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Get to know Hampton Bays

As confusing as the East End gets with its overlapping town, hamlet, and village names, Hampton Bays is self-explanatory. It’s a hamlet in the Hamptons, situated on multiple bays — Peconic and Shinnecock, to be exact. Hampton Bays is also home to the Shinnecock Canal, which connects the bays, and the Shinnecock Inlet, which links Shinnecock Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. Together, they form a popular boater’s shortcut between the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic’s open waters, along with a contiguous corridor of marine-centric businesses. All that amounts to serious waterfront real estate, accounting for Hampton Bays being one of the East End’s more populous year-round communities. Over the Ponquogue Bridge, Dune Road holds Ponquogue and Tiana beaches and several (permit-only) access roads along the hamlet’s three-mile stretch of pristine sands. For those who prefer warmer, calmer waters, county-run Meschutt Beach offers a supervised swim area, kayak rentals, and more.

Nearby Neighborhoods:

Hampton Bays History & Culture

As the welcome sign proclaims, Hampton Bays was originally called “Good Ground,” an area comprising 11 smaller hamlets in the Town of Southampton. In 1922, these locales merged, adopting the Hampton Bays name — above other choices like Canoe Place and Rampasture — to benefit from the blossoming “Hamptons” culture in nearby communities. Like many places in the Hamptons, geography dictates — or at least inspires — the lifestyle. Because so many protected bodies of water bless Hampton Bays, the hamlet is a haven for aquatic activities. Shinnecock Inlet is the home port for the second-largest commercial fishing fleet in New York State, rivaled only by Montauk’s. While the towering Ponquogue Lighthouse toppled in 1948, the Canoe Place Inn remains the hamlet’s enduring historic landmark. It’s one of America’s oldest inn sites, dating to 1697, and was restored to its former glory after stints as a Prohibition-era speakeasy and a disco-era nightclub.

Hampton Bays Dining & Shopping

Many of Hampton Bays’ eateries dot the east-west thoroughfare of Montauk Highway, where you’ll also find a string of antique stores, clothing boutiques, and longstanding family-owned businesses. A conservative ratio of chains — convenient for when you need them — lies almost entirely constrained in three shopping centers. The real stars of the show are the restaurants savvy enough to take advantage of their coastal surroundings. What better place to open up your seafood joint than on the water in an area renowned for fishing? Even though seafood is far from a rarity in the Hamptons, it’s a certain kind of indulgence to know your dish is as fresh as can be at any time of day — we’re talking seafood in the morning, seafood in the evening, seafood at suppertime. And don’t forget to enjoy some drinks by the aquatic body of your choice, as seaside bars also make their presence known.

Featured Hampton Bays listings

  • Featured | In contract
    Hampton Bays

    16 Penny Lane, Hampton Bays, NY 11946

    • Commercial
    • 19 BA
    • 7000 Sq. Ft.
    • Virtual Tour
    Building presented by Corcoran
    Courtesy of Corcoran