Nothing says summer in the Hamptons quite like a relaxing beach day. Unfortunately, in the Hamptons, relaxing beach days aren't always easy to come by. If you don't care much about celebrity sightings or making it into the margins of a Page Six spread, our friends at MoneyCrashers.com reveal how to find the area's less crowded (though, in most cases, still bustling) spreads.
Sagg Main Beach.
At these Hamptons beaches you can often find an adequate-sized patch of sand with reasonable ambient noise levels and an unobstructed path to the waves—even on the weekends. And, perhaps most importantly, you can usually get a parking space without paying through the nose for a town pass or bribing a share-house owner for a spot on her lawn. Try these six public beaches in the Hamptons, and be sure to report back.
Atlantic Avenue Beach attracts a younger crowd, but "crowd" is the operative word—if you like being around people, you'll feel at home here. And if you do not like being surrounded by throngs of other beachgoers, it's best to look elsewhere. Despite all the mixing and mingling in the shadow of the beach's excellent (and, on hot days, welcome) concession stand, parking isn't hard to come by here; Atlantic Avenue Beach has an abundance. 4 Atlantic Ave., Amagansett
Coopers is a borderline world-class beach: a wide, brilliant-white expanse with a shallow grade, pleasant waves, and enough real estate to keep discrete groups (families with small children, society types, trust-fund merrymakers, and sun-dried locals) segregated. Not a bad surfing hangout either—though it's best to watch out for territorial veterans. No parking pass is required, but you do have to pony up $40 per day for a spot in the main lot. 268 Meadow Lane, Southampton
First-time visitors marvel at this centrally located Hamptons beach's low-key vibes—it's like the secret somehow hasn't gotten out, even though it's staring everyone right in the face. (To be fair, given the concentration of celebs and city society types in the surrounding area, there's a fair amount of discretion happening here as well.) Parking is ample, though a $25/day pass is required for non-Southampton residents. 57 Sagaponack Dr., Bridgehampton
If you're willing to drive a little farther—okay, a lot farther—this classic Montauk beach is well worth the visit. A bit wilder and more windswept than its counterparts in Southampton and East Hampton, Ditch Plains Beach is a favorite haunt for serious surfers (best waves on the island!) and sunbathers who really don't want to be bothered. Bold-faced names do occasionally venture out here, if that's your thing. Parking is strictly permitted, but you can find spots not requiring a permit if you're willing to walk. 10 Deforest Road, Montauk
Not the Nassau Long Beach, of course. This Long Beach rims a graceful crescent of sand and scrub between Noyack Bay and Sag Harbor Cove. No Atlantic waves here, but that simply means more parking for civilized beachgoers. Just don't expect any big names—locals and low-key families dominate the crowd. 1001 Noyack-Long Beach Road, Sag Harbor
Bridgehampton's Mecox Beach is a little closer to the Atlantic, and decidedly south of the highway. But it's still on the wrong side of the dune. The relative lack of onsite parking here doesn't bother regulars, of whom there are precious few. But it's hard to imagine a better place to teach the kids to float than the calm waters of Mecox Bay. Jobs Lane, Bridgehampton
Parochial though it may be, our fair Hamptons aren't all that big. (Okay, Montauk is pretty far. Does that count? Jury's out.)
Point being, you don't have to drive to the beach, particularly if you're working off a heavy dinner at Clyde's or planning on tipping back one (or a few) too many within sight of the surf. There's no bikeshare in Bridgehampton, yet, but all-day bike rentals aren't too hard to find. And, last we checked, a dry, sober, comfy ride is just an Uber away.
What's your favorite Hamptons beach?
Jim Copeland is a writer and foodie who focuses on lifestyle topics such as travel. He enjoys visiting new restaurants and taking long walks on the beach.
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHY VIA YELP.COM/BIZ/TOWN-OF-SOUTHAMPTON-SAGG-MAIN-BEACH-BRIDGEHAMPTON