Crowded and exclusive, the Hamptons -- the beach destination of choice for many in the New York City area in summer -- aren't exactly a cheap getaway. If you're planning to head out to this ever-glamorous hotspot, whether you live in the NYC area or just want to get a taste of the Hamptons while you're passing through, getting there can be a challenge. Here, six ways to get to the Hamptons -- and what it'll cost you.
Driving: $15; 2-4+ hours
You could technically get to Westhampton from Manhattan in about two hours, but on summer weekends we'd budget at least four. The drive is about 75 miles each way, so factoring in the national average of 24.8 miles per gallon, and the roughly $4 per gallon gas prices in the are, that's about $15 in gas costs -- if you already have a car. If not, expect to spend another $80-$100 to rent.
Car Service: $200+; 2-4+ hours
Car service rates are charged two ways: via flat rate and by the hour. A trip to Westhampton can usually be had starting at around $225 flat, sometimes including gratuities, or $50 and up per hour.
Train: From $27 peak ($19.75 off-peak) or $47; 1.5-2 hours
It typically takes the Long Island Railroad just under two hours to Westhampton from Manhattan (with service also available from Brooklyn and Long Island City). While it's not the most glamorous or convenient way of getting there, since a transfer at Jamaica Station is involved, it skirts street traffic and so is one of the most reliable ways to get out west. At $27 one-way during peak times and $19.75 off-peak, it's also not outrageously expensive.
New last summer, there's also a direct Reserve service from New York Penn Station out to the Hamptons for $47 one-way eastbound and $39.75 one-way westbound. It's about 20 minutes faster -- from Penn, the train gets you to Westhampton in 95 minutes. Unsurprisingly, tickets for these rides sell out very early on weekends, so plan ahead.
Bus: $25-$45; 2.5-4.5 hours
More comfortable than the train but also more risky because it's subject to traffic conditions, a bus ride to the Hamptons can take anymore from 2.5 to 4.5 hours. There are currently three main options, all of which have various pick-up locations in Manhattan and Queens. The Hampton Jitney is the most cost-effective, at $25 each way between NYC and Westhampton. You'll get free water, snacks, and wifi (but don't expect anything too speedy). For those who want to step it up a notch, the Hampton Ambassador, the Jitney's classier sister, offers upgrades of more legroom, power outlets, flatscreen TVs, and drinks including wine and lemonade, at $45 one-way or $80 round-trip. Finally, there's the Hampton Luxury Liner, the Jitney's main competitor. Like the Ambassador service, it also offers weekenders flatscreen TVs, outlets, and magazines and papers, as well as free headphones to use. Tickets are $40 each way, and we hear that the Hampton Luxury Liner tends to have a more mellow ambience, while the Hampton Ambassador still maintains a livelier mood.
Helicopter: $1,500-$3,000+ per charter, 45 minutes
While AwesomeFlight has a few routes between NYC and Westhampton between $1,000 and $1,500 one way, depending on the departure port, most helicopter charters will set you back by an average $3,400. The copters typically fit between three and five or six passengers, so it typically comes out to somewhere between $550 and $1,000 per person. Some conventional options include HeliNY and New York Helicopter -- and Uber, which got into the game last summer, is once again offering $2,500 charters seating five this year via the Blade app.
Seaplane: From $550 per person, 35 minutes
Can't round up five friends who want to shell out for a copter charter? Easthampton-bound seaplanes get travelers to their destination in about 35 minutes, from $550 per person. Two popular companies are Fly the Whale and StndAIR. While StndAIR offers some nice perks, like complimentary wine and toiletries, Fly the Whale has discounted 10- and 20-packs for Hamptons aficionados who might have recently won the lottery.