5.8 out of 10

Carmel

Ranked 46th best city in New York
41.4057110229157 -73.6955444157996
Great for
  • Medical Facilities
  • Clean & Green
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Safe & Sound
  • Gym & Fitness
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Public Transport
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Retirees
  • Singles

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"A Large Buddha and a Haunted Restaurant"

Carmel is a 40.7 square mile town in Putnam Valley laden with woodlands and picturesque lakes. Property here is a little more affordable which is great, especially in light of its close proximity to more affluent Westchester County, NY.

Notable restaurants in Carmel proper include the legendary Smalley’s Inn & Restaurant which is purportedly “haunted” and where many serious ghost hunters make pilgrimages, Cutillo’s Restaurant, which has four star fare and is located in a lovely large white homestead, Pasquale Trattoria, a classic family-friendly Italian restaurant, Thai Golden Restaurant, Toro Restaurant with its quality sushi, Pueblo Viejo, Izumi Japanese Restaurant, Valentina’s Restaurant, Ice Cream Café and Wendy’s.

Shopping in Carmel includes the Carmel Shoprite Center with of course, a Shoprite, Putnam Plaza Shopping Center, a Dress Barn, an A & P, Rite Aid, and Dollar World. There is a Kmart in nearby Mahopac and a Kohl’s and Marshalls just east in Brewster

Carmel is home to some lovely parks. Putnam County Memorial Veteran Park is a 200-acre park with a lake for swimming and ice skating as well as some nice hiking trails. The 32-acre Sycamore Park has a well sized beach, four tennis courts, a playing field, a really nice playground, a picnic area, a paddle ball/hand ball court and concessions. Jimmy McDonough Memorial Park has three playing fields, an awesome skate park, concessions and restrooms. Chamber Park is a gorgeous waterfront park located on Lake Mahopac. It has a fountain, a gazebo, benches, a playground and walking paths. There is also a dog park called Sycamore Bark Park.

For even more ardent fitness, Carmel harbors the Centennial Golf Club, a professional 27-acre golf course and the Carmel Fitness and Racquet Club with a pool, tennis courts and racquetball courts.

Chuang Yen Monastery is a really tranquil and interesting must-see local destination which houses a huge Buddha, the largest in the U.S. and Europe, and also has lovely grounds to saunter through and commune with nature and meditate.

For peace of mind, Carmel is home to a great medical facility, the not for profit Putnam Hospital Center. Arms Acres, an Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Facility is also located in town.

Carmel students are a part of the Carmel Central School District which is excellent. It is reported that its high school has a 94% + graduation rate.

The median household income is roughly $92,000.

The population is approximately 33,200 and is about 90 % White.
Pros
  • Small town appeal
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Good school system
  • Local watering holes
  • Beautiful in the summer
Cons
  • Not pedestrian-friendly
  • Not much going on during the weekends
  • Fairly spread out
  • Familiar faces
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Woods, Lakes, and Amenities"

Carmel is the seat of the county government, and is a pretty, countryside-with-amenities town with good schools, busier than Philipstown but not as busy as its hamlet of Mahopac. It has its own stores and restaurants, and a ten-minute drive to either Brewster or Mahopac will give you even more choices for both. Its main street has three historic buildings and runs alongside a small park edging Gleneida Lake, giving it an old-fashioned New England feeling.

There are nine parks overseen by the Carmel Recreation Department, so there is something for everyone. Some have winding trails for lakeside rambles, others have jungle gyms for the smaller kids. The Jimmy McDonough Memorial Park has three football/soccer fields, 2 baseball fields, and an extreme skate park, and the Sycamore Bark Park is designed for our furry friends. In July, the 200 acre Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park is the stage for a renowned 4-H Fair, and offers exhibits, entertainment, vendors, Civil and Revolutionary War re-enactors, pet and talent shows, and is a fun country fair.

You must see the Chuang Yen Monastery, a serene and spiritual place which allows visitors not only to wander its grounds, but to watch festivals and services and learn about Buddhism. There is a 37-foot statue of the Buddha Vairocana housed in the awe-inspiring 24,000 square foot Great Buddha Hall, built in the architectural tradition of the T’ang Dynasty. A vegetarian lunch is served on weekends for a small fee, and there are tours and a gift shop.

There is no train stop in Carmel, making the commute to Manhattan a bit longer than in neighboring towns. Retirees will find an busy senior citizens group, and there are town-sponsored activities for all ages. Those looking for an active night life will probably find it slow, but for those who like peace and quiet with shopping close by, it’s a nice choice.
Pros
  • Small town appeal
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Good school system
  • Local watering holes
  • Beautiful in the summer
Cons
  • Not much going on during the weekends
  • Familiar faces
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"A Lakeside Community that's Full of Cultural Pride"

The town of Carmel in Putnam County has many little hamlets within it, and the Hamlet of Carmel is one of them. It is right on Lake Gleneida and so offers beautiful views of the lake, which is uniquely shaped like a heart. The area is historically known for once being home to the Algonquin native americans, and later being the location of Sybil Ludington (the female counterpart of Paul Revere)’s run through town to warn neighboring Danbury of the oncoming British in 1777.

Today the tiny hamlet of Carmel houses over 5,000 people, most of whom are white and of Italian or German or Irish descent. Cost of living is fair as it’s a very safe place to live and the going rate for a house is around $300,000 or higher (perfect for relocating middle class families). It is located along scenic country roads Rt. 6, 52 and 301 (Rt. 301 will take you to the Chuan Yen Monastery, which houses one of the world’s biggest indoor Buddhas at its grand temple).

Carmel Hamlet has access to Carmel proper’s wide variety of ethnic restaurants, like Izumi Japanese or Thai Golden (love their fried calamari, and the atmosphere is always very welcoming and very peaceful, and you can see Lake Gleneida right across the road). There’s also family favorites like Wendy’s and Quizno’s, and coffee lovers will love the Starbucks that is in the main shopping center of Carmel’s Putnam Plaza, where you can also visit KMart or ShopRite and catch a bus home if you need to (along Rt. 6 that is). It’s a very proud Italian community (there’s even the Italian-American Community Center), and you’ll find lots of Italian eateries like Pasquael Trattoria (very kid-friendly, check out their kids’ menu), and Redendo’s Pizza, which makes pizza just like Grandma used to make.

Relax on the waterfront with a new book from Carmel’s Reed Memorial Library, or catch the latest film at Carmel’s Cinema 8.

Your kids will thank you for the care they get at the blue-ribbon school districts (both Carmel and Mahopac), and being a member of the combined area, you can choose from both (95.58% go on the higher education).
Commuting here isn’t the easiest, but it is if you have a car, and the nearest train station is in Brewster, which can be accessed easily by bus from Putnam Plaza.

Come to Carmel for great dining, excellent lake views, a place where you can enjoy nature (and ice skate, hike and fish), complete with a safe and cozy, welcoming atmosphere owned by an ethnically proud small-town community. You'll be glad you did!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Great Lake Views and Blue Ribbon Schools"

Carmel is a largely residential and suburban area in Putnam County, NY. It is home to many lakes and is located on the border of the West Branch Reservoir, which is connected to the Croton River and is part of the expansive Croton Watershed. It was once home to the Algonquin Native Americans before it was purchased by the German and Dutch settlers in the early 1700’s. In the Revolutionary War, soldiers stopped here for flour and grain (regarding Mahopac Falls, one of Carmel’s eighteen different hamlets).

Carmel is tailored to the working middle class, as the homes here are sold for generally around $300,000, and you can rent a studio for $950 or a 1 bedroom for $955 a month. There’s also affordable housing units, like Gleneida Court (named after the beautiful Lake Gleneida) and Hughson Commons, and the schools here are well worth it: they’re considered “blue ribbon” quality and offers wonderful programs and extra-curricular activities; almost all students will graduate and continue to higher education.

It’s fairly quiet around here but your kids will be happy with the jungle gyms at the hamlet of Mahopac’s Sycamore Park. Carmel proper also has Putnam County Park, which has 200 acres of land that’s perfect for camping and picnicking.

Carmel is famous for the Chuang Yen Monastery (off of Rt. 301), which holds the largest Buddha in both the Americas and all of Europe. It’s got gorgeous grounds including a large duck pond, and is a wonderful place to picnic or meditate and simply get away from civilization for awhile.

Top-quality medical care can be found at Putnam Hospital Center, which is an non-for-profit acute care center, holding 164 beds for patients across the county and beyond. You can be sure to find the right doctor here for any ailment possible, and you won’t regret your stay.

You can reach most shops off Rts 6 and 301, where you’ll find places like a wonderfully cozy and well-staffed Starbucks, or find your favorite new appliance at the local Radio Shack right in town. For groceries there’s a ShopRite, and for affordable goods with a wide variety of selection there’s your local KMart.

You won’t be without fun places to eat in Carmel. Have mussles or tortellini with your sweetheart while enjoying charming scenery at Margharita’s Lake View Restaurant, or have outstanding pizza at Four Brother’s Pizzeria (bring the kiddies)! Also don’t forget Thai Golden for wonderful asian fusion, which overlooks Lake Gilead across the street and has a cozy atmosphere with excellent service (try the fried calamari---that’s my favorite!). Families, don’t forget Quiznos or Wendy’s for fast food favorites.

Carmel has a wonderful library (Reed Memorial) that is right on the shores of Lake Gleneida (across the road, facing the lake). There’s many reading rooms and easy internet access; not to mention a law library. It’s a great place to study and read the latest works of fiction (or non-fiction, if that’s what “floats your boat”, so to speak).

Carmel is about an hour away from NYC and you can catch the train at nearby towns like Brewster and Croton Falls (the number 5 bus will take you to Putnam Plaza, where you can catch the Number 3 to Brewster Train Station, along the Metro-North line).

You’ll find peace and quiet in Carmel, a small town that’s very proud of its history, as it had its very own female counterpart to Paul Revere. You can see the statue of courageous teenager, Sybil Ludington, who warned Carmel of the oncoming British armies during the Revolutionary war.

Carmel is great for people who love the country and don’t mind being in the sticks, but not too far removed from society.
Pros
  • excellent restaurants
  • beautiful buddhist monastery
  • Small town appeal
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Good school system
  • Local watering holes
  • Beautiful in the summer
Cons
  • lacking transportation
  • Not pedestrian-friendly
  • Fairly spread out
  • Not much going on during the weekends
  • Familiar faces
  • Mostly not walkable
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Charm, History, and...Biceps?"

A small downtown area forms the heart of Carmel, a hamlet in Putnam County. Like Putnam as a whole, Carmel is quiet and quaint. Like Brewster, its neighbor to the east, it lacks the buzz and noise of a stereotypical suburb, but residents enjoy the proximity to lakes, trails and parks.

People are drawn to Carmel for its proximity to New York City, its excellent schools, and the cost of living relative to surrounding areas. Though Putnam County is plagued by high property and school taxes, recent arrivals to the area are still finding more for their money compared to similar towns in Westchester County. Most residences in Carmel are single-family homes, though apartments are available and there are a few relatively new condominium complexes.

Glenida Avenue, Carmel’s “Main Street,” features two historic buildings: the Putnam County Courthouse, built in 1814 and the second-oldest working courthouse in New York State, and Smalley’s Inn, built in 1852, an allegedly haunted restaurant. Additional restaurants, shops and offices also line Glenida Avenue. Further up the road, a shopping center features a ShopRite grocery store, a movie theater and a drugstore.

Carmel might be THE place in Putnam for fitness fanatics. A centrally located New York Sports Club features exercise equipment and fitness classes. Gold’s Gym, located on Route 52, has similar amenities. There is a United Martial Arts Center in the eastern part of the town, where adults and children can study martial arts, and adults can take kickboxing classes. The Putnam Trailway, which ends in Brewster, cuts across Carmel as well. The Carmel section features a small wildlife sanctuary and winds through some of the prettiest greenery in the county.

Glenida Avenue may have taken its name from Lake Glenida, or vice versa, but one thing is certain: the lake lends a great deal of charm to the town. Christmas tree and menorah lightings are annual events on its shores; other fundraisers and events happen by the lake as well. The shore of the lake features a well-known statue of Sybil Ludington, a Revolutionary-era teenager known as “the female Paul Revere” for riding out on her horse from her Carmel home to warn troops of an impending British attack.

Carmel is a lovely small town, an excellent choice for parents, singles or retirees. Its amenities are well-located, with Putnam County’s well-established natural beauty and friendly residents.
Pros
  • Friendly people
  • Small town appeal
Cons
  • Mostly not walkable
  • Not pedestrian-friendly
  • Fairly spread out
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Constantly Growing"

Carmel has come a long way since it's quiet beginnings as a rural community littered with small family farms. The farms have long since disappeared and new developments are constantly springing up. However, the town is in somewhat of an awkward middle period; the amount of residents is increasing rapidly but the number of businesses is not keeping up. Carmel has, of course, the basic grocery stores and other shops that you'd expect to find in a small town but for specialty items and even clothing there aren't many choices. Most residents of Carmel find themselves traveling to nearby areas like Danbury, CT to do the majority of their shopping. There aren't many interesting restaurants or places to go on the evenings and weekends for a night out. New amenities, like the paved bike trail are gradually making an appearance and increase the sense of community. But their arrival is slow is full of controversy among the citizens, with many wanting to keep the town small. The area around Carmel is beautiful, featuring lakes, mountains and forests, as well as easy access to the Hudson River Valley. These little parks and hiking trails are pretty well hidden, though, and even many long-time residents of Carmel don't know about them. The types of neighborhoods in Carmel varies widely from new developments with large houses to streets with smaller houses placed closer together. For the most part, Carmel consists of families with children and the school system has a good reputation. The high school was recently renovated, adding a new running track and football field as well as an entirely new building. Putnam Hospital Center is also easy to access and has a good reputation. Overall, Carmel offers a safe and beautiful place to raise a family as long as you're willing to do some traveling for decent dinning and shopping.
Pros
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Small town appeal
  • Good school system
  • Beautiful in the summer
Cons
  • Not pedestrian-friendly
  • Not much going on during the weekends
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Mellow and inviting...."

Carmel in Putnam County is a lovely town that bridges the suburban/rural boundaries. Stretches of it are very developed and then there are long roads with few houses reminding one of rural highways. It is just north of Westchester County and about 50 miles from New York City. It is probably not the best place for people considering a daily commute to NYC as there is no Metro North station here.
Carmel is considered a quaint and charming get-away by many even in the wooded wonderlands of this part of New York. For me one of its unique attractions is the Chuang Yen Monastery. This Buddhist monastery has the largest sitting Buddha in the Western Hemisphere – and you better believe it! I cannot overstate my feeling of wonder and awe when I walked into the Great Hall for the first time. The whole campus of the monastery has a serene feel, but the hall with the giant Buddha and the 10,000 small Buddha statues is particularly calming.
Carmel School District is considered fairly good and the appeal of raising children in a laid-back community draws many young families to Carmel. There is enough to do with children between the various nature trails and outdoor activities even if one cannot find the hustle and bustle of big cities here. Carmel is largely Caucasian but has some Hispanic population along with African-American and Asian. It is a community that is friendly and accepting.
Putnam Hospital, located in Carmel, has a good reputation and serves the county and neighboring towns.
Pros
  • Buddhist Monastery
  • Small town appeal
  • Good school system
Cons
  • Fairly spread out
  • Not pedestrian-friendly
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Familiar faces everywhere you turn."

Carmel combines the historical aura of its hamlet (also called Carmel) with the modern, more commercial appeal of Mahopac. Both offer their residents different lifestyles, but Route 52 and Route 6 connect which allows easy access to one another. If you're looking for a town with more nightlife, more hustle and bustle and a better selection of restaurants, shops and businesses, then Mahopac is the place to be. Otherwise, Carmel serves as a sleepy, small-town haven compared Westchester County where things are more compact and interconnected. It's recreational facilities and scenic atmosphere, however, are what ultimately draw people to the area and if you can get over the fact that you'll need a car to travel to most places you'll fit in fast. Country lovers unite, because Carmel is truly where "the country begins."

Having lived in Lake Carmel, I was in Carmel almost everyday until I went to college because there's nothing but a handful of delis, chinese food places and two Dunkin' Donuts in my hometown of Kent. I also attended schools within the Carmel Central School District and being just less than 3 minutes than the center of town, I spent a lot of my time there. Sometimes I oddly felt like I was attending/am attending a high school reunion whenever I went/go into Carmel. Many of the same people that I went to high school with still live here today and you can find most of them at bars on the weekend. Some people love this, others hate it. It's good to have the option of Mahopac and an interstate highway (84) so close though- nothing is too far away. I'd recommend Carmel for older couples and families with small children because push come to shove, the school system is still excellent and a lot of people enjoy the quiet.

I have to admit that Carmel contains some beautiful hideaways if you're looking for some secretive downtime. The Buddhist Monastery and Clarence Fahnestock State Park are secluded yet close enough to get away for the day to get a breather. There are a ton of cyclists who flock to Putnam County during the warmer months especially down Route 301.
I definitely wouldn't trade growing up here for anything but it's not a place for budding young professionals, college graduates and those searching for a bit of a thrill in their lives.
Pros
  • Good school system
  • Beautiful in the summer
  • Outdoor recreation
Cons
  • Familiar faces
  • Not much going on during the weekends
  • Not pedestrian-friendly
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers

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