Bridgehampton, NY

Immerse yourself in preppy culture and sand.



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BEST WEEKEND TO GO: August 21-23

DISTANCE: 97.1 mi -- about 2 hours 0 mins (up to 2 hours 50 mins in traffic)

WHY GO: The beautiful people may jockey for access to the invite-only VIP tent at the Mercedes-Benz Bridgehampton Polo Challenge Cup (Bridgehampton Polo Club, Two Trees Farm, 849 Hayground Rd;; Aug 22 at 4pm), but for $20 per carload (as opposed to $10,000 rent a season tent), the lower-maintenance get a better view of the ponies from the other side of the field. That's where the real fans and the polo players' families sit to watch what club director Leighton Jordan calls "hockey on horses." Matches last about an hour and a half, with six seven-minute chukkers (a period of play, you ignoramus), so bring a blanket or lawn chairs and pack a picnic—the brand-new Citarella sells ready-made ones (2209 Montauk Hwy,, or assemble your own with goodies from one of the several farm stands that line Montauk Highway. Folks from both sides of the field mingle during the halftime divot-stomping exercise. Don't wear heels, and make sure it's just dirt you're about to step on.

If athletics and people-watching don't do it for you, the Westhampton Fine Arts show (Great Meadow, Main St, Westhampton Beach;; Aug 22; 23) just might. More than 150 artists selected by a jury will present their wares on Westhampton's Great Meadow. "There will be ceramics, digital arts, drawings, jewelry, sculpture, paintings, mixed media and more," says show director Bill Kinney. "In total it'll be between $5 million and $15 million of art." Since you're not gonna make like a Trump and buy up the whole show, keep in mind that individual pieces are for sale; some photos and small prints are under $100, while sculptures and paintings can go for thousands.

WHY STAY: Polo and art are two highlights of the area, but the real reason folks started coming—and still come—to the Hamptons is the miles of shoreline along the oceans and bays. Southampton Town, which governs beaches from Westhampton through Sagaponack, allows for public access to the dunes at several points. (The same is not true for their parking lots, for which you need a town sticker to enter. Get more info at While the North Fork includes most of the Long Island wine industry, the South Fork has been making inroads over the past two decades. At the 25-acre Channing Daughters (1927 Scuttlehole Rd,, you can taste six wines for $6. And in case of rain, the Sag Harbor cinema (90 Main St, Sag Harbor, NY; is ten minutes from Bridgehampton, and shows independent films in an old movie-house setting.

WHAT TO EAT: Townline BBQ (3593 Montauk Hwy, Sagaponack, NY; 631-537-2271,, which opened last summer and is owned by pair behind East Hampton institution Nick and Toni's, has a solid following among locals. The burnt-ends plate ($9.50), a heaping of the leftovers from the brisket served on potato bread, is a delicious deal. The small, hidden Yama-Q (2393 Main St, Bridgehampton, NY; 631-537-0225), meanwhile, serves "health-oriented" cuisine. "I don't know what that means," says East Hampton Star restaurant reviewer Laura Donnelly, "but their sushi is amazing." And if you're looking to dine like you came from that VIP tent, French bistro Almond (1970 Montauk Hwy, Bridgehampton, NY; has the requisite escargot ($9), frise aux lardoons ($10) and roasted chicken ($17).

WHERE TO STAY: The Hamptons' rental market may be suffering, but the small number of hotels combined with that oh-so-exclusive aura makes for notoriously inflated rates. Better-known inns and B&Bs, such as the Hedges in East Hampton and the Southampton Inn, come with $500-plus price tags. More-affordable options include the Enclave Inn chainlet (, whose roadside locations in Wainscott, Bridgehampton and Southampton start at $279 per night with a two-night minimum. Also within the realm of decency (though barely) is the Inn at Quogue, Westhampton's ritzier neighbor (47 Quogue St; 631-653-6560,; $175--$225 per night).

GET THERE: The Montauk line of the Long Island Railroad runs trains out to most of the small towns out east (, but the Hampton Jitney (; $53 round-trip) and the Hampton Luxury Liner (; $69 round-trip) have more schedule options than the train. While you can't walk from Westhampton to Bridgehampton, most destinations are within a stroll—albeit a long one—from a bus or train stop. For less ambulatory inter-Hamptons travel, prepare to be at the whim of expensive taxi companies. Lindy's Taxi ( has the widest coverage throughout the South Fork, and charges $8 for a ride within a zone and $30 if you're crossing zones.

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