Water Mill and Bridgehampton
A few miles east of Southampton is the small village of Water Mill, named for the big gristmill near the town center. The village’s first gristmill was built in 1644. The current one dates to 1800 and now operates as the Water Mill Museum (41 Mill Rd., off Rte. 27, 631/726-4625, www.watermillmuseum.org, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thurs.–Mon. June–Sept., adults $3, seniors $2.50). During the summer, the mill still grinds corn and wheat with its all-wooden gears, shafts, and wheel. Also at the museum are various arts-oriented exhibits and events.
A few miles east of Water Mill is Bridgehampton, named for a small bridge that was built over Sagg Pond in 1686. During the 1800s, Bridgehampton was known for helping distressed ships at sea. The first headquarters of the Life Saving Service of Long Island was founded here in 1878; it merged with the Coast Guard in 1915. Today, Bridgehampton is another picture-perfect town. Big red-brick buildings line its Main Street, along with a number of antiques shops.
In Bridgehampton, sit indoors or outdoors at Bobby Van’s (2393 Main St., 631/537-0590, $25–35), a place to see and be seen. It was once frequented by the literati, and is now popular with celebs. On the menu is classic steakhouse fare.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition