Top 5 Wondrous Waters of the East End

Top 5 Wondrous Waters of the East End

Water is the driving force of all nature, Leonardo da Vinci said. Had he the occasion to have spent time in the Hamptons, “nature” might have been traded off for “summer rentals” in that assessment. Perhaps we should explain. Typically the Real Estate Top 5 puts the spotlight on a quintet of individual properties sharing a particularly standout trait, but for this special summer preview issue, we’re taking as our inspiration five fabulous ways luxurious rental properties can make the most of the area’s ultimate amenity—the waters of the East End, naturally.

  • David Tepper's oceanfront estate in Sagaponack. Photo credit: Cully/EEFAS

    The Oceanfront
    Photo credit: Cully/EEFAS

    Picture waking up with the sunrise and enjoying your morning coffee while staring at the intoxicating beauty of the Atlantic before starting your day with a morning stroll along the beach. Or, perhaps you’re more of an adventure seeker and prefer to begin a summer morning with a distance swim or a surf session. Either way, an oceanfront house calls to you, giving you no easier way to access the sea. Hidden in the dunes, options like a Norman Jaffe-designed manse in Southampton ($750,000 for Memorial Day to Labor Day) or a nature-filled escape inside Napeague State Park ($95,000 for Memorial Day to Labor Day) are studies in East End tranquility, offering sweeping views of the Atlantic. After a day of soaking in the sun enjoy surfcasting for your casual barbecue before ending the day with some s’mores and a beach bonfire. Retire to a room that needs no air conditioning, as an open window and the sounds of the sea lull you to sleep.

  • The Beautiful Bays. Photo credit: Cully/EEFAS

    The Beautiful Bays
    Photo credit: Cully/EEFAS

    East End bays cater to mermaids and mermen of all persuasions. Loungers can grab a flotation device and sip a cocktail while cooling off. Kids can comfortably play in the calm waters. Bays are playgrounds for kayakers, stand- up paddleboarders, sailors and distance swimmers. And thrill-seekers can store their jet skis and power boats steps from their back porch. Luxe bayfront options include a sleek, four-bedroom hideaway in North Sea right on the Peconic Bay ($550,000 Memorial Day to Labor Day). Or, for those who truly want to be surrounded by water, a magnificent Water Mill retreat is both ocean- and bayfront, with a dock on Mecox Bay ($550,000 for the season).

  • Water, Water Everywhere shelter island cully/EEFAS

    Water, Water Everywhere
    Photo credit: Cully/EEFAS

    Is Shelter Island actually in the Hamptons? Is it part of the North Fork? That depends on whom you ask. One thing is certain, though: If you wanted your summer rental with more water around it than Shelter Island has, you’d have to opt for a boat. And if you’re looking to go fishing, scalloping or just dreaming of whiling away your summer days on boat or beach, the island surrounded by islands is your destination—perhaps at the likes of “Bumble Bee Manor,” a 16-room waterfront estate complete with infinity pool, luxurious spa, tennis court and more ($270,000 Memorial Day to Labor Day). Isolated as it is by the waters that surround it, Shelter Island has managed to retain a casual, rustic charm that reflects the Hamptons as they used to be, while upping the cultural cachet with the Perlman Music Program’s bringing top-flight musicians to the island every summer, plus several superb restaurants, the nightlife of Sunset Beach, the history of Sylvester Manor and more.

  • The Perfect Pool

    The Perfect Pool
    Photo credit: Cully/EEFAS

    Sometimes what you really want is a sleek body of water right in your backyard, one where you control the temperature and never have surfers in your wake. Enter the ultimate Hamptons amenity—the pool. Imagine waking up on a beautiful, crystal Hamptons summer day and having the glimmer of sunlight off the pool’s gentle ripples be the first thing you see—that’s how fabulous days begin. Or imagine coming home after an invigorating day of fun to relax poolside with a glass of cold East End rosé, friends and family gathered around to watch the sunset—that’s how fabulous nights begin. Luckily, the pool is fast becoming standard equipment for the Hamptons summer rental. But there are choices to be made. Enticing properties currently on offer include the legendary Sandcastle estate south of the highway in Bridgehampton, once rented by Beyoncé and Jay-Z, which boasts, among many other things, a luxurious 60x20 pool with a diving board and a stylish slate surround ($1 million for the month of July). Or perhaps you’d prefer the quieter elegance of a shaded infinity pool overlooking the cove at a Sag Harbor village getaway. Whatever you decide, when the water beckons you, you won’t have far to go.

  • The Long Island Sound Cully/EEFAS

    The Long Island Sound
    Photo credit: Cully/EEFAS

    “Wine down” this summer on the North Fork. Pick up a bottle or 12 of your favorite East End wines on your way to the cliffs of Long Island Sound and your own private escape. After frolicking around in what Wine Enthusiast magazine named “Wine Region of the Year” in 2014—yes, New York beat out Champagne, France; Chianti, Italy and Sonoma, California—enjoy a post-dinner sip while watching a stunning sunset over the Sound from the comfort of your backyard. Quieter than its South Fork counterpart, the hamlets of the North Fork are chock-full of quaint mom-and-pop boutiques and locally inspired cuisine at award-winning restaurants. Just steps from your backyard, the Long Island Sound is perfect for kayakers, stand-up paddleboarding, wind surfers, kiteboarders, waders and swimmers. Soundfront rentals include a veritable Gatsby-inspired mansion and a chic Cutchogue home that’s been featured in international fashion magazines. With any luck, they can be featured in your family photo album of Summer 2015 on the East End.

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