Each of the ocean and bay beaches that surrounds the Hamptons has own its special draws. But before grabbing a towel and heading out to the region’s world-famous coastline, visitors should investigate the parking situation: To put it mildly, beach parking in the Hamptons can be complicated and is almost always tightly regulated. What follows is a general guide with links to specific resources.
The Town of Southampton presides over township beaches from Westhampton to Sagaponack, including North Haven and the eastern side of Sag Harbor, while the Village of Southampton handles the seven beaches within its borders. This includes Cooper’s Beach, which often lands on lists of the best beaches in the Hamptons, and even the nation, thanks to its beautiful views and a natural shallow area that makes it great for swimming.
The Town of East Hampton regulates most of the South Fork beaches, starting in Wainscott and ending in Montauk. But there’s an exception there, too: The Village of East Hampton has jurisdiction over the five beaches within its borders, and, like the others, it sets individual parking policies for each location. Town of East Hampton parking permits are not valid at the village’s beaches, and village permits are not valid at the town’s.
Got all that? There’s more.
A handful of spots provide day-rate parking lots that anyone can access until spaces run out. But the vast majority require the purchase of a resident parking sticker or nonresident permit sticker that must be affixed to a car window. The permits can be bought at town halls and even beach entry booths. Depending on what kind of permit you want to purchase, you can also mail in your request. For resident stickers, you must provide your vehicle registration and proof of residency, such as a property tax bill.
Each township and village also makes special parking accommodations for the disabled.
Police enforcement is vigilant at beach parking lots throughout the day, and tickets are issued frequently, so it’s best to plan ahead and not take chances. Also, be sure to check the signs no matter where you park to avoid unwanted surprises.
The good news is that these strict regulations are only enforced during part of the year. The dates that the permits are required will vary depending on where you go, but a general rule of thumb is that permits are typically required between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Before and after the enforced days, parking is free.
Guides to Beach Parking in the Hamptons
- The complete list of the Town of Southampton beaches and their individual parking situations.
- A complete list of the Village of Southampton beaches.
- Useful details about the Town of East Hampton’s beaches and policies.
- An interactive Google map of Town of East Hampton beaches.
- A guide to the five beaches overseen by the Village of East Hampton.
Town of Southampton Beach Parking Fees
- Resident Full Season Parking Permit: $40/vehicle
- Senior Resident Full Season Parking Permit: $30/vehicle
- Town Employee Full Season Parking Permit: $75/employee (non-resident)
- Non-Resident Full Season Parking Permit: $400/vehicle
- Non-Resident Daily Parking Permit: $30/vehicle
- Non-Resident Marine Park Permit: $90/vehicle
Residents are defined as homeowners or year-round renters. Proof of residency is required to apply. For more information on documents needed, click here. Vehicle registrations with a P.O. box, proof of a lease, and insurance cards won’t be accepted.
Village of Southampton Beach Parking Fees
Information on permits and prices is available here. Residents permits are free, but the non-resident day rate at Cooper’s Beach is $50. Arrive early, or be prepared to wait. The non-resident annual rate is $450. Non-resident “locals” (people who reside in the Southampton school or fire district, but outside of village limits) can pay $250 per vehicle permit. Village permits are issued by mail. Applicants should send in the items required depending on their resident status. More information on applying can be found here.
There is one “hidden” free parking beach in the Village: Road D Beach on Meadow Lane has about 30 parking spaces and fills up quickly. Note that the beach here does not have showers or bathrooms, like you’ll find at Cooper’s.
Town of East Hampton Beach Parking Fees
Nonresident beach permits are $375, nonresident drive-on beach permits $275. Day-rate parking is offered at only two spots: Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett ($25 per vehicle) and Kirk Beach in Montauk, where parking is free.
Village of East Hampton Beach Parking Fees
Village parking permits are free to residents but cost $400 per vehicle for non-village residents with a valid vehicle registration. The weekday day rate is $30 per vehicle. Non-resident beach parking permits go on sale February 1, and there are a limited number available — just 3,100. They’re available on a first-come, first-served basis, and processing can take up to three weeks. For more details, see the Village of East Hampton website.
Hamptons Beach Shuttles
The Hamptons Hopper offers free bus service from late June to Labor Day along a route it calls the Montauk Loop. For $5, you can also ride its Inter-Town Loop, which drops off in several more villages between Montauk and Hampton Bays.
Free Ways to Get to Beaches in the Hamptons
You could always legally park in one of the hamlets and hire a taxi, Uber or similar service to drop you at the beach. Or you could bike. No permits are required for bicycles. Yet.
[This post has been updated and republished.]
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