The Hamptons is a cluster of villages at the edge of Long Island, starting at roughly a hundred miles from New York City (at WHICH ONE? and extending for almost 60 miles to Montauk. At Riverhead, the island splits into the North and South Forks. The North Fork is known for its vineyards and quiet villages while the South Fork consists primarily of the ocean-side properties, mansions, and scene familiar through media coverage: celebrities, Fifth Avenue retail, top-tier restaurants, and a [flashy nightclub scene] ... crowds, and a commute which can stretch to hours of gridlock on Route 27.
WEST & EAST OF THE SHINNECOCK CANAL
The South Fork is further divided into two markets by the Shinnecock Canal: the less-sought-after "west of the canal" (Remsenburg to Hampton Bays) and "east of the canal" (Southhampton to Montauk and Shelter Island).
NORTH & SOUTH OF THE HIGHWAY
two main townships,
East Hampton, and several villages within those towns. Within the South Fork, housing prices are also determined by whether they are north or south of Route 27, the main artery of the South Fork. South of the highway is more coveted because it is closest to the ocean.
By contrast, the North Fork
is much quieter, more residential, and more affordable. What differentiates the North Fork is the open stretches of farms, orchards, vineyards, and marshland. There is a 2% tax on property purchases that supports land preservation MORE.
Greenport is the hub of commerce, culture, dining and recreation: art galleries, shops, restaurants. Main Street has many captain’s houses from Greenport’s whaling days, and all of the houses are generally close together.
Orient, at the eastern tip of the fork, doesn’t have a village to speak of, but its feeling of being set apart is what makes it attractive. Going west the key towns are:
Hurricane damage from Sandy (2012) and others ...
Sections of Long Island, Fire Island, New Jersey and Connecticut, where the extraordinary weather events of autumn 2012 .. Only one home, owned by the Lauder family and precariously perched at water’s edge in
Wainscott, drowned in the maelstrom created by Hurricane Sandy. Waterfront properties are always sought-after, but waterfront with elevation is becoming more important. In a departure from previous years, 6 of the 10 most expensive Hamptons homes to sell in 2012 were inland.
But erosion is a perennial enemy, and efforts to rebuff it, continual.
Most of the double-decker dunes that define the East End’s ocean coastline are hanging tight, too. MORE, REWORD
The Hamptons begin at
Westhampton , with a relatively short commute from New York, plus great beaches and a lively downtown. This area also attracts group rentals and day-trippers who don’t want to spend their entire weekend battling the traffic on Route 27. Westhampton itself includes the tiny hamlets of Westhampton Beach, Westhampton, Remsenburg, Quogue and Speonk.
The next stop east is
Quogue, with a mix of shingled estates and 1950’s ranch houses. The town has the tiniest of villages — just a liquor store, a coffee shop and an inn. It is quiet and family-oriented, and group shares are discouraged by locals.
East Quogue is slightly less expensive, with smaller houses.
Hampton Bays is a bigger town, but has small homes and more affordable prices.
Southampton has long been one of the social centers of the Hamptons. Established in 1640 by English colonists, Southampton was established as a fishing village. Today, some of the architecture reflects its origins. Main Street is wide and tree-lined at the center of a quaint village with restaurants, galleries, boutiques and home-furnishing shops. Private golf courses include the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, the National Golf Links of America, and the Sebonack Golf Club. Coopers Beach in Southampton is considered one of the most desirable places in the country to spend the summer.
In the nearby village of
Water Mill, ... [MORE]
Just east of Southampton is
Bridgehampton one of the quieter communities in the Hamptons. Antiques, art and fine dining ... bucolic views, this former whaling and farming village is ripe with farm stands and fresh produce markets.
Sagaponack, formerly potato fields, now has some of the highest prices in the Hamptons, and Forbes recently named Sagaponack the most expensive zip code in the country. Despite the lack of an actual central village, or perhaps because of it, wealthy home buyers are attracted to this exclusive enclave. With just a few streets and large parcels of land, it offers seclusion, privacy and oceanfront views.
To the north, on Gardiners Bay,
Sag Harbor is a historic whaling village established in 16__ that has retained the maritime atmosphere. It has proportionally more year-round residents because of its full roster of restaurants, shopping and services. ... smaller properties and century-old houses in the village.
East Hampton Village East Hampton was founded in 1648 by farmers and fishermen. ... quaint, New England-like landscape, beaches, and great cuisine ... with few house shares, this is to many people the heart of the Hamptons, the town that has some of the island’s oldest and most beautiful houses. The village is roughly divided into three parts: the estate area, south of the highway and north of the highway.
Springs ... Sprawling farms, and houses that are two and three hundred years old. Artists are still drawn to this area for its beauty, and the former house of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner is now a museum. Because of its slightly out-of-the-way location and bay-only waterfront, Springs is more affordable than the rest of East Hampton.
Directly to the east of East Hampton is the little village of
Amagansett, settled in 1690, is one of the few places in the Hamptons where you can walk to the village center and the ocean. Amagansett's Main Street has the distinction of being only two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. Homes in the Lanes area are among the most sought after.
Montauk is the furthest point east on Long Island, ____ miles fro New York City, and ____ miles from the beginning of the Hamptons. It offers unparalleled water views, with the ocean and Gardiners Bay meeting at the tip. Whale watching, sports fishing, and surfing (at Ditch Plains). The architecture is more varied than East Hampton, mixing traditional styles with some contemporary and postmodern houses.
Past Montauk is
Shelter Island, in the [BODY OF WATER] between the North and South Fork. Reachable by ferry from either fork, the island’s hills and beaches are home to around 2,000 permanent residents. Architecture styles vary from Greek revival and colonial to modern and farmhouse.