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Living in Sea Gate

Sea Gate is a neighborhood that truly lives up to its name. Overlooking Gravesend Bay, the private, gated community is located in western Coney Island in southwestern Brooklyn. It's a charming enclave that evokes a stylish, low-key vibe. It's also quite secluded, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the north, south and west, and by West 37th Street on the east. There are two entrances into the community, and residents must have a sticker that allows them access.

Beautiful beach in Sea Gate” style=

Much of its charm is in its proximity to the Coney Island boardwalk, a 2.7-mile stretch that offers excellent water views and plenty of space to jog, people-watch or mingle with the locals. Beaches surround the neighborhood, and living in Sea Gate is much like being right at the back door to the ocean. Yet it’s never far from other areas: The B36 and B74 MTA buses stop outside the gates, while the X28 express bus reaches Manhattan in about an hour and a half on an average weekday.

Sea Gate real estate

A beach with waterfront homes in Sea Gate” style=

The Sea Gate real estate scene bursts with opportunities. It’s home to several hundred properties, ranging from modern ranch styles to old-world Victorians. There are several Mediterranean-inspired villas neighboring classic multi-story brick houses. The Mediterranean influence in the area is strong—it’s seen in the vivid red tiles, rounded rooftops and ornamental details that characterize this distinctive design style.

New developments are on the rise, too, including luxury homes on the waterfront and multi-room condos. Those living in Sea Gate pay annual dues to the Sea Gate Association, which provides coverage for security, plus street and park maintenance.

Sea Gate history

Glass building next to a brick building in Sea Gate” style=

Sea Gate was founded in the late 19th century. Norton’s Point Land Company purchased the land and then sold property in the area to wealthy, prominent locals like the Vanderbilt and Dodge families. The neighborhood quickly grew in prestige, and over time Sea Gate became known as a chic, exclusive summer resort area.

Before long, the neighborhood’s homeowners joined forces to purchase Sea Gate outright from Norton’s Point Land Company. It was at this point that the community became truly “exclusive,” when two gates were installed, as well as a fence around the entire neighborhood. Immediately it earned recognition as the first gated community in all of New York City.

Sea Gate restaurants

Within Sea Gate itself, the only eatery is located within the Sea Gate Beach Club. During beach season, Big Boo’s Restaurant features happy hour from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily at its Tiki Bar. And Sunday is fun day, when ice cream sundaes are sold for just $2 each.

Nearby Coney Island, about 10 minutes away by car, is a foodie’s delight. The world-renowned Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs is a Brooklyn establishment known for its beef hot dogs and chili dogs. No visit is complete without a tray of crinkle-cut French fries and a corndog or two. There’s even an Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips in the building, where you can savor platters topped with fried fish, hush puppies, cole slaw and French fries.

Next door to Nathan’s is Williams Candy, which has served fresh sweets to locals for more than 75 years. It’s beloved for its family-recipe caramel apples, topped with everything from rainbow sprinkles and nuts to coconut. On hot summer days, people wait in long lines for the soft-serve ice cream. 

For a side of nightlife to go with your dinner, visit Tatiana Restaurant & Night Club. With prime views of the Atlantic Ocean, a menu jam-packed with authentic Russian delicacies and regular live entertainment, including music, cabaret and dance, it’s one of the most electrifying spots in town to enjoy a meal.

Local pizza lovers know the go-to spot is Totonno’s, which has served coal-oven pies since 1924. Just under 10 minutes from the gates by car, the pizzeria takes its dishes very seriously. The family-owned joint owes its success to its fresh dough, handmade mozzarella and rich, flavorful sauces. Everyone from Cyndi Lauper to Danny DeVito has stepped through its doors.

Sea Gate attractions

The Sea Gate Beach Club is one of the liveliest spots in the neighborhood. The private beach and pool community feels like a secret club that even the most longtime Brooklyn residents may not know about just yet. Since 1995, the club has entertained the neighborhood with an endless stream of activities. There’s an Olympic-sized swimming pool, regular live entertainment, dining, a bar and themed nights ranging from Disney to disco.

The Coney Island Lighthouse is Sea Gate’s most historic attraction. Constructed in 1890, the 75-foot structure has the distinction of being the last civilian-run lighthouse in America. Until 2003, Frank Schubert was responsible for both the light and the 1,000-pound fog bell, which was rung when Swinburne and Hoffman islands weren’t visible.

Near the lighthouse, Lindbergh Park, affectionately known as “Lindy Park” by locals, has a newly developed playground that was designed by Disney after Hurricane Sandy came through the neighborhood. Featuring monkey bars and winding slides, the colorful play area overlooks the ocean.

Sea Gate shopping

There are several shopping centers and independent boutiques just outside the gates in Coney Island. Bay Park Pharmacy is less than 10 minutes by foot from the gates. Meanwhile, the Caesar’s Bay Shopping Center is about a 15-minute drive, and features big-box retailers like Kohl’s, Toys “R” Us and Best Buy.

What's In The Area: Sea Gate

Driving Walking

Local tips and information for going out in the Sea Gate from The Corcoran Group. Explore dining, shopping and nightlife.

All Sea Gate tips




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