Sure, a vacation house can be dreamy, but getting to one rarely is. These three homeowners have figured out an alternative: Their weekend hideaways are actually in the five boroughs, all within taxi or subway range. Yes, you really can get everything in New York—including relief from it.
First Home: Lower East Side
Second Home: Far Rockaway
Distance: 23 miles
On Rockaway Beach, between Beach 24th and Beach 26th Streets, stands a collection of bungalows dating to the twenties. Although it’s a little tattered these days, the area has fans like Andi Burnett, a stylist; her filmmaker husband, Marcus; and their 6-year-old daughter. They discovered Rockaway four years ago, after some guy at the playground near their Lower East Side apartment told them that he’d snapped up a $25,000 house there. They took the A train to check out the area—it’s an hour-and-a-half ride—and were immediately sold. (Playground Guy was overstating the bargains to be had, though: This 700-square-foot bungalow cost the Burnetts about $150,000.) They don’t think it’s at all weird to own a beach house in the city, Burnett says, asking instead, “How weird is it that New York City has so much beachfront and no one uses it?” Besides, she says, she hates driving. “It’s a little bit run-down, a little bit loud, and there’s some garbage, but there’s so much to work with!” she says. “There’s one part where you go over the boardwalk and you don’t see any of the high-rises, just the beach and the sand. It’s like Amagansett.”