Plandome Road Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal

For adults who grew up in Manhasset, Long Island, the move back to their childhood home is a well-worn path.

"My parents brought me and my three brothers up here, and then I got married and moved into the city like a lot of people do, and then when I had my first child we were looking at different areas," said Patricia Gahan Moroney, a broker with Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty. "We looked in New Jersey, we looked in Westchester, but we came back to Manhasset."

With its well-regarded school system and easy commute into Manhattan—Manhasset is on the only Long Island Rail Road line that travels directly to Penn Station without a stop in Jamaica, Queens—the Nassau County hamlet is a strong draw for many young families. But longtime residents say it has a special appeal for those who grew up in town.

"It says a lot for the town that there are so many of us like that," said Ms. Moroney, who moved back to Manhasset 23 years ago and whose three brothers also have raised their families in the community. "It's just such a great place to bring up children."

Louie's Manhasset Restaurant Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal

Part of the town of North Hempstead on Long Island's North Shore, Manhasset is widely considered to comprise several villages and neighborhoods, including North and South Strathmore, Strathmore Village, Strathmore Vanderbilt, Bayview and Norgate; the incorporated villages of Plandome, Plandome Heights and Munsey Park; and parts of Plandome Manor, Flower Hill and North Hills.

Most residents of these areas share the Manhasset school system and mailing address and consider themselves part of the larger Manhasset community.

"People normally say, 'I live in Manhasset,' whether they really live in Plandome or Plandome Heights or North Hills or Munsey Park," said Richard Bentley, the president of the Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations, an umbrella organization that includes about a dozen civic groups.

The gazebo at Mary Jane Davies Green Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal

"Working with so many different levels of municipal government—county, town of North Hempstead, incorporated villages—it can be a spider web of trying to get things done, actually, but we do our best to coordinate," Mr. Bentley said.

In the past few years, local leaders have been working to revitalize Plandome Road, considered the area's main downtown thoroughfare.

Many businesses line Plandome, as do the North Hempstead Town Hall and the Mary Jane Davies Green, a town park where many community events are held.

Efforts are under way to improve parking, traffic flow and pedestrian safety and to beautify the strip, Mr. Bentley says.

Situated about 20 miles from Manhattan, Manhasset is convenient to the Long Island Expressway and the Northern State Parkway. LIRR trains travel to Penn Station in under 30 minutes.

Parts of Manhasset, including Plandome and Plandome Heights, border Manhasset Bay.

The area also includes several country clubs and houses of worship, including a 100-year-old Quaker meetinghouse on Northern Boulevard.

Houses in Manhasset, which include center-hall Colonials as well as split levels and ranches, don't come cheap.

Some single-family houses may be listed for as low as $700,000, Ms. Moroney said but those with asking prices of less than $1 million generally sell quickly and often have more than one offer.

The median listing price in June was $1.5 million, said, a 25% increase from June 2013.

"A lot of people will tell you, once you move into Manhasset, you'll never move out," said Norman Nemec, a 21-year resident and the president of the Manhasset Preservation Society.

"For people who really want that old-fashioned kind of place to live and raise a family, it's one of the best places ... ," he said. "Just about everybody knows each other."

Parks: Mary Jane Davies Green has a gazebo, a play ground and spray features. The 98-acre Christopher Morley Park in Roslyn and North Hills, run by Nassau County, offers a nine-hole golf course. Whitney Pond Park, a town park, includes a pond and tennis and basketball courts.

Schools: The Manhasset Union Free School District has two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school.

According to state data, 97% of students who entered high school in Manhasset in 2009 met or exceeded state standards for proficiency in English Language Arts four years later, compared with 81% statewide; and 98% did so in math, compared with 84% statewide.

Local private schools include the Roman Catholic St. Mary's High School.

Dining: Louie's Manhasset Restaurant, a diner, is on Plandome Road. Cipollini Trattoria and Bar and Toku Modern Asian Restaurant, are on Northern Boulevard, as is Cafe Continental, another Italian establishment.

Shopping: Basic shops and services can be found on Plandome Road. Many strip malls and chain stores, as well as the upscale mall Americana Manhasset, are on Northern Boulevard.

Entertainment: A multiplex movie theater is on Plandome Road. The Tilles Center for the Performing Arts is nearby, on the campus of Long Island University in Brookville.