• Michael Petersohn
  • 06/24/24
Written by Christina Norwood
Pristine beaches and an art-loving community

Amagansett, a Montaukett word that means “place of good water,” is a fitting name for this neighborhood of unspoiled beaches, parks, estates and lovingly kept homes, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Napeague Bay on the other. “You can never get too far from the waterfront,” says Karen Benvenuto, a Realtor with Compass who lives in the community and knows how its small-town charm attracts homebuyers. Efforts to preserve the land from development over the last several decades have helped maintain the neighborhood’s appeal. “Anybody can be anybody in Amagansett,” Benvenuto says. “You’ll meet people who have lived in the community for generations and CEOs who have just arrived. Everyone wears flip-flops here, stores are independently owned, and the parks and beaches are some of the most pristine in the country.” The area also has a fascinating history, from German spies being dropped off on the beach by a submarine in 1942 for a sabotaging mission to a longstanding relationship with various forms of art. “Amagansett benefitted from the arts community for the last 50 or 60 years, and it’s still very much a part of the community, whether it be painters, sculptors, actors,” says Michael Petersohn, a licensed real estate salesperson at Brown Harris Stevens who has lived and sold in the area for 25 years.
Napeague State Park, swimming in the ocean or bay

The 1,364-acre Napeague State Park is an undeveloped swath between Amagansett and Montauk where the endangered piping plover nests. The huge park has beaches on both the ocean and the bay, making it a favorite spot to swim, sail, take dogs for a hike or simply enjoy the waterfront. Dennistown Bell Park and Fresh Pond Park feature beaches, nature trails, picnic tables and cooking grills. The Atlantic beaches of Amagansett, including Atlantic Avenue Beach and Indian Wells Beach, are as noncommercial as the town. Lifeguards are on duty during beach hours, but otherwise, traces of civilization are kept to a minimum. In fact, the Amagansett National Wildlife Refuge protects secondary sand dunes that foster plant life, such as oak scrub and rare orchids, as well as countless birds, including terns and sandpipers. Surfing is a popular pastime in Amagansett, but with so many protections for wildlife in place, even just sitting on the beach can bring beautiful sights during certain times of the year. According to Petersohn, there are sometimes so many of a certain type of fish, called bunker, in the water that it looks brown — and attracts other wildlife. “The whales will come and circle the bunker and make them into a ball, and then they dive down and they shoot straight up with their mouths open. It’s called breaching,” he says. “And you’ll see these whales come up with a mouth full of fish, and you’re just standing on the beach.” Other types of fish and even sharks are also common, though sharks tend to stay in deeper water.
Diverse architecture on large lots, beachfront homes

Just like the rest of the Hamptons, wood shingle siding is common in Amagansett, but because many homes are custom-built, architectural styles vary. Colonials, new traditional houses meant to evoke European charm and renovated farmhouses or even converted barns can be found here. Contemporary-style houses have trickled in over the years, especially in the early 2000s, and modern architecture has begun to appear in droves. Homes often have private amenities like pools, hot tubs and outdoor kitchens alongside meticulous landscaping or lush gardens. A fixer-upper starts at $1.5 million, and a tiny two-bedroom cottage near the beach costs about $2.8 million. According to Petersohn, the average cost falls around $4 million but can easily soar to $25 million for large, updated homes on the beachfront. Even when they’re landlocked, sprawling seven-bedroom estates with acreage can easily climb to $19 million. A few condos are also available, from small oceanfront co-ops priced at $500,000 to $ 1.2 million units with pools and outdoor showers with twice the square footage.
Concerts at The Stephen Talkhouse

The Hamptons are known for their music scene, and Amagansett is no different. The Stephen Talkhouse has hosted a combination of local musicians and international powerhouses since 1987. While many of the Hamptons’ outdoor concert series are just for the summer, this venue hosts concerts year-round. “The Rolling Stones have launched more than one world tour from Stephen Talkhouse,” Petersohn says. “You get all kinds of bands come through there.”
Amagansett Square, fresh produce and seafood

Most of Amagansett’s dining and shopping are located along Main Street in or near Amagansett Square, a little shopping area featuring quaint colonial-style shops. Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee provides that daily caffeine fix and Rosie’s is a favorite spot to meet friends for a meal and drinks. Just past Napeague State Park, Lobster Roll Restaurant has been serving up its classic dishes since the 1950s. It’s one of the most popular restaurants in the area, and diners can choose to eat inside or in the salt-tinted breeze of the outdoor patio. Back by Amagansett Square, shops like Innersleeve Records and Jenni Kayne provide fun shopping close to home, and fresh produce is never far. “The other thing that’s really cool about Amagansett is it has a number of organic farms,” Petersohn says. “It’s unbelievable how good the produce is.” Amber Waves Farm, Market & Café offers over 500 varieties of fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, grains and flowers, many of which are harvested daily by farm apprentices. Fresh seafood is also easy to get ahold of, from sea bass, tuna and local flounder on the ocean side to oysters, clams, crabs and bay scallops on the bay side. “The scallop season is really short, it’s only for a few months,” Petersohn says. “The bay scallops are delicious. A traditional Thanksgiving meal in the Hamptons would actually be venison and bay scallops.” Amagansett IGA provides essentials close to home.
Beginning at Amagansett School

Amagansett School is the only school in the Amagansett Union Free School District, teaching pre-kindergarten through sixth grade and earning an A from Niche. It’s a 2023 National Blue Ribbon School and boasts a student-to-teacher ratio of 6-to-1. Children can then move to the East Hampton Union Free School District, which has an A. They attend East Hampton Middle School, which has an A-minus, and East Hampton High School, which Niche gives an A and lists among the top 10 public high schools in Suffolk County.
Montauk is just a short drive away

Montauk is just over 12 miles — a 20-minute drive — from Montauk. “There’s lots of bars and restaurants and places to go fishing,” Petersohn says. “There’s a little more nightlife in Montauk than anywhere else, really. The Hamptons have good nightlife, but Montauk in particular.“ The Long Island Railroad and the Hampton Jitney Montauk bus line travel to Amagansett most days with service from Manhattan and connections to JFK, LaGuardia and Long Island MacArthur airports.

Work With Michael

Over 30 years of experience actively managing & owning residential properties. He has an excellent reputation for honesty & integrity, the talent for being a persuasive negotiator, & the keen ability to effectively match buyer and seller.