Family Vacations to the Hamptons, New York

Main Beach on Long Island, New York
Main Beach in the Hamptons, Long Island, New York (courtesy, Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau)

The Hamptons Family Travel Tips

Though “The Hamptons” technically refers to the village of East Hampton and Southampton on Long Island’s south fork, there are several other communities that fall under the umbrella of a Hamptons vacation, including: Water Hill, Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor, Amagansett, and Montauk (much less glitzy than fashionable Southampton, but with a fun, if grittier, beachy charm). The pristine Atlantic beaches, several centuries of rich history, an abundance of vintage bed and breakfasts and small inns for lodging, and charming villages to explore not only have given the Hamptons their cachet but make it a relaxing—if pricey—area for a family vacation.

Though you could spend an entire Hamptons vacation happily doing nothing but hanging around your bed and breakfast and collecting shells on the beach, there are a number of family attractions in the area worth checking out. Visit the Atlantis Marine World, an interactive and educational aquarium where you can feed stingrays or even snorkel in a shark tank. Deep Hollow Ranch is the oldest working ranch in the United States: dating back to the 1600s, it’s both a rich historical treasure as well as a great place to go for a horseback ride on the beach. The Hallockville Museum Farm educates visitors about Long Island farm life in the 1800s; and you can tour the 1796 Montauk Lighthouse Museum, the first lighthouse in New York State and the fourth-oldest active lighthouse in the United States.

A mention of a vacation in the Hamptons brings up an image of the wealthy and powerful New Yorker’s playground. But the Hamptons are within reach of a more modest vacationer’s budget, particularly if visited on the off-season or during the week, and if you’re willing to avoid the trendy shops and restaurants in favor of more laid-back activities like visiting local farm stands and bicycling down country roads.


Published: 2 Apr 2009 | Last Updated: 30 Mar 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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