Located in the town of Southampton and encircled by such well-known Hamptons names as Sagaponack, Bridgehampton, and the Southampton village, Water Mill oozes splendor — in its low-key way. Its 12 square miles contain some of the most sought-after real estate in the country; Jennifer Lopez owns an estate here, and Richard Gere is a famous former resident. Geographically, Water Mill runs along a bit of Long Island’s southern shore (with some of the most sought-after homes on Flying Point Beach), encircles Mecox Bay (with numerous watery fingers reaching into the hamlet in all directions), and meanders nearly to the North Shore.
An actual water mill was the hamlet’s raison d'être: The original 40 acres were designated for the mill in 1644. The two-story shingle-style water mill (purportedly the state’s first) was in operation for three centuries, and now serves as a museum (and selfie magnet). Water Mill is a scenic place where the land and the paintbrush have long coexisted. The hamlet boasts an impressive artistic pedigree, with the 34,400-square-foot Parrish Art Museum attesting to the area’s identity as a haven for painters. More than a century old, the museum has commanded this Herzog & de Meuron-designed facility since 2012. It contains more than 3,000 pieces, including a peerless collection of works by the American Impressionist William Merritt Chase (1849-1916). A more eclectic space is the Water Mill Center, which is devoted to collaborations between visual and performing artists, scientists, and anyone who wants to learn and explore. The venue offers meditation, tours, a library, and peaceful gardens.
A stone’s throw away from the Parrish Art Museum is the family-owned Duck Walk Vineyards, with 30 acres of sauvignon blanc grapevines; and Hank’s Pumpkintown, which offers apple picking and pumpkin doughnuts. Dining go-tos include Calissa, featuring a Greek-influenced menu of mezze, grilled octopus, and branzino; and Bistro Ete, with its French coastal cuisine capped off by Foie Gras Fridays. Suki Zuki, serving sushi and robata grill dishes, is a hot spot. For coffee, quick bites, and takeout, locals and visitors on their way to the beach hit the Deli at Water Mill. And the Hampton Coffee Co., which features a coffee of the month, is particularly eco- and community-minded: In addition to offering beloved muffins and artisanal, small-batch Arabica coffee, this little family-owned business uses biodegradable cups and straws, ships with UPS Carbon Neutral, and employs (and will demonstrate) solar panels.
Leighton Candler and her team strive to assess their customers' specific needs and personality, and then zero in on the right neighborhood, building, and apartment to fulfill their requirements.