A day at Hamptons: exploring Southampton
Quem é fã de Revenge, Gossip Girl e Sex and the City certamente vai se lembrar dos Hamptons – principalmente se falarmos só em Revenge, já que a série toda tem como pano de fundo os Hamptons. Cenário de muitos filmes e seriados, essa região de praias é famosa pelo seu charme e por ser um refúgio do calor infernal de Nova York durante o verão. Não se trata de qualquer praia – é praia de gente rica, e não estou exagerando, já que pude ver tudo de perto. O próprio acesso ao local, as mansões, as lojas: tudo nos Hamptons tem essa coisa de ostentação, sabem? Fazia muito tempo que eu queria conhecer a região e, no último sábado, alugamos um carro com mais um casal de amigos em fomos passar um dia por lá.
If you’ve been watching Revenge, Gossip Girl or Sex and the City, you will certainly remember the Hamptons – especially if we speak about Revenge, as the whole series is set in the Hamptons. This region of beaches is famous for its charm and for being a refuge from New York during the summer. This is not just a beach – is beach for rich people, and I’m not exaggerating, as I could see it up close. The access to the place, the mansions, shops: all the Hamptons is about ostentation, you know? For a long time I wanted to know the area and on Saturday, we rented a car with a couple of friends and we spend a day there.
Hamptons is located in Eastern Long Island, in the New York State and consists of different areas, such as Southampton, East Hampton and Montauk. We chose Southampton as our destination – because is the city closer to Manhattan – we took just over 2 hours to get there. Everything is very quiet and you can not deny that we feel inside a movie. For me, it’s always lovely to be in a place I knew only because of movies and TV shows. The streets are charming, calm and wooded. We saw a lot of families and couples, many of them older. Do not think that Southampton is a bustling beach. Your air is countrified. At Main Street, you walk by restaurants, cafes, ice cream shops and other stores (Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors are present). The cool thing is that the architecture of these places follows the same style of the whole city. The streets are very clean and you can do everything walking at Main Street. I recommend using Foursquare or Yelp and choose a restaurant for lunch. There are several, super charming, with tables outside. We chose La Parmigiana, an Italian restaurant. It doesn’t have a very charming environment as others in the region, but the price was great, with generous portions. The gnocchi with pesto sauce costs $ 17 on average and quietly serves two people, as well as the chicken parmigiana, which comes with spaghetti with tomato sauce. We wasted so much food that we feel bad.
After lunch and walk down Main Street, we pass by the Agawam Park, which is nearby and has a beautiful view of the Lake Agawam. From there, we went to the beach and our mistake was to leave the car parked and walk. We walk more than 20 minutes! The path is amazing, you can not deny: super quiet tree-lined streets – and also full of mansions with their green fences. And we see on television. Pure ostentation.
The beach is beautiful, and it wasn’t crowded. But it is because of the access (very difficult if you don’t have a car) and the structure that you already realize that the place is not “accessible”, so to speak. There are no bars or restaurants by the sea – only a few mansions. There was only one public toilet (chemical toilet, which was dirty and no toilet paper). There is no sun guard or rent chairs – and any place to wash the body after the beach. You see, I was not surprised because I expected it to be so, but I’m just reporting so you know exactly what you will find. The beach is clean and beautiful and the sea has not many waves. So it’s good to know these details to go prepared, you know? We spent a few hours there, chatting and enjoying. I was the only one not to enter the water – but everyone assured it was a delight.
As I mentioned earlier in the post, we rented a car to make our schedule, and those who are thinking about visiting the place, I strongly recommend doing this as well. Despite that you can explore Main Street walking, the beach is far away, as I mentioned. Our friend, who was with us, had been there, and, at that time, he took a train (Long Island Rail Road, PenStation), but he also took a bicycle. So, despite being practical catch a train from Manhattan to one of the regions of the Hamptons, I do not recommend. If we were with no car, we would be very limited. I did not see bikes for rent, or cabs. If you are in a group, certainly it will be reasonable to rent a car. About accommodation in the area, I can not comment as we went back and forth on the same day. We chose a Saturday just to not get much traffic getting back. We left Manhattan at 10:30 am and return at 9pm and it was a very well spent day. But I had already researched, out of curiosity, some hotels and don’t be scared,, it’s expensive, very expensive.
My point of view? Super positive, I loved! If I wish the place had more structure to receive visitors? Obviously. But then, Hamptons would certainly lose its air of exclusivity that attracts and causes so much curiosity in people. For me, very worth the ride!
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.