Setting: Sag Harbor lies roughly in the middle of Long Island's South Fork. It's a 90-minute drive from Manhattan.
Attractions: The town offers deepwater access for boaters, a charming town center with exceptional dining and shopping, and great schools. There's a thriving arts scene and annual cultural events such as Harborfest in September.
Drawbacks: High cost of living. Traffic and limited parking in the town center. Sedentary job market―newcomers must adapt or bring their professions with them.
Housing: The town features old Victorian homes, Cape Cod cottages, Colonials, and grand Greek Revival houses. "The least expensive house here sells for around $600,000," says real estate agent Bill Collins. "And that's a fixer-upper." A three- or four-bedroom home on an acre of land runs $2 million to $3 million. Historic homes in the town's center cost between $1.5 million and $5 million.
Your next-door neighbors: Film director Mike Nichols ( Angels in America, The Graduate), retirees, restaurateurs, artists, CEOs.
How you'd spend your free time: Dining at the American Hotel or Magnolia, viewing superbly staged plays at Bay Street Theatre, eating homemade ice cream from Big Olafs, visiting nearby wineries, grabbing a beer at Corner Bar, enjoying phenomenal sailing, clamming, and fishing. "It's a quaint, small town with a lot of things happening," says Tim Kofahl. "You can do as much or as little as you want."
(published November 2006)