As a Long Island local, I’ve always known that Westhampton Beach is a hidden gem. This charming village is located on the south shore of Long Island and boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the area. Despite its proximity to the city, Westhampton Beach has managed to maintain its small-town charm, making it the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or a day trip.
Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the local shops and restaurants, or take part in fun outdoor activities, Westhampton Beach has something for everyone. Some of my personal favorite things to do in Westhampton Beach include visiting Cupsogue Beach County Park, which offers stunning views of the ocean and is perfect for swimming, surfing, and fishing. I also love checking out the Westhampton Beach Brewing Co., which offers a variety of delicious craft beers and a laid-back atmosphere.
Getting to Westhampton Beach
As I planned my trip to Westhampton Beach, I researched the best ways to get there. Here are some options I found:
- By Car: If you’re driving from New York City, it takes about two hours to reach Westhampton Beach. You can take the Long Island Expressway (LIE) east to Exit 70, then follow signs for County Road 111 south to Route 27 east. From there, take exit 63 to Route 31 south, which leads directly to Westhampton Beach. Parking is available in various locations throughout the town.
- By Train: The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) provides service to Westhampton Beach from Penn Station in Manhattan. The trip takes approximately two hours and costs around $25 each way. Trains run hourly during peak hours and less frequently during off-peak hours. The Westhampton Beach train station is located on Depot Road, just a short walk from Main Street.
- By Bus: The Hampton Jitney provides bus service from New York City to Westhampton Beach and other destinations in the Hamptons. The trip takes approximately two and a half hours and costs around $30 each way. Buses run hourly during peak hours and less frequently during off-peak hours. The Westhampton Beach bus stop is located on Main Street, near the train station.
No matter which option you choose, be sure to check schedules and plan ahead to ensure a smooth trip. Once you arrive in Westhampton Beach, you can explore the town’s many attractions and enjoy its beautiful beaches.
Where to Stay
When it comes to finding a place to stay in Westhampton Beach, there are a variety of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious hotel or a cozy bed and breakfast, there’s something for everyone.
Personally, I recommend staying at Bowen’s by the Bays. This charming hotel offers comfortable rooms with beautiful views of the bay. The staff is friendly and attentive, and the location is perfect for exploring all that Westhampton Beach has to offer. Plus, the hotel has its own private beach, which is a huge plus.
Another great option is the Hyatt Place Long Island/East End. This hotel offers modern accommodations with plenty of amenities, including a fitness center, indoor pool, and complimentary breakfast. The location is also ideal, as it’s just a short drive from both the beach and downtown Westhampton.
If you’re looking for something a bit more intimate, Mari Manor is a lovely bed and breakfast that’s perfect for couples. The rooms are cozy and beautifully decorated, and the breakfast is delicious. Plus, the innkeepers are incredibly welcoming and happy to provide recommendations for things to do in the area.
No matter where you choose to stay in Westhampton Beach, you’re sure to have a wonderful time. Just be sure to book your accommodations early, as the best places tend to fill up quickly during peak season.
Exploring the Beaches
Westhampton Beach is renowned for its pristine beaches, making them a must-visit during your stay. One of the most popular spots is Rogers Beach, which offers a wide stretch of sandy shore and crystal-clear waters. Grab your beach chair and umbrella, and spend the day soaking up the sun, swimming in the refreshing ocean, or building sandcastles with the family.
For a more secluded experience, head to Lashley Beach. Tucked away from the crowds, this hidden gem offers a tranquil atmosphere and breathtaking views. You can take long walks along the shoreline, search for seashells, or simply relax and listen to the sound of the waves.
If you’re a nature lover, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Cupsogue Beach County Park. This beautiful beach is part of a nature preserve and offers not only stunning ocean views but also a chance to explore the surrounding dunes and wildlife. Keep an eye out for shorebirds, seals, and other marine creatures that inhabit the area.
Discovering Local Attractions
Beyond the beaches, Westhampton Beach is home to several attractions that showcase its rich history and vibrant culture. Start by visiting the Westhampton Beach Historical Society, located in the historic Foster-Meeker Heritage Center. Step back in time as you browse through fascinating exhibits and learn about the town’s heritage, from its early settlers to its development as a seaside resort.
If you’re interested in the performing arts, don’t miss a show at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. This iconic venue hosts a variety of performances, including concerts, plays, and comedy shows. Check their schedule in advance to see what’s on during your visit and secure your tickets for an unforgettable night of entertainment.
For art enthusiasts, a stroll down Main Street will lead you to several galleries showcasing the work of local and regional artists. Explore the diverse range of paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media pieces, and perhaps even find a unique piece to bring home as a souvenir of your trip.
Outdoor Activities and Adventures
Westhampton Beach offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy nature and engage in thrilling activities. One popular option is kayaking or paddleboarding along the scenic waterways. Rent equipment from one of the local outfitters, and explore the calm bays and estuaries while taking in the picturesque surroundings.
Fishing enthusiasts will find ample opportunities to cast their lines and reel in a catch. Whether you’re interested in surf casting from the beach or chartering a boat for deep-sea fishing, the waters off Westhampton Beach are teeming with a variety of fish species, including striped bass, bluefish, and fluke.
If you prefer land-based adventures, head to the Westhampton Beach Conservation Trail. This scenic trail winds through wetlands, woodlands, and fields, offering a chance to observe native wildlife and admire the natural beauty of the area. Lace up your hiking boots, pack some snacks, and embark on an invigorating journey through this tranquil oasis.
Dining and Culinary Delights
Westhampton Beach boasts a diverse culinary scene, with restaurants and eateries that cater to a range of tastes and preferences. From casual cafes to upscale dining establishments, you’ll find something to satisfy every craving.
For a true taste of Long Island’s seafood, visit one of the local seafood shacks or seafood-focused restaurants. Indulge in a plate of fresh oysters, clams, or lobster, and savor the flavors of the ocean. Many of these establishments source their seafood locally, ensuring the highest quality and freshness.
If you’re in the mood for international cuisine, Westhampton Beach has options for that too. From Italian trattorias to Mexican taquerias, you can embark on a culinary journey around the world without leaving the village. Try the wood-fired pizzas, homemade pasta, or flavorful tacos for a delicious and satisfying meal.
For those who prefer farm-to-table dining experiences, Westhampton Beach has several establishments that focus on using locally sourced ingredients. Indulge in dishes prepared with fresh produce, meats, and dairy products from nearby farms, and enjoy the flavors of the region in every bite.
Exploring Nearby Towns
While Westhampton Beach has plenty to offer on its own, its location on Long Island’s east end makes it a perfect base for exploring the surrounding towns and attractions. Just a short drive away is the village of Southampton, known for its charming boutiques, art galleries, and historic landmarks. Take a leisurely stroll down Main Street, browse the shops, and enjoy a meal at one of the many excellent restaurants.
Further east, you’ll find the village of East Hampton, which exudes sophistication and charm. Explore the elegant boutiques, visit the local museums and art galleries, and immerse yourself in the refined atmosphere of this picturesque town. The nearby beaches of East Hampton are also worth a visit, offering a different perspective and a change of scenery.
If you’re a wine lover, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the vineyards and wineries of the North Fork wine region. Just a short drive across Peconic Bay, this area is known for its award-winning wines and scenic vineyard landscapes. Take a wine tour, sample different varietals, and learn about the winemaking process while enjoying the beauty of the countryside.
Westhampton Beach truly is a hidden gem on Long Island, offering a delightful combination of natural beauty, rich history, culinary delights, and outdoor adventures. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing beach getaway or an active exploration of the area, this charming village has something to offer every visitor. From basking on pristine beaches to immersing yourself in local culture, Westhampton Beach is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories of your time spent in this hidden paradise.