Summer Getaway: Dreamy House On Shelter Island

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 HOT HOUSE: 7 Clinton Avenue, Shelter Island, New York, 11964

Gingerbread Victorian, circa 1890, restored. 1,799 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, with harbor views.  Quarter acre landscaped lot. Walk to town, ferry, marina, tennis, beach: $825,000

What: A dreamy Victorian cottage, with wrap-around porch and nice views of Dering Harbor and Gardiner’s Bay in the Long Island Sound. Masses of blue hydrangeas flank a white picket fence.  Shady backyard with brick patio and plenty of room for a garden – or not.  From the front porch, you enter the living room and walk through to the kitchen and a den at the back of the house. Hardwood floors throughout. Fireplace in the living room.  The kitchen is modest but  functional –  updated, and big enough for a table, but no fancy appliances. The upstairs bedrooms are small and sweetly tucked under the eves. The master bedroom has a balcony porch with views of the harbor and bay. There is much you could do here, by way of renovation, but nothing that you need to do. In many ways, a perfect beach house.

Where: Shelter Island is a quiet, beachy enclave located between the two forks of Long Island. It’s accessible by a short (five minute) ferry rides from either Greenport on the north fork, or North Haven (Sag Harbor) on the south fork. The north fork of Long Island is still mostly farmland, with a certain amount of rural authenticity. It’s greener, and five or ten degrees cooler than the Maryland Eastern Shore. From Baltimore, it’s a short flight to Islip airport (Southwest has several flights a day) and a one hour drive to Shelter Island from there. Or, take a six hour drive up 95 to the New Jersey Turnpike, over the Verrazano Bridge and out the Belt Parkway to Rt. 27 (Montauk Highway). At Greenport, take the ferry to Shelter Island. Clinton Avenue is in the Heights, an oldest part of the island, and number seven is one of many similarly pretty houses here. There are fun bars and restaurants on the island, a couple of grocery stores and a nice selection of shops, but no Tory Burch, Michael Kors, etc. The Shelter Island Yacht Club is old and respected, there is a nine-hole golf course and a wildlife sanctuary. About an hour to East Hampton, two and a half to Manhattan.

 Who: Baltimoreans unafraid of possible encounters with New Yorkers on the beach.

 Why:  A safe, family friendly place with a little buzz and a few celebs, but without the fabulousness of the Hamptons or Nantucket summer scene. Great sailing, fishing, biking, eating and drinking. The North Fork is becoming an east coast wine destination, with some very high end and groovy restaurants.

 Why Not: Probably too far for a weekend house. Long Island Sound beaches don’t get the big waves and dramatic surf of the ocean beaches.

 NB: No central air, but you might not need it with water breezes and all that porch.

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