East Hampton, The Hamptons Travel Guide
East Hampton Summary
- One of the hippest spots in the Hamptons, with a vibrant nightlife and upscale restaurants
- Some of the best shopping in the Hamptons
- See-and-be-seen Main Beach
- Georgica Beach, a surfer's haven
- Jackson Pollock's former home and studio, now a museum
- Mulford Farm, an English Colonial-era farmstead on the National Register of Historic Places
- The Grey Gardens mansion (now restored and privately owned)
- Many famous residents, including Martha Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, and Sean Combs
- One of the most expensive areas in the Hamptons
- Lacks the laid-back vibe of some other areas like Amagansett
What It's Like
East Hampton is one of the chicest Hamptons destinations, with upscale shops and restaurants, beautiful beaches, and enormous mansions; it is known as the "new money" area. But in the Hamptons, even the "new money" is old. East Hampton became a playground for the rich in the late 1800s, and has seen many famous (and infamous) residents over the years. Billy Joel has a home there, as does Martha Stewart. Jackie Onassis' aunt and cousin lived in squalor in a crumbling East Hampton mansion for decades, which became the topic of the 1975 documentary Grey Gardens, and then later of the 2009 HBO film. East Hampton also has a past as an artists' colony; Jackson Pollock had a home there that is now a museum.
Many historic buildings have been maintained and now serve as museums and art galleries in the downtown area. The downtown area is a bit larger than in other Hamptons towns, and offers plenty of shops for window-shopping and splurging; the elm-lined streets make it a nice spot for a stroll. If you're heading to the Hamptons for the see-and-be-seen beaches, you'll want to check out Main Beach's mansion-lined white sands. Want to hang ten? Georgica Beach is the best spot for surfing in East Hampton.
Where To Stay
Many visitors to the Hamptons rent houses, so hotels can be a little difficult to find. There are a number of upscale B&B-like options in East Hampton, though they book up quickly. To save some green, try a B&B that's slightly outside of the downtown area, or lacks amenities such as a pool.