If you’re from pretty much anywhere around the United States, when you think “weekend getaway,” you probably think about the beach or a mountain. Being in Atlanta, our options are Florida beaches or the Tennessee Smokey Mountains. Head up there on a Friday, grab a condo or a cabin and enjoy a few days away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. But what if you live in the northeast? What if you’re a finance bro working at Goldman or JPM and you need to disconnect for a few days on a government-mandated day off? Well if you’re overflowing with cash and want to sit in the real seat of American power, you’ll head to the secretive, shadowy stretch of island that few can afford to set foot in. This is The Hamptons.
The Hamptons seems like one of those places that started as some quaint little village and evolved into a luxury real estate behemoth, but that isn’t really the case. Originally founded in the 1800’s because of its “good potato ground” for farming, the agrarian lifestyle was quickly abandoned, due to its seafront nature and proximity to New York City. The wealth found this place QUICK. The New York Times wrote in 1893 about the area:
The beautiful villages clustering around old Southampton, including Quohue, Good Ground, the rest of the Hamptons, and the incomparable Shinnecock Hills combine to make as close an approach to Eden as can be found in a long journey. Exclusive — in the best sense of the word — society is here represented during the summer by its choicest spirits. Well-bred men and women find a congenial atmosphere, refined attractions in plenty, and innumerable charms about these quaint old villages.
It’s made up of a collection of communities that inhabit the small outlet island just off the coast of New York, with train and ferry service adding to the highways that can now take you there. But why do people vacation here?
The homes! The homes are INSANE. Crazy. In 2016, Business Insider listed the 11962 zip code within The Hamptons as the most expensive in the U.S, with an average home listing of $8.5 million. Home prices retreated in 2019, according to the Financial Times, due to the Trump Tax Cuts that drove away potential wealthy buyers from the area who instead stayed in New York City. This was estimated to have driven the average…