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Get to know Bridgehampton

While it can sometimes be tricky to unravel the anthropological and linguistic origins behind how places get their names, the source of Bridgehampton is pretty straightforward. It’s a place in the Hamptons where, one time, they built a bridge. After people began to move east through the town of Southampton, Bridgehampton’s bridge — the Sagg Bridge — was built in 1686 over Sagg Pond, linking Bridgehampton to Sagaponack. But while that bridge was undoubtedly welcome in its time, the Long Island Rail Road’s arrival in 1870 is what really connected Bridgehampton to the rest of civilization. Today, Bridgehampton undeniably captures the essence of the East End. Along lovingly landscaped lanes and roads, traditional shingle-style homes rest at the top of cobblestone driveways. Meanwhile, life down by the water reveals the sorts of ostentatious modern estates that help make the Hamptons “the Hamptons.”

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Bridgehampton History & Culture

The hamlet we know today was founded in 1656, 30 years before Bridgehampton got its bridge. Before the days when the area would become synonymous with opulent celebrity, one of Bridgehampton’s more notable 18th-century residents was Stephen Burroughs. A noted counterfeiter and memoirist, Burroughs helped found an early public library in the hamlet. Far more comprehensive justice can be given to Bridgehampton’s history at the Bridgehampton Museum, home to thousands of photographs, hundreds of books, and many more artifacts. Nowadays, Bridgehampton is a small hamlet with an outsized personality. When the summer season winds down, horses become paramount on everyone’s minds as the Hampton Classic approaches. Held over Labor Day, the equestrian show is a grand slam social event signaling the end of summer, sending everyone galloping off into the increasingly early sunset.

Bridgehampton Dining & Shopping

Bridgehampton’s downtown area — converging on or near the nexus of Montauk Highway — is rich with food options. Stay true to New York with a slice of pizza or a good old-fashioned steak, or travel across the world dining on escargot and sushi. And, of course, more “traditional” East End seafood offerings are always on the menu. For your sweet tooth, stop for a scoop or several at an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. Though you probably won’t be able to bring your cone in with you, multiple antique stores are central to the hamlet’s main drag. Small boutiques are around as well, selling charming furniture, jewelry, clothing, and more. Slightly west of downtown are where familiar names and chains live, meaning you won’t have to travel beyond Bridgehampton’s borders to stock up on essential items.