The Sun, Sea and Air of Southampton New York

May 17 10:40 2014 Leo Alvin Alexander Print This Article

Learn more about Southampton in New York and why it is one of the hottest tourist spots these days.

The first thing that strikes you when you alight in Southampton New York is the air. The ocean atmosphere is uplifting and expansive,Guest Posting and your mood follows suit. Southampton is on one of the prettiest stretches of coast in the entire nation, and the sea breeze is always blowing.

Next is the indefinable yet distinctive light. The blue sky of the East End is almost electric. The sunshine that filters through the salty haze is something extraordinary. The light is rareified and unique.

The third element that makes Southampton New York what it is appears the moment you set foot on the shore. The white sands of the beaches are without parallel. You can follow the shoreline as it dips beneath the ocean spray for miles along the coast. Dig your toes into the fine white sand and feel instantly at ease.

These are the elements that have drawn waves of travelers over the centuries to come and settle in Southampton New York. Pilgrims arrived by boat from Connecticut to form the first English settlement in New York State. Many historic buildings still exist that attest to their industry and perseverance. Some have turned to contemporary uses, from historic museums to bed and breakfast inns.

The area was already well known to the local native Americans, who once set out from Southampton's North Sea on canoes to hunt for whales. The Shinnecock reservation is much modernized, while it still keeps its ties with the traditional tribal customs.

The arrival of the railroad in the late 1800s opened an easy passage from Manhattan. Southampton became the preferred resort for the very rich, whose quiet, reserved and elegant tastes still mark the historic hamlet. The jet set made Southampton one of their premier stops. Their mansions, barely visible behind the privet hedges that line the shorefront roads, attest to the town's capacity for gracious living. Extravagance and artistic expression continue to mark the regal homes being constructed by the latest generation of Internet entrepreneurs and wealthy brokers.

Artists have always been attracted to the light and the landscape of the East End. A generation of Abstract Expressionists changed the history of modern art from their studios here. The artist's cemetery in Springs marks the names of some of the greatest painters of that artistic movement. Jackson Pollock is one of them.
Frank O'Hara, the well-known modern poet, became a curator at Southampton's Parrish Art Museum to support the work of his talented friends. The museum benefits from the community's ties with the educated and artistically inclined elite. Southampton's well-endowed museum has recently moved to expansive new quarters and hosts international events alongside family-friendly workshops and activities.

The current generation of artisans and entrepreneurs works to sustain and develop the fragile coastal ecology of this sandy fork of land, left behind by glaciers eons ago. A consortium of wineries grows and produces many of their own kinds and labels of wine. Microbreweries occupy former potato fields. Southampton New York has several wine and beer labels of its very own. Tastings are available at many of the local restaurants and pubs, as well as at the vineyards and breweries themselves.

The flat fields of Southampton gently hold many small local farms. These individual farms revive the tradition of the old truck farms that once provided Manhattan with its vegetables. Farm stands and farm-to-table restaurants are easy to find.

The unique combination of air, light and seashore have made Southampton New York the premier resort destination of the historic Hamptons. Travelers of all types appreciate the beauty, ease and elegance that can be enjoyed here.

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Leo Alvin Alexander
Leo Alvin Alexander

Leo Alvin is also a travel and food blogger. He is currently on vacation and enjoying the paradise that is Southampton New York.

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