With summer slowly but surely approaching, all we can think about is catching waves without wetsuits. The smell of sunscreen will soon fill the air, and the only thing to be seen for miles and miles will be beach chairs and umbrellas.
If you’re visiting “The Hamptons,” you’ve probably heard about our beaches or seen them in magazines. But which beach is for you?
Here’s the scoop:
Main Beach: You’re going to plop your Ralph Lauren towel on Main Beach if you’re interested in being seen and surrounded by people clad in the latest Calypso cover-ups and carrying the newest Michael Kors clutches. If you don’t live in the village, you’ll have to pay for parking, but if you’re spending the day lounging on this beach then you can afford the $25-a-day pass. Not only are there three lifeguard stands with lifeguards to watch your kids while you read Glamour, but there is also a covered pavilion for parents to get out of the sun. A food hut provides any lunch or snacks you might need for the day, whether you want salad or French fries. And while we agree, the ocean is the greatest toilet, we’d prefer if people used the bathrooms attached to the pavilion. Before leaving, you can wash off under one of the two showers at the top of the beach.
Atlantic: Three lifeguard stands span the squishy sand, and a food hut and volleyball net keep everyone busy. Volleyball games are constantly sending balls flying across the beach and the food hut line is never too long. If you have a town parking permit you’re good to go, but if not you can only park on the week days and you’ll have to cough up $20 per day. Tourists and locals alike enjoy the chill vibes of Atlantic, and with a bathhouse and food hut it’s easy to spend the entire day frying in the sun.
Indian Wells: With bathroom stalls and a shower at the bottom of a relatively small parking lot, this beach tends to stay local during the week and spike in tourists on the weekends. If you’ve heard of the infamous weekend day-drinking beach parties that draw hundreds of 20- to 30-year-olds, you’ll find them to the right of the lifeguard stands. The weekends also bring in Junior Lifeguards: children ranging from 9 to 13 years old, who run around the beach and crowd the water. If kids get hungry, or if the partiers have the drunkies, Aunt Dorine’s Clam Bar is there to serve. Probably the only two groups who would ever eat seafood from a beach truck are children and drunk college students. For those who think we have a little more class, The Purple Truck serves refreshing Acai bowls topped with mouth-watering fruit and granola. Make it lunch with a simple bowl or dessert with peanut butter and chocolate. Whether it’s a Saturday or a Tuesday, Indian Wells is a great family beach.
Georgica: This is probably the only break in East Hampton that’s consistently surfable. Georgica is never crowded and tends to stay mostly local. If you’re interested in checking it out but don’t have a parking permit, you can pay to park at Main Beach and walk about a mile to the west. The walk is beautiful and you can gawk at all the oceanfront mansions along the way.
Big House: For THE most secluded beach west of the Stretch, you’ll want to check out Big House. With no lifeguards, this is not the ideal place to come with children or weak swimmers. However, if you’re looking for private of the private, this is the place to go. It’s likely that no one else will be there other than the surfers, who are probably local and will think you are too. Parking is limited, and if you don’t have permit you should probably park on the Stretch and walk. Fingers crossed your car doesn’t get side-swiped. If it does, there’s a plus side: At least you got to spend a relaxing day at the beach.