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If you live in NYC, it is necessary to escape the city at times. Two hours (without traffic…which can be rare) from Manhattan are the heavenly Hamptons. Stretching expanses of pristine beaches, sea grass dunes and a constant sea breeze beckon, offering an idyllic escape from the concrete jungle.

Travel by car is, in my opinion, is the best way to get to all corners of the Hamptons. The traffic from NYC to the Hamptons on the weekends during the summer is notoriously terrible so be forewarned. From NYC you can catch a train to the Hamptons, but act fast because these trains sell out as soon as the tickets go on sale. Another option, if in a hurry or looking to splash some cash, is to arrive via helicopter.

The beaches are the reason to come to the Hamptons but before you head to the sands, meander around to take a look at some of the local homes and beautiful streets. Stunning homes and centuries old oak trees lining the wide roadways create a picturesque and classic northeast scene.

1. Cooper’s Beach

This seven-mile stretch of gorgeous white sand along the Atlantic shoreline consistently shows up on lists of the top beaches In North America. Cooper’s Beach (pictured above) costs $40 for a day pass in season. You can then pay more for chair and umbrella rentals, bathrooms, showers, the beachside grill and a large concession stands for ice cream and snacks. It can therefore get quite pricy. I suggest going just before the high season begins, when parking and the entire beach is free and the sunbathers are sparse.

Stick around until sunset when the locals come out to dog-walk and dip their toes in the ocean. Maybe even set up a picnic rug and have a sunset tipple like
AIX Rosé. Not only do the pink hues of this drink match the sky but Rosé is well known as the ultimate summer drink. A nice glass of chilled AIX from Provence (bring your cooler) is hard to resist when popped open on the beach.

2. Sagg Main Beach

In the heart of of the Hamptons, the spotless Sagg Main Beach offers a low-key atmosphere with a friendly, family feel feel. The General Store on Sagg Main Street is a great place for superb sandwiches for lunch. You do not need a pass to get onto this beach, just pay for your parking an you are in!

3. Indian Wells Beach

This large beach in Amagansett is perfect for a family trip but once again, you will need a permit to park up. Consider taking a taxi or biking over to this beach. Once you have planted yourself in the sand, you have a beautiful beach to enjoy and all the amenities of bathrooms and food vans behind the beach. The Nature Conservancy’s Atlantic Double Dunes makes up a portion of this beach and is a great way to educate kids about beach wildlife.

4. Ditch Plains Beach

This is THE surf spot on Long Island. Located at the farthest end of the island, Ditch Plains offers the best surf on the island, for both beginners and experts. This beach gets super busy at weekends but the surfing crowd is welcoming and friendly. Parking is by permit only, so this is not one to drive to.

5. Main Beach East Hampton

This is the beach to strut your stuff on and to showcase your latest designer swimwear. It is located relatively close to East Hampton’s vibrant town and is the classiest beach on the island; a perfect beach for swimming or just lounging and being seen.

Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.