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The Hamptons: Vacation in True Luxury   by Jennifer Weiss

Every Memorial Day weekend, the summer season officially kicks off in the Hamptons and with it comes the droves of movie stars and city dwellers seeking to escape the heat and enjoy some of the most breathtaking beauty New York State has to offer. While largely known as the summer vacation spot for the rich and famous, rubbing elbows with your favorite director or movie star has never been easier when you spend your vacation getaway along the beaches of a stunning Hamptons town.

Offering some of the best beaches in the world, the Hamptons are definitely the place to be for exciting oceanfront adventures. While there are excellent sandy options up and down the South Fork, East Hampton's Main Beach is consistently rated one of the top ten beaches in the country and is ideally located in the new-money capital of Long Island. The likes of Martha Stewart, Steven Spielberg, and Jerry Seinfeld own homes in this trendy town, and you can certainly spot a few other celebrities while you relax along the clean white sands of East Hampton beaches such as Wiborg Beach, Egypt Beach, and Georgica Beach.

Although the Westhampton area, including the incorporated villages of West Quogue, Westhampton Beach, and West Hampton Dunes, is considered a little more like Long Beach than the rest of the Hamptons, visitors can still enjoy all of their favorite activities, including swimming, jet skiing, boating, surfing, and sunbathing, at the entertaining Pike's Beach. However, if you prefer an old money atmosphere and huge waterfront estates as the backdrop for your beach excursions, then Southampton and the Flying Point Beach may be more your style.

For a low-key getaway away from the hubbub and noise of the party scene, set your vacation compass for a town like Amagansett and Bridgehampton. In the quant Bridgehampton, you can enjoy the popular Mecox Beach before heading over to a nearby winery, while in Amagansett, shopping in fine boutiques and dining on exquisite cuisine are the order of the day. Nightlife is never dull here, either, as Amagansett is home to the famous Stephen Talkhouse, a small, standing-room only club where the likes of Paul McCartney and Paul Simon have been known to show up unexpectedly.

In addition to the popular Stephen Talkhouse, the Hamptons are home to numerous other forms of entertainment and nightlife. The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center hosts professional musical, dance, and theater performances year-round, while the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor presents up-and-coming plays in addition to time-honored classics on its stage. Once the sun has set on the Hamptons, visitors can also enjoy a late night drink at the Cigar Bar in Sag Harbor or attempt to get into one of the super trendy bars such as the NV Resort in East Hampton or Jet East in Southampton.

When looking into popular Hampton attractions, there are two that always stand above the rest. Located in an 1845 mansion built by Benjamin Huntting, a whaling-ship magnate, the Whaling Museum in Sag Harbor pays homage to the industry that put this region on the map. Featuring samples of whale oil, century-old whale jawbones, and the tools and weapons of whalers, the museum is a must-see on any Hamptons trip. The Montauk Point Lighthouse, completed in 1796, was the first lighthouse to be built in New York State and is the home of numerous artifacts and historical documents. The best part of any visit, however, is the climb up the 110-foot tower for a breathtaking, panoramic view of the ocean, coastline, and stunning scenery.

When the crush of summer dawns upon the Hamptons, it is time to get out of the city and experience an atmosphere that is unlike anything you could have ever imagined. Forget the touristy feel of a hotel and live like a local with Hamptons vacation rentals in your favorite surfside destination. A Hamptons rental surrounds you with the glitz and the glamour of the area, along with the quant town feel, so you can enjoy a summer to remember in the most desirable accommodations along the Atlantic Ocean. For a fantasy getaway at one of the most picturesque, exciting destinations in the world, begin your search for the perfect vacation home rental today.

About the Author has the most comprehensive selection of vacation rental homes on the Internet. For an alternative lodging option, consider Hamptons vacation rentals for your next trip to the South Fork.