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The 20 Best Places to Live on Long Island


Although Long Island is generally considered a great place to live, there are both desirable areas and undesirable areas. Of course, what makes somewhere a great location for one person does not necessarily mean that it is a good option for another.

However, there are some key factors that people often consider when choosing a place to call home. Some of these include the types of property, affordability, schools, the community, safety, and the area's activities and attractions. Based on these factors and various other elements that may make a location appealing, here are the 20 best places to live in Long Island.


20. Manhasset

Manhasset is a hamlet and census-designated place in Nassau County that has a population of just under 8,000 residents. According to Niche, Manhasset has a dense, suburban feel. There are many large, single-family homes with gardens in this neighborhood, and it is a good place to settle down to family life. Many people consider the location an appealing feature, as Manhasset sits on the North Shore and is only 20 miles from Manhattan and 50 miles from the Hamptons. Therefore, those living in this area enjoy the best of both worlds.

University Gardens

19. University Gardens

The strong community in University Gardens is something that appeals to the residents, and it is a sound choice for those who are not ready to move to the suburbs. The cost of renting a property in the neighborhood is higher than average for Long Island, but many people feel that what the area has to offer makes it worth the extra cost. If you are buying a property, you will find plenty of historic homes available in this area. Some of the other features of life in University Gardens are low crime rates, excellent schools, strong transport links, and plenty of activities to enjoy. University Gardens is divided into several villages, each with its own identity.


18. Syosset

Expo Movers NYC describes Syosset as having a rural feel, so it is a good option for those who want to feel like they live in the countryside while still benefiting from easy access to all the amenities that the city has to offer. The city is just one hour from Syosset by train. Most of the properties in this neighborhood are attractive, and many have large gardens. Furthermore, it is considered a safe neighborhood, and the schools in the area are excellent.


17. Kensington

Kensington is a neighborhood in Brooklyn that has appealing features that make it stand out from the surrounding area. It has affordable single-family homes, and many of these have large gardens where the homeowners can enjoy their private outdoor space. Other positives about this neighborhood include the fantastic schools, the excellent public transport links, and the sense of community. Kensington is a village that is part of the Great Neck Peninsula on the North Shore, and it is home to just under 1,400 people.

Great Neck Gardens

16. Great Neck Gardens

If your preference is to live in an attractive period property, then there are plenty of options in Great Neck Gardens. Although the area has a suburban feel, the community has preserved the neighborhood's history, and there are houses from many periods. There are even properties that are designated as historical sights. On the other hand, there are also plenty of condos in the area. One of the most popular attractions in this area is Allenwood Park, which has walking paths, tennis courts, and a pond.


15. Jericho

Jericho is less than 30 miles from midtown Manhattan, yet it is only a small hamlet that is home to around 13,000 people. It sits between Oyster Bat and Hempstead. Other than its proximity to the city and its small-town feel, people want to live in Jericho because of the highly-rated schools. The housing is also relatively affordable for Long Island, both for buying and renting. Furthermore, the crime rates in Jericho are low, so it is a safe place to live.


14. Greenport

NYC Great Moving lists Greenport as one of the best places to live in Long Island. It is located on the North Fork of Long Island, and it was originally a whaling and fishing village when it was settled in 1682. Now, it is a bustling harbor town that has a diverse food scene, many shops, some fantastic vineyards, and a range of activities for residents to enjoy in their leisure time. Greenport is a commutable place to live, and the highly-rated schools mean it is popular with families.


13. Bellmore

If living in a family-friendly area is important to you, then Bellmore is worth a look. It is a quiet hamlet that has many of the same benefits as Merrick, but the properties are more affordable. Therefore, it is a decent option for those who want to live in a visually appealing area that offers a good lifestyle but cannot afford the prices in Merrick. One of the most popular features of the area is Jones Beach Park, which many people argue is one of the best beaches on Long Island.


12. Thomaston

One of the main reasons that the residents of Thomaston love living there is the diverse community. There is a blend of cultures living in this area, and that adds richness and variety to the lives of those who live there. Another reason that this is such a desirable area is that the schools are excellent. Furthermore, it will appeal to those who prefer a suburban environment but want easy access to the city's amenities, employment opportunities, and leisure activities.


11. Roslyn

Roslyn is one of the most desirable places to live on Long Island, and the high property prices reflect its desirability. Although the median home price is around $500,000, there are many properties that fall into the $750,000 to $1 million price range. However, if you can afford to live there, it is an area worth considering. The houses are beautiful, there is a highly-rated school system, and it is a safe place to live. Roslyn's proximity to the city also makes it an appealing option for those who work in the city but find that the urban lifestyle is unappealing to them.


10. Merrick

Merrick sits on the south shore of Long Island, so it is known for its surf and sun. The area is also known for its elegant houses, beach activities, and vibrant nightlife. It has the best school system in Long Island, so it is a fantastic place to live for families. It is also a commutable option for those working in New York City, as it takes just 45 minutes to get there by train. Neighborhood Scout says that Merrick is one of the safest places to live in New York.

Stony Brook

9. Stony Brook

Stony Brook was originally a tourist town that was a hotspot for people who wanted to take a break in a gorgeous area with picturesque buildings. However, the area has increased in popularity as a residential area. Not only are the surroundings and architecture appealing to residents, but it also has outstanding schools and is home to a major college. Many of the residents also enjoy living close to the water. It is a safe community in which to live, and there are many fun activities for residents to enjoy. Stony brook is also an affordable place to live, as the median home price in this area is just $200,000.


8. Smithtown

Although Smithtown is a large town, there is a strong sense of community that the residents love, and the main street is at the community's heart. It is 50 miles from New York City and sits at the midpoint of the North Shore. There are lots of shops, a fantastic food scene, and the area is known for its craft beers. It also has lots of parks, including Caleb Smith State Park and many other outdoor spaces to enjoy. It is a relatively affluent area, as the median household income is around $110,000, while the median home price is approximately $450,000.

Valley Stream

7. Valley Stream

For those who prioritize affordability, Valley Stream is a good option. The property prices are more affordable than in many parts of Long Island, and the cost of renting is also low by comparison. Valley Stream's affordability also extends to the cost of dining out, the price of leisure activities, and the general cost of living. Valley Stream is also a commuter-friendly option, as getting to Manhattan is easy, regardless of whether you have a vehicle or rely on public transport links. It is also close to New York City and to JFK Airport.


6. Islandia

Islandia is close to Islip, and families living in Islandia are within the Islip school catchment area, so it attracts lots of families. Although there are many housing options, most people live in a complex of 500 houses with a uniform and simple layout that was constructed by Levitt and Sons. People who live in this area enjoy the laid-back vibe of the neighborhood. They also love that there are lots to do, including several parks, a casino, and a Dave & Buster's arcade.


5. Huntington

Huntington is one of the largest towns in Suffolk County, Long Island, and it is a popular choice for those who enjoy a busy social life and want options when it comes to ways to spend their free time. It is well known for its shops, nightlife, food scene, and music venues. Therefore, it is one of the top choices for young professionals. However, families who prefer living in an urban setting also love Huntington, as there are lots of family-friendly attractions and the area's schools are excellent.


4. Islip

Islip is a sparse and elegant town next to the beach on Long Island. Its location appeals to those who want to live the coastal lifestyle, either to spend time on the water or to simply enjoy their surroundings. While the schools appeal to families and the laid-back vibe is an appealing feature for retirees, the nightlife attracts a younger crowd. Therefore, it is truly a town with something to offer everyone.


3. Plainview

Plainview is one of the most affluent areas in Long Island, and there are some amazing properties if you have a high enough budget. However, there are also more affordable options in this neighborhood. Some of the reasons that Plainview has become such a desirable area are its low crime rates, excellent schools, a wide range of amenities, and its beautiful parks and outdoor spaces. It is popular with city workers, as its proximity to the Long Island Expressway means that it is easy to commute into New York City.


2. Commack

Due to its many appealing features, Commack attracts celebrities. Rosie O'Donnell and Randy Rainbow are amongst the rich and famous who live in the area. There are also many athletes who live in this neighborhood, and it was once home to Long Island Arena. Although it is only a small neighborhood with a sparse suburban feel, there is always something to do in Commack, and residents of the area enjoy a good social life. Commack is a safe place to live as the crime rates are low.


1. Massapequa

According to Property Club, one of the best places to live in Long Island is Massapequa, which is a hamlet in the southern part of Oyster Bay. It is an especially good neighborhood for families, as there six elementary schools and several high-ranking high schools. It is an affluent suburb that will also suit those who want to live close to New York City but enjoy spending time outdoors, as it has many trails and a popular activity is fishing at Massapequa Cove.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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