There isn't a single visitor to the Hamptons who does not wax poetic about the pristine beaches which stretch for miles along the Atlantic
Ocean - rated the number one reason to visit the Hamptons followed closely by rich husband hunting, social climbing, and farm stand tomatoes. Unless you walk, bike, or get a piggyback ride to the ocean beaches you will need to understand the rules.
In the olden days you used to just park your convertible on the side of the road, grab your cold beer and your golden retriever, and head to the waves. No more. You must have a permit to park, alcohol and glass containers are prohibited, and Fido is allowed only before 9 am and after 6 pm between May 15 and September 15 unless you can convince the cops he's a seeing-eye dog or what the sign terms a "service dog" which sounds more like a husband to me.
Don't think the cover of darkness will allow your romantic bonfire with roasted marshmallows and a little "Kumbaya." Fires are illegal unless you have a special permit, no loud music is permitted, and s'mores are frowned upon unless they are made with all sugar free, fat free products. And, sorry to say for the St. Tropez no tan line crowd - no nudity.
To get a resident parking permit you will need a vehicle registration with a local address or a tax bill which must match the name on the vehicle registration. Residents get permits free except for Southampton Town Beaches that charge a one-time fee of $20. Non-residents can buy a permit for the season most places or take advantage of the beaches that charge a day fee. Permits are not transferable to other cars and only cover designated beaches. A town permit will not allow you on village beaches and vice-versa.
And be sure to arrive early because parking lots do fill up.
DAY FEE BEACHES
• Bridgehampton - Mecox Beach (end Job's Lane off Mecox Road) $15
• East Hampton - Main Beach
(end of Ocean Avenue off Rt. 27) weekdays, no weekends or holidays $15
• East Hampton - Atlantic Avenue Beach (end Atlantic Avenue off Rt. 27) weekdays, no weekends or holidays $15
• Hampton Bays - Ponquogue Beach (end Ponquogue Avenue over the bridge) $15
• Hampton Bays - Tiana Beach (Beach Road west of the bridge) $15
• Montauk - Ditch Plains
Beach (end of Ditch Plains Rd. off Rt. 27) weekdays, no weekends or holidays $15
• Sagaponack - Sagg Main Beach (end of Sagg Main Rd. off Rte. 27) $15
• Southampton - Coopers Beach
(end of Cooper's Neck Rd. off Meadow Lane) $25 day or $30 weekends and holidays
• Westhampton - Pikes Beach (Dune Road, West of Jessup Lane) $15
SOUTHAMPTON TOWN BEACHES
Purchase permits at the beach - manned weekends from Memorial Day to June 25 then 7 days a week through September 15. Residents provide vehicle registration or a tax bill, which must match the name on the vehicle registration for a $20 fee. A non-resident permit is $150 for the season. These town beaches are supervised during the summer with lifeguards, pavilion facilities with toilets and showers, and food concessions.
From West to East:
• West Hampton Beach - Pike's Beach (Dune Road)
• Hampton Bays - Tiana Beach (Beach Road)
• Hampton Bays - Ponquoge Beach
• Southampton - Flying Point Beach
• Bridgehampton - W. Scott Cameron Beach (Dune Road)
• Bridgehampton - Mecox Beach (Job's Lane)
• Sagaponack - Sagg Main Beach
• There are several "access road beaches" which do not have any amenities but still require parking by permit: Ocean Road in Bridgehampton and Gibson Lane and Peter's Pond Lane in Sagaponack off of Daniel's Lane.
SOUTHAMPTON VILLAGE BEACHES
You must either be a village resident or be in the Southampton school and fire district to get a village permit. You need to show a car registration or year round lease. You can get the permit at Coopers Beach or Village Hall on 23 Main Street. It's free for village residents and $150 for the season if you're in the Southampton school and fire district.
• Cooper's Beach
(Cooper's Neck and Meadow Lane) is available for a $25 - $30 daily fee if you are a non-resident.
EAST HAMPTON TOWN BEACHES
Permits are required year round and are free for residents and $225 for non-residents on a first come first serve basis and are available at Town Hall, 159 Pantigo Road. You can pay a day fee of $15 for Atlantic and Ditch Plains Beaches on weekdays - no weekends or holidays.
From west to east:
• Wainscott - Town Line Beach
• Wainscott - Beach Lane Beach
• Amagansett - Indian Wells Beach **resident permits only** (rest rooms, mobile concession)
• Amagansett - Atlantic Beach (concessions, life guard, rest rooms)
• Montauk - Kirk Park, Edgemeer Rd. (refreshment stand, rest rooms)
• Montauk - Ditch Plains Beach (lifeguard, restrooms, showers, mobile concessions)
EAST HAMPTON VILLAGE BEACHES
You must have a permit to park the second Sunday in May through September 30. Main Beach has the only day parking for $15, but only weekdays - no weekends or holidays. You can get the permit at Main Beach or at the Village Hall on 86 Main Street. Free for residents and $225 for non-residents, limited in number on a first come first serve basis.
• Egypt Beach, Old Beach Road
Beach, Lily Pond Lane (lifeguard, bathroom)
• Main Beach, Ocean Avenue (lifeguard, bathroom, and snack bar)
• Wiborg Beach, Highway Behind The Pond
• Two Mile Hollow Beach, Two Mile Hollow Road
QUOGE VILLAGE BEACH
For residents only.
• Quogue Village Beach, Dune Road (life guard, rest rooms)
WESTHAMPTON BEACH VILLAGE BEACHES
Permits for residents are free, or for Speonk, Remsenberg, Quiogue, Westhampton residents $250. For summer renters in these areas the fee is $525.
• Lashley Beach, Dune Road (lifeguard, restrooms, shower)
• Rogers Beach, Beach Lane (lifeguard, restrooms, concessions)
SUFFOLK COUNTY PARKS DEPARTMENT
Suffolk county residents can purchase a green key card for $20, which is good for three years. Green key cardholders can park for $5 a day and non-residents can park for $10 a day. These facilities also have room for self-contained trailers or motor homes (no tents) on a first come first serve basis. You can also get a permit for off road vehicle access.
• Southampton - Shinnecock East, Meadow Lane
• Westhampton - Cupsogue Beach, Dune Road
NY STATE PARKS DEPARTMENT
• Montauk - Hither Hills, Old Montauk Highway
This 165-site campground has picnic facilities and walking dunes. Check with the park for various rates and reservations.
Have a great summer - don't forget the sunscreen!