The South Fork is known for its world-class beaches and A-list nightspots -- but there's more to the Hamptons than sand and celebrities. Beyond sunbathing and stargazing, you'll find history, art, nature and plenty of great food. Here are 10 spots worth checking out.
Main Beach, East Hampton
First on Forbes magazine's list of the 10 Top Beaches in America, Main Beach has it all: Lifeguards, a snack bar, supermodels and movie stars parading up and down in the surf. Bike from the village or take a free shuttle from Main Street to avoid hefty parking fees (easthamptonvillage.org)
Montauk Point Lighthouse
Montauk Point Lighthouse, the oldest in New York State, was commissioned under George Washington in 1792 and is still aiding navigation more than 200 years later. Climb to the top ($9 adults, $4 younger than 12), tour the museum and explore the grounds and trails of adjacent Camp Hero, a decommissioned military installation turned state park.
Visit the East Hampton studio where Jackson Pollock created masterpieces including Autumn Rhythm and Convergence, and see the paint drippings that spilled over the edges of his canvasses onto the floor. The walls exhibit traces of wife Lee Krasner's work. Both painters' materials and tools are on display, along with photos.
Ditch Plains, Montauk
Famous for its long breaks, Ditch Plains Beach in Montauk, at the very tip of Long Island, is a destination for surfers the world over. For non-surfers, there is a designated swimming area with lifeguards. Stroll west along the beach and gaze up at the dramatic cliffs. No parking for nonresidents -- take a taxi.
Parrish Art Museum
The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill opened in 2012 to great acclaim. Its award-winning design references East End architecture -- the building resembles a modernist potato barn. Seven skylit galleries rotate works from the permanent collection by East End artists, such as Fairfield Porter, Roy Lichtenstein, Willem de Kooning and Chuck Close.
Gin Lane and Georgica
To see how the .001 percent live, peek through Gin Lane's grand estates hedges in Southampton and along East Hampton's Georgica Pond. Built for new-money types who were unwelcome in Newport in the 1880s, Gin Lane "cottages" now house the likes of Nine West shoe mogul Vince Camuto, while Georgica Pond hosts Steven Spielberg and Martha Stewart.
Nick & Toni's
A vegetable and goat cheese terrine is served at Nick & Toni's restaurant in East Hampton.This hot spot celebrated its 25th anniversary last summer and is still the place to see and be seen. Reserve a table well in advance to enjoy rustic Mediterranean cooking while rubbing elbows with celebrities including Jimmy Fallon, Sting and the Clintons.
No trip to the Hamptons would be complete without a dose of retail therapy. Villages have their specialties: Luxury goods from Ralph Lauren, here on Main Street in East Hampton; preppy attire from Brooks Brothers and Vineyard Vines on Jobs Lane in Southampton; antiques and home design shops in Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor and Amagansett.
Ferry To Shelter Island
Take a quick and picturesque hop across the Peconic Bay from North Haven to tranquil Shelter Island. Enjoy sunset from the boat, and then dinner at 18 Bay or the Vine Street Cafe before returning to your Hamptons accommodations. But watch the clock -- the last ferry to the mainland is 1:45 a.m. in season.
The Hamptons nightlife scene has moved east in the last few years, and the most popular clubs are now in Montauk. Ruschmeyer's hotel, a former summer camp with cabin-themed decor, attracts evening crowds with live music, DJs and retro fun, including Ping-Pong tables and bingo nights.