A Green Tour of The Hamptons: Long Island’s Eco Getaway from NYC

The Montauk Lighthouse, via Alex.Benn/Flickr.

Guest Post by Alexandra Jacobs

When people think of an ideal green vacation spot, The Hamptons might not be the first place to come to mind – but it should be. With green B&B’s, tons of outdoor activities, miles of beach and plenty of local food, you can even get there from NYC via public transportation (can’t get more eco-friendly than that).

Located on the far-east end of Long Island, New York, The Hamptons draws crowds of all ages, from retired power couples to twenty-something fashionistas. Once a vacation destination for the rich and famous, (and it is still that) the area known as the Hamptons, which is comprised of the towns and hamlets of Easthampton and Southampton, plus surrounding areas, offer accommodations and activities for a variety of budgets. Despite being known for some of the most expensive real estate in the United States, travelers will be pleased to know that not everything in The Hamptons will break the bank.

Image courtesy of the Art House B&B.

Stay and Chill Out, Hamptons-Style

The towns that make up the Hamptons could definitely be described as a bit ‘quaint’ and offer travelers a unique experience filled with charm and mini-adventures. To gain a true Hamptons experience, the traveler doesn’t have to own a Hamptons House but rather just stay at a famed bed and breakfast (or you can rent a house, a popular option in the summertime months).

One of the most popular B&B’s is A Butler’s Manor, in Southampton. With rooms ranging in price from $150-$395, visitors can expect to receive charming accommodations, gluten-free breakfasts, and an intimate common room with log-fire, (as well as dinner and tour suggestions offered by the veteran-resident owners of the Manor). With a little help from these locals, you’ll find whatever it is that you’re into discovering (even if that’s just sleeping in followed by a great latte).

East Hampton Art House Bed and Breakfast is another top rated bed and breakfast in East Hampton. While rooms are a little on the pricey side (starting at $500 a night), travelers will not be disappointed when they step inside this impressive bed and breakfast, complete with giant pool, hot tub with waterfall, and just a one-block walk to the nearby Clearwater Beach Preserve and Marina. “Step outside into the silent beauty of a country setting; be greeted by a million stars at night or perhaps a giant moon rising in the woods surrounding the house; sight deer, turtles, possum, wild turkeys.” Need we say the breakfast is pretty amazing too?

The Mill House Inn in East Hampton has rooms ranging in price from a couple hundred a night to quadruple that, but for all guests, the Inn is an eco- friendly facility, down to details that include linens made of natural materials. The breakfast menu is extensive and includes the house-specialty lobster frittata and the ‘not-so-traditional’ omlettes like one that includes shrimp, tasso and andouille and even ‘sandwiches for breakfast’. Vegans and those seeking organic options will be glad to know that The Mill House Inn can accommodate all sorts of diets.

A Southampton beach, taken by spacebarpark/Flickr

Go, See, Do

There’s plenty to do in the Hamptons and perhaps surprisingly, the area has a large number of activities that are either inexpensive or free. In an area as lovely as it is, simply being outside can satisfy the interests of nature lovers. Biking, hiking, and boating are all recreational options that are both inexpensive and fun.

Of course, The Hamptons is known for its beaches, like the 7-mile long Coopers Beach (which was named best in the United States) and Gin Beach, are popular among both tourists and locals. But there are plenty more – check out New York Magazine’s list of the top 10 in and around the area, and make it a goal to check out at least half of them (vacation challenge!).

Hither Hills State Park and Camp Hero State Park are both top rated state parks that offer a variety of amenities and activities for travelers. Montauk Point Light House, at the very end of Long Island, is a great place for sightseeing and exploring.

Image via RealJanelle/Flickr.
Eat Local!

The Hamptons is a haven for locavores. Harvest on Fort Pond is a Zagat-rated restaurant in Montauk that takes its surroundings, which find it nestled next to Fort Pond, seriously. So much so that you can choose to dine in the fully functioning vegetable and herb garden (what a fun idea!). Ingredients for the Meditteranean-inspired menu come from that same garden, the Hudson Valley and local waters.

The North Fork Table and Inn is seasonally-inspired and features ‘locally and biodynamically-grown produce, seafood from the Peconic Bay and LI Sound and award-winning North Fork cheese’. It’s also an inn, so in case you don’t feel like moving very far after your meal, there’s a bed right upstairs.

Nick and Toni’s in Easthampton reminds one of a Tuscan farmhouse, and the food takes its cue and gets its flavor from the wood-fired oven and the current season restaurant’s organic garden and local fishermen round out the modern-Italian menu. Great vegetarian, seafood and meat-lovers options available.

Check out Edible Manhattan’s guide to Organic and Local restaurants in The Hamptons and on the North Shore here.

For those seeking a more in-depth review of eco-friendly vacations in The Hamptons, travelers should check out the Hamptons Travel Guide.

About the Writer: Alexandra is a travel enthusiast who loves to write about tourism, beaches, food, and the wonderful things in the world. She provides her own insights on vacationing to the blogosphere. If you would like to learn more about her, follow her on Twitter @alexsjourneys or visit her blog alexsjourneys.wordpress.com

Image via MAG Photography Studio/Flickr.