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With its majestic Victorian homes, breathtaking views of Hempstead Harbor and the Sound, and vibrant, eclectic arts community, the village of Sea Cliff on Long Island’s North Shore makes the perfect day trip destination.
Factor in the cool hint of fall and its transformational amber-crimson hues upon the foliage and ocean-drenched setting sun, and curious travelers get a kaleidoscope of natural wonder and seaside bliss not soon to be forgotten.
Sea Cliff, nestled atop a towering 120-foot bluff overlooking Hempstead Harbor and the Sound, juts up toward the horizon as if some fairytale kingdom from a storybook, alive with character and splendor. It is perhaps Long Island’s most renowned artist colony, and thus, replete with shops and galleries and interesting people who view this realm through watercolor lenses. There are periodic arts and crafts fairs, gallery and antique shows, festivals, and music—whether scheduled concerts in any one of the village’s 16 beautific parks, on the Harry Tappen Beach, or smaller spontaneous gigs inside its watering holes and along its sidewalks.
To venture here, dear dreamers, you’ll need a suitable set of wheels. The 2016 Hyundai Veloster may be just what the doctor ordered—in orange, to match the turning leaves!
Boasting style, safety and signature character, this roomy, sporty, three-door turbocharged ride is a hip new auto vision and any artist’s four-wheeled masterpiece. It’s also loaded with the largest standard multimedia touchscreen in its class!
When you cruise into town you’ll undoubtedly notice those gorgeous, gigantic 19th century Victorian homes lining much of Sea Cliff’s winding, hilly streets and roads. Wave hello to the locals as you cruise Sea Cliff Avenue and The Boulevard, two of the neighborhood’s main drags. You might just receive a “Hellooo Thar!” back from current and/or former residents Natalie Portman, John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, Pulitzer Prize winner Don Fagin or funnywoman Kate McKinnon—just some of the village’s all-star cast. You might even catch Sea Cliff resident and renowned Theodore Roosevelt impersonator Mr. James Foote strolling around, reciting famous quotes from out beloved 26th president and perhaps expounding upon TR’s famed Bull Moose Party—fascinating stuff!
What’s that you say? A bit hungry from your trek? You’ll want to make a stop at any of Sea Cliff’s many restaurants then, of course!
If sushi’s your thang, hit up Musu! Owned by Sea Cliff natives, all their rolls are named after really great rock and roll songs! You don’t have to be a Led Zeppelin fan (Though you most definitely should!) to try their luscious Stairway To Heaven, or a Stones fan to devour their StickyFingers roll. But you’re more a Beatles girl? Try the scrumptious Hey Jude roll and you’ll be singing! Their Phish Sandwich, China Doll, Foxy Lady and Imagine—well you’ll just have to experience these rockers to truly understand. (Ingredients are deliberately not being included in any of this blog’s food suggestions as to fully entice you to stop in and try them for yourself! Yes, we’re sorta cruel like that lol)
Whether it’s lunch, drinks, dinner or breakfast—they’ve got a killer Sunday brunch, too, FYI—the Oak Room Tavern should also be a must-stop. Yes, they serve such a creation as a Skillet Cookie—a chocolate chip cookie smothered in vanilla ice cream, yup, served in a skillet!
Named after the small ancient town on the east coast of Sicily, Taormina boasts quality, authentic Italian cuisine, whether a full-course Chicken Parmigiana platter or some scintillating pie slices. A wee bit thirsty? Head down to K.C. Gallagher’s Pub, where the fresh beverages, quality bar food and great conversations never run dry!
Strolling along and decide you want a trim? Stop in Bart’s Barber Shop, a true Sea Cliff institution for more than 75 years, and say hello! Ask about the time Portman swung through for a Mohawk! Yes, this lil village is so full of surprises!
When you’re through with your special day and have strolled along plenty of Sea Cliff’s many mom-and-pops shops, boutiques and eateries, head over to Sunset Park for one of the most spectacular displays of Mother Nature’s absolute violet-pink glory as she sets the glowing sun back into the watery depths of Hempstead Harbor and the Long Island Sound, those gorgeous hues all melting and swirling amid the multi-colored waves as the starlight melts away into moonlight like some sort of cosmic watercolor painting.
Yes, Sea Cliff is truly such a magical place—and remember, you need only stop by NY Auto Giant’s Advantage Hyundai in Hicksville to get behind the wheel of an equally mesmerizing 2016 Hyundai Veloster to transport you and your loved ones to this dreamy realm!