8 Places Like the Hamptons That Won’t Break Your Budget

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If you've ever dreamt of summering in the Hamptons but found yourself feeling green—or rather in the red—over the hefty price tags, you're officially in luck. We've covered you with some destinations rivaling the Hamptons' charm without emptying the old wallet. Nope, you won’t find $1,200+/night hotel rooms on this list! And look—we'll admit nowhere is exactly like the Hamptons. After all, its charms and exclusivity come with a hefty price tag, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy these coastal gems beyond the glitz and glam of the Hamptons' extravagant estates. From the pristine shores of Maine to some of Cali's sleepier beach towns—and heck, even "The Hamptons" of Canada—we've scoured the best of the best affordable Hamptons alternatives so you don't have to.

1. Ogunquit, ME

This idyllic community with a thriving LGBTQIA+ scene may look hard to pronounce on paper (it's uh·guhn·kwuht should you want to ace it), but you'll quickly look past that as soon as you feast your eyes on its picturesque Atlantic shores.

As a refreshing alternative to the East Coast summer destination, which shall not be named, it boasts pristine beaches, stunning cliffside views, and a vibrant arts and shopping scene with a more relaxed vibe. The town is also very close to the equally charming coastal Maine town of Kennebunkport, another charmer that'll set you back just slightly more dough but is otherwise an easy day trip.

Without passing go, you'll want to Indulge in the town's delectable seafood cuisine at quaint waterfront restaurants or explore all the local art galleries and boutiques that line its streets. One shop, Stonehome Jewelers, has excellent vintage and estate jewelry you'll want to peruse.

You can also spend your days in Ogunquit strolling along Marginal Way, a breathtaking coastal path, or bask in the sun on Ogunquit Beach, a true paradise for beach lovers and particularly for traveling families.

Whether you seek tranquil serenity or lively entertainment, Ogunquit offers a perfect balance. Take in a show at its charming playhouse, Ogunquit Playhouse, which has been putting on quality stage productions since the 1930s. For nightlife, look into local favorites The Front Porch and Maine St. The latter pun-named haunt regularly plays host to dueling drag queens, karaoke, and trivia nights.

2. Avila Beach, CA

Also down the road from famous Pismo Beach, CA, this Central California coast town has sun-drenched shores oozing with laid-back charm and plenty of captivating beauty. Thanks to its unspoiled coastline and Montauk-like vibe, it’s our favorite West Coast alternative to the Hamptons.

Like going Out East, it’s also where you can indulge the taste buds at several restaurants that highlight the local area’s bountiful seafood. There are, of course, lots of Lobster Rolls to be had, but our money in Avila is on the delectable seafood platters at Ocean Grill to the farm-to-table cuisine at Custom House.

Stroll along Front Street, lined with charming boutiques and art galleries, for a dose of retail therapy. Here, you’ll discover locally made treats at Avila Valley Barn and the unique treasures from Avila Beach Gallery.

Other things we love to do while in the area: take in the area’s world-class golf courses and picturesque hiking trails, take a leisurely stroll along the iconic Avila Beach Pier, or get in the water for kayaking or paddleboarding.

3. Greenport, NY

Want to get as virtually close to the Hamptons as possible? Look no further than the North Fork of Long Island (The South Fork just below it is where the Hamptons are technically located), precisely, the adorable town of Greenport, NY. It’s a place that has recently seen a lot of development as longtime, die-hard Hamptons fans have discovered its more casual nature and unique beauty and loveliness.

In Greenport, as the sun dances on the sparkling waters of Gardiners Bay at its backdrop, the charming village lets you step back in time as you stroll along its quaint streets lined with historic buildings and boutiques. Some of our favorite places to stop by in town are the retro diner Crazy Beans, Little Creek Oyster Farm for delicious oysters in its cute bar and outdoor setups, and Noah’s, a finer dining restaurant with a solid New American menu featuring crowd-pleasing Cod Fish & Chips, Gorgonzola Rosemary Fries, Asparagus Risotto and a Kobe Burger that will knock your socks off. Nova Constellatio Gallery and Greenport Art And Design are two art galleries always worthy of a look while in town, too.

This summer, Greenport also welcomes a cool new place to stay, Silver Sands Motel and Beach Bungalows, featuring a collection of motel-style rooms, beach shacks, and bungalows—and come fall of ‘23—larger beach houses. Some rooms will have private outdoor gardens, screened-in porches, decks and outdoor showers, but you can also enjoy the views of the lovely garden or the hotel’s private beach directly from the lobby. What we’re looking forward to most, though? Their weekend cookouts by the boathouse, since Chef Ryan Hardy of NYC hot spots Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones will oversee the property’s food and beverage.

4. Muskoka, Canada

Nestled amidst the serene wilderness of Ontario, Muskoka is a quintessential summer getaway in an area known as "Cottage Country," partly because of the many summer homes and cottages there. The breathtaking region is a haven for nature enthusiasts filled with pristine lakes, verdant forests, and charming small towns, which has also earned it the moniker "The Hamptons of Canada."

Your best bet while in Muskoka is exploring its countless waterways, where shimmering lakes invite you to dive in for a refreshing swim or embark on a leisurely boat ride, revealing hidden coves and secluded beaches all along the way—like charmingly named Strawberry Bay Beach and Wasaga Beach and Georgian Bay Islands, our personal favorites that are further afoot.

If you've got a more adventurous spirit, try hiking the region's winding trails that weave through the lush wilderness, each dotted with mesmerizing vistas and possible encounters with wildlife. But similar to the Hamptons, Muskoka isn't just about nature; it's similarly lined with charming towns like Bracebridge, which should be top of the list for first-time visitors. Stroll through quaint streets lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and inviting eateries, indulging in locally crafted treats and savoring the region's flavors.

5. Bar Harbor, ME

Located on picturesque Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor is known as the home base for one of our nation's most magical and often underrated National Parks: Acadia National Park. In the summer, the town comes alive as an excellent alternative for those discerning travelers who might otherwise hit up cities like Southampton or East Hampton. With dramatic, rugged shores, Bar Harbor feels like a well-kept secret surrounded by ancient forests and towering granite cliffs.

A top experience in the area is a panoramic vista view from Cadillac Mountain within the park, which is actually the highest peak on the Eastern Seaboard and dances with colors come sunset time.

This is Maine, after all, the land of award-winning lobster rolls, and Bar Harbor has *quite* a few places to get your fix, like our favorite, the hole-in-the-wall Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound. But between Happy Clam Shack, C-Ray Lobster, Stewman's Lobster Pound, and Bar Harbor Lobster Co., it's safe to say you've got options.

In our humble opinion, no trip to Bar Harbor is complete without booking a sail along Frenchman Bay to see seals and the possibility of whales or—better yet—with an aerial tour of the beautiful region by a small plane by an experienced pilot from Scenic Flights of Acadia.

6. Stone Harbor, NJ

Does the Garden State really have its own version of The Hamptons? Depends on who you ask. But each summer, visitors from Philadelphia and New York City descend on the Cape May County town of Stone Harbor, NJ, for a good reason — it’s the perfect little slice of Americana beach town with just a bit of fanciness to keep things interesting. Like the Hamptons, real estate ain’t cheap to come by in Stone Harbor. However, despite its multi-million dollar homes, it still feels like a steep discount from the Hamptons, especially considering all the shopping and restaurant options concentrated around 96th Street.

Stone Harbor also gets points for hosting the “only heronry sponsored by a municipality in the United States,” making it a paradise for bird watchers. It also charms its beach-goers with Van Duyne surf lifeguard boats, making for a picture-perfect IG shot. And the best thing about Stone Harbor is actually free year-round, but especially great during the summer: During those months, as dusk descends, the sky transforms into canvas ablaze with hues of orange and pink — something about those Jersey sunsets just hits differently.

7. Seaside, OR

In Seaside, OR, summer unfolds like a dream, where lasting memories and unspoiled beauty are just some of the allures. Located on Oregon's often-overlooked but stunning coastline, Seaside stands out thanks to picturesque sandy shores, a promenade, and endless outdoor adventures. The aforementioned promenade is lined with shops, like local bookshop Beach Books, plus surf shops and an antique depot that can easily take up a leisurely afternoon.

The promenade also has arcade games and a carnival for the little ones, so it's hard not to spark joy in a place like this. Feeling outdoorsy? Seaside offers thrilling kayaking expeditions, where you can witness the region's diverse marine life up close, not to mention coastline parasailing excursion and the nearby Tillamook Head Trail, which is filled as far as the eye can see with verdant coastal forest.

Back in town, we always stop by Nonni's, an Italian bistro with a divine mozzarella tower, and the casual Osprey Cafe, where the salmon scramble and a strong cup of coffee will quickly warm you up even on a chillier summer morning.

8. Spring Lake, NJ

If you're local to NYC and looking for an escape from the Hamptons' crippling traffic (yup, we've spent four hours on the Jitney, hbu?), Spring Lake May already be on your radar. But regardless of your locale, this gorgeous town should be high on your list for a Hamptons-adjacent experience.

Nestled along the picturesque Jersey Shore, this charming seaside town offers a refreshing alternative for the perfect summer getaway with pristine beaches, manicured lawns and hedges, a quaint downtown, and Victorian architecture that might have you saying Hamptons. Where?

Indulge in leisurely strolls along the iconic Spring Lake boardwalk, breathe in the salty sea air, and soak up the sun on its expansive, uncrowded beaches. Even in the worst of traffic, Spring Lake will only take two hours to get to NYC, and like the Hamptons, it is accessible via public transportation (NJTransit vs. LIRR).

The charming town also embraces a slower pace of life and won't feel remotely as complete as the Hamptons on peak summer weekends—which is a plus if you ask us.