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Walking the Hamptons: Best towns and villages to take a stroll
Listen up New Yorkers who can't drive (aka nearly everyone): You can still enjoy the Hamptons without a car.
If you arrive by train or by Jitney (or helicopter), there are plenty of more than a few towns to take a stroll. From historic Southampton to sandy Montauk, there's a town that satisfy any type of walk.
The North Fork attracts a lot of visits to its vineyards, which require either a car or a chartered limo or bus. But one of the gems of the North Fork is Greenport Village, which has a walkable downtown that includes the antique carousel (pictured), which was built in 1920 and restored and donated to the Village in 1995, a number of museums (including the 1840 Schoolhouse Museum, the Greenport Jail and Police Museum, and the East End Seaport Museum), shopping, a movie theatre, and restaurants. Bonus: The LIRR station is located at Wiggins and 4th Street at Ferry Dock (meaning you can hop off the train and walk right into downtown). (Credit: Randee Daddona)
Perhaps one of the reasons Montauk's popularity has soared in recent years is the pedestrian-friendly downtown. Although the Montauk zip code covers a lot of area (it's about 10 miles from the start of the town line until the lighthouse), a car isn't needed for the town. Take a walk down Montauk Highway, where there are a few motels (the Memory Motel can bring you back), bars, the Puff ' Putt, diners (John's Drive-In too), and the Montauk Bake Shoppe is just off the main strip. Located in the center of it all is the Village Green, featuring the gazebo, pictured. And located just one sandy block down nearly every side road is an entrance to the beach, so bring your flip flops. (Credit: Ian J. Stark)
If shopping is your thing, then downtown East Hampton is the place to go. Taking a stroll down Main Street and Newtown Lane can take you to Cynthia Rowley, Coach, Ricky's NYC, Gucci, Elie Tahari, Ralph Lauren, BCBG, Summerfileds, Citarella, and Bookhampton. There are also some of the best restaurants in the East End (Nick and Toni's is on North Main Street and Babette's is on Newtown Lane, and the Palm on Main Street), Guild Hall, the historic library, the UA East Hampton Cinema, a Dylan's Candy Bar, and even Herrick Park, where the annual Artist and Writer's Game is held. And added bonus is that it's all walkable from the LIRR. (Credit: Erin Geismar)
Southampton Village is the first English settlement in New York state, and the Village still looks resembles a charming English town. Strolling along Main Street and Jobs Lane (the two main drags of town) can bring you to historic churches, the gorgeous library (Rogers Memorial Library was built 1893), cafes, restaurants, shops, Town Hall and even a possible Kardashian sighting. There's also Agawam Park just south of Jobs Lane, where you can sit along pond if you need a break. If you head south down South Main Street past Herrick Road, you'll soon be walking amongst one of the toniest strips in the country--and the privets along the property line will keep you on your toes. (Credit: Newsday / Mitch Freedman)
If you're for a traditional seaside village, Sag Harbor is your place. Once a whaling village (see "Moby Dick" for evidence), Sag Harbor still retains its history (including the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum), but that doesn't mean it isn't perfect for a walk. There are art galleries, restaurants, bars, shops and Bay Street Theater. If you keep walking north, you'll eventually hit the windmill on the north harbor, the perfect spot to sit and contemplate the sea (like Herman Melville recommended). (Credit: J. Michael Dombrowski)