Sharing relatively close proximity, and even closer names in some cases, can cause confusion. With many small towns sharing proximity and namesake with the the famed destination of "the Hamptons," there seems to be much head-scratching and debate over which places are included in this popular beach holiday spot -- and how they differ among each other.

Northampton Is Not in "The Hamptons"

While its name may have you wondering, Northampton, Massachusetts, is not part of the famous Hamptons. In fact, it is not even on the coast. Instead, Northampton is on the riverbank of the Connecticut River, which flows down the southeastern border to Amherst. However, this small town still has a claim to fame. The Academy Award-winning film "Cider House Rules," starring Michael Caine, Charlize Theron and Toby Maguire, was filmed in the wild, overgrown surroundings of the abandoned mental hospital in town.

North Hampton, New Hampshire, Adds to the Confusion

Another town that may seem as if it lies within the Hamptons is North Hampton, New Hampshire. This town is happy to be the shortest stretch of coast along the New Hampshire seacoast, and like Northampton, Massachusetts, North Hampton is not at all considered part of the Hamptons. This small, seaside town packs a lot of heart and history – and the inhabitants want to keep it that way -- with active historical societies and even an old-timey airfield complete with a dirt runway.

Southampton Is Certainly a Hamptons Destination

Located on the South Fork of New York’s Long Island, the Town of Southampton is only 80 miles from New York City and can claim Hamptons fame. Considered one of the hot spots of the Hamptons, Southampton is a roughly 140-square-mile tourist beach town whose population nearly doubles in the high season of summer. Unlike the other towns, Southampton comprises seven incorporated villages, including Sag Harbor, Westhampton Beach and Quogue. Additionally, while North Hampton, New Hampshire, claims to be the smallest stretch of coast, Southampton boasts to being the largest and most populated East End town in Suffolk County, New York.

Montauk May Be Considered Part of "The Hamptons"

Far, far down at the easternmost tip of Long Island’s East End is Montauk. Once a surfer’s haven, this "fishing capital of the world" has gained popularity with tourists trying to escape the crowds of the Hamptons -- although, according to, just over 57 percent of people include Montauk as part of the Hamptons. While North Hampton, Southampton and Montauk all lie against the Atlantic Ocean, Montauk also shares its coast with a harbor, pond and several bays. Named after the Native American Montauk tribe that initially inhabited the area, it is also the only place among the three that can claim to have hidden pirate treasure within the aptly named Money Pond.