Like most things in the Hamptons, the beach you choose is secretly a status symbol. Do you prefer peace and quiet, or are you looking for paparazzi action? Are you into surfing? Kiddos? Tanning alongside men in Speedos? No matter your fancy, there’s a golden patch to suit.
MOST FAMILY-FRIENDLY: MECOX BEACH IN BRIDGEHAMPTON
Quiet and kid-friendly, Mecox has lifeguards on call for most of the day. There are also bathrooms and showers, a snack stand, volleyball nets and a fishing area. Plus, you’ll be in good company when little Lucy decides to throw a 40-minute temper tantrum.
MOST FITNESS-FORWARD: WAINSCOTT BEACH IN WAINSCOTT
Located a stone’s throw away from Barry’s Bootcamp, Wölffer Estate Stables and Lift Gym, Wainscott Beach is a quaint spot for relaxing (and showing off those abs) pre- or post-workout.
CLEANEST: MAIN BEACH IN EAST HAMPTON
Arguably the East End’s most popular beach, Main Beach is an all-around people pleaser that regularly tops lists of the world’s best beaches because of its super-clean, super-fine powdery sand.
BEST FOR SURFING: DITCH PLAINS IN MONTAUK
Montauk is widely considered one of the best surf towns in the whole country, primarily due to the wave-friendly rock bottom at Ditch Plains. It can get crowded, so proceed with caution on particularly good surfing days.
BEST FOR SPOTTING CELEBS: GIBSON BEACH IN SAGAPONACK
One of the most expensive zip codes in the U.S., Sagaponack is known for its lavish gated estates. Fittingly, it’s a celebrity magnet that draws the likes of Billy Joel, Jimmy Fallon and Cynthia Nixon.
COOLEST PARTY SCENE: FLYING POINT BEACH IN WATER MILL
Southampton is known for its Waspy clientele, so you might be surprised to learn that it’s also where you’ll find the East End’s sceney-est slice of sand. Expect hipsters on blankets, entitled teenagers and plenty of beautiful people nursing their hangovers.
MOST GAY-FRIENDLY: TWO MILE HOLLOW IN EAST HAMPTON
Speedos as far as the eye can see.