“For us, it’s a refuge,” Mr. Rudary said.
While most people have heard of the Hamptons and the Catskills, there are many towns that may be overlooked in a house hunt simply because they are lesser known.
Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon, real estate brokers in Manhattan, grew tired of commuting to the Hamptons, so last year they built an 11,000-square-foot house on the Long Island Sound, in the estate section of Nissequogue village, 54 miles from the city.
“Long Island is not a flyover state,” said Mr. Conlon, 42, who grew up in Nissequogue. But he and Mr. Postilio, 49, said that drivers heading east along the Long Island Expressway don’t have any idea how beautiful many of the areas in Suffolk County are, simply because they don’t have a reason to get off the highway.
The couple browse in the antiques shops in quaint St. James village, spot deer in their yard and enjoy their private beach about 40 steps down a high bluff. “This is perfect for people who aren’t looking for a scene,” said Mr. Postilio, adding that while he loved the Hamptons, he didn’t want to buy a house there. Too much traffic, and too much of New York at the beach.
An additional perk of buying a weekend house an hour from the city is that it makes for a popular rental listing on Airbnb. Daniel Fries, 49, a filmmaker, and his wife, Hana Shimizu, 37, a producer, live in Chinatown with their two young children, but they longed for “a place to escape the crowds and the smell of trash in summertime,” Mr. Fries said. For years, they rented weekend houses on Airbnb in Ulster and Dutchess Counties, but found many of them disappointing.
The couple wanted a weekend house of their own — one they could enjoy or rent on Airbnb when they weren’t there, to help pay the mortgage. Mr. Fries became enamored of three acres of lakefront land in Pound Ridge; on the property was a dilapidated house that needed a major face-lift, but the couple was undaunted. They bought it in 2016, for $650,000.
The first year, while the house was being renovated, they visited every weekend in the summer. Mr. Fries and Ms. Shimizu set up a platform near the house, outfitting it with a big safari tent, so they could camp there.