26 Jul Long Island’s Most Beautiful Coast: 14 Must-See Beaches on the East End
Without question, the shores of East End are some of the most picturesque throughout America. White sand, serene bay waters and surf-friendly ocean waves draw fun-lovers of all ages, creating lifetimes of memories. Beloved by vacationers and locals alike, Hotel Indigo has curated a list of East End beach destinations that will make your summer’s day a blissful one.
Main Beach in East Hampton is regularly marked out as one of the best beaches in East End. Town and Country recently ranked it #3 in its list of The Top 15 Beaches on the East Coast, and TripAdvisor.com awarded it a Certificate of Excellence. Reviewers call it “quintessential East Hampton.” Main Beach offers a cash-only snack bar, bathrooms, lockers, and trained lifeguards. Note that alcohol and dogs are not allowed here.
+ FAMILY FRIENDLY; WELL-MAINTAINED; LIFEGUARDS, FACILITIES, AND BEACH SHUTTLES AVAILABLE
– PARKING FOR RESIDENTS ONLY/PASS REQUIRED; NOT PET-FRIENDLY
Rogers Beach in Westhampton is noted for its beauty and clean facilities. It requires a permit in the peak season, which is usually in high demand, but it offers concessions, lifeguards and convenient, well-kept bathrooms and showers.
+ EASY ACCESS; WELL-MAINTAINED; FACILITIES AVAILABLE
– PASS REQUIRED IN THE SUMMER (POPULAR ITEM)
Ponquogue Beach is a favorite, noted as one of the most popular beaches in Hampton Bays. Like other Southampton beaches, it does not allow alcohol, fires, barbeques, or glass containers. Daily parking access is reasonably priced for the area. Facilities, picnic areas and a snack bar are available with other restaurant options close by. Surfing and fishing are also allowed outside of the lifeguard zones.
+ LIFEGUARDS; CLEAN FACILITIES; SNACK BAR.
Coopers Beach is another Southampton treasure frequently noted as one of the area’s best beaches. Dr. Beach listed it as #4 on his 2018 Top Ten Beaches list and Town and Country put it at #13 for best East Coast beaches. Coopers Beach is a favorite because of the quality of its panoramic views, white sands and blue waters, and the beautiful array of historic houses along the shore.
+ CONSISTENTLY WELL-REVIEWED, CONCESSION, BATHHOUSE FACILITIES, UMBRELLA AND CHAIR RENTALS AVAILABLE
In Amagansett, you can enjoy a full day at Atlantic Avenue Beach. Popular among families and the younger set, this beach provides ample parking and offers lots of prime amenities like outdoor showers, bathrooms, lifeguards from 9-5 and The Beach Hut, which serves up excellent beach-compatible menu items like fish tacos and lobster rolls. You can also rent a variety of beach games, umbrellas and beach chairs here. Atlantic Avenue Beach is also noted for its soft sand, perfect for building sand castles.
+ NO PERMIT REQUIRED; THE BEACH HUT; FACILITIES AVAILABLE; LIFEGUARDS ON DUTY
– POPULAR – MAY BE MORE CROWDED WITH ALL ITS AMENITIES AND EASY ACCESS
Wades Beach is Shelter Island’s family-friendly alternative to the more rustic and natural Shell Beach. Located on the sound, it provides a wide, sandy beach and shallow water for the kids. It also provides valued amenities like lifeguards and restrooms, plus parking is only steps away. Another attraction at Wades Beach is Dickerson Creek, which has lots of marine life for families to enjoy and explore.
+ EASILY ACCESSIBLE; LIFEGUARDS; RESTROOMS; KID-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES
– PARKING PERMITS REQUIRED, AND DAILY ONES ARE LIMITED
Havens Beach in Sag Harbor is popular with families because of its calm and shallow water, its playground, and its prime landscape for shell seekers. It also attracts boaters and kayakers and offers bathrooms, showers and a gazebo. You’ll need a parking sticker, but it’s definitely more affordable than some other sites.
+ BAY WATER IS KID-FRIENDLY; LIFEGUARDS IN PEAK SEASON
– NO CONCESSIONS
Orient Beach State Park
Orient Beach is situated on the bay in North Fork and provides lots of summer playtime options for families. Besides the sand and gentle surf, Orient Beach offers nature trails and saltwater marshland to explore, fishing off the shoreline, canoeing and kayaking, and a playground. Behind the playground are picnic areas, and bathrooms are also available.
+ LOTS OF SUMMER ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES, RELATIVELY CHEAP PARKING FEE ($10); LIFEGUARDS DURING PEAKING SEASON
– SHORE IS ROCKIER THAN OTHER BEACHES, BUT MAKES FOR BUILDING GREAT ROCK AND SHELL COLLECTIONS; NO CONCESSIONS (PACK A PICNIC)
Ditch Plains Beach – Montauk NY
In Montauk, you’ll find a surfer’s paradise at Ditch Plains Beach. The waves attract surfers and paddleboarders, and the surrounding bluffs (once a lookout point for Native Americans) attract nature lovers with its hiking trails. Your canine friends are also welcome at sunup and sundown. Ditch Plains Beach provides restrooms and concessions, the latter courtesy of The Ditch Witch.
+ GREAT SURF; GORGEOUS VIEWS ABOVE & BELOW; FACILITIES AND FOOD AVAILABLE
– LIMITED PARKING
Cryder Beach in Southampton is less crowded than nearby Coopers and known as a prime surfing spot. It’s also renowned as one of the more romantic spots in the Hamptons. Maybe it’s because of the natural beauty of its approach – beach roses flank the walk along the dune. People also love its “low-key” and “relaxing” atmosphere.
+ QUIET AND SERENE; GOOD SURF; DOG-FRIENDLY(LEASH REQUIRED)
– NO CONCESSIONS OR RESTROOMS; PARKING PERMIT REQUIRED
Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton is distinguished by its pristine beauty. It also gets high marks for its easy access and mix of swim and surf spots. Visitors of all ages love the soft, white sand and appreciate the clean waves. Lifeguards are on duty, and facilities and a snack bar are also available. Live music is another much-loved, summer-fun feature.
+ LIFEGUARDS, CONCESSIONS, AND FACILITIES AVAILABLE, LIVE MUSIC, GOOD SURF; EASY ACCESS; WELL-MAINTAINED
Shinnecock East County Park
Shinnecock East is Southampton’s spot for outdoor adventurers. Here you can take advantage of bay and ocean fishing, which reviewers rave about. Shinnecock also allows camping (no tents) and ocean-side access for recreational vehicles. Facilities are limited, but not too far away.
+ CAMPING, FISHING AND BIRD-WATCHING; REC VEHICLE ACCESS
– NO OUTDOOR FACILITIES
Hither Hills State Park
Hither Hills State Park in Montauk, NY is a true outdoor vacation destination. There is a tremendous amount of activities available. Camping (tents and trailers), biking, hiking, fishing and, of course, swimming are just some of them. The beach provides bathrooms, showers, picnic areas, fireplaces, a playground, and allows leashed dogs in designated areas.
+ KID-FRIENDLY; OCEAN-VIEW CAMPING; RELATIVELY CHEAP PARKING FEE ($10); DOG-FRIENDLY
Shell Beach is a bay-wonder located on Shelter Island. Secluded on a small peninsula, its accessible only by water and Oak Tree Lane. Once you get there, you can enjoy the sand and water on both sides, paddleboarding and kayaking, and wonderful nature views. Be on the lookout for beautiful wildflowers and nesting birds.
+ CALM BAY WATER; PANORAMIC VIEWS, ACTIVITY FRIENDLY
– NOT EASILY ACCESSIBLE (WATER OR UNPAVED ROAD ONLY); NO LIFEGUARDS; NO AMENITIES