If you're looking to escape the noise and the crowds of New York City but don't want to venture too far afield, Westchester County makes a great choice. Choose your home wisely, and you'll stand to benefit from low crime rates and peaceful living while still being within easy commuting distance of the city. If you're ready to make the move but aren't sure where to settle, take a look at our round-up of the 10 best places to live in Westchester, NY.
Obviously, you don't need to have kids to live in Hartsdale, but if you do, you'll find few places quite so family-friendly. Crime is something that happens somewhere else. The streets are the kind you can let your kids play in without worry. The school are excellent, and to top it off, there's plenty of parks, public gardens and recreational areas for the whole family to enjoy. As an added advantage, the average property here is very reasonably priced at just $268,300 - it may still be a little over the national average, but for this part of the country, it's incredibly reasonable.
Just over 4000 people live in Ardsley, yet despite its small size, this is a town with a lot going on. The bustling downtown is well-equipped with a varied selection of chains and mom-and-pop stores. The schools are top-notch, with a high rate of Ivy League admissions. The proximity to New York City and easy access to parkways & highways is ideal for commuters. The star attraction is the warm, close-knit community - if you want to live in the kind of place where everyone knows your name, this is it.
8. Rye Brook
If you dream of living in the kind of community where neighbors look out for each other, where crime is next to non-existent, where there's always a block party, festival or some other event to get involved in, and where you can spend your weekends soaking up the sun at the beach in the community park, you might want to consider Rye Brook. This small town of just over 9000 people offers superb living to those who can afford it... although, with a median property value of $725,400, that's not necessarily going to be the case for everyone.
7. Briarcliff Manor
Briarcliff Manor is a small, peaceful village set around 30 miles north of New York City. Known as “A Village between Two Rivers” in reference to its location between the Hudson and Pocantico Rivers, Briarcliff Manor is petite enough to retain a friendly, small-town charm, but big enough to be equipped with all the stores, cafes, restaurants, and other amenities you might need. The residents are welcoming and community-minded. The schools are respectable, while the short train ride into NYC makes it ideal for commuters.
Drive just an hour from the center of New York City and you'll find Pleasantville, a small village that's every bit as amenable as its name suggests. Named by Only In Your State as one of the safest and most peaceful places to live in New York, this small community of 7,000 residents enjoys safe streets, excellent schools, and more attractions and amenities than you'd expect from a town of this size.
According to Niche, Chappaqua is #1 in 'Best Places to Buy a House in New York City Area,' not to mention one of the best places to live in Westchester County. Small (by the last count, the population was just 1,434), friendly, incredibly green, and blessed with some of the best schools in the county, it's ideal for families looking to raise their broods in a safe, supportive community. For commuters, the news is even better - Chappaqua has its own train station, with the train ride into New York City taking just an hour. Property prices may be relatively high (the median for a single-family home is $696,600), but the astronomical median income of $250,001 more than compensates.
If you've set your sights on Bronxville, be prepared to lose a good chunk of your savings on a home - with the average three-bedroom house costing a massive $1,140,300, this isn't the kind of place for people on a shoe-string budget. If you're not phased by the cost, you're in for a good time. Despite its small size, the town is packed with attractions, amenities, and recreational opportunities. The downtown is heaving with restaurants and shops, the schools are excellent, and the clean, leafy streets are safe and walkable. It may be expensive, but it's worth it.
With a population of 17,166, the village of Scarsdale is small enough to keep things friendly, but big enough to mean there's always something going on. The community is incredibly active: if you don't want to get involved, you don't have to, but if you do, you'll find no end of volunteer programs and community action groups to get stuck into. The schools are superb - in fact, suburbs101.com has named it the number one school district in Westchester County, making it ideal for families. The traveling time into New York City, meanwhile, makes it equally great for commuters - expect to be at Grand Central in just 34 minutes.
2. New Rochelle
New Rochelle has a little bit of everything. Its downtown district is fast developing a reputation for its growing, vibrant art scene, with amazing community support and policies acting to provide a nurturing environment for aspiring artists. The public schools are excellent - the award-winning New Rochelle High School can claim the most Ivy League admissions of any school in Westchester, while its three private colleges - Iona College, College of New Rochelle, and Monroe College - are all highly regarded.
The downtown offers a superb selection of retail, dining, and entertainment options. The property market is big enough to support a wide range of housing options, from high-rise apartment buildings to historic homes and multi-family residential complexes. To top things off, it's safe, friendly, and a very attractive place to call home.
If superb schools, a friendly community, peaceful parks, and a village-type feel sounds like your idea of a good place to live, Edgemont might be your perfect match. This diverse, charming town might have expensive houses and high taxes, but if you can swallow the cost, you'll find it an amazing place to live.
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Written by Dana Hanson
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