Escape

A house near the Long Island Sound and close to the North Fork, for $550,000

This four-bedroom, four-bath house is a short walk to the beach.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

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New Yorkers looking for a beach house know prices on the North Fork are lower than in the Hamptons. But for an even better deal, consider a community in Suffolk County that's not quite in the tony East End, but still pretty close. For example, Baiting Hollow, a hamlet that's a short drive from some of the area's biggest attractions, like Wildwood State Park in Wading River, a 600-acre hardwood forest that extends to the Long Island Sound, and Reeve's Beach in Riverhead.

The area's got some lovely vineyards, like Roanoke Vineyards in Riverhead, which you can get to pretty easily from Baiting Hollow, and Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard. For dining, there are popular spots like the Cooperage Inn Restaurant, which serves a mean Sunday brunch, or seafood eatery Sound Bistro.

Baiting Hollow is also close to Tanger Outlets in Riverhead, which has lots of discount name-brand shops, and it's home to Splish Splash water park. Houses are priced lower than what you'd find out east, and also have water views and beach access. Consider, for instance, the four-bedroom, four-bath property at 21 Maple Rd., now on the market for $550,000. The 2,726-square-foot house was built in 2004. The front door's got some nice wrought iron-work, and it opens into a tiled foyer.

There's a large living room, with big windows and what look like hardwood floors.

The formal dining room is outfitted with a chandelier.

A second living area is also well-stocked with windows.

The kitchen has been recently updated with stainless appliances and granite counter tops.

It looks like it also has a breakfast bar and deck access.

The master bedroom is massive, with bay windows and carpeted flooring.

The master suite also has its own sitting area, complete with a vaulted ceiling.

And the master bath has his-and-hers sinks and a spa bath.

Here's another bedroom.

And two more baths.

And a third bedroom, with slightly more light than the second.

There's a pool in the back, in addition to multi-level decking.

And here you can see the Sound.

The house is about a one-and-a-half hour drive from Manhattan.