History describes Southampton as a village known for its quiet elegance, magnificent estates, and fabled residents.
Of all the South Fork's Hamptons, it is Southampton that still exudes a gentility that you can feel from Main Street to Noyack Bay to all seven miles of oceanfront south of the highway. It's worth noting how you feel teeing off at the Shinnecock Golf Club, the oldest private 18-hole golf course in the United States. Be sure to visit the new Parrish Museum, a landmark destination for American art lovers.
Living in Southampton
Southampton exudes an old-world gentility, from its charming Main Street shops to its picturesque powder-sand beaches. While it remains a desirable summer destination for A-listers, its local schools, leafy streets and full calendar of cultural events make living in Southampton highly attractive for year-round residents too.
Its stimulating sea air and inspiring vistas have long been a siren call for authors and artists of all kinds. Celebrated pop artist Roy Lichtenstein and visionary painter Jackson Pollock both found solace on Southampton’s secluded shores. Whatever your passion, you’ll find yourself at leisure to pursue it here in comfortable luxury.
Southampton real estate
Multimillion-dollar mansions and waterfront real estate are what initially attracted New York’s “it” crowd to the area. But like the village itself, Southampton homes offer something for everyone. While you can still seek out celebrity-style estates, houses for sale in Southampton cater for every lifestyle and budget.
Traditional Queen Anne-style properties and renovated 18th-century farmhouses add to the area’s indisputable charm. Even Southampton rentals and new builds retain a sense of continuity with the past by incorporating historic architectural features, like shingle siding or subtle gingerbread trim.
The village of Southampton is the oldest English settlement in the state of New York. Puritans originally put down roots in the area in 1640, naming it after the British Earl of Southampton. The local Shinnecock tribe showed the new settlers how to effectively work the land, fish and trap game. Over the next two centuries, agriculture and fishing continued to be Southampton’s key industries.
With the extension of the railway in the 1870s, affluent New Yorkers began migrating to the Hamptons for a tranquil retreat from city life. Stately homes began cropping up to accommodate the region’s newest residents. Today, Southampton retains its colonial charm with sensitively preserved historic properties and quaint shop fronts.
Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite at a waterfront beach café or an indulgent four-course meal, you’ll not go hungry in Southampton. Upscale ethnic cuisine is as easy to come by as old-fashioned American comfort food. And of course, freshly caught seafood and local wines also feature heavily on Southampton’s seasonally changing menus.
For a consistently excellent dining experience, reserve a table at the lively and elegant Red Bar Brasserie. A local institution with French-inspired fare, Red Bar has been a Southampton favorite for the better part of two decades.
To curb a craving for something sweet, stop in at Sip ’n Soda. Family-run since 1958, this Southampton landmark serves up generous scoops of homemade ice cream alongside a delicious diner-style menu and a big dose of 1950s nostalgia. Original “secret recipes” passed down from its founders make Sip ’n Soda’s famous sundaes a one-of-a-kind treat.
From a low-key cocktail on the waterfront to an up-all-night dance party, Southampton’s diverse nightlife encourages locals and visitors alike to let their hair down. See and be seen at one of the Hamptons’ hottest clubs or chill out with some laid-lack live music at a local bar.
After dark, the lounge-like atmosphere of 75 Main makes an ideal venue for celebrity spotting as DJs spin tunes late into the night. The signature cocktails and friendly bartenders have made this a popular local haunt year after year.
Old-fashioned shopfronts line Southampton’s Main Street, welcoming browsers and bargain hunters into the heart of the village. Quirky boutiques and galleries sell locally made wares, while cafés and restaurants invite weary shoppers to take a relaxing break from retail therapy.
Transport yourself back in time as you pass through the doors of the imposing Hildreth’s Home Goods. Vast and well-stocked, it’s been selling everything from stylish furnishings to craft supplies since 1842.
Upscale retail outlets and fashion brands are also easy to find. Among the buzzing shops on Jobs Lane, you’ll find classic Hamptons style embodied at Ralph Lauren and the flagship shops of J. McLaughlin.
With seven miles of stunning shoreline and nearly a dozen local beaches to explore, you’ll quickly find a sunny patch of Southampton sand to call your own. The crystal-clear waters and relative quiet of Coopers Beach put it among the top spots to soak up the sun and escape the crowds.
Beyond just the beaches, Southampton truly comes alive in the summertime. The Southampton Cultural Center organizes an exciting calendar of film festivals, concerts and outdoor theater, appealing to resident families and seasonal visitors alike. Likewise, summer antique fairs hosted by the Southampton Historical Museum keep the area’s rich heritage close at hand.
American history enthusiasts can while away many fascinating hours at the Rogers Mansion Museum Complex. Made up of a dozen lovingly preserved historic structures dating back to the early 19th century, informative exhibits offer a glimpse into life during simpler times. But not everything is old here. Regular exhibitions of works by local contemporary artists are also found among the charming old buildings.
The Best Of the Hamptons
"Sunsets! The aroma of sea water while on a boat! The ocean beach at the end of the day! The best golf courses in the world!"
Local tips and information for going out in the Southampton from The Corcoran Group. Explore dining, shopping and nightlife.All Southampton tips