Southampton is one of the shining lights of Long Island’s illustrious Hamptons. From its early establishment as an agricultural settlement in 1640, to its status as an attractive focal point of East Coast culture and art, Southampton remains one of America’s most desirable and exclusive locations.
With more than seven miles of pristine beaches lying beyond windswept dunes, Southampton has attracted America’s wealthiest residents and most prominent artists since the 19th century. The health benefits of Southampton’s natural beauty and ocean air were first extolled by New York physician Dr. Theodore Gaillard Thomas in 1863, and life here still feels magically revitalizing. Many of Southampton’s enduring world-famous institutions trace their roots back to Dr. Thomas, including the Shinnecock Golf Club, Parrish Gallery, and Meadow Club.
Some of America’s most prominent families own homes in the area, including the Eisenhower’s, Ford’s, Morgan’s, Woolworths, and Vanderbilt’s. Many of New York City’s most successful artists have sought inspiration in Southampton, including Jackson Pollock and Roy Lichtenstein.
Southampton is the most historic and exclusive hamlet in the Hamptons, as around half of the billionaires who have residences within the Hamptons have chosen to call Southampton home. Along with Palm Beach and the Upper East Side, Southampton forms part of a long-standing axis of America’s wealthiest communities.
With its historic ‘old money’ lineage, Southampton is arguably the most refined and prestigious community in America. The village center is the cultural and commercial heart of the Hamptons, home to the Hamptons’ finest shops, most exquisite restaurants, and more than 20 art galleries, with the Parrish Gallery being foremost among them.
The sprawling, secluded estates of Southampton village have offered majestic living spaces for centuries, with gorgeous Georgian mansions overlooking the summer colony’s centerpiece, Lake Agawam, as well as the lapping shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
The median sale price for homes rose 42% last year, with some of the world’s wealthiest individuals competing to own a prestigious Southampton property. The average price per square foot is $844.
Some of the most exclusive properties are found along Meadow Lane, often dubbed ‘Billionaire Lane.’ Sprawling estates belonging to some of Southampton’s most illustrious residents cover this five-mile oceanfront stretch, including the $75 million home of Calvin Klein.
The names of Southampton’s current and historic residents read like a who’s who of America’s most prominent individuals, ranging from financial giants such as J.P. Morgan, David Koch, and George Soros, to political figures including First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, to cultural luminaries including actor Michael J. Fox and author Tom Wolfe.
Southampton’s residents are well-served by some of the finest and most exclusive clubs in the world, most of which have a century or more of prestige and pedigree. The members-only Shinnecock Golf Club is one of the most notable examples. Established in 1891, Shinnecock has held the US Open four times across three centuries. There is also the incredibly exclusive Southampton Bathing Corp., a highly-regarded beach club with a notoriously selective membership policy.