Travel

Getting Spiritual in the Hamptons

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Yes, you read that right. The Hamptons, magnet for celebs and hot young things pursuing beach bling days and lubricated nights in the area’s various hamlets, also has a spiritual side. That’s not so weird if you think about it. After all, the first visitors to the Hamptons were originally drawn to the natural beauty of the ocean beaches, the farm fields and the breath-taking sunrises and sunsets. They looked to the Hamptons for a place to escape the intense pleasures and pressures of urban life, and to breathe in a more spiritual life experience.

Getting Spiritual in the Hamptons

The Hamptons were “discovered” anew in the early 90’s, when large houses started to replace the modest homes that had fit naturally into the environment rather than dominating it.  Conversations in the Hamptons these days almost always circle around real estate – who bought/sold what and for how much – or which famous face was spotted doing what to whom. It’s kind of fun and a drag at the same time, but there is still enough of the good stuff left to keep us coming back.

When it all gets to be too much, here are some places to visit where you can restore your spirit and still have fun. Spirituality should always have a sense of enjoyment to it or else it’s, well, no fun!

The New Thought Spiritual Center, Watermill

Housed in the Watermill Community House, a beautiful old building that is in itself a spiritual experience, New Thought offers a “gathering” every Sunday 10:00 – 11:00 AM and all are welcome. You can feel your shoulders drop a few inches as you enter this 1800s building. While you will hear the G-d word from time to time, this is not a religious experience.

Getting Spiritual in the Hamptons

Watermill Community House

The program includes some songs (sung with great gusto by all attendees), a meditation, a talk on a spiritual topic and an almost evangelical delight in coming together to give thanks for the many good things in life and especially in the immediate community. It is followed by coffee and cookies/fruit which is provided gratis, but you can also scoot down the road to the Hampton’s Coffee Company for a blissful organic breakfast – a spiritual experience in itself.

Vajravarahi Buddhist Meditation, Sag Harbor

Classes at the Vajravarahi Meditation Center are offered at various times on a daily basis in a lovely meditation room at 112 Hampton Street, Sag Harbor. Run by Venerable Geshe Kelsang since 2001, classes offer a guided meditation, a talk on different aspects of meditation and Buddhist philosophy followed by a discussion and question/answer period.

On Friday evenings, there is a Sunset Garden Party following the meditation class. On Sundays, there is an outdoor meditation from 7:00-7:40 at the Channing Daughters Winery in Bridgehampton.

Meditation at The LongHouse

The LongHouse is located on Hands Creek Road in East Hampton and is a spiritual experience in and of itself with its beautiful gardens and sculptures by famous artists. Every Saturday at 8:00 AM, from June to August, Jim Owen leads a meditation session on the main lawn of this beautiful estate.

Getting Spiritual in the Hamptons

Chill in the garden at The LongHouse

The sessions are $20 each, but special prices are available if you sign up for more than one. Bring chairs unless you like, and are able, to assume the lotus position on the verdant grass. It’s a wonderful way to get your head on straight after Friday night revelries and before more of the same on Saturday.

Tai Chi at the Library

The Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton has ongoing Tai Chi classes every Thursday at 10:15. It costs $45 for about two months of classes. The classes are led by Mary Bouchever who creates a calm and peaceful atmosphere as she leads the class through the beginner moves for tai chi.

A non-competitive mood is stressed (sic!) and especially good for those whose bodies (and minds) are not up for the more demanding forms of yoga. There is a mix of ages, but it skews towards older ladies. You can close your eyes and imagine yourself in a park in China where tai chi is widely practiced regularly and enthusiastically for its calming and healthful benefits.

I hope you get to enjoy some or all of these spiritual experiences.  Just remember to BREATHE!!!!

Frederica Pellman was born and raised in London, and educated at a private convent in Notting Hill Gate. She moved to the West Village, NYC with one of her sisters - they had no jobs, no contacts, no place to stay and virtually no money! After a brief but memorable stay at a hotel, they found jobs, friends and an apartment, and eventually husbands. She now she lives in Southampton and spends her time writing, walking, and working as a life coach.

67 Comments

  1. Lulia Jan

    great article! Thanks for sharing spiritual experience in Hampton. In the Longhouse i’d love to meditate. The Tai Chi idea at the Library is great.

  2. Stephen Wrighten

    Water Mill is my favorite town. Do you know of any other activities there? For those of you who don’t know — It’s listed as the sixth most expensive Small Town in the United States by Business Week, offers some of the most beautiful Mecox Bay front property, miles and miles of farms and fields a handful of ocean beaches to relax at, and is home to Hampton Coffee.

    • Frederica Pellman

      Not off the top of my head, but the New Thought gathering is a great network for finding out about what else is going on. Enjoy!

  3. Pasty Clin

    The longhouse in Hamptons is very peaceful place.A great place to relax and take interesting pictures. Thanks for sharing information about Hampton in spiritual way.

  4. Monika Smith

    Thanks for giving such useful information about “Hampton”. This article really help me when i get a chance to visit this place.

  5. Christina Norelli

    I lost my imterest in The Hamptons after “Kourtney & Khloé Take the Hamptons” but this article kind of helped me change my mind. Thank you. 🙂

    • Frederica Pellman

      Kourtney and Co. are here for a blink of an eye and really don’t have any impact on those of us who live here year round. The Hamptons are crammed with many folks who are here just because it’s a beautiful place to be, not because the beautiful people are here. You take what you want and you leave the rest!!

  6. Evelyn Sandler

    Great post. Pretty much covers everything. But as a part time local I have a tip for the first time visitors.

    Don’t jog on montauk highway. There are PLENTY of safer and more scenic backroads for you to jog on. Plus you won’t be huffing engine exhaust. Seriously though, you might think you look cool or something, but the locals laugh at you when you jog on montauk highway. Biking on montauk highway is ok if you have to.

  7. Kimberly Thompson

    I don’t wanna be a downer but The Hamptons are getting overrun with daytrippers and a chain-store vibe. And it totally ruined the place.

    • You mean high-end chain stores, like Ralph Lauren and Tiffany’s? You’d probably like Sag Harbor better, in that case. Less stores like that and more people who go for the whole summer (or live there year round). 😉

    • Frederica Pellman

      Come in September through March when it is quieter and still very beautiful.

  8. Susanna Milton

    My mom lives in the east of Hamptons. The east end of Long Island is a matchless place of natural beauty, tranquility, small-town kindness, and safety.

  9. Ayla Pennington

    Hi! Thanks for the great info. I don’t have a car and I’m looking for an easily accessible place to go to in the Hamptons to go to. Is Montauk the place? Someone said that it cost $25/way and 4 hours on the train. Is that true? I’m just looking to go there for a day trip and them head back to Manhattan for the night.

    • Montauk is the farthest town from Manhattan… it takes about 3 hours to get there. Definitely not good for a day trip. Any of the towns are kinda far if you’re not staying overnight… Why not try Greenwich instead?

    • Frederica Pellman

      The Hamptons Jitney is about $30 and in the off season you can be in Montauk in 3 hours.

  10. Kimberly Vigil

    Thank you so much Frederica for such an incredible article on the Hamptons. I am planning to visit it this August with my boyfriend. At first we were doubtful about visiting this place but now you have given me more reasons to not miss this beautiful place. I will definitely list out all those places and activities you have mentioned. Thanks a lot! 🙂

  11. Jennifer McSween

    I think the appeal of the Hamptons is that the area is full of rich and famous people, who are there primarily because… the area is full of rich and famous people. LOL

  12. Lucia Pittman

    Such a great Information,thanks for sharing with us. I never knew much about the Hamptons before but someone I know visited recently and it really did look beautiful. I think it’s somewhere we would definitely love to visit, sounds like it is full of such character and warmth. Your information helps me in finding the best places. Thank you so much. Most of my bucket list was expensive travel. I hope to visit all of them in the future.

  13. Jae Medina

    Absolutely love the Hamptons!! Hampton is my home year round and has been so for many years. 🙂

  14. Shirley Fuchs

    Seriously tempted to go there!

  15. Karen Osborn

    Wow! the Hamptons looks so lovely and charming. Your article has been a great intro into a place that I know very little about. I’ll definitely be using some of these for my bucket list. 😀

  16. Carol Warren

    I lived and worked in the Hamptons before it became snooty. Moved away just in time to New England.

    • Ariana Rhyder

      I went to grad school out in the Hamptons. The trick was to leave before the summer even began and come back after all the people had all left in the fall. lol

  17. Carolyn Robertson

    I’m visiting New York in August and would like to do a day trip to the Hamptons. As the weather should be warm in the city, I thought a day out of the hustle & bustle would be a good idea! 😀

    • Winona Miller

      Hamptons are not a great day trip – and it’s very difficult to do/see a whole lot without a car. It is almost 100 miles east of NYC, so the trip takes about 2-1/2 to 3 hours depending on the train. It’s not what I consider a good day-trip destination.

  18. Dorothy Harris

    My husband and I have heard great things about the Hamptons and Montauk and been wanting to visit. After reading this, we would like to head out there for a couple of days. We’d love to visit some of the vineyards and just relax. Should we stay out there for a day or two or will a day trip suffice? If we stay out there, what area/town is best? Lastly, we heard there is a ferry we can take there from Connecticut instead of drive there? Any advice on this?

    Thanks!!!

    • Frederica Pellman

      A day trip is not going to give you enough time to enjoy the many different towns and what they offer – vineyards, The Parrish Art Museum, the Long House etc. Definitely worth a longer visit. There is a ferry that goes to Shelter Island and Greenport. The ferry to Connecticut leaves from further up island – Port Jefferson I believe.

  19. Leah Helms

    Oh My God! Is it as lush it looks in the movies? ? I always see rich people in movies spending their summer in their summer houses in the Hamptons and I can’t help but to feel jealous lol

  20. Nancy Musselman

    Cheers for the great information! The Hamptons sound very upscale and elegant. I would sure love to visit one day! 🙂

  21. Teresa Tanner

    I was actually thinking about going to New Zealand for a wellness trip, but The Hamptons is pretty close to New York, so I might just change my mind and go to The Hamptons instead. 🙂

  22. Diana Hewitt

    Love it! Some great ideas here. Thank you. I’ll definitely consider a visit. 🙂

  23. Molly Twain

    Thanks for this, Frederica! You can’t possibly imagine how much I need a getaway like this, but don’t have the time. However, The Hamptons is very close to where I live, so I will most definitely make this trip happen! 🙂

  24. Sonja Fallow

    I need to share this with my friends. We’ve been looking forward to going on a “spiritual tour” and The Hamptons seems like a good place to start. 🙂

  25. Kim Hartford

    What about the hotels and rentals? I hear it’s a very upper class region so I’m thinking the prices must be quite expensive, or am I wrong?

    • Yes, it’s definitely pricey, but you can find good deals too… just have to book welllll in advance 😉

    • Frederica Pellman

      And AirBnb is definitely doable!

  26. Matilda Parker

    Great article, Frederica. Sounds like a very interesting place. What’s the best time to visit? I’m very interested in a 3 day weekend get away 🙂

  27. Lena Dzeko

    We stayed 15 days there last summer. I wish this article was published back then. I literally spent the entire two weeks at a beach house with nothing much to do.

  28. Sasha Rosswell

    I’ve heard a lot good about it, but never got to visit. I hope one day I will…

  29. Nicky Bryan

    $45 for two months? That’s a REAL bargain! I’m definitely spending my summer there. I think I should start looking for rentals already. Thanks! 🙂

  30. Alice Harris

    I haven’t been but it looks beautiful. It seems that the Hamptons have something for everyone. I have heard some fantastic things about this place but this is the best and most informative post I have read. Sounds like a place I’d love to visit. Thank you for all of the visual inspiration as well as travel tips.

  31. Helen Dark

    I am always thinking about the Hamptons. I will surely visit on July. A must to put a check mark on my bucket list. This would be my first time there. I’m super excited but i want to know the weather there?

    xoxo
    Helen

  32. Christina Brown

    I totally second everything you wrote!

  33. Esther Earl Harris

    Great photos of The Hamptons. a friend went there and is always inviting me to come visit. She even said that it’s a very relaxed place, beautiful scenery and beaches. I’m going to tell her yes just because of your article, Frederica. Thank you so much for this post.

  34. Sarah Ubitel

    I’m feeling more relaxed already, lol!

  35. Maria Cain

    I really didn’t know what to think about going to Hamptons in the beginning but honestly this place absolutely blew my mind. There’s something about Hamptons that spoke to me: the dramatic dunes and the shingled windmills. It was literally something that I was waiting to discover. You have this dream about going somewhere and you just think ” This is the perfect place to be”. I love this place.

  36. Jane Sprague

    It’s a great stop off. Laid back and there’s something for everybody. Sunbathing, swimming,eating, drinking and what you’ve mentioned above are just some of the things. Probably loads more too. Yep, it’s definitely a fun place to visit for a day or two.

  37. Cassi Braun

    I love this article!!! We go to The Hampton’s every year. We have a summer house there. Really enjoy the Tai Chi lessons idea. I’ll definitely sign up when we go this summer. 🙂

  38. Roberta Bennett

    The thing is… ever since I was a child I’ve always wanted to visit the Hamptons. And growing up I caught some interest in meditating and yoga. And of course a big fan of beaches too! This article gave me the idea of visiting the Hamptons just to meditate on the beach and enjoy a relaxed weekend away from the city. 🙂

  39. Delilah Peyton

    Great tips. Saving for future visits. Thanks so much! 🙂

  40. Emily Wentz

    I love the Hamptons!! Lovely place and a real gem. It’s a nice contrast to the long endless beaches of the “shore” where you might not get to park without a town permit.

    You can watch sailboats go in and out of the small harbor. There is a tiny secluded beach area. You can comb the beach for shells and wander through the reeds.

  41. Emma Blackwood

    everyone knows hampton bays is the place to be.. aka hump’em bays…. just don’t get run over crossing the street from nightclub to nightclub.. and try not to get beat up.. if someone looks like they just spend months on a commercial fishing boat, they probably did.. hahaha

  42. Shelley Donalds

    Allways fun, a hundred times better than Jersey Shore. Another world. 🙂

  43. To be honest, I have been to the Hamptons quite a few times, and spent most of my time on the beach. Didn’t know there such were places to do Tai Chi or meditate. Next time I’m there, I’m gonna check this article again to follow up your suggestions! 🙂

  44. Noted. Need more recommendations near or around New York, as we’re visiting this summer for 6 weeks. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. 🙂

  45. Lovely recommendation, Frederica. I trust your review, and will definitely take a weekend off to visit, and then let you know how it went. ☺️

  46. Janet Roper

    Will keep this in mind for times when New York is too stressful for me to handle. Good to know we have a place nearby where we can go to chill and relax. 🙂

  47. Breathe… relax… and enjoy every second of life! Great recommendations!

  48. These are the places I need to visit and activities I need to try esp if the city life gets SUPER stressful! You’re great help, Frederica!

  49. Gosh! How did you manage to find all of these?! Wish I had your researching skills! Great list! Will surely take time to visit them 😉

  50. This sounds like a very relaxing and fun way of getting away from the stress of the big city life. I’ll definitely be doing this. Thanks so much for all the places and acitivities you recommended!

  51. This post is perfect for me! I’m always in search for quiet spots where I can breathe and relax! Thank you so much!

  52. I have to admit I’ve been very skeptical about the Hamptons until I read this article. And now I’m very motivated to this. I hope I can make time for it this summer. 🙂

  53. I was having conversations with friends yesterday and we were actually talking about where to take meditation classes! I feel so glad I landed to this page! Thanks for the great roundup of these places!

  54. Wow! Thanks for writing about this! I’ve always known that Hamptons is an area for architecturally unique houses of worship, but never really had the chance to visit and explore them. First on my list is The Longhouse. I’d love to meditate!

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