11 Things to Do in the Hamptons When You Need a Break from the Beach
Whether you got a little too much sun yesterday or just feel like doing something other than lounging on a towel, you’ll find everything you need for a magical afternoon—or even a whole day—without stepping foot on the sand. From horseback riding to catching a movie in a vintage theater to vineyard hopping, here are 11 activities that will have you saying "Later, beach."
Go wine (or beer or spirits) tasting
Whether your drink of choice is a glass of rosé, an IPA or a whiskey, the East End has a tasting room for you. Pick up some sandwiches and snacks from L&W Market and then spend an afternoon learning about wine at Wölffer Estate Vineyard (Sagaponack), beer at Montauk Brewing Company (Montauk) or whiskey, bourbon, gin and vodka at Long IslandSpirits (Baiting Hollow). You can also make your own gin over in Greenport at Matchbook Distilling.
Spend an afternoon at one of the East End’s museums
Those with kids should check out the Children’s Museum of the East End (it’s jam-packed with activities like a pirate ship, a food truck and an outdoor mini-golf course). Art lovers can’t miss the Parrish Art Museum, which features work by local artists, and history buffs of all ages can learn about the area’s maritime past at the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum. If we had to pick just one, though, it would be the South Fork Natural History Museum. The butterfly and wildflower gardens are stunning—and how often do you get the opportunity to touch a sea urchin?
Climb up the Montauk Point Lighthouse
You’ve almost certainly snapped a photo of the Montauk Point Lighthouse, but have you been inside? The lighthouse, which was the first in New York state, is open to visitors throughout the summer months. Climb to the top for a dreamy view of Long Island.
2000 Montauk Hwy., Montauk; 631-668-2544 or montauklighthouse.com
Eat, shop and spend a whole day exploring a charming East End village
Confession: We always mean to spend a leisurely day exploring the East End’s charming villages, but all too often we only run into town for a coffee or when we run out of sunscreen. Make this the summer you finally get to know Southampton, Sag Harbor or Montauk by spending a whole day in the hamlets. Here are some suggested itineraries to get you started.
Lace up your sneakers for a hike
Escape from the crowds with some nature. Throughout the East End, you’ll find hikes full of breathtaking scenery and even some wildlife. Hike by forests and ponds in the Quogue Wildlife Refuge (Quogue) or past an old lighthouse at Cedar Point County Park (East Hampton), or take in the wildlife at Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge (Sag Harbor).
Go horseback riding
Hear the words cattle ranch and you probably think of Texas, not Montauk, but The End is home to one of the country’s oldest ranches, Deep Hollow, where you can saddle up to take guided rides along coastal trails or even on the beach.
8 Old Montauk Hwy, Montauk; 631-668-2744 or deephollowranch.com
Catch a flick
On the hottest of summer days when there’s no breeze and the sand is scorching, there’s no place better to beat than heat than a movie theater, eating popcorn as your fingers slowly turn blue in the AC. In both East Hampton and Southampton, the quaint, old-school cinemas offer multiple showings of the latest box-office hits.
Get lost in a corn maze
Gather your squad and see who can make it through the corn maze the fastest. Afterward, treat yourselves to apple-cider doughnuts. Come late August and early September, you’ll find a number of corn mazes opening up on the East End, but our favorites are the ones at Fairview Farm at Mecox and Hank’s Pumpkintown.
Visit the Pollock-Krasner house
Go ahead and touch the art. In East Hampton, the former home of husband-and-wife artists Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner is open to visitors. In Pollock’s barn studio you’ll find evidence of his poured paint technique on the floor and walls (and yes, you’re totally allowed to touch). The whole home, which they bought for $5,000 in 1946, still contains many of their furnishings and is simply a cool space to visit.
830 Springs-Fireplace Rd., East Hampton; 631-324-4929 or stonybrook.edu/commcms/
Want freshly picked blueberries, raspberries and blackberries? Pick your own at one of the East End’s berry farms (we’re partial to Hank’s Farmstand in Southampton and Seven Ponds Orchard in Water Mill) and then spend an afternoon practicing your pie-making skills. Pro tip: In late July you’ll find blueberries and raspberries; look for blackberries in August.
Go to a concert at an iconic music venue
One of the original Hamptons night spots dating back to 1970, Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett has hosted everyone from Crosby, Stills & Nash to the Rolling Stones to Van Morrison, and continues to showcase indie talents and popular acts like Rufus Wainwright, Donavon Frankenreiter and even Kiefer Sutherland (yep, he’s a musician too).