Finance blog Insider Monkey published a list of the most exclusive private clubs in the country, including The Union Club of New York, Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., and The California Club in Los Angeles, while Haute Living narrowed its focus to the top clubs in Dallas, with Dallas Country Club topping the list.
Insider Monkey, a finance blog, and city magazine Haute Living recently published lists of the country’s most exclusive private clubs.
Insider Monkey’s list spanned the U.S.:
11. Jonathan Club, Los Angeles, Santa Monica — With two locations, it offers its members a luxury experience they are accustomed to. Its beach clubhouse in Santa Monica is something most other clubs on our list don’t have and it’s one of the Jonathan Club’s main selling points.
10. The Knickerbocker Club, New York — The Knickerbocker Club was founded by dissatisfied members of the Union Club who felt that the Union’s admission standards were too low. Although two clubs reconciled their differences later and there was even talk of the merger back in the 1950s, in the end they remained separate entities with distinctive club policies.
9. The Algonquin Club, Boston — What started as the men’s business club is now one of the most diverse clubs on our list. Algonquin Club currently has reciprocal arrangements with more than 100 clubs around the world and is considered as one of the best connected private clubs in the world. Its 130-anniversary celebration in April 2016 was the highlight of the city’s season.
8. Bohemian Club, San Francisco — Unlike most clubs on the list, the Bohemian Club isn’t a place of business. In fact, it is highly frowned upon, in line with the club motto “Weaving spiders come not here.” The main clubhouse is located in downtown San Francisco, offering an urban retreat. It also has another clubhouse, called Bohemian Grove in Sonoma County, where members gather once a year for a two-week retreat and forget all their worries of everyday life.
7. The Somerset Club, Boston — In the 1940s, a fire broke out in the kitchen of the Somerset Club. It was in the middle of a dinner for members and their guests. So, the club’s president did the only reasonable thing. He led the firemen through the service entrance in the back so that esteemed gentlemen wouldn’t be disturbed by such base and trivial concerns as a fire on the premises. Those in the know claim that the club attitude hasn’t changed since.
6. The Duquesne Club, Pittsburgh — Founded in 1873, the club has since grown to one of the best retreats for corporate elite in the United States. The unparalleled luxury it offers to its members has ensured that the club has been voted the best city club in America several times and is constantly in top three.
5. The University Club of Washington, D.C. — Located about half a mile north of the White House, the University Club of Washington, D.C. is one of the most exclusive private clubs in the nation’s capital. Much of its fame is owed to its first president, William Howard Taft, a man behind the club’s motto: “Enter all of ye who have a degree of good fellowship and learning.” Like other university clubs in the country, you have to own a university-level degree in any field before you are even considered for a membership.
4. Union League of Philadelphia — Founded in 1862, the Union League currently holds the first place on the Five Star Platinum Club list, based on amenities it offers to its members. Ever since its origins, one of the main pillars of its policies was the strong support for the US armed forces, depicted by two statues in front of its building. It is one of the rare private clubs that allows public access and tours throughout its facilities.
3. The California Club, Los Angeles — The old saying goes: “The people who run Los Angeles belong to the Jonathan Club. The people who own Los Angeles belong to the California Club.” From a humble start above the local stables, California Club has grown into one of the most iconic powerhouses in California. Its members are the movers and shakers of not only Los Angeles but the entire Golden State. California Club clubhouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a home to a very valuable art collection, gathered throughout club’s history.
2. Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C. — It is said that a sure sign of someone’s success in Washington, DC is a membership in Cosmos Club. Considering that past members include four presidents, 12 Supreme Court Justices and more than 30 Nobel Prize winners, we’d have to agree with that. It has played an integral part in the country’s history, with National Geographic and Wilderness Society both founded on its premises.
1. The Union Club, New York — One of the oldest private clubs in the United States, the Union Club changed several locations before finally settling on its current one. Although the club changed buildings, its strong conservative values remained unwavering throughout its history. One of the most controversial decisions in the club’s history is the one refusing to expel Confederate members after the beginning of the Civil War. This led to a strife among the membership and some of them went on to form other clubs, like Knickerbocker Club. The Union Club managed to recover from this setback and is currently considered the most exclusive private club in America.
The Haute Living list focused on the private clubs of Dallas:
1. Dallas Country Club — Founded in 1896, Dallas Country Club is one of Dallas’ most luxurious private, full service social clubs, located on over 117 acres of land. With its rich history, superior amenities and central location, only minutes from the heart of the city, it is the ideal place for a club membership.
2. Brook Hollow Golf Club — Offering very limited memberships, Brook Hollow Golf Club was established in 1920 and has generations of loyal patrons including a full array of most of the who’s who in Dallas society. A private golf club, it also offers its members world-class sporting facilities for tennis, swimming and wellness. Not forgetting to cater to its epicures, the club also provides casual and formal dining featuring fine cuisine.
3. Lakewood Country Club — Lakewood Country Club was built in 1912 in a growing East Dallas neighborhood among picturesque woodlands. Known as on of the oldest and best clubs in the Southwest, it became the spot for Dallas’ second 18-hole golf course. In 1944, renowned golfer, Byron Nelson won the Victory Open on its course, which would later become the Byron Nelson Classic. The membership is by invitation only.
4. Old Parkland — Once a teaching hospital the campus has been completely restored merging past, present and future by creating a poignant symbol of progress. Renovations were completed in 2008. Vibrantly brought back to life, Old Parkland now boast memberships from some of strongest business minds in the city. From traditional boardrooms to casual indoor taverns the campus exudes a spirit that is suitable for any event and with a long list of amenities one will never feel like it’s just another day at the office.
5. The Vaquero Club — The Vaquero Club is one of the most unique clubs. It is located in a neighborhood that is situated on a secluded, pristine ranch with acres of rolling hills. At the heart of the property is a golf course designed by Tom Fazio. The environment surrounding the property make it an ideal spot for relaxation. It is a place where time slows down and the simple things in life are enjoyed. This club is the ideal place for family and a carefree lifestyle.