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Residents of Bay Shore enjoy the quiet life of a small town along with easy access to nearby beaches and a convenient commute to New York City. This picturesque waterfront community, known as "The Heart of the South Shore," embraces a diverse population of about 25,000. Bay Shore proudly provides a an excellent quality of life in a friendly environment.
Brick walkways, ornamental lampposts and decorative planters line the well-kept, winding Main Street, where specialty shops and family businesses share space with national chains, attracting residents and visitors alike. Tree-lined neighborhood streets showcase a variety of architectural styles, including some of the grand mansions from the late 1800s when Bay Shore thrived as a resort community.
Located 42 miles east of Manhattan and 75 miles west of Montauk, the seven-square-mile community sits within the Town of Islip in Suffolk County. Bay Shore fronts the Great South Bay and Fire Island to the south. West Islip, Brightwaters and West Bay Shore surround it to the west, while Brentwood and Deer Park border it to the north and Islip sits to its east.
As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Bay Shore, NY is $1,347 for a studio, $1,584 for one bedroom, and $2,029 for two bedrooms. Apartment rent in Bay Shore has increased by 3.7% in the past year.
You don't have to go far in Bay Shore to please a wide variety of tastes, as dozens of great restaurants line Main Street. Head to The Pie at Salvatore's for coal-fired pizza with a perfectly prepared thin crust. This traditional pizzeria also features eggplant Parmesan, made with thinly sliced eggplant stacked four-to-five layers high.
For fine dining without the frills, try Tullulah's. Like many of the newer restaurants in the area, Tullulah's focuses on small plates meant for sharing. While some have a more formal setting, Tullulah's features a casual environment. The outdoor seating area feels like sitting in a friend's backyard, the drinks come in mason jars, and the staff wear black T-shirts. Tullulah's chef takes risks that pay off, pairing unusual combinations for flavorful results. Whether you try the cod belly, chorizo, rabbit stew or lobster agnolotti or you just stick with mac and cheese and bread pudding, you won't be disappointed. The menu changes seasonally, and locals love some off-menu surprises, such as Cap'n Crunch French toast at brunch.
For classic Long Island seafood, look no further than The Chowder Bar. Drop in for a bowl of its renowned soup before getting on a ferry at the nearby terminal. The menu features house specials, such as shrimp Parmesan and broiled flounder. This restaurant lives up to its motto: "Once you've nibbled, we'll have you hooked."
For dessert, stop into Coyle's Homemade Ice Cream on Howells Road. Choose from more than 20 flavors of fresh, creamy ice cream, including specialty flavors such as banana Oreo, Mississippi mud or cherry pistachio. Savor your frozen treat in the retro atmosphere featuring booths on one side and a soda fountain on the other.
Despite its small town atmosphere, Bay Shore's nightlife holds something for everyone. Start off at The Cortland on Main Street, which features craft beers, unique infused liquors and spiked shakes. This hipster-style spot offers magic shows, live music every Wednesday and the area's only weekly Paper Rock Scissors tournament.
If your musical tastes are a little edgier, visit Even Flow Bar and Grill. This local hot spot hosts an eclectic range of artists performing alternative, electronica and other youth-oriented musical genres. While you're there, be sure to check out the award-winning spicy and barbecue buffalo wings.
Early residents of Bay Shore earned their livelihoods by fishing, clamming and salt hay harvesting. When the railroad arrived in the mid-1800s, Bay Shore became a summer resort. However, when rail service expanded after World War I, tourists migrated east to the Hamptons. Movies replaced tourism as a major industry when the Vitagraph Film Studio opened in 1915.
In the 1960s, Bay Shore fell on hard times and began a 20-year downturn. The community started to rezone, beautify and renew its spirit in the 1990s, which spurred downtown business and residential growth.
Founded in 1985, the Bay Shore Historical Society preserves and displays many historical artifacts from the community at the Gibson-Mack-Holt House, a former residence built around 1820. You can also tour the grand Sagtikos Manor, built in 1692.
In 1998, the band shell in the center of town opened for summer concerts, celebrations and parades. Additionally, Bay Shore hosts two major annual events: a Fourth of July celebration and an Arts and Crafts Festival in September.
For the best local cultural events, visit the state-of-the-art YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts on Main Street. The 261-seat stadium-style center stages theatrical productions, concerts, film, dance, cabaret, jazz, children’s entertainment and more, including YMCA cultural arts events, lectures and seminars. In addition to entertainment, the Boulton Center reaches out to the community with classes in music, film, dance and spoken word.
You can easily navigate Bay Shore by car. The Long Island Expressway, the Southern State Parkway and Sunrise Highway run east and west on Long Island, providing easy access to the towns and villages on the south shore. Seven bridges and two tunnels connect Long Island to New York City. Locally, Montauk Highway (New York State Route 27) becomes Main Street. Along with Main Street, Union Boulevard, Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue serve as the main arteries in town. You can park in metered lots downtown or on the street, but read the parking signs carefully to avoid getting a ticket.
A friendly community for walkers or bikers, Bay Shore's flat terrain makes it easy to step or peddle your way around. The entire downtown area, with its clusters of popular restaurants and stores along Main Street, can be walked without difficulty. The area does include bike trails but has no bike lanes.
Train travel plays an important role in the community. The Long Island Rail Road whisks commuters to New York City in a little more than an hour from the refurbished Bay Shore station, which lies within walking distance of the downtown area. The train also connects residents to many other towns on both the north and south shores as well as the center of the island.
Other ways to get around include a public bus service provided by the Suffolk Transportation Service, and the Fire Island Ferries, which carry passengers from Bay Shore to Saltaire, Ocean Beach, Alantique, Kismet, Dunewood, Fair Harbor, Seaview and Ocean Bay Park. The ferries leave from a terminal within walking distance of downtown. Several taxi companies serve the Bay Shore area, but you may need to call one rather than trying to hail one on the street. Uber does not offer service in Bay Shore.
The cost of living in Bay Shore sits at 51 percent higher than the national average and 24 percent higher than the New York state average. You can expect to pay approximately $1,500 for a one-bedroom apartment.
Getting around costs more as well, as gas runs about 11 percent higher than the national average. Commuting on the train to Penn Station costs $17.50 for a peak fare and $12.75 off peak if you buy your ticket at the station. Monthly passes are available for $363. If, instead, you decide to stay put and go out for a few beers with friends, budget about $6 per bottle.
Shopping options abound in and around Bay Shore. Tucked among several chain stores in the downtown area on Main Street, discover local gems such as Nook & Cranny Gifts and Earth'n Vessel Pottery Studio. Customers rely on Nook & Cranny for unique jewelry, handbags, baby gifts and more at reasonable prices. At Earth'n Vessel, find one-of-a-kind handmade pieces or even take a pottery class and make your own.
The clusters of shops on Sunrise Highway make running errands quick and easy. The South Shore Mall includes Macy's and Lord & Taylor among its anchor stores. Also on Sunrise, Long Island Boot and Leather provides customers with personal help finding just the right boots or leather jacket.
A little farther west on Sunrise Highway lies the 300,000-square foot Gardiner Manor shopping complex, featuring large chain retailers such as Target and Barnes & Noble. Travel further north on Sunrise to reach Westfield South Shore Mall. Just outside Bay Shore, the Tanger Outlets in Deer Park showcase a number of discount designer retailers.
Local grocers include the Pathmark on Sunrise Highway or the Super Stop & Shop on Main Street for basics, fresh baked goods, flowers and organic produce. Fresh farm produce reigns on Long Island, and many towns host farmer's markets. The nearest one to Bay Shore lies on Montauk Highway in Islip. Visit the market there in the Town Hall parking lot on Saturday mornings from May to November.
Beaches, public parks and marinas form a way of life in Bay Shore. Residents have access to bay and ocean beaches as well as thousands of acres of parkland and wildlife conservation preserves. Notably, the Bay Shore Marina hosts renowned boat shows and fishing tournaments. Some people fish the area for pleasure, and others as a livelihood, as boats head out daily in search of flounder, fluke and bass.
Gardiner Park, a 230-acre, nature-oriented public park on Montauk Highway, originally belonged to the Sagtikos Manor estate. Explore the park's nature trails or work out on its fitness trail. Bring your dog for a hike or a swim in the bay. If you forget a clean-up bag, this dog-friendly park provides them.
With its close proximity to both Robert Moses Beach and Jones Beach, warm summer days lure families to the soft sands and refreshing cool waters of Fire Island. Swim, fish, picnic or take the kids to the playground while enjoying Robert Moses State Park, or play golf at the 18-hole golf course located there. The park does not allow pets, and you must pay $8 to $10 per car to enter, depending on the day of the week.
Heckscher State Park in East Islip offers 1,600 acres with stunning views of the Great South Bay and Fire Island. The park includes shady picnic groves, large open fields for soccer, cricket, lacrosse and more, as well as four miles of paved trails for bikers, joggers and walkers. The park accesses the Great South Bay, so visitors can swim, kayak, canoe, paddle board and more. Dogs are allowed, but they must be leashed.
Homes for Rent in Bay Shore, NY
Maybe you’re tired of apartment living, maybe you want more space, or maybe you’ve just always dreamed of living in a house. Whatever it is, you’re looking for houses for rent in Bay Shore to find your next home. A rental house is the perfect place to make your own, with plenty of space for your family to grow. With hundreds of thousands of active listings all across the country, Apartments.com can help you find the perfect NY house for rent near you. Click on any rental house listing to find out more about the neighborhood, house features, nearby transit, parking, and more. Take a look at photos, too, and start envisioning how you’ll make your new Bay Shore rental house into a home. Let Apartments.com be your foundation while you search for your new rental home in Bay Shore, NY.
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