Svish

  • Local Expert 5,955 points
  • Reviews 90
  • Questions 174
  • Answers 165
  • Discussions 3

Reviews

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 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Sep 08, 2012

"It's all about community!"

In the run around of busy everyday lives, it is easy to believe that community-centered living is a thing of the past. Pleasant Valley is one of the towns that would challenge such assumptions. Seated in the heart of Dutchess County, defined by three distinct hamlets, Pleasant Valley offers an intriguing blend of rural and suburban. There are all the conveniences of a proximity to amenities and good schools that you would expect in any well-planned suburb; but there is also the additional bonus of a community that prides itself on its long history and seeks to use it to forge a strong sense of collective identity.

Washington Hollow, Pleasant Valley and Salt Point are the three hamlets that make up the Town of Pleasant Valley. Built around churches built in the early half of the 19th century, there are sections of Pleasant Valley where you can still feel the reality of the long-ago farming and milling history of this town. Those who appreciate a place with plentiful open spaces and hope to have a whiff of old-world Americana are bound to be charmed by Pleasant Valley.

The fact that the schools here are part of the large Arlington Central School District is seen as a big positive by many who live in the area. The diverse student body has helped the schools establish their strength in varied fields from academics to sports. It can be a competitive environment. Between the extra curricular activities in the schools and the good programs of the Park and Rec department, youngsters interested in pursuing different athletics are more than likely to find a good match.

Pleasant Valley has houses to fit different budgets. If you want a secluded and sprawling estate or a small fixer-upper, the chances are you'll find one here. It is a community that is growing increasingly popular as people have come to appreciate all that it offers at relatively lower prices. Its location works well for getting to various points in Dutchess County and I know of a few folks who actually drive to train stations further down south and commute biweekly to NYC. While I wouldnt see it as an easy commute to Manhattan, technically it is possible!

Pleasant Valley draws many inevitable comments about is pleasantness - and this is one of those rare instances where it does deserve those compliments!
Pros
  • Historic
  • Mostly peaceful
  • Not far from conveniences
Cons
  • Can feel a little homogenous
  • You need a car to live here
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
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 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Aug 16, 2012

"More than a weekend village!"

I associate Rhinebeck with weekend trips - it has a great independent book store and there is the air show. Rhinebeck is very popular with weekend visitors because it has a sense of old-world charm and it offers all the natural beauty that you'd expect from the Hudson Valley setting.

For those who are thinking of living in Rhinebeck, it is probably best to think of it as a cute little small town. It is not suburban in the sense of strip malls and subdivisions and it is not typically rural either. It is a town with a long history which has retained that sense of history and those who live in the village get to enjoy this on a daily basis. One of the big draws for folks who live here is the ability to be within walking distance from stores and restaurants.

The schools system here has a good reputations and it is a neighborly community. It can be a great place for a young family looking for an artistic environment and a laid back lifestyle!
Pros
  • Quaint
  • Community programs
  • Recreational facilities
  • Great historic value
Cons
  • A bit expensive
  • Parking sometimes difficult
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 20, 2012

"Blending History and Contemporary Conveniences"

Wappinger Falls is a village in the Town of Wappinger but also partially in Poughkeepsie. Confusing? Don't worry, you're not alone. The good news is that I have not had too much difficulty appreciating the things that Wappinger Falls has to offer despite not understanding the exact property lines defining the different sections.

The history of the area is traceable to 1524 when exploring Europeans first encountered the Native American tribes settled on either side of the river that will later become known as the Hudson. These agricultural people, the Wappingers, had settled on either side of the river. Around the early parts of the 17th century the Dutch started settling in the area. In the August of 1683, Gulian Verplanck and Francis Rombout purchase 85,000 acres of land from the Wappinger Indians paying around $1250. The area saw much development and change. It was in 1871 that the Village of Wappinger Falls was officially incorporated. Some of the flavor of this interesting past is preserved in the Wappingers Falls Historic District where you can see architectural styles from centuries past.

For all the drama of this history, the real appeal for many of the people who make Wappingers Falls their home is the convenience of proximity to shopping and dining! Wappingers Falls offers a wide range of options in terms of small and big stores and there are a slew of restaurants. There is diversity in the fare as I know that there is even an Indian grocery store in the area. Add to this the fact that Poughkeepsie and Fishkill are neighboring communities and it is easy to see that this is the heart of Dutchess County in terms of access to goods and services. Wappingers Falls also offers affordability and good schools thus fulfilling the trifecta of most home-owners' wish lists.

The excellent news is that all this is set in the center of some of the most beautiful landscape you'll ever see. Short drives will take you to hike and bike trails and river views. Is it any wonder that Wappingers Falls continues to grow at a dramatic rate as there is a steady influx of people moving into the area? The challenge now is to keep the area from developing into a congested community; for it to retain its charm and convenience but while planning for continued growth.
Pros
  • Shopping nearby
  • Things to do
  • Good restaurants
  • Community spirit and friendliness
Cons
  • Can get congested
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 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 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 13, 2012

"Pleasurable Living in Peach Lake"

Peach Lake is a hamlet with multiple identities, geographically speaking. It is part of Putnam County because part of it is in Southeast and is partly in Westchester County through North Salem. The area has a long history and there are documents from the time of the Dutch explorations in the 17th century indicating that Native American tribes lived in the area and called it Lake Pehquenakonck. Infact, it is believed that the earlier English name of the lake Peach Pond is a derivative from the Native American name Pech-Quen. It is as likely a reason as anything else I have heard, because there are no Peach orchards in the area!

Life in Peach Lake is quiet and laid back. It offers the kind of semi-rural ambience typical of these parts and so while you can expect a life filled with great views and spectacular hikes, you also have to be prepared to own a car for buying basic necessities. It is sometimes truly hard to imagine that Peach Lake is only a little over an hour away from hectic New York City.

This area was once the summer destination for NYC families but today it offers relatively affordable year round living. The lake is largely used by residents of Peach Lake and the four communities here and does not see excessive traffic or congestion. Shopping and dining are accessible in Brewster and along Route 22. Formal entertainment is also reachable via car.

The North Salem and Brewster Public School Districts which cover this area have a reasonably good reputation.

Peach Lake is perfect for those who like the idea of water-side living and are flexible about proximity to shopping or entertainment.
Pros
  • Affordability
  • Peaceful and quiet
  • Great for outdoorsy types.
Cons
  • No real nightlife
  • No real shopping
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 06, 2012

"A community reminiscent of simpler times...."

Crestwood is a neighborhood in Yonkers that is holding on to the easy sense of community one associates with small towns. Many families here have lived in the area for a couple of generations; some of the families moving in now are also children who grew up here returning as adults to raise their children in this community. That speaks of a deep-rooted connection to the neighborhood and the urge to recreate their own experiences for their children.

A big part of the life in Crestwood for many of the Irish and Italian Catholic families is the Annunciation Church. Practicing Catholics speaks of this Church as the social, cultural and spiritual center of this neighborhood. The parochial school attached to the Annunciation Church is also educational center for a good part of the kids of this community. The Yonkers Public School District has a mixed reputation and so parochial and private schools are popular in Yonkers and Crestwoodians feel lucky to have this option.

When you consider that this strong family-oriented neighborhood is a mere 30 minutes from Manhattan with a Metro-North station named for it to boot, it is not difficult to understand the appeal of Crestwood. The range of architectural styles in Crestwood also appeals to those looking for houses with character. Crestwood has grown around individual constructions rather than as a development and so each hose has a unique style and this runs the gamut from Tudor through Victorian.

Crestwood has a higher than average rating among Yonkers neighborhoods because it shares the Tuckahoe zip code – 10707. This allows Crestwood to be a bridging option of sorts for those who cannot afford the prices in the nearby communities of Bronxville, Pelham or Eastchester but do not want the smear of the troubled reputation!
Pros
  • Very convenient commute to Manhattan
  • Very unified & friendly community
  • Able to take advantage of Yonkers' amenities
  • More bang for real estate buck
Cons
  • Can seem insular
  • Best school option is parochial, not public
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 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 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jul 01, 2012

"The Simple Life with a Dash of Character!"

This small and well-maintained hamlet in East Fishkill is drawing many families looking for a quality lifestyle at more affordable prices than down county towns. I know of a couple of a few families, with a member working in the Yorktown area, who have chosen to make Hopewell Junction their home – they say that they appreciate how far their money goes in terms of property in Hopewell Junction. There is the opportunity to enjoy the accessibility to thriving commercial development in places like Poughkeepsie and Wappinger Falls while still getting the benefit of the semi-rural quiet that is typical of Hudson Valley towns.

Hopewell Junction is small in itself but being part of East Fishkill means that the schools and the recreation programs are of the caliber that cater to a larger community. This allows for the kind of variety and range that may not be possible for a hamlet of around 500 people! The children here go to schools in of four public school districts – Arlington, Carmel, Pawling and Wappinger Falls. All have reasonably good reputations and there is also the added benefit of knowing that there good institutions of higher education in the area such as Marist and Vassar.

Hopewell Junction promotes itself as a tourist destination for those looking to explore the Hudson Valley and the town emphasizes its location in a nationally designated historic area. Combine this with the golf course and wineries in the area, you can see that the B&Bs here can be quiet in demand. The area is also popular as a wedding location. The fact that the town is built to cater to visitors and tourists means that it has quiet a few dining and shopping options within a short driving distance. As all this indicates, Hopewell Junction is not just a sleepy little town, even though it is emphatically embraces its small town persona!
Pros
  • Beautiful homes and properties
  • Private yet it feels like a community
  • Hopewell Junction Rec Center is lots of fun!
Cons
  • Car necessary
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jun 29, 2012

"Pastoral and Peaceful!"

Stormville is a part of East Fishkill in the southern part of Dutchess County. The hamlet is considered small even among the other small communities in the area, but it does have a big claim to fame – a huge flea market! With 600 vendors and a website and Facebook page promoting the flea market, this is way more than a small town, local affair! For those interested, the next flea market of 2012 is June 30 – July 1st. Whether you like browsing for antiques or are looking for hand-crafted jewelry, it promises to be a fun experience at Stormville.

Other than this very unusual fact, Stormville is a typical Hudson Valley small town in that it offers a naturally beautiful setting for a quiet life style. Hopewell Junction and East Fishkill at large offer dining and shopping options and there is also Wappinger Falls with a slew of stores. But Stormville is really quiet and best suited for those who are not looking for a hopping bar scene or a vibrant downtown.

Stormville students may end up going to Arlington, Carmel, Pawling or Wappingers public schools depending on the street address. All of them have fairly good reputations although there is the occasional criticism of some large class sizes. East Fishkill offers excellent park and recreation programs which can be very attractive to parents looking for organized sports programs. Their soccer tournament during the Memorial Day weekend is well attended from teams across the region.

You may hear that the Green Haven correctional facility, a maximum security prison, is in Stormville. While it does have a Stormville address, it is officially in Beekman.

If all these facts create a hodge-podge image of Stormville, the one picture really worth keeping in mind is of verdant meadows and expansive uncluttered landscape.
Pros
  • Famous flea market
  • Green and picturesque
  • Little traffic
Cons
  • No business or nightlife
  • Sparsely populated
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jun 25, 2012

"Mellow Montrose - A Nature-Lover's Dream!"

Montrose is in the northwestern part of Westchester County, a part of the Town of Cortlandt. It offers that much-sought after combination of commute convenience and untrampled greenery that is the hallmark of the best parts of Westchester. Montrose is close to the Cortland Metro North station; some residents of Montrose choose to use Peekskill or Croton-Harmon depending on the parking considerations or for accessing the express trains. A 55 minute train ride will take you to Grand Central in Manhattan.

At the end of that commute what do you come home to? A town with two beautiful parks and plenty of greenery. A lifestyle that is a dream for anyone looking for fresh air and open spaces. And river views! Those who work in the city but would like a more country life style are drawn to Montrose because it is a tucked-away little town. Montrose is not about the cute downtown and the quaint coffee shop.

Having said that, it is important to clarify that Montrose is not far from those kinds of amenities. It is necessary to get into a car but within a 15-20 mins drive there are plenty of charming eating and shopping options and this includes everything from the functional to the fancy.

Montrose is particularly attractive to families with kids because this is a place to provide the kind of stable and secure environment that many parents want for their children. The reputation of the Henrick Hudson schools is a big draw. Montrose is served by the Frank G. Lindsey Elementary School and the children meet the kids from the other elementary schools at the middle school before moving on to the high school. Henrick Hudson appears to have a balanced emphasis on academic and extra-curricular excellence.

For a small hamlet, Montrose offers some surprising dining choices. The Indian restaurant and the Mexican-Italian cafe draw people from many neighboring communities as well as they add to the cuisine diversity of Northern Westchester.

Montrose is relatively affordable and offers a fair range in housing options. There is much to recommend it to those who are moving in to the area.
Pros
  • awesome parks
  • Good school system
  • Peace and quiet
Cons
  • No real shopping
  • No nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jun 25, 2012

"A Small Town with a Big Focal Point: A Nuclear Plant!"

Hudson Valley river town with affordable housing and low taxes - seems too good to be true? Yes, there is the minor detail of the Indian Point nuclear plant with the two reactors. Those who are concerned about the safety implications of the nuclear plants avoid Buchanan. Others, who do not share those concerns, enjoy the low taxes and the spectacular views that this town has to offer! How you feel about Buchanan is very closely tied to how you feel about nuclear power plants, because while the plant is a hot button topic in the county at large it is impossible to avoid the issue if someone is considering living here.

If you decide to live in Buchanan what will you find? A primarily residential suburb with a small commercial section. Most of the houses here are single family homes although there are some multi-family homes for those looking for an apartment on condo. The houses tend to be on fairly nice sized properties. Lake Meahagh and the Hudson River both offer many neighborhoods in Buchanan with water views. The shoreline of the lake is popular for biking and walking and in winter, if it freezes over, there is ice skating!

The local public school district is the highly regarded Henrick Hudson. The school has earned a reputation for academic excellence at the national level.

The Cortlandt Metro North station is close to Buchanan and is a 55 train ride from Grand Central. This does make Buchanan a viable commuter town to NYC. Buchanan is also reasonably close to Peekskill and its vibrant downtown area. While Buchanan itself does not have much by way of shopping, Cortlandt Town Center offers options for shopping and entertainment.

Buchanan is a unpretentious and welcoming community that offers a laid-back lifestyle for those who are willing to look beyond the Indian Point power plant.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Low Taxes
Cons
  • Nuclear Power Plant
  • Boring
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
4/5 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 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jun 18, 2012

"Affordable Water-Front Living: Small but Definitely Special!"

Here are three facts about this community: Lake Peekskill is a hamlet in Putnam Valley. It shares a name with a more well-known town in another county, but is not really near Peekskill. And the lake is not so much a lake, as a reservoir! The unusual details all add up to create a picture of this small residential neighborhood.

The central focus here is definitely the lake - all residents have access to the three private beaches and can get boat tags to maintain a boat. This water-front lifestyle is within a one hour drive from Manhattan and the average prices are in the $300,000 range making it seem affordable compared to the price tags in Westchester County. The flip side is that Lake Peekskill is not a typical suburb for those looking for malls within 10 minute driving distance and multiple Starbucks around town. This is more along the lines of a serene setting where one can commune with Mother Nature.

If this sounds attractive to you, then you'll find that all the amenities are within a reasonable driving distance. Lake Peekskill is fairly close to Mohegan Lake, Cortlandt Manor and Jefferson Valley all of which are places with shopping and dining options.

The Lake Peekskill children attend the Putnam Valley School District which has a total of about 2000 kids from kindergarten through 12th grade. The schools in this system have developed a strong reputation for offering more than the bare minimum academic courses.

Lake Peekskill used to be a summer destination for New York City residents not long ago - if the idea of making a summer getaway your year round residence holds appeal, you should check out Lake Peekskill at the earliest possible!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
4/5 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 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jun 18, 2012

"Golf Courses and Water Views: Far From the Madding Crowd!"

Putnam Valley is the place to go for those looking for the life of peace and quiet amid vast expanses of land - all within commute distance from Manhattan! Putnam Valley is, as may be expected, in Putnam County. It is a place where the selling point is not shopping or dining as much as hiking and biking!

If you are a nature lover and like the idea of a couple of acres property, it is definitely more affordable here than anywhere further south including Northern Westchester. Add to this the fact that Putnam Valley has embraced the bucolic identity and prides itself on being residential with large tracts of undeveloped property, you can safely bet that there will be no strip mall replacing the wooded stretches in the near future. This commitment to preserving natural beauty is challenged whenever there is debate about the town's finances. One school of thought is that Putnam Valley can cautiously allow some commercial development to offset the tax burden of residents. It will be interesting to see how the town finds its balance on this issue.

For now residents of Putnam Valley go to neigboring communities for their groceries and other more elaborate shopping. There is plenty of choice within a 20 minute driving distance as it is not far from the Cortlandt Town Center and the Jefferson Valley Mall. Dining options in the surrounding towns also makes up for the lack in Putnam Valley itself.

The residents of Putnam Valley send their kids to the Putnam Valley School District which is very highly rated. Their emphasis on technology and music-arts along with the traditional academic curriculum draws much positive feedback. The school district along with the great park and recreational facilities and the sports leagues can all be counted as reasons that make Putnam Valley a very child-friendly community.
Pros
  • Great school system
  • Peaceful and quiet
  • Solid recreational programs
  • Affordability
Cons
  • Lacks commercial development
  • No nearby Metro-North Station
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
Jun 08, 2012

"Small residential community bordered by Route 9"

Crown Heights is a small section of Poughkeepsie made up primarily of middle income homes and trailers. The hamlet is bordered on one side by Route 9 and on the other by the Hudson River. The river offers great views and Route 9 offers access to shopping and dining. It is a pity that there is not a park or residential development yet to take advantage of the Hudson views that we can see if we take the Metro North train.

Children in Crown Heights go to the Spackenkill Union Free School District. Nassau Elementary seems to be the school serving the young kids in this area. The schools have a fairly solid reputation as offering interesting specialized programs to meet diverse student needs.

Among the good restaurants on Route 9 right near Crown Heights are Crew, Bonefish Grill and Umberto's. Red Lobster and Giacomo Pizza Express are also in the immediate area. There are quite a few exciting options further up Route 9 for those looking for varied cuisine.

Given the geography of Crown Heights and the dependence on Route 9 for access, traffic can be an issue during peak commute hours. The train line which runs through Crown Heights is not immediately useful as the nearest train station is actually New Hamburgh. NYC is approximately 75 mins by car or train.


Crown Heights is a safe and secure neighborhood for families looking for affordable options in the Poughkeepise area. While it is not hopping with activity, it is close to all the shopping and dining in the larger Poughkeepsie community and that is aplenty.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
4/5 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 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jun 08, 2012

"Settle in to savor the abundant natural beauty...."

Garrison is a glittering gem on the crown that is Hudson Valley. Hudson Valley living is unlike what many people will be prepared for, if they are not from the area. The idea of a place that is approximately an hour from New York City conjures up images of a busy suburb with bustling shopping, varied dining and well-manicured lawns. Garrison does offer some interesting dining but is different from this image in every other way.

Garrison is a hamlet in Phillipstown and it offers a spectacular setting for those who want to make the most of the Hudson Valley experience. Whether you are a visitor to the area or are thinking of a move, Garrison can give you a taste of the laid-back, country-style living typical of this larger area. The one-lane highway and the several mud roads are symbolic of the way Garrison defines itself. Folks live here because they like the idea of a quieter life style and they do not think in terms of rushing to places. They are not looking for a downtown coffee shop or a huge discount store in the neighborhood. They are looking for great nature walks, nice views and expansive lots. There is a range of housing options from small to mansion and this is reflected in the price.

Families with children should know that Garrison Union Free School District offers classes for kids from Kindergarten to 8th grade. High school involves going to Cold Spring or Highland Falls. The k-8 experience promises to be something special though with a 181 school forest and Outdoor Learning Gardens. Given the thriving artistic community in and around Garrison, the children can also expect opportunities to explore their creative potential.

Supermarkets and malls are roughly 20 to 25 minutes away although immediate necessities are available in non-chain stores in Cold Spring or Garrison. Peekskill is probably the closest place for more extenstive shopping. Given the limited shopping, it may seem surprising that there are many good diningh establishments in Garrison and neighboring Cold Spring. The tourist element probably has a hand in this development.

Garrison can be idyllic for the nature lover looking for a slower pace of life. Outdoor activities, history, cultural engagements are all icing on the cake, which is the natural grandeur of the Hudson Valley views.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 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 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jun 04, 2012

"Setting of an Urban Legend!"

West Harrison is a small section of the larger Town/Village of Harrison. Like the larger community it is an affluent Westchester neighborhood that offers a serene and secluded lifestyle. The woods and the natural beauty of the area draw many a nature lover and the relatively easy Metro North train commute from the Harrison station makes it a nice bedroom community for many who work in Manhattan.

The good reputation of the schools draws parents to this neighborhood. Its physical location gives this community an above average degree of seclusion making it seem tucked away among the hills! All this makes for a strong sense of community. The shopping and dining here can seem limited but there are plenty of choices in Harrison and nearby White Plains. The local restaurants that have a good reputation include Aquario, 97 Lake and Trevi Ristorante. For a casual observer or visitor West Harrison exemplifies the iconic well-off suburb.

There is another facet to West Harrison though - it centers around Buckout Street and the many interesting urban legends surrounding this street. There are stories of albinos and witches and slaughters associated with this area which makes it a popular place for a teen dare. Now with the news that the the screenplay for a movie based on Buckout Street has been purchased, there is a real possibility that this winding street in a quiet suburb may acquire a national reputation! Whether it acquires cult status or remains a trivia answer, the stories about this street definitely give West Harrison an unusual status!
Pros
  • Beautiful setting
  • Community pool
Cons
  • Can feel too quiet, at times
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Jun 04, 2012

"A Place to Stop and Savor Life"

LaGrangeville is a central part of Dutchess County - this town with its good schools, great parks and strong sense of neighborly spirit offers a great setting for those who like to take a deep breath a savor life's simple pleasures.

LaGrange has come in the radar of those commuting to the city in recent days as there is fairly easy access to the Poughkeepsie Metro North train station. The relatively more affordable newer homes here have drawn families who have not been happy with what their money can but in communities in Westchester county.

LaGrange was farm country not very long ago and even as it becomes increasingly more developed, you can still see vestiges of the earlier days in the spread out meadows. The restaurants and shops do offer a sign of the changes that are happening in this community and every sign indicates that we can hope to see more development. Locally you have The Villa, The Daily Planet and Amedeos Brick Oven Pizzeria for dining out options. Poughkeepsie, which isn't far, also offers many exciting shopping and dining options.

LaGrange parks win rave reviews and suggest a very family friendly environment. The schools are considered good and there are good park and recreation programs. There is a good community library. Organized sports like soccer are a big part of growing up in LaGrange and those who love such sports and activities will find good opportunities in this community.

LaGrange is a town that offers the promise of a wholesome lifestyle for those who can afford the sticker price.
Pros
  • Good Schools
  • Great Farmer's Market in the summer/fall
  • Great dog park at Overlook Park!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 27, 2012

"Charming and Inviting - Cold Spring is a great destination town!"

Cold Spring in Hudson Valley is a picturesque town with a active main street and spell-binding views. Main street is filled with restaurants and antique shops and all of it invites visitors to linger and browse and enjoy a warm summer day. As you walk down further and takes the stairs down to the lower half of Main Street you will walk toward the Hudson River with the towering mountain rising behind it. The street is lined with many benches along the way, an indication of the visitor-friendly ambience of this section of Cold Spring As some others have mentioned parking can be a challenge on weekends when the weather is good. But usually the side streets offer options and it is great to see the more residential aspect of this town also.

The lots near the downtown are small but the houses are extremely well-maintained and there is a overall sense of neighborliness and community in Cold Spring. In many ways, it reminded me of places like Carmel in California - the street lined with antique stores and restaurants and the many couples walking hand-in-hand may have had something to do with it!


While I only know Cold Spring as a weekend visitor, there are quite a few inns and B&B's here indicating that there are many folks who come to spend some time in this lovely town. It is a great place to plan a romantic get-away or a girls weekend out.

From all that I hear, Cold Spring is also great for residents. A small and active local government with an involved citizenry means that there is a great sense of community pride. The schools are good and the public amenities are excellent. Housing is cheaper than some places further down south and there is still a direct train connection to New York City.

Whether you are considering a place to move or checking out a Hudson River town to visit, Cold Spring should be on your list. Even if you choose to not live here, you'll not regret spending a day scouting out the real estate here!
Pros
  • Scenic views of the Hudson
  • Great school system
  • Historic value
  • Local charm
Cons
  • Tourist destination
  • Parking can be challenging
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 23, 2012

"Small town offering great value"

I cant quite find out why this neighborhood in North Salem is called Croton Falls - I havent found any waterfalls in the area. However, the absence of the falls does not take away from the overall greenery and wooded charm of Croton Falls. It is a small section of North Salem where there are some single family homes which can be considered affordable especially given the property values of larger estates in the rest of the Town of North Salem.

Croton Falls is very popular with commuters because the Metro North station is right here. The train ride to Manhattan in over an hour but the fact that many people do live here and work in NYC suggests that it is definitely in the realm of the possible. This bedroom community is not quite what people think of as suburban living in the rest of the country. It is more typical of Westchester County in that there are not many strip malls and shopping complexes. Shopping in Croton Falls is sparse to say the least; however, there is plenty within reasonable driving distance given that Somers Town Shopping Center is 10 mins away and Danbury is about 20 minutes away. This applies to all the restaurant options in the communities nearby. Both Westchester and Putnam County offer quite a few nice dining possibilities for the residents of Croton Falls.

North Salem residents have access to good schooling and nice community services. It is considered family friendly and safe and this applies to Croton Falls also. Families researching an affordable nature haven kind of experience in Northern Westchester, without compromising education, should definitely keep Croton Falls on their list of places to consider.
Pros
  • Charming countryside
  • great for commuters
  • has a train station
Cons
  • Can feel quiet and isolated at times
  • Must travel to get necessities
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 22, 2012

"Pristine and Peaceful"

And they really want to keep it that way! North Salem is at the north end of Westchester County and shares boundaries with Connecticut and Putnam County. The Town of North Salem includes the North Salem Hamlet, Purdys, Croton Falls and Salem Center. This is a historic community with streets named after early settlers and mile markers carried over from the original Boston Post Road. The minimal population spread over the entire town makes it a very low density area. It is a great place for country lovers and offers a very special lifestyle.

North Salem schools are great and the community services are excellent. The school district recently announced the Magna Award on their website. The Ruth Keeler library in North Salem actually allows patrons to check out Nooks, the electronic readers, with their public library cards.

North Salem median house prices are above $700,000. This is not a place for someone looking for affordable housing but for those who can afford to live here it is a unique experience. One hour from Manhattan, with a train station in Croton Falls, and yet deep in horse country. While shopping and dining options are limited in North Salem because of strictly observed zoning, there are plenty of options in many nearby towns from Katonah to White Plains and beyond in NY. Danbury in CT is also a short driving distance away.
Pros
  • Great public library
  • scenic country roads
  • Excellent schools
Cons
  • no public transportation
  • not much shopping
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 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 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 18, 2012

"Spanning everything from Suburban to Semi-rural"

Putnam County lies north of Westchester County and is over an hour's drive from New York City. While some of the places in Putnam are past the point of convenient daily commute for Manhattan, many of the towns here are popular bedroom communities earning Putnam the distinction of being called an exurb or extra -urban county. Putnam County also has the distinction of being the 11th most affluent county in the country according to the median income of the people living here. This well-off county offers an attractive mixture of easy access to urban living in a rural setting.

Putnam County was a part of Dutchess County as recently as the 19th century. Putnam County was detached from Dutchess County in 1812 and like much of this general area it has a long history interwoven with the history of the nation. There are many landmarks from the National Historical Registry in this county that will be a treat from any history lover.

The other big attraction of Putnam County is the unspoiled stretches of bucolic beauty. Putnam was not farmland for many years because its terrain and the location made it hard to be an agrarian community. While this did change to an extent, there is still some of the charm of the rugged terrain to be seen in part of Putnam County.

There are many charming towns and neighborhoods which offer great housing and shopping options. The school districts have good report cards from state testing and the crime rate is not a source of worry or concern. It is possible to get a nice sized property with land and Putnam County has over the years become the place of choice for urbanites looking for some serious country living.
Pros
  • Accessibility to NYC
  • Good Schools
  • Charming towns
Cons
  • Fairly quiet
  • not too much diversity
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 14, 2012

"History, verdant splendor, quality living, affordable prices!"

Dutchess County, which is mid-way between New York City and Albany, is an exciting mixture of the old and the new; the natural and man-made. There is much to recommend Dutchess County whether you are exploring it as a place to reside or a place to visit.

Those looking for homes here will appreciate the amount of land and house they can get for the money especially compared to some of the communities further down South in Westchester County. The housing range is extensive as there are lovely old homes with character and spanking new developments with the latest in upgrades. So, you can choose the kind of housing that suits your tastes. There are plenty of rental options also for those who are not looking to own a home.

Dutchess County's western border is actual 30 miles along the Hudson River. This combined with the many expansive parks and nature preserves, makes it a great place for every nature lover. Hiking and biking trails, fishing lakes and bird watching lookout points are plentiful and there is easy access to enjoy nature in all her glory.

The other fascinating part of Dutchess County is the history of this area. It has been part of American history from the time of the Native Americans through the European settlers and the Revolutionary War to modern times. There are many historical landmarks including the Roosevelt house that are worth a visit.

This county also offers many good schools, communities committed to offering high-caliber public services and extensive options for shopping and dining. Whether you think of it as living the American Dream or a chance to enjoy serene suburbia, Dutchess County can offer you real value for your money.
Pros
  • fascinating history
  • great parks
  • Relatively affordable
  • Welcoming communities
Cons
  • most places need a car
  • Somewhat removed from excitement
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 14, 2012

"Small town with a spirit all its own!"

North White Plains, which is just North of White Plains, is part of North Castle. It is a town that could have been eclipsed by the city lights of White Plains or the swankiness of Armonk - it says something about North White Plains that it manages to hold its own instead of becoming lost in the shuffle. One big reason for this is that North White Plains has a separate Metro North Station, giving it a distinct and recognizable identity

North White Plains is close to all that White Plains offers but offers housing at a slightly less expensive price point. I is close to the serene suburb that Armonk epitomizes but offers a slightly more diverse community.

Shopping and dining access are aplenty and unlike other Westchester villages that can seem fairly remote and rural this feel like it is in the heart of things. The schools are seen as a bit of mixed bag as some students go to the White Plains school system and others go to Valhalla. Opinion is divided about which makes for a better student.educational experience.

While there are some parts of North White Plains that can feel a little uncertain if you are lost in the dark, it is seen largely as a safe community.
Pros
  • Close to everything
  • Good commute location
Cons
  • some unsafe streets
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 14, 2012

"The story of the town that became a village...."

Harrison is a town and village - the board marking the town limits says: "Welcome to the Town/Village of Harrison, NY." A board made me curious and here's the story behind it. As I understand it, in 1967, John Passimodo, the then Mayor of Harrison, countered a move by some residents of Purchase to secede as a village from the Town of Harrison by re-defining Harrison as a Village and Town! While I do not know the technicalities of how this worked, it seems like he took the approach that if we are already a village, there's no question of a group splitting away to form another village.

Despite all this drama in its past and a fairly complex identity, Harrison Village is largely a charming and affluent neighborhood with some great homes. Purchase, which is a section of Harrison, also has the corporate headquarters of MasterCard and Pepsi. Despite this corporate presence, the area's overwhelming vibe is residential.

Harrison is fairly small but its proximity to Manhattan and ease-of-access via train and freeways makes it a popular choice for many people who are looking for a bedroom community to NYC. The good reputation of the schools and the extensive park and rec facilities combined with the good shopping and dining access in neighboring towns has made Harrison a great fit for many checklists.

Those who are looking for what exactly Westchester County offers will get an idea of the package if they explore Harrison. Here’s a place that holds the promise of high-quality suburban lifestyle, with a price tag to match.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
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 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 10, 2012

"A life amid meadows and lakes..."

If you grew up in a urban setting reading books about places with sprawling meadows and crystal-clear lakes, Kent will seem like a place of those kind of books. It is lifestyle where nature's dominant beauty is such a part of every day reality that people almost take it for granted. Kent offers bucolic, country-living at its best.

Kent is in the northern part of Putnam County making it a little over an hour away from New York City. It was this proximity that once made it a summer destination for the wealthy families. And Kent used to be the dairy supplying center for NYC dwellers until that lifestyle was changed by the many reservoirs that were built in the 1920s. Farm lands were submerged and it changed the landscape and focus of the folks in Kent.

Kent is reputed to have a good school district as the residents here send their children to the Carmel Central School District. The relative safety, peace and quiet of this town coupled with the access to the nearby exciting destinations, all add-up to make Kent an attractive location for young families looking for a good suburb. It is important to acknowledge that this is not a lifestyle that will work for everyone. If you are the kind of person who likes a very social environment with a lot of structured recreation, Kent may be a challenge. Given that NYC and Westchester County are not far away, you can easily find entertainment within driving distance. Shopping and dining out options are available aplenty in those places even if Kent offers a limited selection.
Pros
  • Hiking trails
  • Peaceful neighborhoods
  • Seasonal swimming lake
Cons
  • Can feel remote
  • Car needed for activity
  • No businesses
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 06, 2012

"For a Life of Quiet Comfort"

Amawalk is one of the hamlets that make up the Town of Somers. The reservoir that borders this hamlet is a big part of the visual appeal of the area. The many tree-lined avenues and the potential water views make this a classic Westchester neighborhood. The residents of Amawalk can send their children to the Somers school system which have earned a great reputation for their academics and extra-urricular programs.

Amawalk is a residential neighborhood and there are no shops in the immediate neighborhood but the Yorktown Triangle Shopping Center is 5-7 minutes away and there are many good stores in that complex. A&P, T.J. Maxx, Panera, Mrs. Green's and GameStop are among the shops here. There are also Piatto Grill, Himalayas and Okinawa are also right here giving quite a range of cuisine options for those looking to dine out.

There are several great nature hike options in the vicinity including Lasdon Park and Reis Park. I'd also like to mention the Angle Fly Preserve for the nature lovers out there. This 654 nature preserve, named for the "last natural brook-trout spawning stream in Westchester," is maintained by the Somers Land Trust and offers opportunities for " hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, bird watching, and nature study."

Amawalk is a quiet community that offers the essentials of a good suburban lifestyle. Those commuting into NYC and looking for a train station can use the Metro North station at Goldens Bridge.
Pros
  • very peaceful
  • Good resources in surrounding areas
Cons
  • Not very diverse
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 05, 2012

"History waiting to be explored..."

I had heard about Fishkill in the context of IBM well before I came to the area and always thought it a strange name. After moving to the area, when I asked around I found out that the 'kill' refers to creek and is evidence of the early Dutch influence in the area - so, we have Peekskill and Catskills among other similar names in the vicinity.

I recently had an occasion to visit the Van Wyck Homestead Museum in Fishkill to help some kids with their research of Colonial times and found it a very education experience. The large frame farmhouse that sits just off the junction of I-84 and Route 9 may not look like much from outside. However, I highly recommend a visit to anyone interested in a history of the area. The museum in maintained by the Fishkill Historical Society which came into existence in the 1960s mainly to save this house from demolition during the I-84 construction. This 1730s structure was originally the home of Isaac Van Wyck and his family. It was requisitioned to be the Officers’ Headquarters by the Continental Army in 1776. Many key figures of that time were visitors here. The rooms inside this homestead allow you to get a feel for the life of the times. It is also a good way to get a personal sense of the history that shaped the region. The Fishkill of today is such a typical bustling suburb that it is very easy to forget that it has been around a long time and there are buildings here with many stories to share.

As other reviewers have pointed out, Fishkill has a lot to offer in terms of conveniences and amenities for those looking to settle in the area. It offers a small town vibe with big town amenities.
Pros
  • Strong school system
  • Village-like atmosphere
  • Safe
Cons
  • Heavy traffic possible
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 04, 2012

"An attractive hamlet with nice homes"

Granite Springs is a hamlet in Somers that sits adjacent to Yorktown and along the perimeter of the Amawalk Reservoir. The hamlet is typical of Westchester in that there are lovely wooded drives and pretty homes.

There is some commercial development in this predominantly residential neighborhood and this includes the lovely Traditions 118 Restaurant. This is a great place for an intimate dinner or a nice get-together. The cheerful ambience here was a nice fit for a fundraiser last year when teachers from a nearby school district volunteered as serving staff.

The other distinctive location in Granite Springs is Stuart’s Farm which is said to be the oldest apple orchard in Westchester County. The farm has been in operation since 1828! It is popular for school field trips and is a great place for family apple picking as well.

Granite Springs is part of the larger Town of Somers and so the children here go to the Somers schools. The park and recreation programs here are considered good and there are also sports leagues to keep the children engaged in structured physical activity. Granite Springs is a nice place to raise a family.

While there in no train station in the immediate area, Goldens Bridge and Croton Falls stations are within 20 minutes drive. Granite Springs’ residents can use Route 202, 35 and 118 for easy access to neighboring communities and to reach major highways like 684 or the Taconic State Parkway.
Pros
  • Nice neighborhood
  • Good schools
Cons
  • no real shopping or nighlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 03, 2012

"Picturesque hamlet with lovely homes"

There are towns in neighborhoods in Westchester, where even when you are on auto-pilot at the end of a long day or while focused on errands that it is hard to ignore the beauty of your surroundings. For me the drive through Lincolndale is always a moment of acknowledging the gorgeous setting. The drive along 202 as I go past the Lincoln Hall Boys'Haven - an alternative school - with the low wall and the greenery all around is particularly striking. This lake community is known to be very cohesive and considered a lovely place to raise a family.

There isn't much to see or do in Lincolndale as it is a primarily residential neighborhood. However, it does have great access to nearby shopping and so that is not a deterrent. The famous Angelbrook Golf Course is nearby as another reviewer has mentioned and is considered one of the primary courses, not just in the area, but the nation as well. For those looking for great walking paths Reis Park and Koegel Park in the near vicinity offer some nice options.

Lincolndale is a part of the Town of Somers and this means that it part of the great public school system and the reputed park and recreation program as well. Children growing up in Lincolndale have access to good facilities and great programs through the Somers Public Library as well.

Lincolndale is a quiet community with much to offer those looking for natural beauty and a suburban setting.
Pros
  • Part of a great school system
  • Lake used for swimming and ice skating
Cons
  • No nightlife or entertainment
  • not good for low income
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
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 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 02, 2012

"View galore in this tiny hamlet"

As you can see in any map, Verplanck is the lovely peninsula part of the Town of Cortlandt. It is small with only 300 households and with water on three sides there are many places from where you get great water views. The neighborhood plays up its water connection also as the winter berth of the historic Half Moon, Henry Hudson’s ship. These days it is a travelling museum operated by a crew of volunteers.

Verplanck residents send their children to the Cortlandt schools and the public school system here has a good reputation. While they are not considered the stars of the Westchester community schools, there is much here to make students and parents proud.

There are not mean dining choices or shopping arcades in Verplanct. Paradise Restaurant and a couple of delis are great for immediate options and one can always drive to one of the neighboring communities for more variety. Cortandt Town Center and JV mall offer shopping options to Verplanck residents.
It is quiet community that is great for nature lovers; it is not for those looking for cosmopolitan excitement or a bustling night life!
Pros
  • Lots of water views
  • Very green and open
  • fascinating history
Cons
  • No nightlife or entertainment
  • not very diverse
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
May 02, 2012

"Well laid-out and welcoming!"

Baldwin Place is essentially a section of the Town of Somers. This almost-rectangular neighborhood includes a combination of old and newer housing and the commercial section at Somers Commons. It seems like it is more mixed-development than many of the neighboring communities in Somers. Route 202/35 runs right through Baldwin Place, making it a sort of familiar community for people getting to and from Somers, Yorktown, Lake Mahopac or even Katonah.

The children in this community also attend the well-established Somers schools and have access to the stellar community park and recreation programs. It is a great place for families with kids as the town offers engaging opportunities and the location makes it easy to access other entertainment such as a hike in Lasdon Park or a film at Cortlandt Town Center.

The shopping at Somers Commons includes a Goodwill Store and a Once Upon a Child if you are looking to donate or recycle or get gently used clothing or toys. And there’s a Learning Express Store for those looking for new toys! My favorite store in the complex in the Home Goods which always has some interesting additions to its inventory. The Stop & Shop has an extensive bakery selection which makes it worth a stop for me. Some kids like this grocery store because you have the option to pick up your own scanner at the start and scan the price of each item that you are placing in your cart or basket – they enjoy the scanning and at the end the total is read from the scanner meaning there is no waiting in long grocery lines to make your payment

Dining options in Baldwin Place are not spectacular but it is really close enough to nice restaurants in the rest of Somers and in all the adjacent towns.
Pros
  • Nice mix of housing and shops
  • Great schools
Cons
  • no real night life
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
Apr 30, 2012

"Quiet and Contained"

Shenorock is a small hamlet which is part of Somers. This predominantly residential neighborhood has very little defining it as it is made of winding roads with nice homes but little else. Unless you live there or have a friend there, there is nothing to draw people there. Shopping is available easily in neighboring communities and is not a source of concern for the 650 households in this hamlet. Given that it is bordered by Route 202 and 118 it is well-connected to reach all the shopping in the vicinity whether in Somers or Yorktown.

The residents, as part of the Town of Somers, can send their children to the well-regarded Somers schools. The suburb also has a good park and recreation department with access to many good programs. Somers is one of the venues for a highly-rated soccer training camp in the summer and is popular among many of the Northern Westchester residents. In many ways Shenorock is a typical American suburb in that it is a good place for families to settle down and raise kids with little fear of crime. Its lack of diversity is notable, but not at all atypical.

The natural beauty of the setting - it is near the Amawalk Reservoir - is the one thing that is worth mentioning. It is hard to drive by without registering the gorgeous views. The wooded lanes and the water views can make for a calming commute!
Pros
  • Quiet & private
Cons
  • No stores; only one restaurant
  • Not a very diverse community
  • Can get too quiet, at times
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 30, 2012

"Active suburb with nice vibe"

Purdys is a part of North Salem and one of the northern most neighborhoods in Westchester County. It offers a life of sylvan splendor which feels like par for the course in these parts, but makes for breathtaking views and charming hikes that never fail to impress visitors. An indication of the natural wooded beauty of this area is the Sal J. Prezioso Mountain Lakes Park with its five lakes and many outdoor activity options.

Purdys is technically a NYC bedroom community because there is a train station nearby but it more than an hour ride to Grand Central. It is a quiet neighborhood with one or two great eat-out options but this is probably not the location for someone looking for a hopping downtown or nightlife. The neighborhood holds a lot of promise for a family of nature lovers looking for a good school district and a laid back lifestyle.

Purdys, like the rest of North Salem, is close to sections of Connecticut and so some shopping such as the mall in Danbury can well be closer than equivalent places in New York! The point is that though Purdys seems tucked away it is well positioned to get the best of many neighboring communities.
Pros
  • Good parks
  • Peaceful and quiet
  • Pretty safe
Cons
  • Not very diverse
  • Can feel too quiet and isolated, at times
  • no shopping center
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 11, 2012

"A community in the process of revitalization"

Brewster is a small village in the larger township of South East, although the larger area is often times referred to as Brewster as well. This village in Putnam County is slowly try to re-establish itself as a cultural center and among the ongoing efforts are main street revitalization and community pride events.

Brewster is close to Interstate 84, and the smaller Routes 6, 22 and 202. There is also a Metro North station and the train ride to Grand Central is around an hour and a half. Traffic can be an issue depending on the exact location and time of day.

Brewster is struggling with some issues related to illegal immigration and crowded housing. The need for labor in the affluent neighboring communities attracts many undocumented workers and Brewster has become one the places where there is affordable housing for these workers and their families. There is an on-going effort to police and moderate the impact of this pattern.
Brewster schools are decent and they are recognized as being particularly good about balancing arts education along with other academic initiatives. Brewster Ice Skating Rink is a popular destination for family entertainment. In the winter months people can make a short drive to Patterson to use to Thunder Ridge Ski area.

Many people come to Putnam County and Brewster because it is significantly more affordable than Westchester County and the property taxes and much lower. The money goes longer in Brewster and neighboring communities.

There is plenty of shopping and dining in Brewster. There are chain stores such as Kohl’s and independent shops as well. Among some of the good restaurants here are Jaipore, Southeast Grill House and Bob’s Diner.
Pros
  • Diversity in demographics
  • Metro-North access
Cons
  • Busy traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 11, 2012

"Laid back and family friendly..."

Cross River is one of the hamlets in the Town of Lewisboro. It is the part of Westchester County that borders Connecticut. It is close to Interstate 684 and that makes it convenient to drive to many places such as White Plains and Danbury.

Cross River homes are on par with Westchester County real estate prices and while there’s a range, this county lifestyle does not come cheap. Placed as it in close proximity to the Cross River Reservoir and the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, natural beauty is something you take for granted in Cross River.

The Katonah-Lewisboro School District caters to the needs of the students here and it is highly rated, especially the John Jay High School serving the community. Students can also experience the benefits of growing up in a place where nature hikes and walks can be part of every day schedule. There are also many opportunities for trying out organized sports through leagues catering to different age groups.

While there is no centralized shopping area or downtown, there are some interesting shops and restaurants in Cross River. Cameron’s – a 24/7 deli – and Treat Frozen Yoghurt are some of the nice places in the vicinity. There’s also an antique store in Cross River. Other than this there are great shops in the neighboring communities and within 15 mins drive.

Cross River is not big on diversity, but is fairly typical of much of Northern Westchester. There are few African-Americans, Hispanics or Asians in these neighborhoods which tend to be predominantly White.
Pros
  • great camping spots
  • great schools
Cons
  • must own a car
  • no night life
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 11, 2012

"A One of a Kind Hamlet"

Waccabuc is a small hamlet in the Town of Lewisboro. It is named after the lake that is a distinctive part of this neighborhood. This little known community has the distinction of having the highest median price of any zip code in Westchester County! This is partly explained by the fact that there is a two acre minimum for any property in Waccabuc with some streets having a four acre minimum requirement. So it is best to think of these as not just homes but as farms and estates. The Waccabuc Landowners Association, which is a collective of the area homeowners, has also bought 100 acres in an effort to preserve the beauty of the landscape and to ensure great hiking trails. As all this indicates, Waccabuc is a great place for people who appreciate the natural beauty of this area and can afford to pay top dollar for it.

There is not much by way of shopping or dining out options in Waccabuc. But it is in the heart of Lewisboro and not far from Danbury, CT and from Katonah both of which are great places for dining out and shopping.

The charm of Waccabuc, for those who choose to live here, is its rural setting and isolation. They enjoy the unpaved roads and opt to go pick up mail from the local post office as a way of catching up with the community. It is interesting to note that the Landowners Association owns the post office and the land around it – they did this when there was talk of closing down a Waccabuc post office and merging it with Lewisboro for cost-cutting. The residents like the area of their unique identity and small town feel strongly and so invested the money needed to keep things that way.

Waccabuc is not for everyone; but for the right person, it can be an incredible experience!
Pros
  • Peaceful and green
  • Untouched land areas
Cons
  • Remote
  • Not many activities
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 11, 2012

"A charming and cheerful suburb..."

The name of this neighborhood in the Town of Lewisboro brings to mind whimsical and fun landscapes. And the reality is not far off as Golden’s Bridge sits on the banks of the Croton River and has a charmed quality to it, especially if you drive by the water with the reflection of the setting sun casting everything in a wonderful glow. Why is this place called Golden’s Bridge? Apparently because someone named Abraham Golden or Golding built the bridge.

Golden’s Bridge may seem like a name out of a fairytale but it is real place with many real-world attractions. As it is part of Lewisboro, the children here get to attend the Katonah-Lewsiboro school district which has very good ratings. The white-collar community is very supportive of the public school system and parent involvement is a source of pride.

Golden’s Bridge has a Metro North train station on the Harlem Line and is over an hour away from Grand Central. There are commuters who do the daily trek and many others who use it for a dash of city living on the weekends. Golden’s Bridge is close to Danbury, CT and White Plains, NY and these also offer more entertainment and activity for those who want a change from the laid-back suburban vibe of this community.

The eating-out and entertainment options in Golden’s Bridge are fairly low-key but its easy access to the other hamlets of Lewisboro and to the swanky Katonah and Ridgefield downtowns, means there are plenty of shopping options for people in the area.

Golden’s Bridge housing caters to a range of budgets. While there are many sprawling homes in large lots, there are also smaller homes at more modest prices.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 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 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 11, 2012

"Secluded and Serene"

South Salem is one of the four hamlets of the Town of Lewisboro. It offers the natural beauty with the rolling hills and great views that are expected in this part of Westchester County. It is sometimes hard to believe that it is only an hour away from a bustling metropolis!

South Salem has some interesting dining options. Le Chateau has earned justifiably rave reviews and there are also more casual places. Erika’s Pasta & Pizza is a popular local eatery. If you can’t find what you want in South Salem, it is not far from Ridgefield, Danbury or Katonah and all those places have a wide variety of shopping and eating options. It is worth noting that there is an interesting antiques shop in South Salem.

South Salem residents fall under the Katonah-Lewisboro Public School District and this is a highly regarded school system. It is one of main elements in many a home-buyer’s checklist. Given the largely white collar profile of South Salem, many of the resident families have adults with college education. There is emphasis on academics and academic achievement in this community.

South Salem offers houses from the small and simple to the stunning and spacious. There is something to suit a range of budgets. When South Salem is called a relatively affordable community, it is not to be forgotten that once Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards owned property here. It is after all not far from the tony Town of Bedford.

Families with kids will find much to appreciate in the lush landscape of this area. The many lakes and nature preserves in the near vicinity make it an ideal place for nature lovers.
Pros
  • Charming
Cons
  • Can feel quiet and isolated
  • lacking diversity
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 11, 2012

"Beautiful and Budget-Friendly!"

The Town of Lewisboro is in northern Westchester County bordering Connecticut. It is a gorgeous setting with up-and-down roads and many water-view possibilities as it lies near the Croton and Muscoot Reservoirs. The hamlets of Golden’s Bridge, Cross River, South Salem and Waccabuc make up this town. It is close to Interstate 684 and there is the Golden’s Bridge Metro North train station also for public transport options. Golden’s Bridge is over an hour away from Grand Central and maybe easier as a weekend outing rather than a week day commute.

Lewisboro has seven lakes and several beautiful Nature preserves including the largest in Westchester County, the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. There are many walking paths and hiking trails which draw locals and visitors to the park lands of Lewisboro.
Lewisboro offers some shopping and dining options but it is also close enough to Katonah and Danbury, CT, to get the benefit of the eclectic shopping mix of those communities. Lewisboro does not have a downtown area but there are shops for necessities such as the A&P for groceries. Unfortunately the D’agastino in town closed in 2011 and it is rumored that a Diccico’s Market will be opening soon in Cross River.

If the beauty and convenience of Lewisboro attract many people, the clincher for them is the reputation of the Lewisboro-Katonah School District. John Jay High School, the only high school in the public school system here, is ranked in the top 200 high schools in the country!

Lewisboro offers this wonderful lifestyle at more affordable prices than some other down county communities. Its slight distance from Manhattan can work to the advantage of folks who are not looking to commute into the city every day. Here is the possibility of the best of Westchester living within more nominal budgets also.
Pros
  • Lovely location
  • Great schools
  • Caters to country-lovers
Cons
  • Can feel remote
  • not enough night life in some areas
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 11, 2012

"A Different Side of Rye"

The Village of Port Chester is in the City of Rye. As the name suggests, the village originated as a port and harbor town in the 18th century. Today the village has a reputation as a relatively moderately priced section of Westchester County with a remarkably diverse population. Port Chester is more middle income than wealthy. The houses sitting on well-maintained lots are not sprawling and there is a sense of a neighborhood rather than those unseen estates which are par for the course in some other Westchester communities. Port Chester offers economic and ethnic diversity.

The diversity in population is reflected in the interesting restaurants and eateries of this village. This is a big draw for people who want to try varied cuisine, particularly South American. This budding image as a foodie destination has also be augmented by the many other new areas opening up here such as the Mario Batali venture mentioned by another reviewer. The water front setting also adds to the charm of some of the restaurants such as the Bar Taco.

If the promise of reasonably priced property and cultural richness intrigues you, it may be good to know that Port Chester is also commuter-friendly as it is a train station on the New Haven Metro North train line.

The school system here is the Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District and it has an average rather than a spectacular reputation. There are three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Interestingly there is also one magnet school.

Port Chester also offers great shopping options – it has one of the few Costco’s in the Westchester area. DSW Shoe Warehouse is here also. There is a AMC Movie complex for those looking for an evening at the movies.
Pros
  • Diversity in demographics
  • Convenient public transportation
  • Waterfront bars and restaurants
Cons
  • School system doesn't rank very high
  • Not the safest area in Westchester
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 11, 2012

"Great community with interesting history...."

Tuckahoe is a hamlet in the Town of Eastchester. It was once famous for the Tuckahoe Marble which was used heavily in the Grecian style construction of the early 19th century – the quarry and the resultant industry was a big reason this area got settled with immigrant labor and two train stations. The quarry ran out in the early 20th century and since then it has been a predominantly residential neighborhood were multiple generations live adjacent to each other.

Tuckahoe is more affordable than neighboring Bronxville and it still offers the convenience of a great location and good access to shopping and dining. Folks in Tuckahoe can choose to walk to either Bronxville or Eastchester to browse the stores.

The residents are served by the Tuckahoe Union Free School District and the Eastchester Union Free School District. The schools have a reasonably good reputation.

Among the good restaurants in town are Spice Village, Ristorante Chianti and The Tap House. There are also many casual eateries and other hang-out options in Tuckahoe or in neighboring communities. Tuckahoe offers more diversity and racial and racial and ethnic mix than many areas of Westchester County.

The sense of a community with long-standing and shared history is an integral part of Tuckahoe. One hears of many families where the children grow up go away to study and come back to settle down here with their own families. The memories of growing up in Tuckahoe and the familiarity of the old neighborhood seem to be a big draw.

Property taxes are a source of stress as they tend to be fairly high like the larger Westchester County area. The limited commercial development leaves the homeowners carrying the bulk of the load and an increasing tax bill is one of the big topics here. There are also concerns that Tuckahoe, Eastchester and Bronxville are not optimally using their resources to minimize costs and this is something that will probably be revisited sooner rather than later.
Pros
  • Convenient Location
  • Nice Neighborhood
  • Safe
Cons
  • Can seem insular
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 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 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 11, 2012

"Bright and beautiful; smart and sophisticated!"

Bronxville is one square mile of power-packed real estate! This is considered a very desirable address not just in Eastchester but in Westchester County as a whole and the home prices are a testament to its popularity – the average price is a million dollars. There are some condos and co-ops and some rentals but it is going to take determination and tenacity to find a great deal on any housing in Bronxville.

Interestingly, Bronxville started as an artists’ colony promoted as such by pharmaceutical manufacturer William Van Duzer Lawrence in the 1890s when he built the homes that are now known as Lawrence Park. From those days of artists who came to enjoy the bucolic setting, Bronxville has transitioned to a very affluent and exclusive address in our times.

One of the biggest reasons for Bronxville’s popularity with new buyers is the school district. It is a small village and only residents of the village get to attend the schools here which automatically limits the class size. The kind of focus and attention possible with a small student body is amply seen in the standards of excellence at all grade levels.

Bronxville also offers great shopping and eat out options. Sarah Lawrence and Concordia, two colleges, are in the area and the student body has helped create a high-energy vibe and so unlike some other suburbs Bronxville does not feel dead at 9:00pm!

There are some who complain about the snootiness and elitism of the residents of Bronxville – the signs of wealth and privilege are abundant and it can be a little overwhelming sometimes. Truth is there are as many friendly people and arrogant people here as any other community this size.
Pros
  • Excellent school district
  • Fantastic shopping district
Cons
  • Exclusive
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 11, 2012

"Water-front Neighborhood, Close to Manhattan"

It is one of the neighborhoods that are a part of the Town of Mamaroneck along with the Village of Larchmont and an unincorporated area. It is also a part of the town of Rye! Makes for some interesting conversations, doesn’t it? Especially as the portion of Mamaroneck which is a part of the city of Rye is sometimes called Rye Neck!

While defining the physical dimensions of Mamaroneck Village maybe a challenge, it’s not that hard to describe its vibe or ambience. It is an upscale neighborhood on the shores of the Long Island Sound with a reputed school system and many gorgeous homes. The Village of Mamaroneck includes parts of two public school districts. The eastern and northern parts of the village are part of the Rye Neck Union Free School District. The western and southern portions of the village are classified with the Mamaroneck Union Free School District. So depending on the address, a resident can end up in either of these very good school districts.

Mamaroneck downtown offers plenty of shopping options and there are shops along Boston Post Road and Mamaroneck Avenue. There are a range of restaurant options for those looking to dine out. Water-related activities are a big part of the entertainment options in the warmer months, given the village’s location.

Mamaroneck Village, along with the rest of Mamaroneck, is slowly becoming more diverse. There is a growing Hispanic and Asian population and that is changing the tone of the place and making it seem more like a real neighbor of New York City!
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 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 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 10, 2012

"Sumptuous Shoreline Lifestyle!"

The Village of Larchmont is a part of the larger Town of Mamaroneck in Westchester County. Located on a beautiful setting on the Long Island Sound, Larchmont exemplifies the kind of waterside lifestyle one envisions from glamorous movies and books.

Larchmont is a unique combination of small town and urban sophistication. It is a place that attracts many professionals in the financial industry. There are some apartments and condos but by-and-large it is a traditional single-family home kind of neighborhood.

The schools fall under the Mamaroneck Union Free School District for the most part and this is district comes highly recommended. Given that Larchmont is very family oriented, means fairly heavy community involvement in the school activities. However, the exact border between the villages and the addresses and zip codes is a little bit of mystery to me, and I am told to many of the residents too! Suffice it to say, that by-and-large life in and around Larchmont and Mamaroneck is comparably luxurious.

Larchmont has a charming shopping area with many street-facing store fronts which are a pleasure to stroll by and browse. There is a nice mixture of chain stores and independents and shoppers can check out boutiques and antique stores along with more typical shopping in this area. Among some of the good restaurants here are Plates Restaurant, Espana Wine & Tapas Bar and Turquoise.

Larchmont homes are high-end even by Westchester standards, which are well above national average. The village also has steep property taxes as there is little commercial development to alleviate the burden of home owners. Despite these financial realities, Larchmont’s cache continues to grow! It is testament to the draw of the aura of this small town!
Pros
  • Friendly Community
  • Good School System
  • Sandy Beach and Parks
  • Family-friendly
  • Cute shops
Cons
  • Expensive
  • High real estate prices & taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 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 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 10, 2012

"More than a wealthy water town!"

The name Mamaroneck is said to be derived from a Native American phrase meaning “where the sweet waters meet the sea.” This harbor town is definitely aptly named. Mamaroneck as we know it today started when an English merchant living in Oyster Bay purchased land from the Siwanoy Indian in 1661. From a small settlement it has grown to its present size which includes the Villages of Larchmont and Mamaroneck and also an unincorporated section. It is rather impressive to think that this growth has come while the town has retained much of its essential charm and beauty.

Mamaroneck is one of those Westchester County towns that was for a period in the 19th century a summer destination for people from New York City. The train stations that made these places popular to visitors slowly paved the way to their becoming commuter communities. Today with its easy train access and proximity to highways, Mamaroneck continues to win commuter approval.

Mamaroneck is, like much of Westchester County, an affluent community. However, there’s more diversity in the residents here and the bustling Mamaroneck Avenue and Harbor Island Park all communicate a more cosmopolitan vibe that the typical suburban enclave. Mamaroneck’s location on the Long Island Sound means there are houses here with water views that fetch a premium price. There are also co-ops and condos for those looking for alternatives to single family homes.
Most Mamaroneck residents use the Mamaroneck public school system while some fall in areas served by the Rye Neck Union Free School District. Both are very favorably reviewed and so the public school system is a draw for many young families.

There are many shopping and dining options in Mamaroneck. Everything from casual to fine dining and chains to haut couture is an option here. Sal’s Pizzeria and La Provencal both get good ratings!
Pros
  • Great setting
  • Water views
  • Good schools
Cons
  • Pricey
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 10, 2012

"The New Hamlet with Old World Charm!"

Bedford Corners is in the south eastern corner of the Town of Bedford right alongside Mount Kisco. Most people only think of Bedford Hills, Bedford Village and Katonah as Bedford hamlets largely because Bedford Corners is the new kid on the block, so to speak.
Bedford Corners has many of the swanky homes that are typical of this town and it also includes some more middle of the range properties. It is a little unclear why this is defined as a separate hamlet – and some people see it as a pure real estate game!
Stonecrest, a historic manor which is in the National Register of Historic Places, is in Bedford Corners. It is a Stick or Stick-Eastlake style house built in the early 20th century.

Bedford Corners offers great schools as it is part of the Bedford public school system. It also has easy access to the good shopping in Mount Kisco. There is above average diversity in Mount Kisco and so the elementary school serving this area is also less homogenous that some of the neighboring communities.

Dining out options exist in Katonah, Bedford Village and in Mount Kisco. There are also movie theaters and there is the famous Caramoor and Katonah Museum of Art to provide the cultural richness that is sometimes lacking in suburban living.

Natural beauty is without a doubt the real hallmark of this county and it can be seen in Bedford Corners’ rolling terrain. If you live here, you don’t have to travel far to get the full impact of the rebirth of spring or the gorgeous colors of fall.

Bedford Corners is a delightful combination of natural beauty and cultural richness, a true microcosm of the larger Town of Bedford.
Pros
  • Beautiful terrain
  • Good Schools
  • Peaceful
Cons
  • Can feel remote
  • Not much night life
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 10, 2012

"Centrally located with much to offer!"

Eastchester is a town that includes Bronxville, Tuckahoe and certain unincorporated sections. It is in Southern Westchester County and, therefore, fairly close to Manhattan. The train stations in Scarsdale and Crestwood are the closest Metro North access points for most Eastchester residents.

Eastchester attracts a wide variety of buyers because the neighborhood offers housing options such as co-ops in addition to the single-family homes typical of most suburbs. The co-ops are in the sections of Eastchester that shares a zip code with Scarsdale and are within walking distance to the Scarsdale station, making co-ops a particularly attractive option even for young professionals.

Families with kids are the bulk of the population and there’s much here for keeping various age groups engaged and happy. Sports leagues and recreational activities are aplenty. Lake Isle Club, with its multiple swimming pools, was once a private club and is now run by the town and is accessible to all residents. Some non-residents can also use the facilities.

Shopping is easy and there is variety. Everyone talks about the Vernon Hills Shopping Mall with its Ann Taylor Loft and Lord & Taylor. Besides the shopping in town, Eastchester is also close enough to other exciting shopping in Westchester.
Schools in Eastchester get a fairly good rating. There are many families that think well of the Eastchester system and the supportive educational environment. Some families opt to use parochial schools and they often site class size as a reason for the choice.

Interesting fact: Eastchester was once a central marble quarry location and Tuckahoe Marble was highly valued!
Pros
  • Diversity
  • Good park and recreation programs
Cons
  • some unsafe sections
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 10, 2012

"Convenient and Comfortable!"

The neighborhood of Eastchester in the Town of Eastchester refers to the parts that are not Tuckahoe or Bronxville! This is a strange way to define a neighborhood and yet, in this case, the simplest way to say it. Eastchester offers everything from garden apartments to million dollar water-front properties – it seems an unlikely mix but it is the kind of place where the unlikely elements co-exist seamlessly!

Eastchester schools get fairly good rating from residents. The public school system offers a range of support programs such as those for gifted and talented children. Given that Tuckahoe and Bronxville don’t seem to offers the same support this is a nice feature for Eastchester residents.

Eastchester is close to Manhattan, fairly southern in terms of Westchester County, and significantly cheaper than the five boroughs. It is no wonder that many commuters seriously consider Eastchester when conducting a house search. The range of housing options makes it attractive to people in different stages in life. Eastchester is more diverse than certain other towns in Westchester County.

Lake Isle Country Club, which is now a town-operated facility, was once a private country club. The five pools, the golf course and the tennis courts are a big draw for many residents and there are a limited number of passes for non-residents also.

Eastchester is a modern-day suburb with plenty of history. The town was settled in the 17th century and it all started around 10 families settling down in the area. The growth of the town from then to now can be fascinating for any history buff.
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 10, 2012

"Country Chic at its Best!"

Cute, charming and lovely get awfully repetitive when talking about Bedford but there are few other words that do justice to this section of Westchester County!

The Town of Bedford, which includes the villages of Bedford Hills, Katonah and Bedford Village, is a veritable celebrity magnet – Ralph Lauren, Richard Gere, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Glenn Close and Martha Steward are among the people who own estates in this star-studded community. And why not? It is close to Manhattan. It has incredibly lovely landscape reminiscent of English bucolic paintings in many stretches. It is the kind of country that you’ll see in those stylish-living magazines – more horses and Jodhpurs than farms and tractors! If you can afford it, it is a place of great beauty developed to be convenient and comfortable, without destroying any of its natural loveliness.

But Bedford is not only home to the gliterrati – there are many working professionals who appreciate what the neighborhood has to offer and cherish the unique advantages of life in the Town of Bedford. For many of these families, the number one draw of Bedford is the school system. The public school here provides excellent education and many accelerated programs and services that are comparable to the best schools anywhere.

Bedford living is not just about equestrian excitement because there are fine dining restaurants, the world-class Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and innumerable hiking, biking and fishing opportunities. Whether you are a golf enthusiast or a history buff, Bedford can keep you occupied and engaged.

It is worth noting here that while Bedford has many glamorous residents, it is not overtly pretentious. While there are pockets where the air does feel rarefied, there are many sections of Bedford that are accessible, warm and friendly. It is good place to call home or to just stop by for a Sunday brunch.
Pros
  • Community feel
  • Pretty
  • Safe
Cons
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 10, 2012

"Uber Charming Village with Lovely Homes!"

‘Katonah’ is a name that Martha Stewart wanted to register with the U.S. Patent Office because she had started a line of furniture by that name. The residents didn’t take too kindly to having their town becoming a brand and fought it.

Even without all this controversy, Katonah is a name that stands for picturesque charm, and a certain classy appeal. Katonah is a recognized brand among its neighboring towns, and that is saying something in a county where there are other picturesque villages and quaint shopping districts. Katonah is near the junction of 35 and 684 and has a Metro North train station – all this makes it extremely commuter friendly. And combine this with the excellent school system and the nice downtown and it becomes a supremely attractive suburb.

There are many things that I like about Katonah from the many lovely homes to the lovely view of the stone churches. I’d like to highlight a couple of things here – one is the library which is a beautiful old building. The children’s section of this library with its cheery sun room is a particular favorite, and it draws kids to sprawl and read.

Among the many eateries in town that are really good, is the Blue Dolphin and this is another one of my Katonah favorites. Whether you stop by for dinner or dessert, this is a charming place to sit down and spend time with family and friends. It is small but packed with charm.

Another place that is a must-visit if you are in Katonah is Little Joe’s Books. It is a book store devoted to kids and teens and makes for a great way to spend a lovely afternoon or evening.

Katonah is the kind of suburb that offers beauty and elegance and while it does come with a hefty price tag, it is also possible to enjoy the village’s atmospheric charm with weekend visits!
Pros
  • great for commuters
  • very peaceful; lots of quiet
  • Arts and culture
  • cute shopping area
  • beautiful parks and recreation
Cons
  • little night life
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 10, 2012

"Neighborly and Nice!"

Fleetwood is a well-maintained part of Mount Vernon that continues to draw new residents because it offers affordable housing in close proximity to the city. An express train from Fleetwood can put you in Grand Central in 27 minutes and for that the pricing is really significantly attractive – especially when you consider what homes in other towns around here cost. So, why’s Fleetwood more affordable? It is because it is part of Mount Vernon which is still dealing with a tough reputation.

Residents of Fleetwood mention that it is a safe and fun suburb which is a great place for kids and they even recommend the elementary public school while acknowledging that middle school and high school are not in good shape.

Fleetwood offers the typical Westchester layout of a village built around a charming stretch of commercial shops. It makes for a nice neighborhood to stroll through in the warmer months and helps build a sense of community pride…..Community is a big word in Fleetwood and you can sense this in multi-pronged efforts such as the Quality of Life Committee (which sees to the beautification of the neighborhood) and the Jammin on Gramatan Street Festival held in June.

Fleetwood has apartments and condos along with single family homes and attracts singles and young couples looking for alternatives to Manhattan living also. Mount Vernon Hospital is located in this part of town and is a big employer in this city. There area also senior assisted living options in Fleetwood.
Pros
  • Nice parks
  • Small community feel
Cons
  • Some uncertainty about safe neighborhoods in Mount Vernon
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 10, 2012

"An Intriguing Suburb with a Mixed Reputation"

An intriguing suburb with a mixed reputation….
Mount Vernon is one of the cities in Westchester County that gets a less than attractive rating on school and safety. It seems a sad stereotype as this is also one of the most diverse cities in the whole county. While some of the reputation may be prejudice or bias, the truth is Mount Vernon is struggling with repairing its reputation.
The city, which is the eighth largest in all of New York state, is just north of the Bronx and has sections which reveal a strongly urban flavor. The city landscape of apartment buildings and more concrete than greenery indicate that Mount Vernon is not quite a stereotypical suburb. However, those who see only that part of Mount Vernon are not getting the full picture because there is another sections which is all about those large lots and single family homes that one envisions as the essence of the American suburb.
Mount Vernon housing tends to be more affordable than other parts of Westchester because it has a mixed reputation. Those who are willing to be part of a city that is defining itself can find much to appreciate in this town with character. It is multi-ethnic and more economically heterogenous than many of the neighboring communities and can be a great way for children to grow up with a real awareness of the world at large. It is interesting to note that there’s a sizable Brazilian population in Mount Vernon. It is perhaps only fitting that the town’s soccer team draws passionate parental support during local league matches! And Chalanas is a good Brazilian restaurant in the area….
There is talk of gang and gang-related crimes in Mount Vernon and it is important for parents to be vigilant in monitoring their children’s activities and companions, if they decide to live in the area. Visitors should also probably make sure they have a rough idea of the neighborhoods if they are going to be out late at night as there is said to be a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ part of town.
Pros
  • Close to New York City
  • Diverse architecture styles
  • Relatively affordable housing
Cons
  • Crime Rate
  • Poverty Rate
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 05, 2012

"A small town in the thick of things...."

Ardsley is one of the neighborhoods in the larger town of Greenburgh. It is hard to really say anything definitive about Ardsley exclusively because it really is in the middle of Greenburgh and Westchester and very inter-linked with neighboring communities. Ashford Avenue is a central artery to the county and this is an advantage and disadvantage. Ardsley is well-connected but also sees a lot of traffic, especially during those peak commute hours.
Given that it is in the center of the county, it cannot real boast great water views like some of the other towns perched on the Hudson or the Long Island Sound. However, it can boast of an excellent school district – the Ardsley Union Free School District.
Ardsley being part of Greenburgh means its community services such as a pool are not necessarily in town. The Greenburgh facilities are very good and so the community can enjoy the benefit of that. There isn’t quite a downtown in Ardsley, more in the nature of a few strip malls. But it is convenient for some immediate shopping and given that Yonkers and White Plains aren’t that far away, there’s access to anything you want within driving distance.
Ardsley does not have a train station but it is driving distance to New York City and this is one the reasons for the growing population density here. The old Cape Cods and split levels have been joined by newer colonials over time as the demand for housing has grown over time. Ashford Park and McDowell Park, with their tennis courts, basket ball courts and baseball fields, provide nice places for the children and families to participate in activities.
It is worth mentioning that Ardsley is also home to a bourgeoning arts community. This village along with Hastings, Irvington and Dobbs Ferry have created the non-profit Rivertowns Arts Council with the stated “mission of RiverArts is to produce a wide range of high quality cultural events and educational programs which diversify participation and engage our communities in the support and understanding of the arts and artists, thereby enriching our quality of life.”
Pros
  • Good Schools
  • Growing arts community
Cons
  • Lots of traffic
  • No Train Station
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 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 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 05, 2012

"A Picture-Perfect Village; A Great Place for Kids!"

The library and the train station buildings in Dobbs Ferry are eye-catching – they seem like nice symbols for this small village in that they are frozen-in-time and yet so functional in today’s world. Dobbs Ferry has managed to retain a lot of old-world charm while being a very active modern-day community.
It is expensive, although that is a given in much of Westchester County. Dobbs Ferry offers gorgeous views of the Hudson River and an almost-idyllic looking business center in addition to the great homes and excellent schools that people expect when choosing suburban homes. The houses range from 3,500 sq ft condos with water views to two-family homes, small Capes on .10 acre to expansive estates. The homes closer to business district, at the heart of Dobbs Ferry, tend to be on smaller lots and as you move farther away, you’ll find the bigger homes.
Dobbs Ferry’s schools, like the rest of Greenburgh, come with an excellent reputation. Given that Dobbs Ferry is part of the larger town of Greenburgh, it also gets the benefit of the recreation facilities catering to the whole town.
There are many charming boutiques and cute shops in the two roads that make up the commercial part of Dobbs Ferry. The village folks are very conscious of wanting to retain this feeling of charm and are wary of further commercial expansion. Route 9 and Ashford Avenue are the main links to neighboring towns and there is a feeling that these roads cannot take much by way of additional traffic also. Given the residents’ commitment to preserving the village’s current ambience and cozy lifestyle, Dobbs Ferry is likely to continue as a village that retains its frozen-in-time quality.
Pros
  • Nice views
  • Peaceful, small-town atmosphere
  • Strong sense of unity
  • overlooks the beautiful Hudson River
Cons
  • High taxes
  • Only two roads into town
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 05, 2012

"Has a little something for everyone...."

Elmsford is a small neighborhood in the town of Greenburgh. However, when you visit Elmsford you are likely left with a large impression because it has more to offer than the tree-lined residences typical of much of the area. There are broader streets and large stores making it look like a different landscape altogether!
The Greenburgh library is here and this recently constructed glass-front building is striking. It’s spacious, open and bright – just the way a library should be! Further down Route 119 there are other popular retail establishments such as Syms and Bed, Bath & Beyond. One of the few Indian grocery stores in Westchester County is also in Elmsford. This whole stretch of commercial establishments gives Elmsford a different feel, but it is essentially a residential suburb with good homes and a good public school system. It is well-placed in terms of highways with easy access to 287, Sprain Brook Parkway and Route 9A.
There is mixture of housing from apartments to nice sized homes on large lots. Rental is more an option here than in some of the other communities of Westchester County. Elmsford is also seen as slightly more affordable housing.
There are many interesting dining options in Elmsford for the foodies who like variety. Malabar Hill, Casaletto, Pete’s Saloon and Rini’s are among the well-reviewed restaurants in the Elmsford area.
Westchester Broadway Dinner Theater can be a great experience for adults and kids. It makes a nice change from other kinds of activities and a nice alternative to times when you cannot make it to one of those Broadway shows in the city.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Centrally Located
  • Lots of stores and restaurants
  • Family Friendly Entertainment Center
Cons
  • Can get trafficky and noisy in the industrial center near 287
4/5 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 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 05, 2012

"Pretty and prosperous...."

Harrison is a village and town in Westchester County, NY. It is a well-off community with many gorgeous estates, some preserved for years and others are tear-downs. Harrison is home to Manhattanville College and SUNY Purchase. Fordham University also has a campus here. All these well-tended educational campuses combine with some corporate headquarters, like those of PepsiCo and MasterCard, to give Harrison a look of lush landscaping. Add to this the Westchester County Club and two more private golf courses and you get an idea of the visual appeal of Harrison.

Harrison itself is primarily residential but it is close to shopping in White Plains on the one side and Greenwich, CT on the other. It is well-placed to take advantage of the amenities in several neighboring towns and communities.

Harrison schools come highly recommended and are one of the big draws for those looking for homes in this suburb. Harrison is a train station on the New Haven line of Metro North and makes for a decent commute to New York City. There is also the possibility of using the Hutchinson River parkway or the Cross Bronx Expressway for getting around quickly. This has also helped this bedroom community’s popularity.

Harrison offers many family friendly sports leagues and so you’re likely to see lively games of soccer or baseball on the town’s fields on weekend mornings. There are also many tennis courts and the town has a nice swimming pool.

Rue Des Crepes and Emilio’s Ristorante are among some of the interesting eateries in Harrison.
Among the famous residents of Harrison is baseball player Mariano Rivera!
Pros
  • Great recreational activities
  • Neighborly
Cons
  • Minimal diversity
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 05, 2012

"The Quintessential Small Town"

Irvington, on the banks of the Hudson, is in southern Westchester County. It is a part of the larger Greenburgh area but has a character uniquely its own. While what people most often register about Irvington is the drama of its location and the spectacular views, what residents most often rave about is the true small town nature of the place.
This is a community that has willingly forgone some conveniences such as a larger grocery store to retain its character. The emphasis here is on retaining direct contact, that whole business of everyone knows each other kind-of vibe. One of the neat things about Irvington is the weekly farmer’s market which is continued even in winter months indoors. Even this indicates a consistent interest in keeping things personal.
Irvington has grand homes and smaller cottages but on the whole it is a fairly pricey neighborhood. Although the school district, Greenburg, is a major part of the attraction, many parents whose children have moved out still continue to stay in Irvington because it seems to be the kind of community that truly encourages people to stay on. It seems almost old-fashioned in this day and age!
Many resident describe Irvington as a walkable town as it is a place where people can walk around to many places. However, given that nearly all shopping is in neighboring towns and cities, it is not really possible to do without a car. The train does provide a direct link to Grand Central and makes Irvington convenient for commuters.
For a small town, Irvington has quite a few interesting restaurants.
Pros
  • Good schools
  • Great community atmosphere
  • Parks and scenery
  • Convenient location
  • Local theatre
Cons
  • Can feel small and too quiet at times
  • too expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
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
Apr 05, 2012

"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
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 05, 2012

"Blending the best of city and country living!"

Hartsdale is part of the city of Greenburgh in Westchester County in New York. It offers a .30 minute commute to Grand Central as there is a Metro-North Station in the heart of town on East Hartsdale Avenue. This commute is one of the attractions of Hartsdale. The other is the unique aspect of Hartsdale in that it is a suburb with a touch of the city. There are multi-storey apartments, co-ops and condos on East Hartsdale which are reminiscent of city living. Interestingly this draws many young couples and new suburbaners, who acknowledge that the suburbs are more affordable but are loathe to give up the feel of the city. East Hartsdale Avenue is a stretch of shops and residences, and with the train station right there, it offers the possibility of a car-free lifestyle which is really unusual for a suburb.
But there is more to Hartsdale that this one stretch, of course. There are many single-family homes ranging from Cape Cods to Colonials and they are on tree-lined avenues befitting the best images of suburban living. Poet’s Corner and Colleges’ Corner are among the popular sections of town – I like the detail that these are named so because the streets here are those of poets and colleges, respectively!
Hartsdale, being part of Greenburgh, gets the benefit of the larger communities school system and the park and recreation program. Both of these are excellent and can be a real asset to any family with kids.
Shopping and dining options can be found on Central Avenue and East Hartsdale Avenue. Masala Kraft is a personal favorite and Vega is well worth checking out!
Pros
  • Multi-storey coops and condos
  • Easy commute to New York City
  • Located next to White Plains and Hartsdale
  • Nice parks
4/5 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 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 05, 2012

"Vibrant community with noteworthy views...."

“Valhalla” is said to be the Viking name for heaven or the “paradise of slain warriors.” So, how did this small town in Westchester get a name from Norse mythology? It is said that in the 19th century, when flooding affected the old U.S. Post Office of Kensico, the new name was suggested by a fan of Robert Wagner and his musical opera. The name seems particularly appropriate also because some of the notable landmarks of Valhalla are the Kensico Cemetery and Gate of Heaven, where many famous people are buried.

The Kensico Reservoir and the Kensico Dam Plaza are other noteworthy destinations here. The Plaza is the site of many community events from summer-evening movie screenings to the much bigger fairs and music festivals. It is an open space that invites large gatherings and small picnics.

Valhalla children either go to schools in the Valhalla School District or the Mount Pleasant School District, as Valhalla is officially a part of the larger Mount Pleasant. Both have a good reputation.

This town is also the address for the Westchester Medical Center and the Westchester Community College. Both institutions have earned good reputations in their respective fields! Westchester Medical is one of the bigger hospitals serving the whole county. Valhalla has a train station and is close to Taconic State, Bronx Rivers and Sprain Brook Parkways. This makes it a well-connected town and popular with commuters.

The dam and the cemeteries have earned Valhalla the reputation of being a suburb with some exciting views.
While there’s only a small stretch of Valhalla that can be called downtown, it does have great access to shopping and dining through many of the neighboring towns.
Pros
  • Beautiful Reservoir
  • Festivals and movies in parks
  • Good Fishing
  • Home to three major schools
Cons
  • Air traffic is sometimes noisy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
4/5 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 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 05, 2012

"Stately Suburb with Nice Neighborhoods"

“Valhalla” is said to be the Viking name for heaven or the “paradise of slain warriors.” So, how did this small town in Westchester get a name from Norse mythology? It is said that in the 19th century, when flooding affected the old U.S. Post Office of Kensico, the new name was suggested by a fan of Robert Wagner and his musical opera. The name seems particularly appropriate also because some of the notable landmarks of Valhalla are the Kensico Cemetery and Gate of Heaven, where many famous people are buried.
The Kensico Reservoir and the Kensico Dam Plaza are other noteworthy destinations here. The Plaza is the site of many community events from summer-evening movie screenings to the much bigger fairs and music festivals. It is an open space that invites large gatherings and small picnics.
Valhalla children either go to schools in the Valhalla School District or the Mount Pleasant School District, as Valhalla is officially a part of the larger Mount Pleasant. Both have a good reputation.
This town is also the address for the Westchester Medical Center and the Westchester Community College. Both institutions have earned good reputations in their respective fields! Westchester Medical is one of the bigger hospitals serving the whole county. Valhalla has a train station and is close to Taconic State, Bronx Rivers and Sprain Brook Parkways. This makes it a well-connected town and popular with commuters.
The dam and the cemeteries have earned Valhalla the reputation of being a suburb with some exciting views.
Pros
  • Lovely location
  • Lasdon Park
Cons
  • Not very diverse
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 04, 2012

"Historical hamlet with much to offer!"

One of the Mount Pleasant hamlets, Sleepy Hollow has an evocative name and reminds us of the Irving classic – not surprising then that the Legend of Sleepy Hollow was inspired by this place! It is also interesting that Sleepy Hollow once had a G.M. assembly plant which was closed in the 1990s. Sleepy Hollow is close to Tarrytown and stretches on either side of Route 9. There are the colonials and larger mansion style homes of Philipse Manor and Sleepy Hollow Manor and the relatively smaller homes of Briggsville. There are also multi-family buildings in the village.
Sleepy Hollow is seen as an attractive suburb by many families looking for quality living with characteristics such as good schools and good housing. It is also a big draw that Sleepy Hollow has over 57 acres of parkland. Fishing and kayaking on the Hudson are mentioned as hobbies by residents which is indicative of the outdoorsy lifestyle that is possible here!
The village has several noteworthy historic landmarks on the national register. Among them are the Tarrytown Lighthouse, the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, the Manor House at Philipsburg Manor, Kykuit (the mansion built by John D. Rockefeller and his son, John D. Rockefeller Jr., in 1913) and the Philipse Manor train station which was actually restored in the mid-1990s. These are all buildings and estates with strong character and personality, well worth a visit.
Shopping and restaurants are easily accessible from Sleepy Hollow as Broadway has some options and also connects easily to neighboring hamlets and towns.
Pros
  • Historic Houses
  • Low Crime Rate
  • Scenic Views
Cons
  • Can feel too rural and quiet at times.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 04, 2012

"A picturesque and homely hamlet!"

Hawthorne is in the heart of Westchester County and is a hamlet in the larger town of Mount Pleasant. It shares the characteristics of many of its adjoining hamlets and communities in that it offers great houses, good public schools and family-friendly lifestyle with a decent commute to NYC.

Hawthorne has had many names during its history. It started off al Hammond’s Mills as part of the Philipsburgh Estate and then was called Unionville during the Revolutionary War. It got its current name after Nathaniel Hawthorne’s daughter Mother Mary Alphonsa founded a Dominican Order for nuns called the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne. The town was named in her honour.

Today Hawthorne is a lively town and this primarily residential neighborhood does see quite a bit of outside traffic because of the Saw Mill Parkway multiplex theater. Oriental Diner and Tramonto Restaurant are fun places for a meal out. In terms of shopping there’s not really much to say except that there’s a Home Depot on Saw Mill Parkway that is great for all those renovation projects. Also, there is the Bloomingdale’s clearance mentioned by another reviewer. Another tidbit I’ve heard about Hawthorne is the Henckels once a year sale – the famous knife company J.A. Henckels is headquartered here and they hold a sale, usually before Christmas, which makes it a great time to get deals on their products.

The homes here tend to be on smaller lots and so, closer together because there is a limit to the amount of land available for development. If you’re looking for a sprawling property, Hawthorne may not be the best bet. Parking in the train station has a waiting list and people usually find work-arounds, if they commute to the city.
Pros
  • Access to Mount Pleasant's amenities
  • Fairly convenient train access
  • Pretty good schools
Cons
  • Some places have bad traffic/parking situations
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
Apr 04, 2012

"Comfortable and quiet!"

Crompond is at the heart of Yorktown and it is one of the five hamlets that make up this town. It is a fairly typical suburb with many residential properties and some commercial development. One of the elementary schools serving the Yorktown area, grades 4 and 5, is located in Crompond. So, locally the name refers more often to the Intermediate School than anything else!

The section around BJs, where 202 meets Taconic State Parkway, can become bit of a traffic hassle during peak commute hours; but, for the bulk of the day, it means easier access to get in and out of Yorktown. The shopping in Crompond is limited but it is close enough to other offerings in the neighboring communities.

The lovely homes and fairly large-sized plots combined with the highly-reputed shools are the biggest draw of Crompond. Given that it is in Yorktown also means that there are many nature preserves within easy reach and so it is a haven for those who like their Nature Time.
A certain quiet placidity and lack of diversity may be among the cons, if you are looking for a very active suburb. But this is just a matter of what each person is looking for because there’s much to do in terms of walking, hiking and even parks and recreation activities. Downing Park has tennis courts and there are some really good walking trails in the FDR Park also.

Crompond is very family friendly and you’ll see kids of various ages in the neighborhoods here. It offers a sense of security and openness that is very attractive to parents! Soccer games in the Fox Meadows field or the baseball games at Legacy Field are all evidence of children growing up with opportunities. It is worth noting that the artificial turf at Legacy is a source of pride and joy to Yortowners!
Pros
  • Well ranked school system
  • Has access to Yorktown's amenities
Cons
  • Lacks a town center
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 04, 2012

"A treasure-chest of a town: fun to explore!"

Aptly named Tarrytown, is a place that invites you to tarry and take in the sites! This charming town on the shores of the Hudson sits almost on the shadow of the Tappen Zee Bridge that connects the two shores of the Hudson.
Tarrytown is the kind of charming downtown where people can walk around browsing through shops such as Belkind Bigi and Nikos Design; then they can look for a restaurant that captures their imagination. There are so many to choose from! I second the recommendation of Silver Tips Tea which is a restaurant offering an interesting twist on all those tea salons. Yes, you get the finger sandwiches and scones you’d expect but there are also tasty samosas and intriguing Mediterranean style sandwiches. It’s a unique and well worth a visit for lunch or tea. If you are looking for that special dining experience for a birthday or anniversary, Equus comes highly recommended. The setting and the ambience are special and the food has a great reputation also!
Tarrytown attracts some young couples and singles along with the usual families that are drawn to suburbs because it offers a range of housing options. There are many apartments and condos in this small town. The walk-everywhere culture, the cosy, close-knit community and the excellent schools are all great draws for people considering Tarrytown.
Traffic can be a bit of an issue along Route 9 at peak commute hours but there is a strong drive among the locals to improve matters.
The location on the banks of the Hudson means that for Tarrytown residents, every new day will bring one more view to savor.
Pros
  • Great community events
  • Historic sites
  • Great school district
Cons
  • Traffic from the bridge and major highways
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 04, 2012

"JV - Mall and More!"

Jefferson Valley is part of the larger Yorktown community and locally it is used often to refer to the mall. But there is more to Jefferson Valley than the mall.
Our family enjoys the bowling lanes here, and it is a great place to hang out with friends on those superintendent days off from school! Then there is the Osceola Manor set on the shores of a lake that is a popular spot for dinner events for the sports league such as the Boys Basketball League. My point is that there are many things that give Jefferson Valley character – it is a place that draws people from neighboring hamlets for fun activities and for shopping. Yes, the mall isn’t quite what it used to be, but Sears and Macy’s are the anchor stores here and provide a good shopping option locally.
There are condos, townhomes and single family homes in this hamlet. The bus route that connects the mall to many different places can also be handy for residents to get to and from places. The Bee Line has limited routes so it is hard to manage for too long without a car.
Jefferson Valley falls under the Yorktown School District and has the benefit of the well managed school system. The combination of a range in housing prices and the good schools draws many young families to the area. The beauty of this Hudson Valley neighborhood and its access to nature trails is another reason for the popularity of this area. Jefferson Valley’s main traffic conduits are Taconic State Parkway and Route 6. By and large, traffic is not an issue despite the presence of the mall.
Pros
  • Good School System
  • Lake in town
  • Shopping options
  • Relatively low housing costs
Cons
  • Not much of a nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 04, 2012

"Mohegan Lake - Once a Summer Destination, Today a Thriving Community"

This is one of the five hamlets that is part of the Northern Westchester Town of Yorktown. It is often referred to as Mohegan Lake by those in the area as another reviewer said. It used to be one of those summer vacation destinations for families from the NYC boroughs, but today it is an year-round community with good schools and great homes.
Like the rest of Yorktown, its setting and natural beauty are worth mentioning. The truth is the longer you live here, the more you get used to taking it all for granted. The drive up Taconic is spectacular in fall and yet we often have to remind ourselves that this is the stuff tourists drive around to see! Lake Mohegan has some properties on the lake which offer the special thrills of waterside living in addition to the overall natural beauty of the Hudson Valley.
Lake Mohegan is a racially and economically more diverse community than many of the neighboring towns. There are residential and commercial stretches and a fair mix of different types of housing. There is no train station in this hamlet but it is easy to reach Croton Fall or Peekskill from here.
Most children in this area go to the Lakeland School District which is increasingly being recognized as a great school system. Given that this is the largest school district in the county, Mohegan Lake kids get to meet and mingle with kids from many of the neighboring communities.
There is plenty of shopping in Mohegan Lake as the Cortlandt Town Center is right here. So, you can enjoy shopping at Pier 1, pick up a book at Barnes & Noble or check out the fancy soda machine at the Five Guys Burgher & Fries. There are also many other dining options in the neighborhood such as Piazza Roma and Hacienda Souza.
Traffic along Route 6 can be annoying sometimes, especially the stretch between the Cortlandt Town Center and Lexington. The hamlet is close to Bear Mountain Parkway and Taconic State Parkway which can provide access to other neighboring communities.
Mohegan Lake is a safe, small town of the kind where families love to put down roots as it is possible to truly get to know your neighbors.
Pros
  • Good shopping
  • Well regarded schools
  • Lakefront Beaches
  • Family friendly
Cons
  • Traffic in certain places
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 03, 2012

"Fantastic family facilities and great for nature lovers!"

This is the southernmost part of the town of Yorktown and includes the downtown stretch with the Triangle Center, the track and the Yorktown Community and Cultural Center (YCCC). Sadly, it is not what can be called a charming downtown but it is very convenient with everything from groceries to Panera Bread and T.J. Maxx being right there. The fact that there are some new restaurants opening up in the Triangle Center seems like a hopeful sign in these times.
Yorktown Heights also includes extensive walking and biking trails that connect to the rest of Westchester County. Many folks who look for homes in the Countryside and Croton Manor subdivisions, across from Turkey Mountain, say they are drawn by the easy access to the North County Trail. Hanover Farm, Teatown and Turkey Mountain are also great places for nature lovers.
Yorktown Heights is very popular with people looking for relatively affordable housing in Westchester County. It offers good housing options from rentals, condos and townhouses to single-family homes. Many of the houses are older though there are estates with newer homes and also some tear-downs. The home options combined with the good school district makes Yorktown an attractive suburb for those moving up from the city or relocating from other places.
There are quite a few restaurants for Yorktown Heights being a small hamlet. Piatto Grill, Peter Pratt’s Inn, Don Tommaso’s Bistro Italiano, Empire Hunan, Okinawa, Gaudio’s are some of the dining options other than the several pizzerias and fast food places. Himalayas and Salsa Fresca are newest kids on the block. Given that Northern Westchester can be really challenging for foodies looking for variety, this range of cuisines in one hamlet is a veritable miracle!
One of the reasons for the relatively lower prices in Yorktown Heights is probably that it does not have a direct connection to Grand Central. Residents have to drive to Croton-Harmon, Mount Kisco or even Chappaqua to catch a train. While this does add 20 minutes to the commute, there are several folks who do it probably because they like what they get for the money in Yorktown!
Pros
  • Beautiful Scenery
  • Shopping in town
  • Great recreational activities
  • Incredibly family-friendly
Cons
  • Not much of a nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 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 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 02, 2012

"Well-Maintained White Collar Village"

Scarsdale is a town and a village managed by the village government. It is a sought-after address with many glamorous houses and is home to many financial services professionals and artists. Among some of the famous residents of Scarsdale are Jay-Z and Beyonce and Scarsdale was much in the news when they brought their baby daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, home in January 2012.
Scarsdale is an expensive neighborhood that caters to a largely affluent population. The demographics reflect a large percentage of white collar professionals, mostly white; there is minimal diversity. Scarsdale comprises of several neighborhoods with distinctive characteristics.
Scarsdale has a long and reputed history as the town was formed as far back as 1788. American Revolutions events that happened here are said to be the inspiration for James Fenimore Cooper’s ‘The Spy’!
Much like the rest of Westchester, the big draw of this town for families is the excellent school system. There is a heavy emphasis on quality education and the number of high school graduates who go on to reputed universities is seen as a benchmark of the school system’s success. There are always stories about how stressful the children find the level of competition and pressure in Scarsdale, but parents continue to express a fair amount of pride and satisfaction in the schools.
There are many nice restaurants in Scarsdale and interestingly many of them participate in the annual Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, which offers a great chance to try some of them with reasonable prefix menus rather than their usual upper-end a la carte dishes. California Pizza Kitchen, that West Coast institution, has an outpost in Scarsdale and it is very popular with lines out the door most of the time.
Scarsdale is also great for shopping – there are one-of-a-kind stores and well-known brands such as Estrada and Lord & Taylor.
Scarsdale also has one of the few Trader Joe’s stores in the Westchester area, and I love stopping there when running other errands in the area. Be warned – parking is a challenge.
Scarsdale is an inviting suburb that can be a great place to raise children, get a good education and enjoy the good life!
Pros
  • Lots of Golf Courses
  • Variety of recreation programs
  • Convenient commute to NYC
  • A lot of new or renovated properties
  • Stellar school system.
Cons
  • Expensive
  • High taxes
  • Not very diverse
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 02, 2012

"Great location, gracious neighborhoods, good schools…."

Westchester County is an affluent county with many of the most expensive towns in the country. It is true that there are cities with more affordable housing, but by and large it is a county whose image is defined by its well-off neighborhoods. Home owners who live here are aware that they pay some of the highest property taxes in the country and in the state.

What is it that Westchester County offers to attract people despite these high prices? The country is beautifully located on the banks of the Hudson and it is within a short driving distance from New York City. This means that it attracts country-lovers and city-lovers. The innumerable parks and hiking trails are used well because of the many nature-admirers that Westchester draws. It is also a haven for those who like to take in the museums and shows that are uniquely NYC. Then there’s the drama of living in a historically significant part of the country with its many ties to the Revolutionary War.

Westchester is a wooded wonderland for those looking for homes in a tree-surrounded setting. Many homes comes with large lots and many suburban gardeners talk about the “deer problem.” Coyote and bear sitings are sometimes in the news – this is just an indication of the fact that there are many places here where nature is undisturbed.

Westchester also attracts many families because of its well regarded school systems. The neighborhoods with professional couples and their emphasis on a good education has meant that several public school systems here really deliver a high caliber education from elementary levels through high school.

There are pockets of diversity in Westchester, but by and large it is Caucasian. Irish Catholic, Italian Catholic and Jewish are the most often encountered roots when people refer to their heritage or religion. Many people are multi-generation New Yorkers and quite a few families have moved up from the city over time.

Given that it covers a lot of ground, the cities do offer everything from fine dining to casual street food; there’s also diverse shopping options from the lovely boutiques of Pelham to the traditional mall shopping of White Plains.
Westchester offers much of the promise of the American Dream for those who are able to find reasonable employment in the area.
Pros
  • Schools with good reputation
  • Proximity to NYC
  • beautiful land with lots of different ecosystems
  • great history
  • on the river
Cons
  • Some parts are very homogenous
  • not all areas have transportation
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Apr 02, 2012

"Lakeside Living with Lovely Neighborhoods"

There is little or no reason to pay Westchester County taxes if what you’re looking for is the joy of country living; the catch is that it can become a longer commute to NYC. However, for those who work in the Westchester or CT area, Mahopac is a great option - if offers lovely homes, a great school district and the joy of lakeside living for good prices by local area standards.
Mahopac is wedged in between Somers and Carmel and is a sort of border town. If offers a nice suburban location with a nice mix of commercial and residential development. Interestingly this is a town with enough townhomes and condos for it to be attractive for singles and seniors also.
Mahopac’s biggest draw for many home buyers is its high regarded public school system. This an dthe possibility of a home facing one of the lakes in town means that it holds the promise of a luxurious lifestyle while offering a great small-town ambience. Given its compact size, long-time residents really get to know each other well.
The Terrace Club with views of Lake Mahopac is a nice restaurant for a brunch or dinner. Summer meals, with seating outside, can make for a particularly memorable experience. Another good place for eating out is the Dish Bistro and Wine Bar which is also very vegetarian friendly. They also have nice draft beers!
Mahopac offers the kind of average shopping that one expects in a mid-sized suburb. It is very close the Somers Commons where there’s a nice Home Goods and Learning Express among several others stores.
Mahopac’s one down side is that it is not a great commuter town unless you happen to work in a place connected by Route 6 or Taconic State Parkway. Even TSP can be a bit of a drive, depending on your exact location in Mahopac. The nearest train station into the city is Croton Falls.
On the balance, Mahopac is visually beautiful and friendly town with much to offer people of various age groups.
Pros
  • Good schools
  • Nice restaurants
  • Access to good shopping
Cons
  • Commute can be challenging
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 29, 2012

"The promise of quiet contentment...."

Millwood is a hamlet in the larger town of New Castle along with Chappaqua. Chappaqua has become more well-known because of some of its famous residents such as former President Clinton, while Millwood continues to remain fairly tucked away. Millwood offers pretty much all that Chappaqua has for a smaller price tag.
Most Millwood residents send their children to Chappaqua schools; and the public school system here is one of the best to be seen. A highly competitive student body, especially in high school, means that many of the students go on to graduate from prestigious universities. The neighborhood tends to attract young families looking for a place to provide their children with a safe environment and good education.
Millwood does not have much by way of general shopping. Millwood Market and A.S Fine Foods offer interesting grocery shopping options. Spaccarelli’s Italian restaurant, Peter Pratt’s Inn (Yorktown Heights) and Traveler’s Rest (Ossining) are some of the popular dining options in the area. Rocky’s deli is great for sandwiches.
The New Croton Reservoir is not far and provides a nice place for an evening stroll. The gushing waters seem like Niagara Falls to little ones! You can see several families with picnics on warm evenings. Millwood, like the rest of Westchester County, is in the heart of great hiking and biking territory.
While Millwood does not have a train station, it is close to Taconic State Parkway and Sawmill River Parkway making it a convenient commute location.
Pros
  • Great schools
  • Less expensive than some neighboring towns
Cons
  • Car dependent lifestyle
  • No night life or entertainment
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 28, 2012

"Small hamlet with big presence"

Shrub Oak is actually a neighborhood in the larger Town of Yorktown. But unlike some other hamlets, Shrub Oak is not lost in the big picture – the Lakeland High School, Seton Hall and the Shrub Oak swimming pool are among the facilities located here that are the center of the life of many families.
Probably the most important local facility housed in Shrub Oak is the John C. Hart library which serves all of Yorktown. It is housed in a charming old house with a wrap-around porch giving one the feeling of visiting old friends!
Shrub Oak is a family friendly neighborhood that embraces that identity. Residents here will have to take their cars out for grocery shopping or other needs, but the streets are all set for low traffic speeds to make them safe for children.
There are many shopping and dining options within short driving distance and Shrub Oak is right off of Taconic making it easy to reach neighboring cities also. Bangkok Spice and Campagna are worth mentioning are good restaurants located right in Shrub Oak. Abbot’s Frozen Custard, right across from the library, can be a great summer treat for young and old alike!
The United Methodist Church in Shrub Oak is housed in a beautiful stone building and adds character to this neighborhood. There are a small number of apartments for those looking for an alternative to single family homes.
Shrub Oak is the kind of neighborhood that people can take pride in as it is open and welcoming.
Pros
  • Friendly neighborhood
  • Family-friendly
  • Great small-town vibe
  • Relatively affordable
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
4/5 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 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 28, 2012

"Endearing town with welcoming vibe...."

This is a charming Hudson River town that offers a great balance of warmth and excitement. It is part of the Town of Cortlandt and yet it has a distinctive flavor all its own. There are beautiful hikes in the area and the proximity to Croton Reservoir and dam means that there are some homes and apartments with fantastic water views.

Croton-on-Hudson is a station in the Metro North Harlem line and is an express stop meaning that you can get to Grand Central in .45 minutes with the right train. This accessibility combined with the lovely riverfront location makes it a popular place for many NYC professionals.

My family loves the Croton Point Park which is on the river and allows for beach access. In summer months, you can see many families picnicking here. The view as the sun sets is something to remember.

Croton-on-Hudson is truly family friendly. The high school and the library are fairly close to each other and to town center – there are safe hang-outs for teens and many places within walk able distance of each other.

While you’ll need to go elsewhere for mall shopping, if you live here, there are some interesting shops in Croton as the previous reviewer mentioned. Zeytinia is a must stop shop for anyone interested in health foods and unusual cooking ingredients. For a small town, Croton-on-Hudson offers quite a few restaurants and eateries. My personal favorite is Umami Cafe. The town also offers tapas and home-made ice-cream.

If you are visiting the area, you should plan on checking our Van Cortlandt Manor, which is a National Historic Landmark. And it is particularly impressive in October at Halloween time.
Pros
  • Friendly neighborhood
  • Lots of nature
  • Incredibly family-friendly
Cons
  • Lack of diversity
  • Boring - no nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 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 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 28, 2012

"High-end more than homely...."

This is a neighborhood that draws a lot of criticism for being snooty and cliquish. Given that I don’t hang out there, my associations with Armonk are quite different.
Armonk has a lower tax rate than some neighboring towns because it is home to some corporations such as IBM and SwissRe. New York City also contributes to Armonk coffers as it owns 300 acres in the town of North Castle including the Kensico Reservoir. This seems to offset some of the residential taxes.
The other reason folks, who can afford the steep prices, are drawn to Armonk is the excellent school system. The Byram Hills School district stands out in a county where there are many stellar school systems. Data such as the number of National Merit scholars and the number of AP courses offered are thrown around to establish the high caliber of the public schools in Armonk.
While there are many gorgeous homes in stunning lots, Armonk does not offer much by way of shopping. There are some unusual stores like Hickory & Tweed but not the kind of places where I can go and pick up some inexpensive clothes for my growing kids. But this is not truly different from many other Westchester towns, and it is easy enough to access shopping in White Plains.
As for restaurants, Route 22 and David Chen are pretty good from the point of view of work lunches. There are some other places that I have heard good things about such as Restaurant North.
Pros
  • Good Schools
  • Safe
  • Beautiful parks
  • Lower taxes
Cons
  • Very expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
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 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 28, 2012

"Townhouses offering a simplified lifestyle...."

As the other reviewers before me have pointed out, Heritage Hills used to be a retirement community with age restrictions for residents. This is no longer true and so the 1-3 bedroom townhomes are open to all. The Heritage Hills option is open to buyers and renters.
This well laid out hamlet is a part of the Town of Somers and has access to the town facilities. Because of its original purpose, there are no schools within the hamlet. This does not have to dissuade people who want to live in Heritage Hills because Somers has well-established, highly-regarded schools.
One of the benefits of it having been planned for retirement living is that there any many recreational activities and clubs available to all residents. A nice golf course, tennis courts, billiards and pool tables, bocce ball courts and heated swimming pools are but some of the amenities that residents can use. There’s also a shuttle service to the Metro North station which really makes life easier when Heritage Hills folks want to take the train into Manhattan.
Heritage Hills is close to shopping and restaurants such as Stage Coach Café, Hana Japanese Restaurant and Sweet Delite Bakery. There is also the Pinnacle Restaurant with nice views. This place is sometimes rented out for private parties.
This hamlet offers the coziness of a well-laid out neighborhood with easily reachable shopping and dining. Given that there are 50 floor plans to choose from, there is something for a range of budgets. If you are interested in a Westchester lifestyle, but don’t want the hassle of renting or of mowing your lawn and shoveling snow, Heritage Hills can be a great fit.
Pros
  • No traffic
  • Quiet and clean
Cons
  • No schools
  • Not very diverse
  • Not as many younger folks yet
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 27, 2012

"The border between Westchester and NYC - best of both worlds!"

Pelham, which includes the villages of Pelham and Pelham Manor, is just north of Bronx and is one of the southern-most parts of Westchester County. The proximity to New York City and the great train connection make Pelham a popular choice for many professionals looking for alternatives to city housing prices.
This town has recorded history that goes all the way back to the 17th century when Thomas Pell purchased land from the Siwanoy Indians. The town has retained all of that old world charm and yet become an attractive modern-day suburb. Pelham’s Fifth Avenue has many cute shops and is a fun place to hang-around on weekends.
Pelham schools are reputed to be very good and the students tend to go on to four year degrees in good colleges and universities.
Pelham’s location on the Long Island Sound means it’s great for those who like yachting and other water-related activities. It is a town that is really good for those who like other kinds of outdoor recreation. Glover Field and the Sixth Street Tennis courts provide fields and courts for those who like athletic recreation. Pelham has several sports leagues for children from hockey and soccer to rowing. The running track in Shore Park along the Long Island Sound can tempt many to take up running regularly!
Pelham is like a poster-city for those considering suburban living – here’s a town that offers the kind of walk-able access to shops and restaurants that cities do and yet there is the strong sense of community and good schools that one expects in suburbs. This is the secret of Pelham’s popularity!
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 27, 2012

"Stately homes nestled in wooded avenues"

Thornwood is part of the town of Mount Pleasant and is fairly similar to neighboring towns such as Pleasantville and Hawthorne. It offers some variety in housing with a few apartments amid the mostly single-family homes. The schools are well-regarded and the neighborhoods feel friendly and inviting. Thornwood has a predominantly White population with some Hispanics, Asians and African-Americans.
Thornwood had a cost of living index of 156.9 in 2011 when the U.S Average is 100. Needless to say, much like the rest of this part of Westchester, this is a town of wealthy people. Those who can afford homes here are the folks who are able to take on the higher cost of living. The Dutch Colonials set in large lots are the draw for Thornwood homeowners. The sense of being in a wooded haven is an added bonus.
There isn’t much by way of a downtown and the stores are in strip malls although the town center offers a mix of architecture that adds to the character of Thornwood. As an interesting historical note, what is the Town Center shopping plaza today was once a marble quarry! It was filled in and became a shopping center in the 1980s.
There are many nice restaurants in Thornwood. You get everything from casual to fine dining. Khan’s Indian Kitchen offers good take-out; Swadee House of Thai and the Asian fusion restaurant Lucky Buddha also provide interesting variety for Westchester foodies. Finnegan’s Grill is popular with sports fans.
Pros
  • Good schools
  • Fun community pool
Cons
  • Minimal diversity
  • Not much of a nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 27, 2012

"Lovely location and nice neighborhoods"

The only thing I knew about Ossining before I moved to the Westchester area was the passing references to Sing Sing in ‘Law & Order.’ Now that I live in the neighborhood, I haven’t heard anything about it! I think it’s a case of one thing taking over the identity of the town for outsiders, while those who live around here know too much about the good things there to give too much importance to the penitentiary.
So, what are those good things? Nice homes and relatively affordable prices and good schools – the perfect suburban package! Ossining has a diverse population in terms of income and race and this is reflected in the range of housing options here. You can get single family homes, condos and apartments for rent. There is more racial diversity in Ossining than is typical of Westchester and some people see this as illegal immigrants problem and other celebrate it as a dose of multi-culturalism.
Ossining feels less village-like and more spread out because of the way the town is laid out. Route 9 is the busy road in Ossining and it does draw a lot of traffic. It can be a little trying sometimes to navigate in peak commute traffic. There is the train station which allows for a direct connection to Grand Central.
Los Abuelos, Goldfish Oyster Bar and Traveler’s Rest are some of Ossining’s good dining options. There is not much that I would mention by way of shopping.
The key with Ossining is to understand that it is a town of variety. Most residents rave about the fact that it’s a great place to raise kids.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 27, 2012

"Forging a family friendly identity!"

Peekskill used to be associated with some degree of unpleasantness many years ago. Today’s Peekskill is proof positive that a town can re-invent itself. Take a walk down the main street and experience a vibrant downtown with exciting restaurants and shops.
Peekskill has a long history intertwined with the history of the nation with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln having stopped here. Today Peekskill is creating a new kind of history with its focus on developing an artists’ district.
Peekskill is more middle-income than many other Westchester County towns and it has a great mix of races and classes. This makes the town feel noticeably different, and more in keeping with what one would expect in the New York City area with its population of people from around the world.
While the schools here do not have the same reputation as Scarsdale or Rye, Peekskill does offer a good public school system. The moderate rating of the schools actually helps the housing prices stay relatively more affordable!
Kathleen’s Tea Room in Peekskill is great for when you have a craving for a High Tea. It is a nice place for scones and sandwiches, although it is not exactly cheap. There are many other good eateries in Peekskill including Birdsall House, Bean Runner Cafe and Zeph’s.
The Paramount Center for the Arts continues to develop a strong reputation as a place to catch some nice performances. Its proximity and variety both make it very attractive for many Westchester residents.
The direction of Peekskill’s growth and development holds a lot of promise!
Pros
  • Rich history
  • Art Scene
  • Parks
  • Recreational Programs
  • Bustling downtown area
  • Relatively affordable (for NY)
Cons
  • some unsafe sections
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 27, 2012

"Quality Living in a Gracious Setting"

Briarcliff Manor is all that is quintessential Westchester County. With gorgeous homes and access to good schools, the families who call Briarcliff Manor are people who appreciate quality living and have the resources to pay for it.

The demographic can be described as primarily White with a small mix of Asians and African Americans. Mostly white collar professionals with college degrees live in the area and that defines the neighborhood. There’s the sense of community pride and a commitment to keeping this smooth and calm.
The Briarcliff school district is highly regarded and the middle school here won the blue ribbon distinction in 2005. This town is also home to Pace University. It is a place where education is valued and encouraged.
Briarcliff is technically split between Mount Pleasant and Ossining; and there is also an unincorporated section called Scarborough. This Scarborough was once the site of the Rockefeller and Vanderbilt country estates and a place where they entertained extensively. The views of the Hudson from some parts are breath-taking.
While the town does not have a train station, it has access to the Metro North railroad through neighboring towns and is well located in relation to the Taconic and the Saw Mill. It is a car dependent community like many other towns in the area. There is not much by way of extensive shopping, but there are some great restaurants in town such as Patio and Guadalajara.
Briarcliff Manor can seem like a dream come true for those seeking a quiet, reflective environment. The natural beauty and limited traffic are conducive for artists and writers.
Pros
  • Excellent School System
  • Incredible views
  • Interesting history
Cons
  • Can feel insular
  • No Nightlife
  • High taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 27, 2012

"The Expanding Suburb - Energetic and Exciting!"

When people speak of the suburban lifestyle there’s an implication of a slightly placid vibe and lack of variety. Yonkers is here to challenge all those assumptions. It’s a city that is growing and changing and in the process rewriting what a suburb can be.

It’s proximity to New York City has made it a popular choice for many looking to move away from the exorbitant Manhattan lifestyle. While for many years it was a largely white community, with the slow increase of other racial and ethnic groups, Yonkers has become increasingly diverse. The process has not been always smooth and there was some talk in the 1980s of racial tension. Today, it is a much more integrated community than many other parts of Westchester County.

Yonkers offers many kinds of housing options from waterfront condos to homes with plenty of acreage. There are the affordable starter homes and the ritzier status symbols. The key is to find a neighborhood that feels right for you and your lifestyle. It is true that not all parts of Yonkers are seen as safe, but that is a statement that applies to pretty much any city in the world! The other suburban stereotype that Yonkers does not fit is that it is not dominated by families with kids; there’s more of an intergenerational feel to the community

The growth of Yonkers has meant that there are a whole range of restaurants, bars and shopping options here. There’s nothing sleepy about this suburb! Ridge Hill and the newly renovated Cross County Mall are great for browsing and shopping. Xaviars on the Hudson, Belle Havana, Patang and La Lanterna are among the popular restaurants in the area.
It’s hard to write a review of Yonkers without mentioning the Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, as it attracts people from all around the New York and Connecticut area. The verdict is that this casino is not Vegas or even Atlantic City, but fun for those looking for some slot machine time.
Pros
  • Cheaper than NYC
  • Highly diverse
  • Multitude of entertainment possibilities
  • Short train ride to NYC
Cons
  • Impoverished areas (some, not all)
  • Some areas have high crime rates
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 27, 2012

"A colorful suburb with great dining!"

Does the name Pleasantville remind you of the Reese Witherspoon-Toby McGuire black and white movie? This town is far from it – not full of repressed people with no color in their lives, but a vibrant community with a great downtown area. It is on the train line making it a popular bedroom community in Westchester County.

Pleasantville has a nice mix of houses on sprawling lands and close-to-town Victorians. And there are also some apartments and coops for those looking to rent and explore the neighborhoods. The town’s schools have a good reputation.

I personally like Pleasantville because of the great restaurant and the justifiably-famous Jacob Burns theatre where you can watch one-time screenings of unusual films and even get to meet and interact with famous movie personalities. This is a place that fosters the film as an art form!

There are many good restaurants in Pleasantville and it includes representations from various types of cuisine – Iron Horse Grill, Sundance Deli, Magic Wok, Meditarraneo and Bollywood Bistro are some of the popular ones. In a county with many good pizzerias, this is not really a big deal for many folks - But if you family, like mine, has a Pizza Hut fan(!), there’s one in Pleasantville and it is the only one among several neighboring towns!

The fact that this is a fairly compact town, 1.8 square miles, gives it a cosy and warm feel and it is possible to get a real sense of community. While it does not have the look of a traditional downtown, many of the storefront near the station area look inviting and on summer evenings you can sit a sip a coffee or enjoy an ice-cream as you people watch.
Pros
  • Great community atmosphere
  • The Film Center
  • Very Safe
  • Incredibly family-friendly
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
Rye
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 27, 2012

"Live the Life of Quiet Luxury...."

Rye, located along the Long Island Sound, offers a great setting for many beautiful homes. It is a town with expensive homes and the taxes are a consideration also, like many other towns in Westchester County.

If you can afford it, Rye offers the kind of lifestyle that can check off a lot of things on many a family’s wish-list:
- Good schools
- Great community
- Nice downtown
- Restaurant options
- Entertainment options

Rye has a fascinating history. English farmers from Greenwich bought Manursing Island, in Long Island Sound near Port Chester in 1660, from the Siwanoy Indians. They are said to have paid eight coats, seven shirts and 15 fathom of beads! It was known as Hastings for a period before the name Rye became finalised.

Rye was a popular summer resort for well-to-do New Yorkers in the late 19th century when the train came to the area. These seasonal vacationers built many of the large waterfront estates. It slowly started becoming a bedroom community in the early part of the20th century. Rye is a town today with marinas and tennis clubs; it is a beautiful town, but diversity is not its strong point. It is place that can seem homogenous in terms of race and class.

Rye has come a long way from those days as a summer resort. Even today, it does offer great places to visit, especially its restaurant row. Andy’s Pure Food on Purchase Street is a one-of-a-kind Vegan restaurant that offers excellent smoothies also. Frankie and Johnnie’s Steakhouse and La Panatiere are other popular restaurants in the area.

Rye is also famously associated with the Playland and its rides. While there has been some bad news about ride safety in recent years, it is a popular destination for many families looking for the Six Flag experience closer to home. There is also a beach nearby which makes this an attractive day trip in the summer months.
Pros
  • Cute shopping district
  • Nice affluent neighborhood
  • Extremely safe
  • Rye Playland Amusement Park
  • Small beach at Playland
Cons
  • Expensive
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Mar 27, 2012

"Westchesters own Big City!"

White Plains is the city away from the city! It is the urban center of Westchester county and offers great shopping and dining. The city is great to live in and to visit. White Plains has a diverse population which is reflected in the demographics and in the ethnic restaurants and grocery stores in the area.
It has many housing options from apartments and condos to starter homes and expensive mansions. It is close enough to NYC and has a Metro North station, making it attractive to many who work in the city but are looking for less expensive alternatives to Manhattan. The city is reputed to have a good public school system.
White Plains is a hub of activity in large part because of the many shopping and dining options it offers. The Westchester Mall with its many upscale stores and swanky feel attracts shoppers and browsers. Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom are the anchor stores here. My personal favorites in this mall are Anthropologie and William Sonoma are two of my favorite stops here. While browsing at Westchester Mall is fun, the City Center shopping with a big Target is definitely more budget friendly. I also like The Container Store which is a stand-alone store near the Westchester Mall.
P.F. Chang’s and the Cheesecake Factory are close to all the shopping and there’s always a long line in both places. It is highly advisable to make reservations before showing up. If you are feeling spontaneous, there are plenty of other restaurants and bars in White Plains.
White Plains is perfect for a fix of city living on days when we don’t have time or energy to make it to Manhattan. And the fact that parking is simpler is a big plus too!
Pros
  • Family friendly
  • Relatively affordable
  • Shopping
  • A ton of nightlife
Cons
  • More malls than street-front shops
  • Noise (in the downtown areas)
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 27, 2012

"Bedford offers a great combination: Suave Serenity!"

Bedford is a town that looks like its stepped out of a lush landscape magazine. Gorgeous homes with extensive grounds reflect the equestrian lifestyle of many in this area. There is an endearing mix of simplicity and elegance, natural and landscaped beauty all coming together in this picture-perfect town.

Bedford Village center reflects the town’s long heritage and everything about it from the boutiques to the Bedford Playhouse serves as a reminder of the good ole days! Charming is an over-used word when describing this neighborhood for a very good reason!

The setting is beautiful but what about the community? The schools are great; and there is an active community theater and the Bedford Chamber Concerts presented at the St. Matthews Episcopal Church are a source of justifiable pride for Bedford residents. This is a place where the village look is not just a matter of cosmetic prop but the real vibe of the place. While Bedford may not have the flash and dash of some cities, what it offers is a community that is inviting and engaging; a place where one can put down roots.

Bedford is home to many stars and you may even run into Glenn Close or Chevy Chase at the Bedford Playhouse while catching a movie. But the real local celebrity may well be the Bedford Oak, an old tree along Route 22 – there has been a concerted effort to preserve this tree said to be almost 500 years old. Bedford residents take their history fairly seriously, and is it any wonder with a Village Green that is in the National Register of Historic Sites?

While Bedford is famous for its sprawling estates, there are starter homes and even some condominiums in the area – so it is well worth checking out to see if there is a home that suits your needs. You can be sure that Bedford offers a lifestyle that’s truly one-of-a-kind!
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Mar 26, 2012

"A great place to raise kids and build memories!"

Yorktown is a great place to raise kids. It is located halfway between the hubbub and excitement of New York City and the natural tranquility and adventure of the Catskills. This means that living in Yorktown can include weekend trips to enjoy the museums or Central Park in NYC or the possibility of skiing in the Catskills. It means that you get the best of city living and the joy of the country experience.
It is relatively more affordable than some of the neighboring towns because it does not have a train station although it is close to Croton-Harmon and Mt.Kisco stations for those looking to commute.

The town is fairly spread out and includes two high schools – Yorktown High School and Lakeland High School. Both the high schools have good records and tend to send many graduates to reputed colleges. The Mildred E. Strang Middle School is a Blue Ribbon school, which means that it’s nationally recognized for its excellence.

Yorktown offers a variety of exciting opportunities for children. Yorktown is a big sports town for families with kids interested in sports; it is particularly big on lacrosse. There’s the Yorktown Theater which offers options to explore live theater in the form of summer camps and productions including children. Yorktown is extremely family-friendly and the track and field in the middle of town, the Jack DeVito Memorial Field, is the center of a many town events and celebrations.

North County Trail, Turkey Mountain, Teatown Lake Preservation, Hilltop Hanover Farm and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Skate Park are among the various options for those who enjoy the outdoors. The Trailway is very popular for biking on warmer days, as it connects across the different towns.

Traffic is generally predictable and not a major hassle although US 202 can get a little clogged during peak commute hours as it is a two lane road cutting across the heart of town.

Shopping can be a mixed bag because while there’s the Jefferson Valley Mall, it doesn’t have the choices that you’ll see in Danbury Mall or the Westchester Mall which are both more upscale. TJ Maxx and Kmart are the big stores in town. There is a range of restaurants in Yorktown from Friendly’s to Piatto Grill, from the Yorktown Diner to Peter Pratt’s Inn. While pizzerias are ever-popular, Okinawa and Empire Hunan offer interesting alternatives.

Yorktown is a place where one can enjoy the suburban dream!
Pros
  • North County Trail access
  • Schools
  • IBM Watson Research Center
  • family friendly
Cons
  • no real night life
  • not too much diversity
4/5 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 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Mar 26, 2012

"Family friendly historic town!"

Cortlandt is under an hour from New York City and has a train station. Combine this with the good schools and it is not surprise that this town continues to draw many professionals and their families to settle down here. The town is seen as more affordable that some of the neighboring cities and it actually offers a range of options from classic Victorians to condominiums. There’s something for everyone in Cortlandt!
Cortlandt has a recorded history that goes back as far as 1677 and there’s reason to believe that Henry Hudson visited the area as far back as 1609. You can experience this sense of history in Cortlandt through a visit to the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the Little Red Schoolhouse or the Van Cortlandtville Cemetery. All these are in the National Registry of Historical Sites.
In the modern day, Cortlandt offers many interesting entertainment opportunities also. There are plenty of activities for children from the C Note Music School and The Cortlandt Performing Arts Institute to the many sports leagues. The proximity to Bear Mountain means there are also great hiking trails and plenty of opportunity to connect with nature, whether you’re an adult or a kid.
Cortlandt Town Center with its movie theater, Barnes & Noble, Home Depot, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Pier 1 Imports among several other stores, is a great shopping destination for those in town and is popular with many in neighboring towns as well. There are many restaurants in the area including the casual Applebee’s, the new Five Guys Burger, the tried-and tested Juliana’s and the Mexican restaurant Hacienda Souza. Pizza places do tend to be the most common!
Cortlandt is a growing suburb that offers much for those who love the idea of a safe and secure family-oriented environment.
Pros
  • Nice mix of housing
  • Peace & quiet
  • Very safe
  • affordable
  • rich in history
Cons
  • Fairly spread out
  • Can get a little too quiet at times
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Mar 26, 2012

"Great Homes and Spectacular Schools!"

Chappaqua is fifth in the list of the 25 top-earning towns in the country! This is a small suburb with a strong residential vibe that can be a great place for families that can afford to live here. Among the highlights of Chappaqua living is the fantastic public school system. There is a great library and a good park and recreation program. Chappaqua is the kind of place that is described as perfect for families in that it is safe and offers many lovely homes.

While the number of restaurants may be limited, there are noteworthy places such as Crabtree’s Kittle House and Le Jardin de Roi which make the most of their setting and offer great food. The emphasis is on quality over quantity!

There is a Metro North train station in Chappaqua making it a good commute town for those working in NYC. The train ride is about 45 minutes depending on whether it is an express or a regular train. The town offers the best of both worlds in that with the city proximity it also balances great walking trails and easy access to nature preserves.

Plans are afoot for a new project to use the lands where the Reader’s Digest headquarters used to be located. It is being envisioned as a mixed commercial and residential area and this is likely to have a big impact on the way Chappaqua becomes established.
Pros
  • Convenient for NYC commute
  • Prestigious area
  • School system highly rated
Cons
  • Lacks Diversity
  • Boring - no nightlife
  • Somewhat exclusive
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Mar 26, 2012

"Fun Suburb with Fabulous Eateries!"

Whether you are looking for a quiet walk down tree-lined avenues or an exciting afternoon of shopping and fun cuisine, Mount Kisco has a little bit of something for everyone. This Westchester suburb is an interesting mix of apartments and classic homes and offers a range of options for those looking to move into the area. This town is a mix of commercial and residential streets giving it more of a city flair than some of the neighboring suburbs. The public school system is rated well and there are also several private school options in the vicinity. The train station makes this a great commute suburb to NYC.

Mount Kisco offers a nice downtown shopping area and many great eateries. New additions making a real mark include Little Kebab Station and Little Spice Bazaar where President Clinton and Martha Stewart stop by to grab a bite! Then there are the more established restaurants like Café of Love and Thai Angel. Parking can seem like a challenge at peak times, but there is plenty of metered parking – come prepared with quarters!

Shopping in Mount Kisco includes everything from one-of-a-kind boutiques to the ever-popular Target and Kohls. And as it is right off of Saw Mill Parkway, it is also easy to get to other shopping areas nearby.

The entertainment options in Mount Kisco range from the usual to the extraordinary. The newly finished library building is a beautiful multi-story where you may see anything from a great art exhibition to a teenagers book club. And then there is the Grand Prix New York which is an indoor Go Karting facility which also offers bowling and arcade games.

There's much to recommend Mount Kisco as a place to live or visit!
Pros
  • Downtown Area
  • Good Childcare Options
  • Ethnic shopping & restaurants
  • Relatively diverse population
  • great hospital right in town
Cons
  • expensive parking

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