This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. And no one looks forward to the summer “season” more than those who suffered through blizzards, Nor’easters and ice storms. All of which will be left in the past, once you see these dreamy waterfront homes. They’d make any summer memorable.
Potato Island, Branford, Conn. – $4.9 million
Looking to be on “island time” this summer? Make it your own island time. A five-minute boat ride from the dock near Stoney Creek will transport you to Potato Island, a stunning one-acre private island in the shimmery Long Island Sound. Anchored to this chunk of glacial rock is a 3,800-square-foot, four-bedroom rustic residence originally built in 1912 and lovingly restored in 1998. For party weekends, there’s a heated pool, gorgeous manicured lawns and a hot tub built right into the rocks.
High Point Estate, Middleton, NJ – $20 million
You’ll need plenty of bubbly for all the garden-chic dinner parties you’ll have on the manicured lawns of this magnificent French-inspired château. Built in 1999, High Point Estate sits on 15 prime acres on the Navesink River just an hour south of Manhattan. Designed with entertaining in mind, the main 18,000-square-foot house features a 55-foot-long living room, state-of-the-art movie theater and river-view bar. On the grounds are four outbuildings; one features the Shoe Inn pub, another comes with its own recording studio.
Shangri-La, Bristol, RI – $8.5 million
In his 1933 novel Lost Horizon, Brit author James Hilton described the fictional Shangri-La as a permanently happy land isolated from the world. That’s a perfect description of this little slice of Rhode Island paradise on the banks of Narragansett Bay. Comprising four separate homes, this 1.8-acre coastal compound features a 5,135-square-foot main house with attached two-level guest house. Flanking it are two recently added architectural gems – the stunning 3,500-square-foot Glass House with access to a private beach, and the 600-square-foot, Japanese-inspired Tea House.
William Rubin Estate, Pound Ridge, NY – $6.5 million
This ultra-modern 9,358-square-foot waterfront masterpiece was designed by Vuko Tashkovich, protege of the late, legendary architect I.M. Pei. He created it for William Rubin, a former top exec at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The five-bedroom home sits on 3.5 manicured acres overlooking Mallard Lake in Pound Ridge, a 50-minute drive north of Manhattan. Sleek and open-plan with jaw-dropping barrel-style roofs, the house is designed for entertaining inside and out, with extensive patios, a private dock and huge indoor saltwater pool and spa.
Villa Forte, Kings Point, NY – $16.5 million
Italy might be closer than you think. Villa Forte overlooks the majestic Long Island Sound, Villa Forte might fit the bill. This classically-styled Italian villa built just 10 years ago, is situated on 2.5 acres of manicured grounds in the village of Kings Point, less than an hour from Wall Street. With huge patios overlooking the water, plus an oversized pool surrounded by more tiled patios, this is a home designed for weekend parties. For excursions on the Sound, there’s a deep-water dock for your Riva yacht.
Land’s End, Newport, RI – $11.7 million
This is oceanfront living at its finest. Sit back, put your feet-up in an Adirondack chair, gaze out at the crashing Atlantic over Newport’s famed Cliff Walk, and just say “Ahhhh.” Land’s End is one of Newport’s most-prized homes; designed back in the late 1880s by architect John Hubbard Sturgis, it was once the summer cottage to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton. Sitting on 5.6 acres, the property features a main manor house covering 10,900 square feet and offering eight bedrooms. It’s complimented by a separate 1,457-square-foot, three-bed carriage house for weekend guests.
Sui Generis, Brielle, NJ – $12.85 million
Roughly translated from the Latin, sui generis means “in a class by itself.” An apt description for this sprawling 31,280-square-foot compound overlooking the tranquil Manasquan River on the Jersey Shore an hour south of New York City. Designed and built in 1999, this nine-bed, 15-bath mansion focuses on the fun of outdoor living with its tennis court, pool and cabana bar, outdoor kitchen and serene Japanese gardens. For nautical adventures, it features two deep-water docks and slips for vessels up to 65 feet.
Old Montauk Highway Seaside Escape – $39 million
Privacy-seekers rejoice. Here is a spectacular oceanfront retreat at the end of Long Island that offers 36 densely wooded acres of isolation from the madding crowds. Add to that the property’s 400-foot sandy beach with no public access for miles, skinny-dipping seclusion is guaranteed for owner and guests. A private gated entrance leads to a three-level, Chinese-tea-house-inspired residence spanning 7,000 square feet, designed by architect Frank B. Hollenbeck. Inside there are five huge bedrooms—most with floor-to-ceiling glass—four baths, a state-of-the-art movie theater and elevator.
90 Jule Pond Drive, Southampton, NY – $150 million
Henry Ford II built this astonishing 42-acre – yes, 42-acre – compound back in 1960. And today it still offers the largest ocean frontage in the Hamptons, spanning nearly a quarter mile. Add to this the expansive Jule Pond to the west and Channel Pond and Mecox Bay to the east, security and seclusion are a given. The main house, oozing with charm and elegance, offers 20,000 square feet of space with 12 bedrooms and 12 full baths. Outside are rolling manicured lawns, a tennis court and swimming pool.
67 Surfside Road, Bridgehampton, NY – $34 million
This spectacular 8,200-square-foot home is a modernist masterpiece on the beach. Sitting on a coveted 1.7-acre oceanfront lot on Surfside Road, the four-bedroom house with its separate guest studio was constructed in 2016. The enormous outdoor entertaining space includes an oversized pool, spa and hot tub, two grills, and gas pizza oven, all within sight of the frothy Atlantic.