1. Organic and local is everywhere, but it’ll cost you.
Farmer’s Markets on the East End (of Long Island) are a tradition. Sometimes, though less and less now, they work on the honor system, where you leave the right amount of money for what you take. More often, there’s a person there selling local fruit and vegetables. Or, like the Amagansett Farmer Market, it’s a store where you can buy anything from local corn to almond croissants to cheese, but it’s not unheard of to see $2 heads of garlic or a $29 blueberry pie.
2. It’s best to come after “Tumbleweed Tuesday”.
Summer is by far the busiest time in the Hamptons, by that doesn’t necessarily make it the best time. It’s only after Labor Day that life calms down again. We call the Tuesday after Labor Day “Tumbleweed Tuesday” because the streets are so empty that tumbleweeds can roll down the center. September has no crowds, great weather, and no lines at Stephen Talkhouse.
3. The Hamptons is plural for a reason.
While the name lumps the area together, the Hamptons is made up of many towns spread across the eastern tip of the South Fork of Long Island. Look at a map before you go — you’ll embarrass yourself if you show up not knowing the difference between Southampton and Amagansett.
4. Just buy the Beach Pass already.
Beach passes allow you to park in the lots at town beaches on the ocean. The passes aren’t cheap, but last the season and help finance the towns’ infrastructures. If you live north of the Montauk Highway and don’t have a pass, you’ll have to walk a long, long way to the beach or face expensive tickets. You’ll see all your friends from the City at Main Beach (East Hampton), Cooper Beach (Southampton), or Ditch Plains Beach (Montauk). The locals will be at secret beaches, where parking is free.
5. This is a No Stress Zone.
I get it. You’ve had a stressful week, the traffic on the LIE was horrendous, and the Jitney took four hours. But, the reason people flock here is because of the tranquility. Bringing all your city angst with you deteriorates the peaceful feeling.
6. You need to stop at the crosswalks unless you want to be fined.
Seriously, stop. The towns have crosswalks because people actually have to cross the busy roads.
7. Weekend traffic is terrible.
Traffic on Montauk Highway is a nightmare during summer weekends — what should be a 15 minute drive can take over an hour. Going to the IGA or Citarella, or frankly just trying to turn left, becomes almost impossible. For years, the locals have used alternative roads to get where they’re going (I’m looking at you, Scuttlehole Road). But summer folks have discovered these routes, making them just as backed up.