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The Hamptons have held a reputation in New York for more than a century as being the premiere summer hotspot of New Yorkers. Those who live outside the Tri-State area might not be familiar with their omniscient, ever-present reputation among New York's most elite, but it's there - and many people wonder why, and how, the Hamptons became so popular.

The simple fact is that this eastern end of Long Island is not only reserved for those who can afford its lavish hotels and luxe resorts - it's a summer destination for everyone visiting New York and its beaches. It's a common misconception that one must be part of the upper class in order to appreciate and enjoy it, and there are many affordable options for those on a tight budget - but that's for another article. So, why are the Hamptons so popular with New Yorkers, specifically, and what makes them so special for everyone else?

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The Hamptons Are Unbelievably Easy To Reach From New York City

It's hard to believe how easy it is to get from one end of Long Island to the other, and those traveling from New York City won't have any issues making it out. With a number of public transportation options, those who live in New York City often find themselves making the journey out to the Hamptons almost every weekend during the summer. Those who own cars and live in the city have the additional option to drive themselves, although summer city traffic sometimes makes this difficult; however, it is the better option for those who have summer houses or plan to do their own adventuring.

A number of transportation options from New York City out to the Hamptons include:

  • Bus Service: The Hampton Jitney is by far the most popular option, but for those seeking something a little more comfortable, the Hampton Luxury Liner is also available.
  • MTA, or LIRR (Railroad): The LIRR is undoubtedly the most reliable, surefire option when it comes to getting between New York City and Long Island. The LIRR has stops between both the North Fork (Riverhead) and the South Fork (Hamptons), so figuring out where to go, and getting there, is incredibly easy. This is also the most cost-effective transportation option.
  • A personal vehicle or rental: Driving oneself from New York City to the Hamptons takes anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2 hours, given traffic on any day. Some prefer this option, however, over sharing a public transportation space.

Related: Shelter Island Is The Perfect Alternative To The Hamptons, And This Is How To Get There

What Is There To Do In The Hamptons That Makes Them So Special?

When it comes to the Hamptons, the sky is truly - literally - the limit. From skydiving to vineyard tours, international restaurants featuring scenic views, pristine beaches and historic lighthouse hikes, there's something for everyone. This is part of what makes the Hamptons such an amazing experience for newcomers - and one that manages to fit into any budget, despite the myth that it's only for the 'elite' of New York's population.

Consider a trip to Montauk if popular Hamptons isn't on the itinerary - it's often more affordable, and offers a more remote, calmer version of Long Island's East End that doesn't feel as glamorous as, say, Southampton.

For those who live in New York City, the Hamptons provides a much-needed reprieve that they wouldn't get elsewhere, located not far from the city itself. For those who live in upstate New York, the Hamptons provide beaches that the landlocked region doesn't have.

For those visiting the Hamptons, some towns to consider are:

  • Southampton: The most popular town, great for shopping, celebrity sightings, and luxe dining.
  • East Hampton: A quieter Hamptons town, great for a laid-back beach vacation.
  • Westhampton Beach: More affordable than the above towns but with excellent, rural beach access.
  • Quogue: Perfect for nature enthusiasts and secluded beach lovers.
  • Sagaponack: A small historic village.
  • Sag Harbor: Also historic, a good alternative to the more popular Hamptons summer spots.
  • Hampton Bays: The most affordable of the Hamptons without sacrificing luxury.
  • Bridgehampton: A small hamlet next to Southampton, great for summer events.

Who Should Visit The Hamptons?

In short, everyone who is interested in visiting the Hamptons should visit! Despite the common myths that revolve around this summer destination, there truly is something for everyone depending on their budget and interests. Whether it's a quiet beach trip or the utmost in luxury accommodations, the Hamptons are sure to have it.

It's the perfect spot for those seeking New York's best beaches (and some of the best beaches in the Northeast), as well as those interested in a bit of local Long Island history. When it comes down to it, the Hamptons are special for more reasons than its Haute couture reputation - and it only takes one vacation to prove that.