Amagansett is one of The Hamptons' most breathtaking destinations. Unique among Long Island's luxurious oceanfront communities, its nearly 2,000 residents relish the array of lifestyles on offer. Equal parts beach town, rural farming community, and bucolic, high-end hideaway, Amagansett is the rarest of destinations — one that is all things to all people.
It's no wonder many celebrities forgo more notable Hamptons destinations for Amagansett's quirky combination of salt-of-the-earth aesthetics and high-society sensibilities. There's no arguing that this seaside escape boasts an unapologetically dazzling yet low-key personality.
In other words, it's an incredibly nice place to live. Below, we explore four reasons why.
1. The location
A hamlet within the larger Town of East Hampton, Amagansett is a three-hour drive from the heart of Manhattan and the penultimate stop on the Long Island Rail Road's Montauk Branch line. Situated between Napeague Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and sharing borders with fellow hamlets Montauk and Springs and the Village of East Hampton, Amagansett is the ideal compromise between a remote lifestyle and keeping civilization within arms reach.
That specific location within the East Hampton footprint is one of the region's most diverse settings.
Indeed, plenty of reasons exist to praise any of the picturesque hamlets, villages, or towns within the Hamptons. Farmland, thickets of coastal forest, quaint town squares, numerous sandy beaches, and the accompanying views are trademarks of the serene Long Island landscape. Unlike other locales stretching along the Atlantic, Amagansett boasts all five features.
More than anything else, Amagansett's location is central to its timeless and enduring popularity among the most discerning of home buyers.
It offers seclusion without feeling secluded. The beaches here are festive without feeling overcrowded. You can opt between the glamor of high-end oceanfront living or retreat to a quieter inland estate or amongst bayside dunes. Or reveal the charm of an "in-town" Main Street lifestyle. A singularly spectacular setting frames all of it.
2. The real estate
Location might be everything in real estate, but residences that live up to the surroundings will undoubtedly enhance the experience. Amagansett's magnificent stock of luxury homes does its part in raising the wow factor of the hamlet.
Similar to other Hamptons communities, the ubiquitous "Hamptons-style" architecture of abundant shingling framing opulent windows feature heavily throughout the hamlet. Not necessarily a surprise, but a significant difference exists in the land which these homes occupy. Relative to other Hampton communities, Amagansett is considerably less urbanized than the more visitor-driven areas to the west.
Especially as you move further from the coast, robust homesites belie the hamlet's fairly small footprint. It's apparent why Hollywood A-listers such as Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Paul McCartney, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Matthew Broderick seek out homes within this exclusive enclave. The tradition dates back to the 1950s when the iconic Marilyn Monroe first vacationed in Amagansett.
Beyond its classic architecture, including Cape Cods, Colonial Revivals, and a handful of mid-century designs, the Amagansett's beachfront neighborhoods embrace a wider variety of styles. Along the coastline, massive new modern homes, vintage cottages, and the unmistakable Hamptons-style residence share space amongst the dunes. From multi-acre compounds to private single-street, cul-de-sac neighborhoods, ocean views are not always the most breathtaking attraction in this part of Amagansett when measured against the gorgeous homes.
Considering the lofty real estate offerings both inland and along the coast, it's little surprise that homes in Amagansett come at a premium. The median list price is currently just shy of $4 million, and eight-figure asking prices are not uncommon. Lower-priced renovation projects will easily fetch from $1 million to $5 million, with the prices increasing the closer you get to the Atlantic.
Upon taking their initial tour of the hamlet's vaunted real estate, many Amagansett home seekers quickly realize that whatever the premium, it's very much worth it.
3. The vibe
Named for the Montaukett phrase "place of good water," Amagansett's allure stems from its seamless mix of upscale opulence and rural, small-town atmosphere. It's a place of a good many things. First among them is its endearing charm. Close-knit and exceedingly friendly, Amagansett feels less like a resort town than its more well-known neighbors in East Hampton and further west in Southampton.
The modest population and seemingly even mix of full-time and seasonal residents serve to maintain that low-key vibe. Make no mistake, Amagansett can get lively at the height of the vacation season, but a 24/7 party town it is not. Residents might appreciate that most of all.
The hamlet's connection to its historic roots adds to its rustic appeal. On land, a few farms still operate within Amagansett's borders. Main Street is a hot spot of organic cafes and kitchens, garden centers, and several farm stands. Out on the water, fishing remains a key provision for many South Fork locals.
Upon entering the hamlet from the west, State Highway 27, aka Montauk Highway, becomes Main Street Amagansett. And you can't discuss the vibe of this timeless destination without a trip up and down Main Street.
Stretching for less than a mile between the intersections of Indian Wells Highway and Atlantic Avenue, the throwback thoroughfare is home to Amagansett Square and the majority of local businesses, including a number of bars, cafes, and restaurants.
The primary hub of activity is the square itself. A staple of the area since the late 1970s, the square is organized around a lush quad and stately grove of trees. A handful of shops and restaurants, a Yoga studio, and a day spa circle the perimeter. The setting is akin to an 18th-century village, where all your wants and needs are fulfilled within a few steps.
Heading away from the square, Amagansett's business district comes alive with an even more extensive roster of shopping and dining options. A mix of historical buildings and new storefronts, with roomy sidewalks under a canopy of trees, it's the consummate Main Street, U.S.A.
You can pick up home improvement items at Amagansett Hardware, peruse the extensive vinyl collection at Innersleeve Records, and stroll over to the Amber Waves Farm, Market & Cafe before taking in live music at the legendary Stephen Talkhouse. That's all before suggesting a visit to the 107-year-old Amagansett Free Library or the 163-year-old First Presbyterian Church.
4. The recreation
Finally, the Amagansett vibe extends far beyond its quaint main street business district and its resplendent residential housing. Yes, many come to slide into a simple, straightforward routine — albeit one of incredible luxury — but many more come to explore, unleash their competitive spirit, and sink their toes into the sand on one of Amagansett's stellar beaches.
Not as widely known as the recreational paradise that several of its sibling hamlets and communities are, Amagansett packs a lot of to-do in its 9.5 square mile footprint. Consider:
Oceanfront beaches along the Atlantic where you can swim, sunbathe, or take long, poetic walks across its pristine white sand. Backed by gently rolling dunes that give way to panoramic vistas, Indian Wells Beach and Atlantic Avenue Beach are the two most popular.
Two world-class golf courses, including the parkland-style South Fork Country Club just off Main Street and the Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw inland links design that is East Hampton Golf Club, whose front nine, driving range, and clubhouse sit on the Amagansett side of Abraham's Path.
Dive into Amagansett's maritime lineage using the Devon Yacht Club as a launch point to sail, kayak, or paddle board on Napeague Bay or fish the nearby waters of Fresh Pond Lake. Deep-sea fishing excursions also originate from Amagansett. In between your time on the water, head to the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Bluff Road to visit the East Hampton Marine Museum and Amagansett U.S. Lifesaving Station Museum.
Nature lovers will rejoice after visiting the Amagansett National Wildlife Refuge between the Indian Wells and Atlantic Avenue beaches. The 1,364-acre Napeague State Park is easily accessible via Montauk Highway.
And though it may prove difficult to pull yourself away from Amagansett's cozy, comfortable environs, its central location means you're never too far from the treasures found in East Hampton, Montauk, Sag Harbor, or Southampton. Jaunts made it even more enjoyable knowing you're returning to the nicest place to live in the Hamptons.
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