Four Beach Alternatives to The Hamptons

If you’re looking for a last-ditch beach weekend that’s a little less predictable than The Hamptons consider these nearby, more under-radar excursions.

Watch Hill

Rhode Island

If this place sounds familiar, it's because it's where Taylor Swift celebrated the Fourth of July weekend with Tom Hiddleston and every other celebrity on the planet. Swift is one of the many celebrities who own property in this affluent community nestled at the southwestern tip of Rhode Island. The Watch Hill Inn and Ocean House offer chic accommodation - not to mention a sprawling white-sand beach - close to the bay, with antique shops, art galleries, a carousel and charming boutiques making for a nice daytime diversion. In contrast to the throbbing nightclubs and bottle service you'll find on The Hamptons, Watch Hill's nightlife is distinctly more mellow, with locals opting for The Malted Barley pub or martinis and live entertainment at Perks & Corks in Westerly.

Fort Tilden/Rockaway Beach

New York

Down for a day out with little fuss? Keep it in Queens. This hurricane-ravaged former military base has unexpectedly become an Instagrammer's paradise thanks to MoMA PS1's 'Rockaway' art installation. Artist Katharina Grosse's spray paint makeover of the dilapidated aquatics buildings has been this summer's selfie backdrop du jour. While the Fort Tilden beach is heavily enforced and is better for sunbathing than swimming, nearby Rockaway Beach is a solid back-up. Pencil in a pit stop for BBQ, booze and margarita-flavoured ice pops at Rockaway Beach Club.

Cape May, New Jersey

This resort town is regarded for its quaint Victorian architecture and one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Rent a gingerbread-style house for your crew or settle into The Southern Mansion's opulent surroundings; the popular B&B was built in 1860 and is just one of the area's nods to grand Southern living up north. 410 Bank Street is the place to fuel up on Creole cuisine after a day of tanning and swimming. The restaurant at the stunning Peter Shields Inn serves up wines from local vineyards along with its seafood creations. By day, you can book your own tour, peruse art galleries, or participate in countless maritime activities.

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