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Published by Contour Mortgage on December 20 2023

Shorefront Delight: Your Guide to Owning a Second Home in Nassau County's Beach Communities

For generations, holidaymakers have sought refuge and relaxation along the pristine shores of Long Island. This storied coastline, a blend of tranquil beaches and vibrant communities, has not only been a beloved escape for New Yorkers but also a favored destination for the rich and famous.

The allure of Nassau County's beach communities lies in their unique blend of natural beauty and proximity to New York City, making the region a prime location for those dreaming of a second home by the sea. 

In this guide, we'll explore some of Nassau County’s most desirable beach communities that make owning a second home here not just a purchase but a delight. 

Nassau County Beaches

Nassau County is nestled between the exhilarating Atlantic coastline to the south and the tranquil bays of the Long Island Sound to the north. Each area offers signature beach experiences. 

South Shore 

The barrier islands and spits of the county’s sunny South Shore offer white sandy beaches, inviting waters, and wispy dunes. Across the inland bays, lush wetlands serve as protected natural habitats for local wildlife, including warblers, thrushes, and other migratory birds.

Beaches here一often bustling with locals and tourists一are some of the most scenic in the country and serve as hubs for swimming, surfing, sunbathing, and other water sports. Many include boardwalks, playgrounds, and adjacent park areas for recreational activities such as volleyball, miniature golf, and hiking.

North Shore 

Along the North Shore, scenic coastal lowlands give way to a handful of bays peppered with rocky inlets and intimate sandy coves. It’s no wonder the area was home to some of America’s wealthiest dynasties and the inspirational setting for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s epic novel of early 20th-century wealth and illusion, “The Great Gatsby.” 

North Shore beaches are ideal for various activities, such as swimming, snorkeling, boating, fishing, and water skiing. The off-season can be the perfect time for long strolls along the coast and some of the best beachcombing around. 

Selecting the Right Beach Community

Choosing the ideal beach community for a second home hinges on personal preferences related to beach characteristics, community ambiance, affordability, and accessibility to major thoroughfares. Here are a few worth considering:

South Shore Beach Communities

Long Beach

Known as the “City by the Sea,” Long Beach is a vibrant community celebrated for its stunning oceanfront beaches and two-mile-long boardwalk. To the north, the island is bordered with homes and private docks.

The city has an urban feel with a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and coffee shops, primarily along its two major east-west arteries, Park Avenue and West Beech Street. On summer weekends, arts and crafts fairs add to the area's lively atmosphere. 

Long Beach has a range of housing options, including single-family homes, condos, and duplexes. 

Access to the area is a cinch via the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). From the Long Beach Station, New York’s Penn Station is a quick 55-minute train ride away.

The drive is about 27 miles, though the duration is heavily traffic dependent. The Atlantic Beach Toll Bridge一a drawbridge一is the primary approach from the west and costs $3.00 - $4.00 depending on residency. Long Beach can also be accessed from the Long Beach Bridge (a free drawbridge) via the Loop Parkway near Point Lookout.

What You Need to Know - Long Beach

Population* Median Home Value* Housing Beaches
1,168 $827,300 Beach cottages, bungalows with a few more upscale homes 

Long Beach

Ocean Beach Park

* Niche.com (Long Beach, NY)

Lido Beach

Lido Beach’s laid-back vibe and scenic landscape make it a favorite among South Shore beaches. White sandy shores and welcoming waters are made for fun days in the sun. Live afternoon concerts in the adjacent tent keep the festivities going. 

Known as exceptionally family friendly and quieter than neighboring Long Beach, Lido Beach is dotted with parks, picnic areas, and playgrounds that offer a perfect blend of relaxation and recreation. Bocce, shuffleboard, and ball courts are also nearby. Additionally, Lido Golf Club is among the most popular public courses in the county. 

The town offers a handful of local seafood restaurants, cafes, and shops, with more to choose from just next door in Long Beach.

Housing ranges from condo complexes一some with luxurious amenities一to single-family homes, including renovated 1960s colonials and 1930s ranch homes and stately shoreline properties.

The LIRR Long Beach station is two miles west, making access to Manhattan a breeze. The drive to the city averages about 45 minutes, though is highly traffic dependent.  

What You Need to Know - Lido Beach

Population* Median Home Value* Housing Beaches
2,886 $721,000 Broad range of single-family homes, condos

Lido Beach District Park

Nickerson Beach 

Malibu Shore Club

* Niche.com (Lido Beach, NY)

Point Lookout 

This tiny hamlet of only 0.2 square miles has a small-town feel and a close-knit community. Unspoiled white beaches and grassy dunes wrap around its eastern point, providing swimming in both the Jones Inlet and Atlantic Ocean. Marinas and fishing docks face the Reynolds Channel to the north where you can enjoy the day’s fresh catch at one of the several bayside restaurants.

A small commercial district with shops, cafes, and restaurants sits on Bayside Drive, and the Meadowbrook State Parkway provides residents easy access via the Loop Parkway to mainland Long Island and New York. The closest LIRR station is the Long Beach station, three miles to the west. 

Housing consists primarily of one and two-story cottages and colonial-style single-family homes. Many have been updated with contemporary design and modern amenities.

What You Need to Know - Point Lookout

Population* Median Home Value* Housing Beaches
1,168 $827,300 Beach cottages, bungalows with a few more upscale homes 

Town Park at Point Lookout 

* Niche.com (Point Lookout, NY)

Wantagh (Jones Beach)

While not strictly a shoreline community, the hamlet of Wantagh houses the world-famous seaside destination, Jones Beach. There, you can enjoy over six miles of oceanfront, white-sand beaches, nearly all your favorite water sports, a bustling boardwalk, and a host of adjacent recreational activities, restaurants, and attractions. There’s even a 15,000-seat amphitheater that hosts some of the biggest names in music and entertainment.

Renowned for its welcoming, family-oriented atmosphere, Wantagh boasts an array of residential areas, offering cozy starter homes to more spacious and upscale residences, with a few multi-family homes and condos.

The hamlet includes several small businesses, boutiques, and eateries, mainly concentrated along Wantagh Avenue, the community's primary artery. This blend of local enterprises enhances Wantagh’s quaint and inviting small-town feel.

The LIRR's Babylon Branch services the area via the Wantagh station, offering express trains to Penn Station with an average journey time of around 45 minutes. 

Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) provides bus services, and driving time to the city takes 45 minutes or more, depending on traffic.

What You Need to Know - Wantagh

Population* Median Home Value* Housing Beaches
18,331 $568,900 Single-family houses, some condos and multi-family homes

Jones Beach State Park

* Niche.com (Wantagh, NY)


North Shore Beach Communities 


Renowned for its beautiful beaches with scenic views of the Long Island Sound, this charming coastal village offers a peaceful seaside lifestyle with the convenience of local businesses, eateries, and nearby urban amenities. Culturally, the area is close-knit, with community-based seasonal festivals and parades, among other events.

The area features a variety of recreational facilities, including parks, marinas, and beachfronts that cater to outdoor activities like boating, fishing, and swimming. 

Bayville housing mainly consists of single-family homes, from Nantucket-style to renovated colonials, ranches, and beach cottages. 

Travel to the city is relatively easy via the NICE bus to the LIRR (with stations in nearby Oyster Bay or Glen Cove), with a total travel time of about 90 minutes. By car, the trip can take a little longer depending on traffic. The most direct route is Northern Boulevard (Route 25A) to the Long Island Expressway.

What You Need to Know - Bayville

Population* Median Home Value* Housing Beaches
6,780 $591,400 Primarily single-family homes

Ransom Beach

* Niche.com (Bayville, NY). 

Port Washington 

Port Washington spans the two-mile width of Cow Neck Peninsula in the northwestern county region, reportedly depicted as the aristocratic “old money” community of East Egg in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”

Manhasset Bay borders the village to the west and Hempstead Harbor to the east. It’s known for its historical architecture, cultural richness, and diverse array of dining and shopping options. In addition to several marinas, yacht clubs, a golf course, and waterfront parks, Port Washington also includes a picturesque beachfront along the shores of Hempstead Harbor. It has a swimming area, picnic space, a boat ramp, fishing access, and a popular promenade.

Slightly farther north, the Sands Point Preserve offers a window into the region's luxurious history, showcasing magnificent mansions and scenic hiking paths.

A variety of housing is available in the village, including colonial and Tudor-style single-family houses, condos, townhomes, multi-family homes, and apartments.

New York City is easily accessible via the LIRR or by car, with an average drive time of 90 minutes. 

What You Need to Know - Port Washington

Population* Median Home Value* Housing Beaches
16,807 $871,100 Single-family houses, condos, townhomes, and multi-family homes

North Hempstead Beach Park 

* Niche.com (Port Washington, NY)

Oyster Bay (Hamlet)

Oyster Bay hamlet (Oyster Bay), within the broader Oyster Bay town, is a small community on the northern shore of the larger Town of Oyster Bay, which stretches north to south across the county.

It's known for its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and maritime vibe. The hamlet has a charming downtown with various shops, restaurants, and historic sites, reflecting its colonial and maritime heritage. Oyster Bay is also home to several historical landmarks, including the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum, Raynham Hall Museum一significant for its role in the Revolutionary War一and Teddy Roosevelt’s summer home, Sagamore Hill

The area also boasts beautiful beaches and parks, offering a range of outdoor activities like boating, fishing, and hiking. 

Housing can range from historic late Victorian homes with wrap-around porches to new construction single-family homes and condos.

Travel to the city is convenient, with an LIRR station in town. The journey to Penn Station takes about 75 minutes. Under normal traffic conditions, the drive from Oyster Bay to midtown Manhattan can take approximately one to two hours. 

What You Need to Know - Oyster Bay

Population** Median Home Value* Housing Beaches
300,743 $589,900 Modern and historic single family homes, and condos 

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park

Stehli Beach 

* Data reflects larger Oyster Bay town demographics and statistics.

** Niche.com (Town of Oyster Bay, NY)


The Takeaway

Nassau County's beach communities offer a captivating blend of natural beauty, historic charm, and coastal living. Whether you prefer the bustling South Shore with its vibrant communities or the more tranquil North Shore with its scenic coves and inlets, Nassau County has it all. 

If you’re considering purchasing a second home in the region, loan officers in our Garden City, Huntington, and  Levittown offices are authorities in the area and can provide expert guidance on the best financing for your dream coastal getaway.

Contact Contour Mortgage to learn how we can help with financing requirements, qualifications, and questions.

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