Historical homes can be found all over Long Island, but there is a handful of towns where large pockets have been gracefully preserved.

"Port Jefferson is really a gem," says Wally Broege, director of the Suffolk County Historical Society. Many streets are lined with late- 1800s Victorians loaded with exterior charm, such as oversized porches and gingerbread woodwork.

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Riverhead was established in 1792 and remained the center of the Island's business industry through the 1800s. Even though the population growth ultimately shifted west, historical office buildings still stand downtown and along streets like Griffing Avenue, Broege says. Several Victorians, Colonials and other old homes built then remain as well.

Some 75 percent of the houses in Sea Cliff are more than 100 years old, says Terri Sciubba of Sherlock Homes Realty Corp. In its early days, Sea Cliff was a summer community for city dwellers. Today, quiet residential streets are lined with stately Colonials and Victorians, several listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The community's character has been kept intact largely by active village planning and architectural review boards, Sciubba says.

Also try: Northport, Bellport, Roslyn Heights, Southold, East Hampton.