The Most Exclusive and Interesting Spots That All the Locals Love
It’s no secret: The Hamptons is well-known for some of the most lavish and luxurious restaurants, bars, designer boutiques, scenic areas, and homes in the country. By now, you have probably heard of—and visited—the most popular spots across eastern Long Island's South Fork. This summer, it’s time to get out and try something new with your family and friends. Word-of-mouth goes a long way; we’ve rounded up some of the most treasured venues to visit throughout this famous string of seaside communities, from hush-hush hangouts that have been around for years to hip up-and-coming locations. Plus, who doesn’t want to be the one to introduce their crew to the newest place to be?
Caroline Gerard Park
You’d be lying if you say you aren’t fascinated by the prospect of a romantic and intimate sunset spot that’s off-the-grid. The tiny, mysterious Caroline Gerard Park won’t show up on your GPS, but we’ll tell you how to get there. If you drive down Gerard Drive, you’ll reach this secret place. Located between Napeague Bay and Accabonac Harbor, this exclusive park is split into two spaces by Gerard Drive, right across the road from one another. 266 Gerard Drive is closest to the water and has the best breathtaking views for a sunset or sunrise, with level and sandy grounds near the rocky shore that is perfect for a dreamy picnic, a serene kayak journey, or just kicking back and relaxing. Across the way is 271 Gerard Drive, the sister plot of land that’s a quiet, grassy spot with recreational open space and autumn olive and spotted knapweed abound. The East Hampton Town Code categorizes Caroline Gerard Park as an official nature preserve. This means that the park’s total 6.3 acres are “formally dedicated to being maintained as nearly as possible in its natural condition.” The land was specially chosen for preservation based on the “unique and valuable ecological assets'' that are located within its boundaries. Caroline Gerard Park is not only protected to preserve the land, but it also provides a multi-use recreational resource for the community. As for its name? Back in the 1930s, a man from East Setauket let the town of East Hampton construct a road through his property—as long as they named one of the parks after his wife, Caroline. There are also other one-of-a-kind parks around the area for you to stroll through or have a run in. If you go outside, break a sweat, and are ready for lunch, we have the perfect culinary reward waiting for you. Your next spot should be...
Location: 271 and 266 Gerard Drive, East Hampton, New York
Sourdough and honey wheat and rosemary bread—oh my! Don’t let the name scare you: the charming and clever Breadzilla Bakery bakes handcrafted goods that are to die for. You can pick your poison from the daily handwritten menu, and they don’t just offer baked goodies; their lunch is equally appetizing. They have innovative soups and sandwiches, like Thai clam chowder or blackened salmon sandwiches, and classic treats such as cinnamon buns, donuts, coffee cakes, and layered cakes (there’s chocolate, vanilla, and carrot with incredibly delicious cremes and frostings). They even have Korean BBQ and shrimp po’boys. Once you give it a try, you’ll understand why this under-the-radar spot is a local favorite.
Location: 84 Wainscott Northwest Road, Wainscott, New York 11975
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
You may or may not have heard of it, but either way, this place is legendary. Founded in 1891, the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is one of the world’s (you heard right—world’s) oldest golf courses. It is habitually ranked as one of the greatest courses across the globe, and as of 2000, it joined the National Register of Historic Places. A links-style course (which is the oldest type of golf course), it resembles a number of the courses on the British Isles, since its design was first developed in Scotland. Although Shinnecock Hills Golf Club may be old, it continues to be ahead of its time when it comes to breaking down cultural barriers; it was the first American golf club to admit women members, which it did from the day its doors opened. It is also the famous host of one of the sport’s greatest competitions—the U.S. Open—not once, not twice, but five times (and will host the Open again in 2026). Although it’s been through several restorations and renovations, its architectural and historical character remains considerably the same as it was a century ago. It’s the perfect way to spend a lazy summer night or peaceful spring day solo or with friends and family—from relaxing to swinging at one of the 18 holes on the course. But there’s a catch: the only way to get a peek at what’s inside (and outside, for that matter) is by being a guest to someone with a coveted membership, or have a private membership yourself. It’s so private cell phones aren’t allowed in the clubhouse or on club grounds. It’s time to make new connections—maybe someone will invite you!
Location: 200 Tuckahoe Road, Southampton, New York 11968
The Hamptons is marked by extensive stretches of beach and a beautiful interior of farmland. For almost forty years, the Peconic Land Trust has worked with landowners, organizations, and communities to conserve over 13,000 acres of farmland, meadows, woodland, dunes, and wetlands across The Hamptons, and Bridge Gardens is one of them. Its mission is to conserve Long Island’s working farms, natural lands, and heritage for the entire community both now and in the future. Located right in the heart of Bridgehampton, this stunning plot of land is basically hidden in plain sight right on the Peconic Land Trust’s land. This natural oasis is full of calm and tranquility; consider lying down on a blanket to meditate, enjoy time with a loved one, or bring your yoga mat for a peaceful self-guided session. Take a serene stroll through the pastel-colored plants—it’s a great place for family photos! Whatever you choose to do, enjoy the five-acre garden full of flowers, herbs, and trees. Since 2008, its mission has been to “serve as a multi-purpose, multi-disciplinary outdoor classroom, demonstration garden, and community resource,” so stay up-to-date on all of the events they have planned. If you’re a fan of geography and ecology, especially in the context of its history in The Hamptons, a trip to Bridge Gardens (or one of the other gorgeous conservation sites in the area) and a breath of fresh air could be the perfect afternoon for you.
Location: 296 Hampton Road, Southampton, New York 11968
Lynn's Hula Hut
It’s the retreat with liquid treats. Nothing says “hidden treasure” like a trip to a tucked-away tiki bar. Lynn’s Hula Hut is a quaint, Polynesian-style bar nestled in the Montauk Marine Basin. You won’t find a shortage of Instagram-worthy drinks, dishes, and backdrops. The repurposed office trailer turned bamboo bar is a fun, vibrant mix of rustic, bohemian, and seaside chic. The venue is home to some of the best handcrafted cocktails in the area, from their Shark Bite Margarita to their Hula Juice Rum. It’s the ideal place to kick back and relax on one of their cozy tan couches (or wicker chairs, or hammocks!), or play a game of cornhole with your friends. They have a Montauk clam & oyster bar on weekends but feature a small yet delicious chalkboard menu every day. They also host daily original music performances by local singers, songwriters, and bands on their bamboo stage. All artists are welcome—without a fee—to display their work on the super cool Art Wall. This coveted place is on the map, although it doesn’t attract massive crowds; you’ve probably seen their cocktail recipe book sold in Barnes & Noble! This one-of-a-kind spot feels like your own private paradise within the East End—don’t forget to enjoy the waterfront views!
Location: 426 West Lake Drive, Montauk, New York 11954
Ready to Explore?
If you’re looking to make the move or purchase property in the Hamptons area so you are always in close proximity to these fantastic hidden gems, contact us today. There are a number of beautiful East Hampton homes for sale, and Matthew Breitenbach would love to assist you in finding the perfect residence. You can also read our blog for more wonderful activities and things to do around the area.
CHECK OUT SOME OF THE INCREDIBLE AND YET AVAILABLE PROPERTIES OFFERED BY OUR HAMPTONS REAL ESTATE AGENTS
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