if you’re not a resident. Instead, you must park in town and then walk to the beach, which is only a few minutes away.
You also WILL need a permit to park here during the week, which will set you back about $25 per day.
Pro Tip: This is one of the best beaches in the Hamptons that offers visitors a primo location near many local restaurants and activities. However, like with many other top Hamptons beaches, it’s popular so you’ll need to get here EARLY.
10. Flying Point Beach in Southampton
Located near Water Mill, Flying Point Beach sits all the end of Flying Point Road and is a fun, family-friendly spot where you can find plenty of people playing volleyball and taking their kayak out on the water.
As a result, there are plenty of lifeguards on duty, a picnic area, drive-on access for ATVs, and ample restrooms for you if you should need them.
That being said, day passes are not accepted when it comes to parking. However, non-residents can opt for a seasonal parking pass if they want to visit multiple times throughout the year.
And if you continue a little bit further down the road, you’ll find “The Cut”, a spot where the Mecox Bay meets the ocean, creating a series of tide pools that eager young explorers will love visiting (you need a resident sticker to park at this beach).
It’s also a great spot for kiteboarding and paddleboarding it up before making your way to nearby local attractions like the Parrish Art Museum, the South Fork Natural History Museum, and the Children’s Museum of the East End.
Pro Tip: This is one of the best beaches in the Hamptons for you if you want to get away from the crowds and really go where the locals go.
11. Hither Hills State Park
Hidden away on the eastern end of Montauk is this thin slice of awesome that is Hither Hills State Park.
Yeah, the aptly named Hither Hill Beach is basically a two-mile-long stretch of sand where people can hike, bike, watch for birds, fish, and even camp overnight on one of the best Hamptons beaches.
If you can though, take the Walking Dunes Trail through maritime forest and to one of 189 different campsites that overlook the beach.
However, because this is such a popular activity, you will need to secure a camping permit at least nine months in advance if you want to camp out here yourself.
Pro Tip: You’re not allowed to camp here overnight your dog but you can bring your dog on a day hike here as long as they are leashed.
12. Cupsogue Beach County Park, Westhampton Beach
Covering an area that extends from Fire Island all the way to Westhampton Island, Cupsogue Beach County Park is a 296-acre preserve that is home to the always stunning, Westhampton Beach.
It’s a quaint barrier beach where you can go in search of lounging seals, with the Coastal Research and Education Society, between November and April of every year.
So, to visit for yourself, just hop on the LiRR, take it to Spenok station, and then catch a cab to one of the top beaches in the Hamptons.
Once here, you can make use of various on-site showers, food stands, changing rooms, and a first aid center that will all help make your stay extra comfortable.
Pro Tip: Try and arrive early since it can get crowded. Although, that being said, admission is free after 5:30 pm. Plus, you’ll be treated to live music and awesome sunset views in the evenings. You can also try night fishing for saltwater bass if you have a permit.
13. Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bays
Hidden away in Hampton Bays, just take the bridge over Shinnecock Bay to Ponquogue Beach and enjoy a serene place brimming over with food purveyors, changing rooms, eco-friendly pavilions, bathrooms, showers, on-duty lifeguards, and ample parking – easily making this one the best Hampton beaches of them all.
And while weekend parking permits are a hefty $30 per day, parking here during the week is totally free. Just be sure to get here early during the summer since spots routinely become scarce by noon.
It’s also one of the less crowded best beaches in the Hamptons since there’s lots of wide-open space for you to spread out on.
But, if you’re not into soaking up the rays, you can always hit the surf, collect shells while strolling along the shore, or visit the picnic area at Edward J. Warner Sr. Old Ponquogue Bridge Marine Park.
Pro Tip: Be sure to stop by for sunset if you want to take in some truly stellar views. The waves here are also relatively big so be careful with small children.
14. Sagg Main Beach, Sagaponack
Looking for one of the best Hamptons beaches? If so then stop by the tiny town of Sagaponack. It’s home to a mere 322 residents and is known for being the single most expensive zip code on the eastern seaboard.
However, in addition to its high-end real estate, this gorgeous waterfront area is also home to the Sagg Main Beach, a public beach that is filled with soft white sand and fewer people than some of the other best beaches in the Hamptons mentioned here.
Visitors will also love the food vendors, restrooms, and many showers in the area, in addition to the many lifeguards who are on-duty here throughout the summer.
Pro Tip: If you have a pet, be sure to stop by Gibson’s Beach which is basically the town’s unofficial dog beach.
Map of the Best Hamptons Beach
Additional New York Resources
- How to Get from NYC to the Hamptons
- Best Vineyards in Long Island
- Best Waterfalls in New York
- Best Lavender Fields in New York
- Best Sunflower Fields in New York
- Best Swimming Holes in NY
- Best Hiking Trails on Long Island
- Best Things to do in the Hamptons