24 Hours in the Hamptons – How to Make the Most of Your Time

Have you ever wondered if it’s worth traveling to the Hamptons for just one day?  Well…that’s all the time my best friend and I had to visit.  Though, I think you’ll be surprised at what we squeezed into those 24 hours in the Hamptons!

How To Make the Most of 24 Hours in the Hamptons:

From our area of New Jersey, the Hamptons are roughly a 3-4 drive, depending on New York traffic and depending on which part of the Hamptons you are planning to visit.

Map of Long Island and the Hamptons

Photo Credit – By Chinissai – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia

While in the Hamptons, Tour a Showhouse…

Since our goal was to visit the Traditional Home Hampton Designer Showhouse, we knew we would be focusing on the Bridgehampton area.  (You can see it just to the right of Hampton Bays on the map above).  Luckily, Bridgehampton isn’t too far out on Long Island.

In order to avoid the weekend crowds, we planned to leave New Jersey on a Tuesday morning.  We just had to make sure we left after rush hour.  With our goal in mind, we headed directly to the Hampton Designer Showhouse, arriving right around 12:30 p.m.

Since their were NO crowds at all, we spent a couple hours touring the showhouse…

Be sure to check out my tours:

So, I hesitate to share this secret, but apparently if you go mid-week there will not be a line!  When we arrived, we went right in and practically had the place to ourselves!

Have Lunch on the Water During Your 24 Hours in the Hamptons…

From there, we decided to drive into the darling coastal town of Sag Harbor for lunch..

We decided on Dockside Bar and Grill where we enjoyed some delicious clam chowder and salads.

After driving through the town, we considered coming back to Sag Harbor for dinner later that evening.

But first we checked into our hotel…or should I say, “motel”

We learned that when you stay overnight in the Hamptons, you either spend a ridiculous amount of money or you stay in a modest motel.  This explains why most people who spend summers in the Hamptons rent houses for the season.

We were booked at the Hamlet Inn in Southampton which received good reviews on Trip Advisor.  While it was nothing luxurious, our room was cute, clean and all the finishes were updated.

The hotel owner was so friendly and helpful when we inquired about restaurants in the area.  I don’t think I have ever received such detailed directions!  She even wrote notes on a map for us and gave us all kinds of tips to get around.  We left there fully equipped to navigate the beach areas for potential restaurant options for dinner.

Listening to her suggestions, we looked into the casual beach eateries and then drove around Southampton where we just had to do some house stalking!

Go House Stalking During Your 24 Hours in the Hamptons…

Whether you have several days or just 24 hours in the Hamptons, you have to check out the ocean front estates!

Of course, most of the homes were hidden behind hedges and large fences.

Although, it was still fun to drive around and spy a little…

Isn’t this just what you would expect from the Hamptons?…

Where’s Jerry Seinfeld?…

No wonder everyone is drawn to this area!

Dine in Sag Harbor During Your 24 Hours in the Hamptons…

Rather than dine in one of the beach areas our trusty motel owner suggested, we decided to head back to Sag Harbor where we had been earlier in the day.  We wanted more of a quaint, in-town place for dinner.

Though there were many inviting restaurants on the main street, we ended up choosing Page.  Luckily, Tuesday nights weren’t too crazy and we were able to get a table around 8:30.

We loved the relaxed farmhouse style atmosphere and the amazing farm-to-table menu.  I took this photo as we were leaving…(it wasn’t that empty when we arrived!)  Our dinner was wonderful and we enjoyed walking around the charming town.  Sag Harbor is definitely on the list for a return trip!

Shop in Southampton During Your 24 Hours in the Hamptons…

Since the town of Southampton is known for its wide array of shops, we decided to spend the next morning there before we headed home.

First, we grabbed a delicious breakfast at The Golden Pear after hearing rave reviews about their food.  Apparently, it’s a popular restaurant in Southampton NY.

As we walked around, we spotted some beautiful outdoor cafes…

Tables and umbrellas at outdoor restaurant in Southampton NY

Too bad we didn’t have enough time to stay for lunch!

But we only had time to shop and we made use of every minute we had…

From Vineyard Vines and other well known brands to charming boutiques…

Southampton had it all.

But on the top of my list was a visit to the iconic One Kings Lane Store!

I wasn’t going to leave Southampton without stopping in there!

Blue chairs, striped rug, large windows, large plant in furniture store display Hamptons

With my love of blue and white, this store was like heaven for me!

White slipcovered sofa, striped rug, woven pendant lighting, coastal artwork - Coastal Grandmother style decor

What a fun experience to see all the coastal goodies in person…I felt like I was living in a Nancy Meyers movie.  Now, I think I need a beach house!

The staff couldn’t have been more attentive and friendly.  We could have stayed there all day!

But we had more places to go…like the huge Pottery Barn store…

Sure, I am in Pottery Barn all the time, but the huge Southampton store had so many gorgeous displays that it felt fresh and different.

And I am always inspired by something when I shop there!

Candles and plants on round table - shopping in the Hamptons

When decorating a vignette, can’t go wrong with candles and greenery.

Striped rug and white outdoor sofa furniture display

Of course, one can never have enough blue and white!  While shopping, I kept thinking of the decor from one of my favorite Nancy Meyer’s movies, Something’s Gotta Give.  If you’re a fan as well, read about why we love that movie!

Southampton…what a lovely place to spend a morning!

After our shopping-fest, we headed back to New Jersey.  Ironically, we left town right around 12:30 p.m. which meant that we spent exactly 24 hours in the Hamptons!

We are already talking about visiting next year’s Hampton Showhouse.

Hopefully, next time we will be able to spend more than just one day there.  At least we know that 24 hours in the Hamptons is definitely doable!

Have you ever been to the New York Hamptons?

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24 Hours in the Hamptons


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  1. I like be the Hamptons and South Hampton is one of my favorite spots. I was last there a few years ago and loved it. I will have to take a ride out in the fall. 🙂

  2. I used to live on LI and visited the Hamptons often. Rooms and crowds on weekdays off-season are less. Your photos are beautiful and descriptions capture the excitement.I'll pin this!

  3. Fabulous tour, dear Shelley! I've only been to the Hamptons once. It was lovely but I could not believe how horrible the traffic was! Next time I'm going off-season. Have a wonderful week!

  4. Loved your whirlwind tour, Shelley! I've spent many summers in the Hamptons, and you covered a lot of ground in a short time! We had a house in East Hampton for awhile, and I absolutely love the area. We actually preferred it in the off season, when the crowds died down. Looking back, we wish we never sold it 🙁 If you go back next year, East Hampton, Amagansett and Montauk are all wonderful in different ways. Thanks for sharing at Best Of The Weekend!

    1. It really was a fun getaway! I am sure we couldn’t have accomplished all that if we went on a weekend with all the traffic! It’s so pretty out there and I am hoping to go back this summer!

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