One of the most exclusive Hamptons communities, though perhaps the least Hamptons-y of them, Quogue was settled in the mid-17th century. Today, you’ll see reminders of that grand era through the stately Victorian homes set along tree-lined streets. These are offset by the more contemporary, but equally as grand, mansions along Dune Road. Those who own real estate here count themselves incredible fortunate; those who visit are tinkled pink by the relaxed, friendly experience, world-class dining on Main Street, serene farmland and pine groves, beautiful bay and, of course, striking ocean views.
East Quogue is a tiny hamlet west of the canal and Quogue Village. There’s a more laid-back vibe here than some of the most glam Hamptons scenes, leaving you free to do as you please. Stroll the locally owned shops, head down to the beach or enjoy a casual barbecue in this sleepier village – don’t fret, though, if you’re a night owl. There are some boisterous waterside hotspots in town as well.
Here’s what to do in Quogue and East Quogue, New York, and nearby in the Hamptons.
1. Quogue Wildlife Refuge
Settle into your beach vacation with a quiet morning stroll within the 300-acre Quogue Wildlife Refuge, open 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset. Find your way along 7 miles of trails that wind through forests, including the ecologically rare Dwarf Pines, and past tranquil ponds. Pop into the Charles Bank Belt Nature Center for views of Old Ice Pond, wildlife exhibits, live animal encounters and a nature library.
2. Quogue Library
You may not think the local library would be on a must-see list, but when you’re relaxing in your Quogue vacation rental, why not have a few novels or couple of DVDs from the library to keep you entertained? There’s also everything from book clubs to yoga classes open to visitors. Plus, the Quogue Library even maintains an excellent art gallery, deeming it one of the cultural centers of the town. You’ll find paintings, photography and sculptures by prominent local and East End artists. A bit of local lore: The Library Association was organized by “about twenty ladies” in 1896, each of whom contributed a dollar and a book to the shelves in Mr. Jessup’s general store. The first library building was opened in July 1897.
3. Village Beach
The Quogue Village Beach is located on Dune Road – and offers a quieter beach experience than other swaths of sand in the Hamptons. There are restrooms, showers and concessions available. The beach is private and reserved for local residents or those who acquire a guest pass (from an accommodation or beach club).
4. Shinnecock Yacht Club
You’re in the Hamptons, so why not learn to sail? The Junior Sailing Program at the yacht club is for ages 5 to 18 and offers recreational and racing programs. Members and non-members can join. There are also private lessons available for children and adults.
5. Rogers Beach and Lashley Beach
If you’re seeking a bit more hustle and bustle for your beach day, hit up the local favorite, Rogers Beach in Westhampton. There’s plenty of room to spread out and the beach offers concessions, showers, restrooms and lifeguards on duty. Beach stickers are required for access and parking in the summer. For a quieter choice, visit Lashley Beach (AKA Jetty 4) – there’s no snack bar here, but you do have access to showers and restrooms.
6. Smith Point County Park
Feel far away from New York City when you spend a day with family at Smith Point County Park on the Atlantic on the east end of Fire Island. Go surfing, fishing, scuba diving and off-road driving. Look for endangered birds on the beach. Even camp beside the beach, if that’s your thing.
7. Suffolk Theater
Infuse your beach holiday with a cultured evening at the Art Deco Suffolk Theater, the “Radio City Music Hall of Long Island” when it was opened in 1933. After a period of disrepair, the theater reemerged in the late 1980s and is a showstopper on Main Street in Riverhead, north of Quogue. Several popular touring acts come through each summer.
8. Dune Road
Gawk at the massive beach houses that line Dune Road. Many of the oceanfront homes are owned and occupied by celebrities, including NFL player Eli Manning, soap opera star Susa Lucci and magazine editor Tina Brown.
9. Wine Tasting
Drive north of Quogue and take the ferry across the bay to the North Fork of Long Island. This quiet area has dozens of vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms. Favorites include Croteaux and Corey Creek. In the South Fork, closer to Quogue, you’ll find Duck Walk and Channing Daughters.
10. Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum
Pay homage to the land upon which you walk at this American Indian-owned and operated nonprofit museum. The gorgeous Adirondack white pine building illuminates visitors about the 10,000-year history of the area’s Shinnecock tribe and their hunting and fishing culture.
11. Cooper’s Beach
With immaculate white sand, undulated dunes covered in sea grasses and super waves, Cooper’s Beach continually tops annual lists of best and cleanest public beaches. Bonus: It’s one of the few Hamptons beaches that allows visitors to park.
12. Parrish Art Museum
East of Quogue you’ll find the Parrish Art Museum, built originally in Southampton to hold Quaker Samuel Parrish’s collection of Italian Renaissance art and classical Greek and Roman statuary. The collection was enhanced by a local resident’s American art collection and it now resides in the Water Mill.
13. See Windmills
Bet you didn’t know the east end of Long Island has a huge concentration of windmills – perhaps the highest concentration in the United States. Most of the windmills were built between 1795 and 1820 and used by local farmers to grind their grain into flour. Take a leisurely driving tour and see how many you can find.