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THE SCOOP Norman Rockwell would have had a grand time capturing Cold Spring Harbor on canvas. This community -- nestled in the wooded hills of the North Shore -- is all about charm and old-fashioned family fun.
With a picturesque harbor serving as a backdrop, the community is popular for its waterside park and historic downtown, dotted in part with boutiques, antiques shops and eateries. "Cold Spring Harbor has so much character and history," says Pamela Doyle of Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty, noting it was once a whaling village.
The Cold Spring Harbor Main Street Association plans festive events throughout the year, such as sidewalk sales with live music, a Halloween dog parade and holiday celebrations, says Elena D'Agostino of Signature Premier Properties.
The Cold Spring Harbor Library and Environmental Center on Harbor Road have water views. "It's off the charts," D'Agostino says, citing its beauty and program offerings.
The community also is home to the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium, an environmental education center, and the Nature Conservancy's Uplands Farm Nature Sanctuary. The Dolan DNA Learning Center, which focuses on genetics education, is a unit of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (in neighboring Laurel Hollow).
As for housing, Colonials rule, though other styles can be found. While buyers can find 2- and 4-acre parcels, properties closer to the village tend to be smaller. The community has been attracting a lot of young families from the city, Doyle says.
SALES PRICE From June 1, 2012, to July 31, 2013, there were 50 sales with a median price of $1,072,500, according to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island data. The low price was $260,000, and the high was $4 million. From June 1, 2011, to July 31, 2012, there were 36 sales. The median price was $950,000, with a low of $500,000 and a high of $5.3 million.
ATTRACTIONS The school district; Billy Joel Park; the Whaling Museum, the Eagle Dock Beach Association.
COLD SPRING HARBOR STATS
Area: 3.7 square miles
ZIP code: 11724
Median age: 42.5
Median household income: $134,831
Median home value: $1,047,000*
LIRR time to NYC: 50 minutes to 65 minutes at peak
Monthly ticket: $325
School district: Cold Spring Harbor
SOURCES: 2010 Census; mlsli.com; LIRR;
*Based on sales in the past six months, according to MLSLI