What to Do

20 Things to Do in the Hamptons Before Memorial Day: Take Your First Dip

Memorial Day (Monday, May 30) and the official start of the East End’s busy summer season is around the corner, so now’s the time to take advantage of all the special things that will be nonexistent or difficult to enjoy in the Hamptons once the crowds arrive from points west.

We continue our countdown of 20 things to do before Memorial Day in the Hamptons with:

#7: Take Your First Dip

Memorial Day is just one week away and soon locals will have lots of competition for just about everything, whether it’s room on the roads, lines for a coffee or gas, space on the beach, fish in the sea, single ladies or fellas at the bar, roast chickens at the supermarket—you name it. For that reason, why not take something for yourself and beat the crowds to the cool Atlantic?

Yes, the water is pretty brutally cold right now, but there’s something to be said for getting your summer saltwater baptism in early and ahead of everyone else. So take this opportunity to do a quick dip in the ocean.

Just so we’re clear—the emphasis here is on the word “dip.” Water temperatures are topping at around 55° (check our daily HamptonsSurf Report for exact temps), which is very dangerous/immediately life-threatening, according to the National Center for Cold Water Safety. Water this cold can cause total loss of breathing control, maximum intensity cold shock and possibly leave you unable to control gasping and hyperventilation, so keep any quick dips to polar bear plunge durations—in and out. And make sure to bring a friend to keep an eye on you, even if you just dunk in knee-high shore wash. DO NOT attempt to start riding waves or swimming out there unless you have a proper wetsuit or drysuit (also see our Surf Report for suggested levels of protection).

Maybe gather a few friends and organize your own personal, pre-Memorial Day polar bear plunge. It’ll be super refreshing and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you got to the ocean well before any summer visitor.


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