Get to know Westhampton Beach
Shaped like an upside-down cork that’s been split at the fat end — that is, the wide coastal end — tiny, casual Westhampton Beach has lots of shoreline, and a population of around 2,000. Incorporated as a village in 1928, it’s located in the town of Southampton, with Westhampton to the east and Quiogue to the west. Of course, as its name would indicate, its key draws are the spectacular white strands along Dune Road. Cupsogue Beach County Park wins raves for its beauty, lack of crowds, and soft sands, while people looking for a non-party scene favor Pike’s Beach for the same reasons — and find the lack of vendors a blessing. Still others are attached to Roger’s Beach, noting its friendly lifeguard community, wooden benches, and snack bar. The prospective homeowner can do some serious bodysurfing from the prized sands off Dune Road and then find a noticeably democratic array of housing, from gorgeously imposing estates to condos to modest beach cottages.
History & Culture
The best place to learn about the history of the village is the Westhampton Beach Historical Society, which also serves the communities of Westhampton, Westhampton Dunes, Remsenburg, Quiogue, and Eastport. More than a single building, the campus consists of the historic Tuthill House Museum, the Foster-Meeker Heritage Center, the Meeker Carriage House and Privy, and the Thurston Raynor Milk House. The Foster-Meeker House, which is being restored, dates from 1735 and is considered the oldest house in Westhampton Beach. The event that most impacted the village’s story happened less than 100 years ago, when the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 destroyed homes, submerged the downtown, and carved the Shinnecock Inlet. On a happier note, the cultural venue that put Westhampton on the map in a different way is the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, which dates from 1932 and hosts musical performers of all genres as well as standup comedy. The village also boasts the indie Hampton Arts Cinema.
Dine & Shop
A cluster of eateries is located on and around Main Street between Mitchell Street and Beach Road. Included are such sources of comfort food as the Post Stop Café, with its pretty porch; Eckert’s Luncheonette, crowd-pleasing for its midcentury ambiance; and Beach Bakery Grand Café, which serves up a hearty breakfast and tasty pastries. Shock Ice Cream satisfies with its portions and is more inventive with flavors and presentations than it needs to be, since it has little competition in a laidback downtown. For sunsets and seafood, John Scott’s Surf Shack on Dune is the ticket. Like the dining scene, shopping options aren’t pretentious or particularly posh. But you’ll find a few jewelry stores, Impulse for men’s apparel, and on the distaff side, the Mint Clothing Boutique and the Lynn Stoller Collection, a consignment shop a stone’s throw from the local Corcoran office.