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Travel Guide: The Hamptons

I’ve been vacationing in The Hamptons since 2010, and it’s by far my happiest place! I started spending summer weekends out east when I was a single girl working in New York City and have continued to spend as much time there as possible with my husband and children, even though we now live in Austin. We skipped three long years due to the pandemic and having a new baby in 2021, so this past summer in East Hampton was a happy reunion for our whole family! We visited so many of our old haunts and tried some new spots as well. 

Many of my pieces over the years have been inspired by The Hamptons, and my recently released collection is entirely inspired by this magical part of the country. I had so much fun naming them too!

Since I returned from East Hampton, I have been getting so many questions from y’all about where to eat or stay in the Hamptons, so I wanted to put together my “best of” list whether you’re visiting the Hamptons with or without children. Most of our time is typically centered around East Hampton, Amagansett, Montauk and Sag Harbor, but I’ve included a few Southampton and Bridgehampton picks as well! 

While we love the Hamptons in the summer, a little known fact is that September and October are actually an amazing time to be there. We actually were married in late September in East Hampton and the weather was perfect 70 and sunny with a nice breeze. Added bonus: fewer crowds!

Below are my top picks for where to stay, eat and play!

Getting Around The Hamptons: 

Unlike some East Coast vacation spots (like Nantucket), you really do need a car in the Hamptons. We typically either have our car shipped (because we stay for so long and it’s more affordable than renting a car), or my husband drives it up from Texas (which he did this summer!). Another option is to rent a car, depending on the length of your stay. There are ample rentals at JFK, LaGuardia and Islip airports. You can also take the Jitney (bus) or secure a driver, and then rent a car from the private East Hampton Airport (there is both an Enterprise and Hertz). One more option is to fly into Islip Airport (it’s on Long Island and closer to the Hampton - about 90 minutes) and rent a car at this airport. There are fewer direct flights to Islip, but the rental car situation is easier and the drive to the Hamptons is also shorter.  

If you are coming from the city (not directly from one of the airports), you have a few options for transport:

  • Jitney or Ambassador Bus - these luxury liners are one of the easiest ways to get out to the East End and make stops all throughout the Hamptons.. Book a seat at least a day or two in advance. You still have to contend with traffic, but you have free wifi and snacks to keep you occupied. Added bonus: there’s a tiny restroom on the bus.
  • Long Island Railroad - This was my transportation mode of choice when I lived in NYC. The train goes out of Penn Station in Manhattan, and about 3 hours later you’re in East Hampton. The train can get crowded, but generally  runs on time and you don’t have to contend with traffic. It also stops all along the Hamptons from Southampton to Montauk.
  • Blade- While I’ve personally never splurged on a helicopter or sea plane, this is most definitely the fastest way to the Hamptons from NYC. In about 25 minutes you can get from the city to the beach, and Blade is like Uber for private airfare - you can charter your own plane for a group or family, or hop into a seat and share the plane with strangers. Last time I looked a helicopter ride was about $1,000 a person, each way.

Where to Stay: There are many charming hotels all throughout the Hamptons, which is probably your best bet if you’re staying for a week or less. Week-long rentals are a bit harder to come by in the Hamptons than some places because so many people rent their houses out for a month at a time (or longer). That said, if you’re interested in a house rental, check Airbnb or VRBO for the best selection. 

In terms of specific hotel and restaurant recommendations, I’ve divided this guide up by area since the Hamptons is pretty spread out and it can take you up to 90 minutes to get from Southampton to Montauk, depending on traffic. 

East Hampton

Bostwicks East Hampton

Balsam Farms


Main Beach

Where to Stay:

Where to Eat:

  • Nick and Toni’s - one of our all-time favorite restaurants, this quaint bistro offers Italian-inspired dishes with an emphasis on fresh seafood. Pro tip: sit out on the patio if the weather’s nice. You might even spot a celeb!
  • Bostwicks - Hands-down our favorite spot for casual, delicious seafood. This restaurant is usually our first stop when we arrive in the Hamptons, and the broiled flounder can’t be missed. They may serve wine and cocktails in plastic glasses, but the selection is actually really strong, and the patio in particular is very family friendly. No reservations, so show up early and plan to wait.
  • Serafina - Part of the well-known NYC chain, we love Serafina for its fresh pasta and salads, and indoor/outdoor seating. It’s also fairly easy to get a rezzie, and the food never disappoints. 
  • Hampton Chutney Company - new to EH this year (it used to be located down the street in Amagansett), I lived on the breakfast dosa this summer and couldn’t get enough of the iced cardamon coffee!
  • Moby’s - A magical indoor/outdoor casual, yet sophisticated spot right on 27. Perfect for a low-key date night, happy hour drinks, or an early dinner with the kids because of the large yard for the kids to run around.
  • Si Si - So we never actually dined at this hidden gem, but we did happy hour at SiSi a few times and the cocktail menu is top notch, not to mention the amazing views of the marina in the Springs section of East Hampton. The mediterranean menu looked to die for though and I can’t wait to check it out when I’m back for a girl’s trip this fall.
  • Highway Restaurant - We double dated at this surprisingly chic restaurant that sits near Wainscott. The hummus was delicious and I could have eaten the Thai Chicken Stir Fry every night for a week it was so tasty.
  • Golden Pear - Perfect for a quick coffee or breakfast sandwich. They have locations throughout all of the Hamptons.
  • Goldberg’s - For the best bagel in all of Long Island.
  • Villa Italian Specialities - Looking for a true italian panini? This is the spot. With an eye-popping selection of italian delicacies and an amazing catering arm, this tiny to-go spot is perfect if you’re grabbing a bite to eat on the train to the city, or to take to the beach for a picnic.
  • Round Swamp Farm - Our favorite spot for gourmet “to-go” food, as well as freshly grown produce, local fish and the best damn pies you’ll find anywhere in the Hamptons.

What to Do:

  • Beach: East Hampton boasts some of the best beaches in the country. Check out Main Beach for true Americana at its best, complete with a snack bar on the beach. If you’re feeling adventurous, contact 
  • Visit the Longhouse Reserve to view this 16-acre sculpture garden that contains more than 60 pieces of permanent and seasonal sculptures by famed artists such as Yoko Ono and Willem de Kooning.
  • Visit the Pollack-Krasner House and Studio - Abstract expressionist artist Jackson Pollock and his wife Lee Krasner moved to East Hampton in the 1940s. See where these inspiring painters created some of their best work. The furniture and objects, like Pollock’s collection of jazz records, are as they were when Krasner died in 1984. 
  • Workout: East Hampton has some of the best workout classes on the East End. Some of my favorites include Anna Kaiser (dance-inspired), Soul Cycle and New York Pilates
  • Visit the Duck Pond with your Kids: When William and George were younger we loved grabbing a muffin in town and heading over to the Duck Pond to feed the ducks and “hike” the very small trails around the pond. It’s a great time-filler activity for the little ones!


      Amagansett Square

      Amber Waves

      Atlantic Beach

      Atlantic Beach

      Clam Bar

      Stephen TalkHouse

      Where to Stay:

      • The Reform Club - Where we had our wedding. Private and beautiful, walkable to town
      • The Roundtree - Right in town, exclusive
      • Sea Crest - Beachier, more casual and affordable with bigger rooms kitchenettes
      • Ocean Colony - Similar to the Sea Crest, right on the beach side of Montauk Highway

      Where to Eat:

      • La Fondita - Our go-to spot for quick Tex-Mex. Can’t go wrong with the shrimp tacos.
      • Astro’s - Recently renovated, my husband said this was some of the best pizza he’s ever had - it’s Sicilian style, but they have an ample selection of pastas and salads, too. Kid-friendly.
      • Wolffer Kitchen - Owned by the local Hamptons vineyard, this casual dining spot is an easy go-to for a double date and offers a wide variety of options.
      • Organic Krush - Casual spot for coffee or a buddha bowl, caters to gluten and dairy free diets.
      • Il Buco - This spot has changed hands over the years and this summer we only made it to Il Buco once for lunch. We’ve heard the dinner is to die for, and the backyard patio with twinkly lights is a gorgeous setting for a summer evening.
      • Clam Bar - Our favorite side of the highway spot for fresh seafood. This outdoor-only restaurant is perfect on a sunny day, and you can’t go wrong with the lobster meal.
      • Lobster Roll - Iconic for its famous “Lunch” sign on the side of Montauk Highway, and for its appearance in the show “The Affair,” this casual lobster shack is perfect for families and I always order the hot buttered lobster roll on a gluten free bun - perfection!
      • Jack’s - Hands down, my husband’s favorite coffee shop in America. Strong, but approachable!

      What to Do:

      • Our favorite beach in the Hamptons is Atlantic Beach, right in Amagansett. It has beautiful white sand set against stunning dunes and has a snack bar and ice cream for the kids!
      • In my opinion, there’s no better farmstand than Balsam Farms. I frequently pick up fresh produce (and pies and other goodies) here when I’m cooking dinner and entertaining guests.
      • Amber Waves Farm is an actual farm, with a petite grocery store that carries all the fresh produce you could want, in addition to organic “basics” and very fresh muffins and pastries. What’s more, this sprawling property offers kids and adult classes on farming and cooking throughout the year.
      • Amagansett Square - This charming square has a nice line up of boutiques and retailers including the famed cheese shop Cavaniola’s, Ulla Johnson, Pink Chicken and Amagansett Salon & Spa. They Square also shows movies to the public on certain nights - check the website for the line-up.
      • The Stephen Talkhouse - This is a dive bar/music venue that I’ve been going to since my mid-twenties, and I still like to spend at least one night dancing the night away even now! Sometimes you’ll get lucky and a celeb will pop-in for a surprise concert, but even the local bands like our favorite 80’s cover band Rubix Cube will knock your socks off. 

      Sag Harbor

      American Hotel Sag Harbor

      The Beacon Sag Harbor

      LT Burger

      Where to Stay:

      • American Hotel - Old school and iconic Inn right on the main drag in Sag Harbor
      • Baron’s Cove - Situated near the Marina with stunning views

      Where to Eat:

      • Tutto Il Giorno - Probably my favorite spot in the Hamptons, this restaurant is elegant, chic and absolutely delicious, and has some of the best gluten free pasta options in all of the Hamptons. Make sure to check out their website for the reservation policy.  
      • The Beacon - This hidden Sag Harbor gem served up the best meal of our entire summer. I had the halibut with a lobster corn salsa and it was literally mouth watering! Throw in beautiful views of Sag Harbor and this restaurant is a winner all around.
      • Il Cappuccino - A longtime favorite of ours, this old school Italian restaurant is easy to get in and has a nice mix of pasta, meat and fish entrees. Bonus: they will make you gluten free garlic knots upon request!
      • LT Burger - Perfect for a casual dinner with kids, this gourmet burger joint is delicious for everyone in the family and has a tasty veggie burger for non-meat eaters. The kids also love the milkshakes here!

      What to Do:

      • Walk Around Town - Sag Harbor is one of the best walking towns in all of the Hamptons and has a variety of art galleries and shops for everyone in the family. Some of my favorites include Joey Wolffer, The Wharf Shop, an old-school toy store, and the Sag Harbor Variety Store (known locally only as the Five & Dime)
      • Rent a boat for the day, or a few hours and cruise over to Shelter Island, or up to Montauk
      • Rent a bike in town and bike to Shelter Island for lunch 





        Montauk Lighthouse

        Surf Lodge Montauk

        Where to Stay:

        ***Many of our favorite Montauk restaurants happen to also be hotels, so I’ve combined the lists below.

        • Gurney’s - recently renovated and gorgeous large-scale hotel complete with brand new spa, beach club and various restaurants
        • Surf Lodge - One of our long-time standby’s, and an important piece of the puzzle to the story of how Bill and I met - this bay-side beachy restaurant and boutique hotel  is the perfect casual spot for lunch for dinner. Check out the website’s band lineup too as there’s usually a fun musical act playing on the sand. 
        • Crow’s Nest -One of our favorite farm-to-table spots, this restaurant serves up delicious food and even better atmosphere. Unfortunately they don’t take reservations, so I recommend showing up when the restaurant opens at 5:30. If you have to wait, there’s a lovely patio with lots of lounge seating and a bar. I’ve never seen the hotel rooms, but if they are anything like the restaurant I’m sure they are very well designed and charming.
        • Duryea’s - One of the coolest restaurants we’ve been to, this special little seafood place on the water makes you feel like you’ve been transported to the South of France. Prepare for long wait times, but trust me, it’ll be worth it!

        What to Do:

        • Hit the Waves at Ditch Plains, one of the country’s best known beaches for surfing. Surfing not your thing? Don’t sweat it, Ditch Plains is still a fabulous beach for the whole family and there’s some great people (and surfer) watching.
        • Hike one of the many parks in Montauk including Hither Hills State Park which offers sandy beaches, camping and picnic areas, and a 190-site campground on the Atlantic Ocean. This state park also offers bike and kayak rentals and horseback riding experiences. 
        • Visit the Montauk Lighthouse - A must-see if you have kids old enough to appreciate some history, this lighthouse is the oldest in New York State and is a national landmark. Sometimes you can spot whales here too from this very eastern point! There are also hiking trails in the adjacent Montauk Point State Park which is one of the top state parks in the U.S. to visit!


          Hank's Farmstand


          Tutto II Girono

          Wolffer Estate Winery

          Where to Stay:

          • Topping Rose - Walkable to town of Bridgehampton, exclusive and well appointed

          Where to Eat:

          • Topping Rose - A Jean Georges restaurant known for its impeccable menu and service (Bridgehampton)
          • Pierre’s - A charming French bistro with a superior brunch and a full bar. Love the patio here! (Bridgehampton)
          • Tutto il Giorno - Same restaurant and menu as the Sag Harbor location, with equally charming interiors and garden patio (Southampton)

          What to Do:

          • Go wine tasting at Wolffer Vineyards in Bridgehampton and taste some of the region’s most delicious varietals. This sustainably farmed, family-run estate is gorgeous and it feels like you’re in Napa or Italy, not Long Island. What’s more, the Wine Stand property right on Montauk Highway has festive Friday and Saturday night gatherings that include wine, cheese and music and are perfect for the whole family. We’ve taken the kids many times!
          • Pick Berries (or Pumpkins, Apples, etc.!) at Hank’s Farmstand - great fun for the kiddos!
          • Stop by the Parrish Art Museum - devoted to contemporary American works by artists inspired by the area

            Shelter Island

            Ferry Ride to Shelter Island

            Sunset Beach Shelter Island

            Where to Stay/Eat:

            • Sunset Beach - This boutique hotel feels like you’re in Saint Tropez, with a stellar restaurant and beach access. In my opinion, the food is above average, but the setting is why people make the drive (about 45 minutes from East Hampton).