8.9 out of 10

Locust Valley

40.8786448058498 -73.5853433911128
Great for
  • Parking
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Schools
  • Eating Out
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Public Transport
  • Shopping Options
  • Childcare
  • Cost of Living
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in Locust Valley..."

Thursday, July 23, 2014, 8:00pm
Thomas Park

The Chamber, in conjunction with the Town of Oyster Bay, is sponsoring a movie night in Thomas Park on Thursday, July 23rd at 8:00 pm. The movie is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Thomas Park is located adjacent to the Long Island Railroad station.

Come on down!
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
2yrs+

"Small Town Charm"

Locust Valley has all the charm of a small town but with New York City a stone's throw away, we have access to all the cultural, travel and retail opportunities of a large city.

The Locust Valley Central School District was recently rated one of the top 200 public schools in the United States by the Washington Post. We have wonderful parks, lots of open space, some of the best restaurants on Longs Island, several Antique stores and extremely talented Interior Decorators. What's not to like?
Pros
  • beautiful
  • quiet
  • Great Restaurants
  • Antiques
  • Shopping
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Lock-jawed, But Not Land-locked"

Locust Valley is often characterized as the place where WASPs are overbred to the point of caricature, and everyone looks and talks like Mr. and Mrs. Howell on Gilligan’s Island. Actually, this is somewhat true, although the last 20 or 30 years has seen an influx of (not always welcomed) new blood.

Jim Backus, who played Thurston Howell III, did a dead-on imitation of Locust Valley Lockjaw, the languid, teeth-clenched, “r”-less speech pattern common throughout this part of the North Shore of Long Island. If you grew up here, it takes determination not to jettison the accent once you leave; drop a few “tomahto”s and “vahse”s and “rahthah”s in a mixed crowd, and you will become the subject of such hilarity that soon you will find your jaw flapping about like the rest of the world’s.

Locust Valley is a hamlet within the Town of Oyster Bay, named for the beautiful trees that line the back roads. It’s only one square mile, and its population is 3,406. Like the surrounding villages of Mill Neck, Matinecock and Lattingtown, it’s an area of grand old estates; some of which still survive, many of which have been sold off by non-productive heirs and turned into the North Shore version of subdivisions, which contain new houses but with enough land to hide them from view.

So much is made of the clubs here that I should probably mention them. Piping Rock and The Creek are both golf/country clubs, and Piping has a beach club at a separate location. You may refer to The Creek as “Creek Club” but if you refer to Piping Rock as “The Piping,” you’ll immediately be spotted as an arriviste and ostracized. Supposedly there is some sort of rivalry between the two; I’d never seen it, so I asked a long-time resident. However, he’s a member of Seawanhaka, the yacht club on Centre Island, so his response was, “We don’t pay much attention to either one of them – we’re sailors, and they’re only golfers.”

So if you weren’t born here but have the determination and the cajones to try to break in, bring money and give it a try. If you need a practice club go for Beaver Dam, a winter sports club where everyone plays ice hockey and goes sledding, and where the scrutinization is far less fierce.

The Locust Valley Central School District is excellent. In May of 2012, three national publications (including US News) ranked the high school as one of the best in both the state and the nation. The district includes Bayville, Brookville, Lattingtown, Matinecock, and portions of Mill Neck, Muttontown, and Old Brookville. The schools are Bayville Primary, Ann MacArthur Primary, Locust Valley Intermediate, Bayville Intermediate, and Locust Valley Middle-High School.

There are two private schools here, Friends Academy, a Quaker school (although less than 1% of the students are actually Quaker) and Portledge School.

Locust Valley’s main drag consists of a small area containing restaurants, shops, a library, a firehouse, and a Long Island Rail Road train stop. The central gathering place is the traditional Tavern on the Plaza; there’s also Basil Leaf and Buckram Stables Café, where you can wear your riding clothes to lunch (as long as you look well in them). Barney’s Corner, on Buckram Road, has changed hands several times over the years, but remains a beloved institution.

There are a number of clubs and organizations within Locust Valley, although there is no Recreation Department or umbrella organization. The Locust Valley Civic Association hosts town events, parades, keeps up the town’s website, and “maintains our quality of life,” which basically means opposing all subdivisions. There’s the Locust Valley Tennis Association, Neighborhood Association, Neighborhood Watch, Grenville Boys and Girls Club, Historical Society, Garden Club, Friends of the Arts, Friends of the LV Library, Senior Club, Chamber of Commerce, the Clan Gordon Highlanders Pipe Band, and the LV Republican Club (there’s a Democratic Club here somewhere, but that sort of thing would obviously not be included on the town website.)

What’s there to do? There’s the beautiful 4-acre Humes Japanese Stroll Garden and the 60-acre Shu Swamp, both in Mill Neck; the 42-acre Bailey Arboretum in Lattingtown, and the 20-acre C.W. Post Community Arboretum in Brookville. The Arboretum is part of LIU Post, the college campus, which is also home to the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, a great concert hall which hosts all kinds of performers. A ten-minute drive will take you to Oyster Bay, where you can explore the town and visit the Waterfront Center, where you can learn to sail, swim, take certification classes, rent boats and kayaks, go fishing, or sail on Christeen, a National Landmark and the oldest Oyster Sloop in North America.

The median income in Locust Valley is $87,988, although I have no idea where they came up with that number; median house value, $638,138; and rent, $2,001.
Pros
  • beautiful
  • quiet
  • horsey
Cons
  • reeeeaally expensive
  • oppressively social
  • no diversity
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers

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