In spite of having over 12,900 residents, the hamlet of Mastic Beach does not have any real neighborhoods. Mastic Beach is simply a small hamlet in the tri-hamlet area that includes Mastic, Shirley and Mastic Beach. Unfortunately, rental housing in this hamlet is scarce. You won't find an apartment rental or duplexes for rent in Mastic Beach, although you may be lucky enough to find a private homeowner who has a studio apartment for rent (and hey, you can find cute and spacious bungalows around here too!).
Keep in mind that many rentals are not officially listed with any real estate agencies -- why? Because homeowners in the area occasionally practice undocumented renting. Make sure you verify that landlords have a rental permit before you place your John Hancock on any forms. For new residents serious about putting down roots in Mastic Beach, know what the locals know: you should come prepared with a good chunk of change and be ready to jump through every hoop (or walk across every sand dune) necessary to make a home here. To expand your range of options, consider searching in Mastic and Shirley and cover the whole tri-hamlet area. If you're looking around for some neighborhoods, then you're a bit out of luck. Mastic Beach is still small compared to big cities so it doesn't really have distinct neighborhoods just yet. Your best bet is really to speak with a couple of different real estate agents until you find one you like -- you will probably have some time to get to know them pretty well.
The mind-boggling number of activities and historic sites in the area mean that whether you have a short attention span or you just like to keep things interesting, there are plenty of options to satisfy everyone. Sail from one of the many marinas as the captain of your own private boat, catch a "big fish" to inspire the tallest of tall tales, stake your own perch and watch the over 300 species of birds found here, hike every trail you can find to get lost in, or kayak until your arms fall off or you finally learn how not to tip over--just reading about the things to do here can get exhausting. Even if the great outdoors don't interest you, you can book time at The William Floyd Estate or the TWA Flight 800 International Memorial. Seriously, you won't run out of ways to stay occupied anytime soon.
Unless you have a magic carpet or horse-drawn carriage hidden away somewhere, cars are pretty much a necessity here. New Yorkers may call Mastic Beach a "small hamlet," but don't let that give you the impression that you can simply walk to work (or anywhere else, for that matter). In fact, there is only one block of shops and only one CVS in town; if you want to do any major shopping, you need to borrow Paul Revere's horse or take a car.
Driving in this area is only a minor inconvenience, especially once you consider how Mastic Beach offers easy access to nearby ocean shores, many major roadways, and the Hamptons. Additionally, if you're in the mood for a night out to soak up some New York City glitz, you'll only take about an hour to get to the Big Apple -- though in that case, you might want to ride the train instead of paying hefty parking fees. Three nearby airports also offer a quick getaway to the friendly skies: John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International. If you need to get somewhere, Mastic Beach offers plenty of options.
Hate being house-bound? Would you rather cut off your pinky toe than stay indoors? Mastic Beach will keep you occupied with all kinds of outdoor activities (and keep all your toes intact too). Opportunities to get back to nature include the Smith Point County Park, Southaven County Park and Fire Island National Seashore -- and that's just the beginning. For shopaholics that prefer the great indoors over hiking, kayaking, or bird watching, head toward the Tanger Outlet, Westfield South Shore Mall or Smith Haven Mall; while these are not located within Mastic Beach itself, they are all a reasonable 30-minute drive away. While you may picture New York City for all the food and fun you can imagine, don't forget about the grub closer to home too: local residents swear by Onofrio's Italian Restaurant for your weekly Italian night and T.J.'s Hero Shop for easing those midday hunger pangs on your lunch break.
If you still aren't ready to commit to Mastic Beach, picture a potential weekend in the hamlet. Imagine starting out with a boat ride on a Friday night, waking up the next morning for some fishing by the dawn's early light, then dinner, a show and drinks in Manhattan and finally, sleeping off all of that fun (accompanied by too many Long Island ice teas, perhaps) with a snooze on the beach. Mastic Beach has come a long way from its Revolutionary War roots; the hamlet offers outdoor activities, ocean views, historic personality, and plenty of culture, all within close proximity to New York's hustle and bustle. Living here means more than becoming a resident or another face in the crowd, like you'd expect in a big city; here, you can become part of a community. Major General William Floyd would be proud.