Happy Daze in Hampton Bays. That was the original title for this column, started in 2006. Right out of college, I moved to Hampton Bays with five girlfriends. The plan was to write about our experiences hopping from Beach Bar to Boardy Barn and everywhere in between. Editor Rick Murphy told me the name was too long and we shortened it to Hampton Daze.
Soon after that summer, I moved back to East Hampton, then Southampton, and then Manhattan, but Hampton Bays has always been a special place. And last month, my husband and I bought a house in Hampton Bays, and I couldn’t be more excited to be back.
In Hampton Bays, gone are the days of the MTV Beach House. CPI is well on its way to become townhouses. And Tide Runners will always be missed.
Many changes are happening in Hampton Bays. The recently developed Good Ground Park will be host to concerts all summer. A Maritime park on the canal is in the works, with plans for an event space and food trucks.
One of the greatest things about Hampton Bays is all of the waterfront restaurant options. In addition to the picturesque setting, the area offers some of the best dining options in the Hamptons.
My perfect day in Hampton Bays would start with breakfast at Hampton Maid. The breakfast is a legendary local tradition. It has been serving it up since 1959. It also offers a Sunday brunch prix fixe for $24.50 per person.
I would later stop by the Hampton Bays Historical Society’s Lyzon Hat Museum on Main Street in Hampton Bays, which is now open for the summer season. I love historical fashion pieces. And speaking of historical pieces, I would stop by the Good Ground Antique Center to hunt for treasures. I could, and have, spent hours searching this shop for antique finds.
Lunch would be at Scotto’s for some fine Italian food. Scotto’s has delicious prepared foods. They offer a full meat market, but also sell gourmet brick oven pizza, fresh breads, fresh mozzarella, and heroes.
Hampton Bays, like Montauk, is also a commercial fishing town. Therefore, fresh seafood is plentiful, with places like Cor-J and Out of the Blue Seafood. Also great options for a fresh catch.
In the afternoon, I’d stop by Adventure Paddleboards, grab a bunch of friends, and go on a group adventure. They will give you a quick lesson before you go on your way. They also offer a variety of paddle-fitness classes. Located next to Inn Spot on the Bay (another great spot), it’s the perfect launching point into Shinnecock Bay. There is so much natural beauty in Hampton Bays, it’s best enjoyed on the water.
You can paddle on over to (or visit by boat) The Station. Visitors can dock for a drink and some live music. (If you’re heading there by car, look for the yellow submarine on the corner of Penny Lane.)
For dinner and drinks, it would be off to Cowfish and Rumba. Drinks and bites at the outside bar at Cowfish offer a great view of Shinnecock Bay. The sister restaurants offer a shuttle boat or the “rum bus” that brings visitors back and forth between the venues.