westhampton
Westhampton Beach. (Getty Images)

Westhampton Island, dotted with popular parks such as Hot Dog Beach and exclusive oceanfront properties that the likes of Eli Manning call home, is more commonly known as Dune Road.

Spanning 15 miles from Moriches Inlet at its western tip to Shinnecock Inlet to the east, Westhampton Island runs through Hampton Bays and the villages of West Hampton Dunes, Westhampton Beach, and Quogue. It is the easternmost of the four barrier islands protecting Long Island from the Atlantic Ocean.

Although the nightclubs that once famously dotted the island are long gone, the area is still known for its popular beaches and waterfront restaurants.

Cupsogue Beach County Park

Located at the western end of Westhampton Island is the 296-acre Cupsogue Beach County Park situated between the Atlantic and Moriches Bay. Visitors can enjoy fishing, camping, a concession stand, off-roading, and lifeguard-supervised swimming.

Day passes are $9 per vehicle and seasonal parking passes are $75 for residents. 

Cupsogue is a hotspot for surfcasters. The oceanside beach has some of the best saltwater bass fishing in the area. Bluefish, snappers, and blowfish are also frequently caught here. Fishing is permitted between sunrise and sunset but night fishing permits are also available from the county parks department. 

This park is also a popular campsite. Normally RVs, campers, and tents are allowed but due to Covid-19, only self-contained camping units are permitted. Basic sites (water in season), electric sites, and full hookup (sewer, electric and water) sites are available. Reservations can be made online 24 hours in advance for the first day of camping.

Beachgoers can visit Tiki Joe’s food concession on the pavilion. Open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., it offers everything from fresh seafood to pasta dishes along with an assortment of drinks. 

Visitors can enjoy driving off-road vehicles on the outer beach (shoreline) as long as they have a Suffolk County Parks Recreational Vehicle Use Permit.

Lifeguard-supervised swimming is offered from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. There are also a first aid center, restrooms, showers, and changing rooms. 

Beach and boats on bay side at dusk on Westhampton Beach. (Getty Images)

Village of Westhampton Beach

The Village of Westhampton Beach is known for its high-end shopping, lavish dining, and most of all its two white-sand beaches: Rodgers Beach and Lashley Beach.

The two beaches offer bathrooms and lifeguard-supervised swimming from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Group contact activities including sports such as volleyball and football are prohibited. 

Also, access is currently limited to village taxpayers. Year-round village renters are allowed passive, short-term use of the beaches. On weekends renters staying within the Village of Westhampton Beach for a period of 30 days or more can purchase stickers/passes, as long as a summer rental application and permit have been issued by the Village’s Building Department. 

Full-time residents and taxpayers are given free seasonal passes. For nonresidents and non taxpayers a parking permit costs $495. 

After spending the day at the beach visitors can head to John Scott’s Surf Shack. There they can enjoy comfort food while admiring the view from the outdoor waterfront patio. 

Houses are available for rent on sites such as Zillow and Airbnb. Hotels such as The Ocean Resort at Bath and Tennis and Beehive Bungalows are currently welcoming guests. 

The Village of Westhampton Dunes

Within this village is the 400-foot Pikes Beach owned by Southampton Town. A visit to the ice cream truck in the parking lot is a great way to beat the beach day heat. Visitors can also try their luck at shellfishing, with a permit. 

Lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m and bathrooms are closed after 5 p.m.

After 6 p.m beachgoers can break out the s’mores and set up a bonfire, with a Parks and Recreation Facility Use Permit. Charcoal and wood can be used for these fires but they must be in a metal container and fires must be put out with water and disposed of properly. Gas grills are also allowed. 

Full season passes are $40 per vehicle for residents and $400 for nonresidents. Daily passes for nonresidents are $30. 

Houses and apartments are available for rent on sites like Zillow and Airbnb.

Village of Quogue

Quogue was founded in 1659 and is growing in popularity as a summer vacation destination.

There is only one beach in the village: Quogue Village Beach. Lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It offers a concession, bathrooms, and lockers. It’s a private beach reserved for local residents only.

House rentals in this area are offered through Douglas Elliman and Nest Seekers International. Some of these rentals provide beach access. 

Permits are $90 per car for residents and $240 per car for seasonal renters.

Westhampton Beach. (Getty Images)

Hampton Bays

Hampton Bays is known as “Good Ground” because of its flourishing nature.  

This hamlet has various restaurants including Oaklands Restaurant & Marina, Sundays on the Bay, and Dockers. At all three restaurants, customers can admire the breathtaking waterfront view while ordering from seafood-focused menus and an onsite bar. 

Hampton Bays also has plenty of beaches, among which are Tiana Beach, Ponquogue Beach, and Shinnecock West County Park.

Tiana Beach spans 1,000 feet on the ocean side of the island. Lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Full season passes are $40 per vehicle for residents and $400 for nonresidents. Daily passes for nonresidents are $30. 

Ponquogue Beach is a wide ocean beach offering parking and a pavilion with restrooms and a concession. Lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For Southampton Town residents, permits are $40 per vehicle. Full season passes for nonresidents cost $400 per vehicle. Daily passes for nonresidents are $30.

Other beaches in Hampton Bays include Southampton town-run William Swan Beach (aka Hot Dog Beach) and Charles F. Altenkirch Park, formerly known as Shinnecock West Park. It’s a rugged barrier beach park with recreation areas on the Shinnecock Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean, known for bird watching and fishing, especially for striped bass.

These beaches offer fewer amenities than Tiana Beach and Ponquogue Beach. Swimming is not recommended as swimmers are not supervised by lifeguards or attendants. They also do not have bathrooms or concessions, but restaurants are nearby.

For more guides about things to do on Long Island, visit longislandpress.com/category/everything-long-island.

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