With Valentine’s Day around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan a romantic excursion in the Hamptons. Yes, of course local restaurants and theaters are great for dates, but sometimes it’s nice to get off the beaten path and try something different. With that in mind, we offer these suggestions.
1. Elizabeth A. Morton Refuge – 2595 Noyac Road, Sag Harbor
This gorgeous and preserved 187-acre peninsula on Noyack and Little Peconic Bays features a wide array of flora and fauna that will bring joy to anyone’s heart. Keep your eyes peeled for white-tailed deer, chipmunk, painted turtles, green frogs, all sorts of songbirds, osprey, wild turkey, duck, piping plover, terns, herons and even beaver, if you’re really lucky! The refuge is also home to a variety of habitats, such as upland forest, fields, ponds, salt marsh, beach and a lagoon. Best the very best part—birds will eat right out of your hand, Mary Poppins style. What could be better for a date?
2. Montauk Point – 2,000 Old Montauk Highway
Whether you explore the more than 200-year-old Montauk Lighthouse, completed in 1796, or simply walk the bluffs and beaches, Montauk Point’s beauty is arguably unparalleled on all of Long Island. The history and natural majesty offer much to do, see and talk about. For those with more unique interests, take a walk through Camp Hero, which is full of fascinating buildings and structures, not to mention some deep historic significance and a pile of spooky legends. Hold each other close!
3. The Duck Pond – David’s Lane, East Hampton
Another local nature preserve, East Hampton’s Duck Pond has hundreds of ducks that will happily approach you and eat bread from your hand, or at least very close to it. The area is rife with winding trails and lovely open areas to walk with your Valentine.
4. The Parrish Art Museum – 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill
Taking in some masterful art and enjoying some culture is a great way to spend a couple hours with your favorite person. And if you know your stuff, it’s not a bad way to impress a first date either. The fabulously designed Herzog & de Meuron building has quality exhibitions and even its own cafe and gift shop. Take a break from the art, sip coffee and have a snack, then buy your Valentine a book or some other cool item before heading out. Also try Southampton Arts Center (25 Jobs Lane, Southampton) or Guild Hall (158 Main Street, East Hampton).
5. Georgica Beach – Lilly Pond Lane, East Hampton
No list of romantic places in the Hamptons would be complete without a beach. East Hampton’s Georgica Beach is one of the finest the South Fork has to offer. Right around the corner from the storied Grey Gardens estate, Georgica offers pristine sands, a jetty and, of course, the shimmering Atlantic! Like most of the other entries on this list, a visit will require some bundling up, but too few people know the magic of walking East End beaches in the offseason, even in winter. If not Georgica, really any beach will do: Coopers in Southampton, Atlantic in Amagansett, Ditch Plains in Montauk…take your pick. Follow your excursion with a hot cocoa or coffee at a local cafe.
You could also take your Valentine out for some gift shopping in our many local villages and hamlets. Check out our latest Shop ‘Til You Drop column for ideas.