A quick visit to The Hamptons
Updated: Oct 11, 2018
With Summer right around the corner it's good to consider The Hamptons for your next American trip.
This coastal place is a classic representation of the American Summer and all the traditions that come with it. From beautiful scenery, to impressive vacation homes and meticulously curated crafts to find on the island.
I had always wanted to visit The Hamptons, I was not even sure where in New York they were until a few years ago. So my partner and I were in NYC earlier this Summer and we decided to drive to Long Island and make it all the way to Southampton to visit.
It was a warm sunny day and drove with no traffic, now I understand why Long Island has that name, it's so long. San Francisco could fit on that island a few times for sure, you drive and drive and still drive more until reaching The Hamptons. Unless you have the option to jump on a helicopter then the ride would be definitely shorter, something to consider.
We were lucky as our aunt lives there and has a beautiful older home there, so accommodation was free. Don't get all jealous, it wasn't one of those multi-million dollar homes like celebrities have, it was just perfect and conveniently located near town.
From the moment we start driving on the Long Island Express (LIE), it's all lush and green, coming from the Bay Area where water is scarce these days, it was nice to see how green everywhere is. No exception getting to Southampton, very green, all homes and buildings are painted mainly white, so the contrast of white with deep evergreen color is refreshing and calming at the same time.
I didn't really know what to expect, soon we started seeing the beautiful homes, huge, lined up with big lawns, big gates, some of them you couldn't even see from the street because of the long driveways, and those hedges, the famous tall hedges of The Hamptons, I then felt I was part of a Hollywood movie. Those hedges make this place what it is, long and tall hedges, all perfectly manicured and you get to see many gardeners working on them. Stepping on top of ladders, with improvised scaffolding, day after day and only to keep those hedges perfectly trimmed. I'm not kidding, these were about 10 to 14 feet tall. Majestic, almost as if they were the guardians of secrets, many secrets that they have witnessed for decades, protecting the landlords from the outside world and keeping family legacies intact, shielded from outsiders. They make me think and remember the Kennedy's, with so many photos and stories about their family that happened here.
Weather can be a little unpredictable there, we had sunny days and one foggy day, either way we ventured out to the beaches that are like taken out of a postcard. Driving through the streets and seeing these multi-million dollar homes on the beach with direct access to the Atlantic Ocean was decadent. Of course there are public beaches but the trick is that there's not much parking, literally one beach can only allow ten cars to park there without permit and the locals are the ones with permits. Be prepared to work hard on finding parking. For us it was easy because we were with our aunt, a local.
Spent a full day at the beach, sunny, humid sunny day, it was just perfect. Walking on the beach, doing some boggie boarding, laying on the beach. Ah! it’s a unique place in this world and perfect for the Summer.
Downtown has lavish and very expensive stores, after visiting many places this is definitely one of the most expensive for shopping. The shops are kept according to their heritage and original architectural style, clean, manicured, white paint and very Americana. Many of the fashion designers have store representation there, some other locals with cute flower shops, souvenirs and more. Come prepared, there's plenty to see and buy and it won't be cheap but it will definitely be worth it I'm sure. I'd recommend you check out Ralph Lauren, the store is located in a unique two-building property with courtyard in between and incredibly well maintained trees and plants.
July and August should be fantastic to visit even for a weekend, I wish I could go back there for a weekend but I'm too far. So if you can take advantage of this classic american getaway, pack your bags, jump in your car or on a ferry and venture out to The Hamptons. Classic Americana at its best.