The Victorian village of Sea Cliff is an oasis that is unusual for a suburban place less than an hour from Manhattan. There are no stoplights in Sea Cliff, a close together village of pedestrian friendly narrow streets and a just slightly out of the way harbor side location.
Located 25 miles east of Manhattan and sitting atop a 120-foot bluff on the North Shore of Long Island, Sea Cliff is nestled along the shoreline of Long Island’s renowned “Gold Coast.” At only one square mile, Sea Cliff boasts its own beach, 16 neighborhood parks, and also borders the Harry Tappen Beach – a Town of Oyster Bay beach featuring 500 feet of shoreline. The Village’s Memorial Park, located at the intersection of Prospect and Sea Cliff Avenues, provides breathtaking views of Hempstead Harbor, Long Island Sound, and the New York and Connecticut shorelines.
Among its roughly 2000 residences, the village has cottages, bungalows and Victorians with granny porches packed together along the narrow streets at its heart, and larger Gothic and Victorian homes built into the hillside with commanding water views. People have gone to great lengths to keep the old world ambiance of these special homes. Strict architectural reviews and zoning requirements safeguard the quaintness of this gingerbread-laced Victorian village. The post-war part of the village is home to a mix of capes, colonials and split levels with the occasional contemporary.
In the mid 1800’s, Sea Cliff was a campground for Methodist revival meetings. Its close set tent sites eventually became lots for small bungalows that still exist today. By the end of the century, the place was a summer resort. City visitors arrived by steamship and stayed at village hotels or boarding houses, some of which have been converted to private homes. A Methodist Tabernacle built during the early campground days, was used as a summer theatre with noteworthy visitors to the village like Yul Brynner, Shirley Booth, and Basil Rathbone. Cole Porter spent summers here composing many of his musical masterpieces.
And today, the tradition continues. Sea Cliff is rich in the arts and music. On Thursday evenings during the summer, there are free concerts in Memorial Park. Sea Cliff beach has music on Friday evenings. There are many art shows and gallery openings around town, all complimentary and well attended by residents and friends alike, which makes Sea Cliff an artist’s haven in the middle of suburbia.