Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Eco Travel Guide to the Hamptons: Time for a Seaside Getaway

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Enjoy an idyllic vacation in the Hamptons, from Westhampton to Montauk. But do it sustainably with this eco travel guide to Long Island’s premier destination.

Ready to book a dreamy seaside vacay? Look no further than the Hamptons. There’s a reason it’s the preferred getaway for city dwellers. Just a short jaunt from Manhattan, you can immerse yourself in quiet beachy comfort.

Located along the Atlantic Ocean along the southeastern end of Long Island, the cluster of villages and towns is well-known for its opulent estates and expansive beaches. Not to mention, it’s a popular vacation spot for celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lopez, and Jay-Z.

And for the sustainable sightseers of the world, you can still enjoy an idyllic getaway in the Hamptons thanks to the region’s assortment of plant-based eats and eco-friendly lodging, from Westhampton to Montauk.

Where to stay

While many Hamptons-goers rent their own beach house, those options can fill up quickly. But worry not; there are plenty of gorgeous, tranquil options perfect for a quick weekend getaway.

Maidstone hotel in the Hamptons.
Photo courtesy The Maidstone

The Maidstone 

“A destination in and of itself,” this chic boutique hotel has been around since the 20s. Nestled in East Hampton, the luxurious haven is truly a home away from home. Featuring 19 rooms, it’s just a short walk to the beach. And it has everything an eco-traveler could ever need, from electric charging stations to complimentary vintage bicycles.

Shou Sugi Ban House.
Photo courtesy Shou Sugi Ban House

Shou Sugi Ban House

This thirteen-room destination retreat and luxury spa has it all: gourmet cuisine featuring locally sourced ingredients, hydrotherapy pools, a reading library, seasonal programs like beach excursions and tennis, and much, much more. And at this retreat, the “connection between personal health and planetary well-being” always comes first. The property features a biodynamic garden and geothermal elements for heating and cooling, as well as solar panels for electricity.

Montauk Beach House pools.
Photo courtesy The Montauk Beach House

Montauk Beach House

For an eco-conscious stay, booking this boutique hotel is an absolute must. The hotel has partnered with a variety of sustainable companies over the years, including ecofashionCORP’s home brand Farm to Home for organic towels and bedding. Its on-site market, The Summer Shop, carries a variety of sustainable and ethically-produced brands. Plus, the hotel’s restaurant partnered with vegan eatery Beatnic to bring delicious, plant-based dishes to the Hamptons.

What to eat

After working up an appetite spending long, lazy days beach or poolside, head out to the fine dining options in the Hamptons. A few must-try spots:

Chefs at Matsulin.
Photo courtesy Matsulin

Matsulin

Matsulin, an Asian fusion restaurant in Hampton Bays, offers a diverse selection of pan-Asian dishes. In addition to a dedicated vegan menu, they serve vegan options such as chicken and steak, tofu, and veggie sushi, among others.

Naturally Good Foods sandwich.
Photo courtesy Naturally Good

Naturally Good Foods + Cafe

This quaint natural food market and eatery is the spot to stock up on your beach house essentials. It also has plenty of healthy lunch and breakfast options to choose from. For a lighter choice, opt for a juice or smoothie. Order a glass of the “Tidal Wave,” which features pineapple, dates, spinach, orange juice, and almond milk. 

Saaz Indian restaurant.
Photo courtesy Saaz

Saaz

Saaz, an authentic Indian restaurant in Southampton, boasts a menu brimming with options including soups, curries, dosa, appetizers, and more. The dishes are not only freshly prepared and richly spiced but also served in an ambiance that exudes authenticity, setting Saaz apart from other restaurants in the Hamptons. Be sure to try the coconut cream korma.

Jack's stir brew coffee storefront.
Photo courtesy Jack’s

Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee

For a morning pick-me-up, head to New York’s first 100 percent organic coffee shop and vegan bakery. Serving up piping hot cups of ethically sourced, shade-grown coffee, donuts, croissants, and more, this quaint coffee chain has locations across New York, one of which you’ll find right in Amagansett. 

What to do

On the prowl for the best Hampton hot spots? From surfing at Ditch Plains in Montauk to hiking Hither Hills, the seaside region has plenty of offerings for the adventurous traveler. Spend a day soaking in the sun at Foster Memorial Beach, Main Beach, or Cooper’s Beach. Visit a sprawling oasis at LongHouse Reserve or Bridge Gardens, the latter of which features a vegetable garden that supports local food pantries.

Or, why not immerse yourself in all things nature and wildlife at Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island. For a historical and cultural lesson on the area, visit The Bridgehampton Museum. And if you have little ones in tow, a trip to The Children’s Museum of the East End is in order.

Jackson Pollock house.
Pollock Krasner House | Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

For a sophisticated outing, delve into the Hamptons’ art scene. Visit the Pollock-Krasner House, a museum that features the works of Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, and Willem de Kooning. You can also catch exhibits at Parrish Art Museum, Chase Edwards Gallery, Guild Hall, and the Southampton Arts Center.

Indulge in a little TLC

Treat yourself to a rejuvenating holistic spa ritual at Naturopathica Healing Arts Center and Spa. From nourishing facial treatments to LED therapy and dermaplaning, you can indulge in a little rest and relaxation at this Ecocert-certified and cruelty-free brand’s flagship store.

Looking for more dreamy getaway ideas? Click here for Ethos’ guide to the most luxury vacation destinations for immersing yourself in nature.

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