Beach-worn wood and plenty of seashells are what you'll find on the beaches of Hampton Bays, a quiet hamlet that is part of the constellation of villages that form the popular "Hamptons" section of Long Island.
Hampton Bays is a charming area of the Hamptons that is ideal for renters who want to truly get away from it all, but it does not lack character. A thriving downtown area offers seafood restaurants as well as antique stores and movie theaters.
I rented a property in Hampton Bays for three days with my friends and we were surprised to see how much we had the place completely to ourselves. Forget the crowded summer beaches and less than perfect water conditions: these tiny inlets and a mix of public/private beaches (with zero fees) will convince you that you've escaped to your own private island.
During the summer, expect to see and hear plenty of robins, breathe pristine air, and listen to crickets at night. The water is also perfect temperature and the unhurried nature of Hampton Bays made this the perfect spot to unwind.
Tip: the rum and island-inspired cuisine in Rumba (downtown) is legendary.