Boutiques abound in this oh-so tony part of the world. Here, money is no object and it shows in the high-end selection of goods sold in and around Southampton. Fortunately, however, you can find something for everyone even if you’re not working within a multi-millionaire’s budget.
Sport your best casual chic attire and stroll down Southampton’s stately Main Street to experience fine shopping in a variety of forms. You’re in for a classy experience within each space housed behind freshly-painted white facades, some of which have existed for centuries. (The town of Southhampton was settled in 1640.) In addition to big names such as Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors, you’ll discover many unique shops full of local charm and distinction.
Start with Hildreth’s Home Goods, a Hamptons favorite since 1842. Home décor items and gifts for you, your home and your children reign supreme in this beautiful store that offers a glimpse of how the neighboring “cottages” are decorated. Drive or pedal down Meadow and Gin Lanes before or after your shopping foray to take a gander at the exterior of these extraordinary homes. Note that you might need a very tall ladder to peek over the super high hedgerows, which provide privacy. No worries though–you can always crane your head around to catch a look of them at the driveway entrance. Unless, of course, the gate is closed!
Back on Main Street Southampton, you’ll find some of the best consignment shopping in the world at Collette’s. Shop at their main locale as well as at their downstairs bargain basement a few doors down for fashion forward ladies’ clothing and accessories at a fraction of their original cost. The beautifully displayed merchandise within a glittering space (in the main boutique) make it hard to believe you’re looking at secondhand goods. Once you realize that the ladies in the area change out their wardrobes on a regular basis, it all makes sense.
Before leaving this pristine town center, pick up some cheese and other delicious products such as breads, salads, sandwiches and desserts at The Village Gourmet Cheese Shop.
If you’re headed east Water Mill on the Hamptons Wine Trail, make a stop at Duck Walk Vineyards to pick up some nice wines to accompany your fine comestibles. (Be sure to allow time for tasting, too!)
So many museums, so much shopping. Some of the best gift items can be found at museum gift shops and the Hamptons boast many, including the Southhampton Historical Museum, the Parrish Art Museum and the Water Mill Museum in Water Mill and The Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum.
Like everything else, the shopping in Sag Harbor is more dialed down. For more picnic provisioning, go to Schiavoni’s Market, a Sag favorite, founded in 1941. Harbor Books, a fine independent bookstore, ranks as another must-see. Have a cup of coffee here and linger over their fine selection of books about the sea, the Hamptons, beach life and a tide of other nonfiction and fiction titles on a swell of far reaching subjects and themes.
Farming has always been big on Long Island, so not surprisingly the roads are dotted with farm stands and markets big and small. Serene Green in Noyac is one that’s committed to selling fresh and local produce, baked goods, dairy products, seafood and fish, grass-fed beef, a pantry-full of prepared foods and more.
Travel to Flanders to visit The Big Duck, an iconic landmark, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in the form of–you guessed it–a big fat duck. Originally built in 1931 by a duck farmer to showcase his ducks and duck eggs, today it serves as an ode to the deep-rooted ducky spirit of Long Island. Shop here for all kinds of fun and kitsch-y souvenirs. The kids will love it!