Those who only make trips to The Hamptons in the summer are remiss. The colder months of fall and even winter are arguably better times to visit The Hamptons than during the high and crowded summer season. As a full-time Southampton resident for 18 years and top agent with Douglas Elliman, Susan Hovdesven has her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the Hamptons year-round. Here are Susan’s reasons why The Hamptons is a year-round destination.
1. The Beach
Just because the temperatures drop doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beach. Fall and winter are the perfect times to take in the scenery and listen to the waves crash unobstructed by warm-weather crowds.
“Many people I know are braver than me about hitting the beach each day in the colder seasons. When I do visit the beach in cooler temperatures I always wish I went more often.”
2. The Harvest
The fall is full of festivals such as the Hamptons International Film Festival and Southamptonfest. And, of course, the harvest. One of Susan and her husband Matt’s favorite markets for fresh produce is Halsey Farm.
“Once the summer passes and fall begins, our markets are loaded with phenomenal produce like squashes, eggplants, Brussels sprouts, and carrots. The apple orchards are filled with incredible apples. And there’s activities like apple and pumpkin picking, hayrides and corn mazes.”
3. The Community
Though many people see The Hamptons as a seasonal locale, it’s a year-round community for the people who live there. If you’re an owner, renter or visitor, take advantage of what the community offers.
“We have some really great high school sports teams that play games all year long. You don’t have to be a local or have a kid who is on the team to enjoy a good soccer, volleyball or basketball game.”
“On a rainy day you might think ‘let’s go to the movies,’ but really on a rainy day, go to the animal shelter.”
“You can go by yourself, and it’s a wonderful way to feel like you’re giving back. And, if you want to take it a step further you could volunteer. On a rainy day you might think ‘let’s go to the movies,’ but really on a rainy day, go to the animal shelter.”
4. The Restaurants
“The restaurants in all of the towns have really changed and responded to the increased population during the off-seasons. When I moved out here in 2002, there were maybe one or two restaurants that stayed open year-round. Now a lot of them do, and even if they close, they close for maybe a month. We’ve seen a lot of restaurants open and stay open because there’s more people coming out.”
5. The Nature
There’s a real fresh air aspect to The Hamptons that you can’t get in the city. Walk, hike, bike or bird watch on trails and paths in The Hamptons’ many nature preserves.
“The Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge is in between Southampton and Sag Harbor. There’s this beautiful walk that isn’t very long. And, if you bring sunflower seeds or bird food, put it in your hand and stand still, the birds fly in out of nowhere and will eat out of your hand. Then you walk a little bit further and you’re at the Peconic Bay. It’s pretty magical.”
6. The Peacefulness
While winter to Susan means sitting by her fireplace sipping a single malt scotch, she can’t do that all day. But, she does prefer to stay indoors in the winter.
“It’s glorious out here after a snowstorm. I’ve always felt that when it starts snowing it’s an extra-special day out here because it’s just so pretty and it’s so quiet.”
“In the summertime you feel like you need to be outside all the time, but in the wintertime, to me, there’s something really wonderful about being inside. And it doesn’t have to be inside your house. We have great theaters, we have Bay Street, the Southampton Cultural Center, and Guild Hall. In the winter you can be indoors and not feel guilty.”
Ready to spend more time in The Hamptons? Check out these properties for sale.
On the market for the first time since the owners built this custom, sophisticated, traditional home designed by Brian Brady. Highlights include it’s location just a mile to the beach, a dramatic double-height foyer, a gourmet eat-in kitchen, a spacious living room with fireplace, and a second floor master suite with a private sitting room and fireplace. There is already egress and potential for a fifth bedroom. The shy half acre+/- property with mature trees for privacy features a heated gunite pool, pool house with full bathroom, outdoor shower and garage.
Ideally located in Southampton’s exclusive Murray Compound on nearly two stunning acres. The interior is a vision in luxury starting with an enormous eat-in chef’s kitchen with Dornbracht finishes, top-of-the-line appliances, a custom island and a fireplace. The master suite features his-and-her bathrooms, a steam shower with THG finishes and walk-in closets. A breezeway connects the main house to the guest wing/poolhouse. The lower level includes a gym, sauna and steam room, recreation game room, theater, wine cellar and elevator.
Enjoy resort-style living in Amagansett. Recently completed by acclaimed architecture firm Resolution 4, this nearly 12,000-square-foot modern masterpiece sits on over 5 acres of land, surrounded by lush landscaping and breathtaking ocean views. This wow-factor home features 2 kitchens, a full gym, squash court, heated gunite pool, oversized hot tub, rooftop bocce ball court, fire pit, nature walk, projection TV, Sonos inside and out, and panoramic views.
Overlooking an equestrian estate and tree farm, with the Atlantic Ocean in the distance, this seamless blend of premium amenities and meticulous craftsmanship awaits. There are 6 bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, 5 raised-hearth fireplaces, soaring high ceilings boasting natural light, ocean views from the second story, as well as a chef’s kitchen, a great room with enormous windows, dining for 12, and a cozy den. Additional amenities include a sauna, wine cellar, family room, pool room, movie theater and speakeasy-style bar.
—by Jacqueline Kuron