I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard folks say they want to go to the Hamptons but have heard horror stories about the traffic. If you choose to drive you can avoid getting stuck in traffic by avoiding the Long Island Expressway or 27E (Montauk Highway) on a Friday from 3pm – 7pm. We like to go out on a Thursday evening or late on Friday if possible. Years ago, there was an infamous bottleneck where 27E narrowed to one lane as you entered Southampton. Two years ago, the town altered the road so it is two lanes – which has made a huge difference in the traffic congestion. (In a future post I will give you my back road route to save you more time on the roads.)
Here are some alternate (and fun) ways to get to the Hamptons!
Flying to the Hamptons
The major airports that service the area close to Long Island, NY are JFK international and LaGuardia Airport (both in Queens County), Islip/MacArthur Airport (Ronkonkoma, NY – in Nassau County) and East Hampton Airport. JFK and LaGuardia are approximately 85 miles from the Hamptons. Islip/MacArthur Airport is 50 miles from the Hamptons. To get to the Hamptons from MacArthur Airport – you can use the Hampton Jitney ($12-25) or The East End Moon Limo (Fares run $90-$120). The East Hampton Airport only services private planes and small charters.
There is nothing scarier to me than a helicopter or prop plane but if you’re a high roller and want to be in the Hamptons in 45 minutes from NYC – chartering a plane or helicopter might be for you.
You can expect to pay at least $300-400 to get a taxi from JFK or Laguardia to the Hamptons. The Sag Harbor Car Service (631) 725-9000 is a good bet as they are familiar with the area. I once used a van service to go with a group of friends to the Hamptons and it ended up being very economical. Just be sure the company is licensed and insured.
The LIRR (Long Island Railroad) runs from NYC to Long Island. The LIRR is very economical with big discounts for children traveling with an adult. I have paid as little as $5.00 for both of my kids one way.
Luxury Bus Service
For bus service to the Hamptons – the Hampton Jitney (with stops in Brooklyn and Manhattan) and Hampton Luxury Liner can’t be beat. Both will set you back about $30-$40 depending on departure time and dates. A value pack will reduce your costs if you plan to make multiple trips. Reservations are required.
A friend of ours who lives in Hartford, bypasses I-95 by taking the New London, Connecticut ferry to Orient Point (1 hour 45 minutes). From Orient Point he drives to Greenport (about 6 miles) takes the North Ferry to Shelter Island (15 minutes). From Shelter Island he takes the South Ferry to Sag Harbor (5 minutes). His actual drive time is about one hour and 15 minutes. Cross Sound Ferry takes cars, passengers and trucks from Bridgeport, Connecticut to Port Jefferson, Long Island. It will take you about one hour and 15 minutes to drive from Port Jefferson to the Hamptons. My kids love the ferry. They think we are on a mini-cruise whenever we take it.
So don’t let the traffic terrorists scare you away from a beach vacation in the Hamptons. See you on the beach!