From coast to coast (and Hawaii, too), the Top 10 oceanfront homes for sale in the U.S. By J. Michael Welton From Malibu to Sagaponack, from Palm Beach to Maui, we’ve combed the country’s oceanfront properties in search of the finest homes on the market today. Their style could be Spanish Revival, English Country, or Modern, but each of these Top 10 residences shares a single characteristic: views of the water that are far beyond spectacular.
NANTUCKET, MA The emphasis is on privacy at Swain’s Neck, a custom-built home on a 75-acre peninsula on Nantucket Island. Its only access is via a wooden bridge, and a gatehouse controls security. It may be the most coveted property on the island, with no neighbors, water views on three sides, and rolling lawns that tumble down to Polpis Harbor. It offers two paddocks for the equestrian enthusiast, a two-bedroom cottage, a private office/studio, a boathouse, and a barn. Each of the main house’s five bedrooms looks out to the harbor, and two moorings allow easy access for fishing or sailing. $47,500,000, Christie’s International Real Estate, 508-228-2266, christiesrealestate.com
PALM BEACH, Florida If Jay Gatsby were to clone his West Egg palace for a second home in Palm Beach, this might be the result. It’s a French-inspired waterfront masterpiece, completed in 2011 and located along Billionaire’s Row, minutes from shopping Mecca Worth Avenue. It’s set back on two and a half acres, with an automotive entry through decorative iron gates, past sculptured gardens and fountains that lead to a motor court. Inside are 20,000 square feet of living space, with an additional 7,000 square feet in loggias, garage, and guest house space. It offers nine bedrooms, 17 baths, and five garage bays, plus deeded water access. $74,000,000, Corcoran Group Real Estate, 561-296-8720, corcoran.com
MALIBU, CA This Frank Gehry-designed home occupies 1.5 acres of land on Broad Beach in Malibu, with 160 feet of beachfront. Commissioned in the mid-1980s by the late CEO Burton Borman—a noted supporter of architecture and the arts—it was completed in 1990 for the enjoyment of friends and family. It offers 11,000 square feet of space, with six bedrooms, eight full baths, and two half baths. It offers ocean and mountain views, a full-sized, lighted tennis court, a lap pool, and an outdoor entertaining area with a spa, fireplace, and separate kitchen. $57,500,000, Pritchett-Rapf Realtors, 310-456-6771, pritchett-rapf.com
KIAWAH ISLAND, SC When Dennison Royal began developing the Ocean Palms section of Kiawah, he looked up two architects. For inspiration, he turned to Addison Mizner’s work in South Florida. For design, he enlisted Christopher Rose, an award-winning Charleston, SC, architect. On lot nine of Ocean Palms Court, Rose channeled Mizner’s Mediterranean style to design a five-bedroom, five-bath home for a site that’s 1.8 acres, including 125 feet of beachfront. Its exterior is layered with three coats of stucco, and its roof is clad in S-shaped clay tiles. Inside are a ground-floor gourmet kitchen and guest suite; the master suite sits atop it all, on the third floor. $12,225,000, Kiawah Island Real Estate, 888-559-9024, kiawahisland.com/real-estate
GOLD BEACH, OR This home, perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, offers two beach coves. Several structures are located on the 34-acre site, including a 9,159-square-foot post-and-beam main house with four bedrooms, four full baths, three half baths, a theater, office, gourmet kitchen, and living area with 30-foot ceilings. Also featured: a two-story fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows. On site is a self-contained, 1,460-square-foot log cabin for guests, with one bedroom, one and a half baths, a full kitchen, a living area with a fireplace, and a two-car garage. It’s all located within a gated community, with a pond and orchard on the property. $12,500,000, Remax Equity Group, 503-670-3000, equitygroup.com
CHATHAM, MA Ninety miles southeast of Boston, this 10,974-square-foot home overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, Nantucket Sound, and the Monomoy Islands. It’s set back in a circular drive that foreshadows other circular elements on site. A wraparound stairway is central to the home, and a foyer leads to a great room, chef’s kitchen, dining room, and living room. Two bedrooms are on the lower level, as well as an 11-seat cinema and wine cave. On the second floor are three more bedrooms—each with a bath—and an office. At the center of the drive is a circular carriage house, containing the sixth bedroom. $25,000,000, Christies International Real Estate, 508-945-1186, christiesrealestate.com
GREENWICH, CT This home is a record-breaker, with an asking price of $190 million. It’s called Copper Beech Farm and has earned the rarified distinction of the most expensive home for sale in the United States. Located on a 50.6-acre estate on Long Island Sound, it offers a mile of water frontage, including two islands. The manse was built in 1896, and the Lauder Greenway family, co-founders of U.S. Steel with Andrew Carnegie, moved into it in 1904. It features 12 bedrooms, nine baths, 10 fireplaces, an elevator, and a paneled center hall with a staircase rising three stories. $190,000,000, David Ogilvy & Associates, 203-869-9866, davidogilvy.com
MERCER ISLAND, WA Located on the northwest end of Mercer Island on Lake Washington, between Seattle and Bellevue, this 14,000-square-foot home lies on a lot that’s not quite an acre. Behind it sits another lot—about the same size, undeveloped, and available. This home offers a large yacht moorage that, with a few modifications, could accommodate a 100-foot-long boat. Built in 2007, the home offers eight bedrooms, nine baths, and four fireplaces. A gourmet kitchen features coexisting chef stations and two large center islands. Included are 120 feet of wade-in waterfront, and a fusion of the indoor/outdoor experience with NanaWalls and a broad array of windows. $16,750,000, Coldwell Banker Bain, 425-450-5206, wendylister.cbbain.com/wendylister
SAGAPONACK, NY A rambling English Country-style mansion in the Hamptons, this home was designed by architect Shope Reno Wharton Associates. It’s secluded on 33 acres and sited on Sagg Pond with views of the Atlantic Ocean. The 11,700-square-foot home is flanked by 19 additional acres of protected land, so those views aren’t likely to be blocked. It offers eight bedrooms, eight and a half baths, a limestone entry gallery, a mahogany-paneled library, a media room, and six fireplaces. Also included: a screened porch with built-in grill, stone patios, multiple decks, an exercise studio, a tennis court, heated pool, and spa. A widow’s walk affords sweeping views of the sea. Recently reduced to $59,000,000, Corcoran Group Real Estate, 631-537-7773, corcoran.com/hamptons
MAUI, HI Designed by Hawaiian master architect Jeffrey Long and with interiors by Kimberly Howard, both of Long & Associates Architects and Interiors, this home is one of just four snugged into the exclusive gated Kapalua Resort. It’s sited on 28,000 square feet of beachfront land, with 120 feet of beachfront on Oneloa Bay, known for its spectacular shore breaks and views of the coastline and Molokai Island. It features a double-height indoor/outdoor living room with 18-foot corner pocket doors that open to ocean views. Also included: a custom gourmet kitchen, three oceanside suites with private lanais, and six bedrooms and baths. There’s a guest suite with a separate entrance, plus stone walls and double gates for maximum privacy. $20,880,000, Choi International Realty, 808-734-7711, choi-realty.com
Honorable Mansions To come up with our list of the Top 10 coastal homes for sale in the United States for the August/September issue of Ocean Home, we searched every coastal corner of the country and put our heads together with friends and colleagues in the real estate, architecture, and design industries. The Top 10 homes featured in the print edition impressed us most, but our search turned up a number of oceanfront homes that are spectacular in their own right. Browse those homes—Honorable Mansions, as we like to call them—here.
Palm Beach, FL If a single architect’s work epitomizes the look and feel of 1920s Palm Beach and Boca Raton, that would have to be the Spanish Revival and Mediterranean oeuvre of Addison Mizner. This 10-bedroom oceanfront home by the South Florida master has been in the same family since he designed and built it in 1919. It’s a villa with a name all its own—Louwana—and it comes with a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a cabana on 150 feet of private beach, all tucked away on 1.5 acres. The home is said to be exquisitely maintained and in museum-like condition. $22,000,000, Sotheby’s International Realty, 561-301-2211, sothebysrealty.com.
Sagaponack, NY Charles Gwathmey was a larger-than-life architect and a class act whose work was meticulous and elegantly proportioned all at once. One of the hallmarks of his Modernist designs was a deep understanding of the relationships between geometric forms. But, as this home demonstrates, at the heart of all his work lay a fundamental appreciation for art in architecture. It’s 8,000 square feet dedicated to integrating large works of art—whether paintings or sculptures—into its design. With seven bedrooms and 11.5 baths, it offers a floor-to-ceiling fireplace in a double-height dining room. Also included are a pool, tennis court, and immediate ocean access. $21,000,000, Sotheby’s International Realty, 515.527.7868, sothebysrealty.com.
Newport, RI Inspired by the 1920s New York apartment buildings of Italian-American architect Rosario Candela, Steven Brittan says he designed the 22-story Tower at Carnegie Abbey to last 2,000 years. It’s situated within a 400-acre private sporting club by the same name, one that specializes in golf, tennis, yachting, and equestrian sports. Its penthouse, completed in 2009, offers 1,785 square feet of balconies and roof deck alone. Inside, the remaining 6,735 square feet are home to six bedrooms, two dens, and 5.5 baths. Best of all, it’s the highest point in Newport County, RI. $7,900,000, Carnegie Abbey Private Estates & Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty, 401-848-2500, TheCarnegieAbbeyClub.com.
Newport Beach, CA Once a resort and now strictly residential, Linda Isle is a community laid out by planners in the shape of a horseshoe, yielding a dock for each lot. The isle is a guard-gated community of just 107 homes. On the prestigious western tip of the island—with 105 feet of water frontage—this home’s point location and private pier will accommodate a yacht up to 85 feet in length. With five bedrooms and eight baths, it features a swimming pool and a bayside patio that lends itself to vistas of sailboat races, morning workouts, and extraordinary sunsets. $11,900,000, Villa Real Estate, 949-717-6000, villarealestate.com/.
Malibu, CA Carbon Beach is distinctive not just for the rarified nature of its seascape, but for that of its residents, too. It’s known locally as “Billionaire’s Beach” because out of its 62 homes, at least 30 are owned by someone on the Forbes 400—the definitive list of wealth in America. Malibu architect Lester Tobias designed this 10,500-square-foot home on a site with 150 feet of beach frontage. It harkens back to the Shingle style of the Hamptons, but it’s also clad in white Texas limestone, with a slate roof. It features 3,800 square feet of deck, a 25-yard-long lap pool, a grassy side yard, nine bedrooms, and two offices. $37,995,000, William Chadwick, 310-456-3906, redfin.com.
Palm Beach, FL Not even Addison Mizner’s Mediterranean masterpieces are exempt to threats from the wrecking ball. Thankfully, his 1920 Costa Bella barely escaped that fate because of a Palm Beach couple who bought it in 1999, turned it 90 degrees, and moved it westward to a new site. They restored its coquina-stone-and-pink-stucco walls, its pecky-cypress beams and its carved-stone fireplace mantels. Today, it comprises 12,000 square feet on two levels, with a full basement that could house a gym or a theater. Included are eight bedrooms, a grand ballroom, a massive limestone stair hall, and ocean views. $8,950,000, Sotheby’s International Realty, 561-301-2060, sothebysrealty.com.
Wainscott, NY Renowned Hamptons builder Jeffrey Collé’s recent build at 18 Main Street in Wainscott is a study in detail, quality, craftsmanship, and design. The 6,800-square-foot Shingle-style mansion has six bedrooms and seven baths with 14-foot ceilings and four fireplaces, plus an abundance of indoor/outdoor space, including a swimming pool, a pool house with a kitchen, and a 2,400-square-foot terrace. In addition to spacious rooms, 18 Main also showcases the high-quality materials and thoughtful details for which Collé is known, such as antique cypress flooring, solid mahogany French doors, and hand-selected Carrara marble. $8,495,000, Corcoran Group Real Estate, corcoran.com. To view available properties by Jeffrey Collé, call 631-324-8500 or visit jeffreycolle.com.**This home recently sold within the last couple of weeks.
Santa Barbara, CA Sometimes promoted as the America Riviera, Santa Barbara is nestled in between the sharply rising Santa Ynez Mountains immediately to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. To take advantage of both, this 5,000-square-foot home is sited on 11 acres in Montecito. Moreover, it’s set up for equestrian pursuits, with a two-stall barn, tack room, and office. The main house features a master suite and two guest bedrooms; also included is a guest house and in-ground pool. But it’s the vistas—of mountains, valley, and ocean—that set this property apart from all others. $4,995,000, Sotheby’s International Realty, 805-689-5613, sothebysrealty.com.
J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications. He also publishes an online design magazine at architectsandartisans.com.