Family Life in The Hamptons

Old Feb 26th, 2008, 03:13 AM
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Family Life in The Hamptons

hi everyone,
i am a NYer at heart - lived/worked in the city for 10 years before moving to london for love. while in NYC, i did 6 years of summer shares in southhampton and loved the whole scene, but also the breathtaking beauty of the place. now i've been in london for 10 years and circumstances are different - i'm married (to a brit) and have 2 kids, 5 and 8 years old. we are thinking of buying a vacation home in the states, and the hamptons appeals to me greatly (due to its extreme beauty & proximity to NYC). EXCEPT i'm in a different place now and don't particularly want alot of glitz & scene - (altho i'm sure we'd like to dip in and out of it from time to time!). i'm wondering if any of you hamptons afficianados can recommend specific towns to check out that might be more laid back and family friendly. i am planning a scouting trip to the area in april. any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! many thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 26th, 2008, 03:59 AM
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Not a Hampton afficianado, but am a nyer and know many families with houses there or who do summer rentals. I would recommend Hampton Bays, Sag Harbor or Quoque for a more low key scene than East Hampton or South Hampton . . . I'm sure those with more expertise (mclaurie) will have better info . . .
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Old Feb 26th, 2008, 08:49 AM
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East Hampton is more family - but big budget family. For middle class family - but mostly summer - go for Sag Harbor. Quogue is also family - but of lot of them are year round family areas - rather than summer or weekend people.
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Old Feb 26th, 2008, 08:54 AM
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I have several colleagues that have young kids and a weekend house in the Hamptons.

One of the more recent trends in NY is the proliferation of families with kids. Getting into some nursery schools is less a certainty than getting into Princeton. All those people you hung with at the Boardy Barn in 1995, now have kids.

I'd check with a realtor in the area and find a place that has been family oriented. Certainly there is still a scene. But, plenty of normal NYC families (normal of course being a relative term.)

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Old Feb 26th, 2008, 09:23 AM
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My brother and his family has a weekend house in Easthampton. My niece does all the usual kid stuff - horseback riding lessons, swim lessons etc. Lots of the houses there have pools and of course the beaches are great. She has a wonderful time and loves being "at the beach". They definitely are not part of the glitzy scene - just a pretty average family doing family stuff - beach, barbeques, swim in the pool, etc.
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Old Feb 26th, 2008, 10:18 AM
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Look into Amagansett, The Springs, and Gerard Park areas. The Springs is a small community east of EH and west of Amagansett, and Gerard Park is east of EH out to the end of Three Mile Harbor road.
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Old Feb 26th, 2008, 11:09 AM
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Try heading north of NYC to a town like Pawling. It is mountains instead of the beach and quiet except for traffic on Route 22.
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Old Feb 26th, 2008, 06:16 PM
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You can find whatever you want-glitz or low key in whichever town you chose. I think budget and type/size of house may determine where you look. If you intend on renting the house when you're not using it, pay attention to amenities that will make it more desirable (central air conditioning and a pool for starters). is a good place to look to get an idea of what's around. I can also recommend a real estate agent or two to take you around if you don't have one.

While East Hampton is a popular area for families and there's a lot to chose from there, I find the chaos in the village of East Hampton, difficulty parking and glitz factor a turn off. I'd look in Sagaponack and Bridgehampton, perhaps Sag Harbor (although it's further from the ocean beach) and parts of Southampton. Amagansett has a lot of charm, but is further to go. Shelter Island is certainly low key, but might be too removed for you.

I don't really know the area west of the Shinnecock Canal as well (Westhampton, Quogue, Hampton Bays) but many don't consider that the "real" Hamptons. Whether that's a good thing or not is up to you. This is a buyer's market. Houses, especially under $2 million, are not really selling but it's been a very strong rental season for the summer.
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Old Feb 26th, 2008, 06:49 PM
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As you know, "the Hamptons" is a huge area (90+ miles) and it is what you make of it.

That being said the village of East Hampton has become an impersonal shopping mall (I disagree that it's "more family"), and traffic on 27 is worse than ever.

Check out Montauk, of course -- it's the most laid-back Hampton (but the farthest out).

And check out the Northwest Woods area north of East Hampton. It's quiet, beautiful, and you can sneak into East Hampton from the north.

If you've got big bucks, Sagaponack is heaven and convenient to Bridgehampton.

Regardless, you don't have to have "glitz and scene" if you don't want it, no matter where you choose.
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Old Feb 26th, 2008, 06:53 PM
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I agree .... west of the Canal is NOT the Hamptons.
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