TracyD

  • Local Expert 11,455 points
  • Reviews 21
  • Questions 94
  • Answers 175
  • Discussions 9

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"An affluent waterfront village with stellar schools"

Lloyd Harbor, a small and affluent community, is located on a peninsula in the Long Island Sound. With a population of 3,700 spread across ten square miles, this incorporated village is one of Long Island’s most sparsely populated. The village is part of the larger Town of Huntington.

Unsurprisingly, Lloyd Harbor lacks strip malls; it has no real retail at all for that matter. Residents must travel south to Huntington for shopping. Zoning laws are very strict; residential lot size has a minimum of two acres.

A large portion of Lloyd Harbor is occupied by Caumsett State Park, which has water on two of its four sides. The 1,500 acre property, located on the grounds of the estate of Marshall Field III, offers hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. Target Rock National Wildlife Area, an 80-acre property, is great for hiking and observing nature. Mill Cove Waterfowl Sanctuary and Fiske Bird Sanctuary attract birdwatchers from around the area. There are two beaches: one run by the Town of Huntington, and one for Lloyd Harbor residents only.

The Cold Spring Harbor Central School District includes Lloyd Harbor within its boundaries. The district is small, with approximately 2,150 students. There is one K-1 primary school, and two elementary schools for grades two through six. One of the two elementary schools is located in Lloyd Harbor. The district has been ranked more than once in the top 100 school districts nationally. In 2007, U.S. News and World Report ranked Cold Spring Harbor High School at #52. Typically, ninety-five percent of graduates continue their education at four-year colleges. Eighty-four percent take Advanced Placement courses.

Prices begin close to a million dollars, with single-family homes being the only option. Colonials and farm ranches are popular styles. In recent years, rebuilding homes has been a popular choice, giving Lloyd Harbor a good amount of fairly new inventory.
Pros
  • Beautiful location and homes
  • Excellent school district
  • Lovely parks
Cons
  • Isolated
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"A beautiful waterfront hamlet"

Centerport, a small, oddly-shaped hamlet in the Town of Huntington, seems broken into three parts. Its most prominent area is a peninsula on jutting into the Long Island Sound. It is split in half by Centerport Harbor; the western part of the community appears the most heavily populated. Its southern section borders the hamlet of Greenlawn. Centerport is small, with 5,500 residents. Summer vacationers once inhabited the area, but today the majority of people reside there year-round.

Residents who commute by train have two options. Huntington’s LIRR station is about ten to fifteen minutes for most residents. Greenlawn’s LIRR station is closer, but service is less frequent and riders almost always have to transfer at Huntington, Hicksville or Jamaica. Major roads and highways are a good distance away, giving the area a sense of solitude.

There is no main downtown area, no strip malls, no grocery stores, which has allowed Centerport to retain the atmosphere of rest and relaxation it earned in its resort days. Boating and fishing remain important leisure time activities. The Centerport Yacht Club, founded in 1947, organizes regattas and events. Two of the Town of Huntington’s eight beaches sit along the Sound: Centerport Beach Park and the smaller Fleets Cove Beach. Mill Pond Dam Bridge is a popular fishing location.

Cultural opportunities are easy to find. The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum occupies 43 acres on the water, and organizes tours and workshops for adults and kids. It also has a planetarium, which is popular with school groups. The Suydam Homestead, overseen by the Greenlawn-Centerport Historical Association, hails back to the 1700s, and has been restored to include a gallery of historic artifacts.

Students who live in Centerport attend school in the Harborfields Central School District. The district also serves students from Greenlawn, Huntington and Northport. Washington Drive School, the district’s only K-2 school, is located in Centerport; the intermediate school, middle school and high school are all located in Greenlawn. The student population is 3,700. Scores on standardized state exams, administered to students in grades 3 through 8, are solid, as are Regents exam scores, taken by high school and some middle school students.

Centerport’s small size means a relatively small housing stock. The area was once primarily middle-class, but in recent years the area has grown in affluence. Compared to nearby waterfront towns like Laurel Harbor and Lloyd Neck, Centerport is still considered affordable, with current prices beginning in the mid-$300,000 range. Ages of homes vary, with older homes which were probably former summer homes, as well as newer construction. The most selection will be found among homes priced over $1 million, but there are lots of possibilities in the $500,000-$700,000 range.
Pros
  • Beautiful location
  • Good schools
  • Cultural opportunities
Cons
  • Somewhat isolated
  • No direct LIRR service
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A quiet residential hamlet"

Islip Terrace, the smallest of “the Islips” is a small hamlet sandwiched between the Southern State Parkway and Sunrise Highway in western Suffolk County. The hamlet is small, occupying 1.4 square miles. Initially called Germantown, the name was changed after World War I due to anti-German sentiment. Islip Terrace is heavily residential, full of well-maintained modest homes. Its population is 5,600.

The hamlet is ideally located near several parks, giving residents access to many activities and facilities. Beaver Dam Park has a playground, baseball field and basketball court. Bohemia Equestrian Center is a county facility with trails and three rings; permits are required. Heckscher State Park, not to be confused with Huntington’s Heckscher Park, features 1,600 acres on the Great South Bay. The Long Island Greenbelt Trail begins here, and ends on the North Shore at Sunken Meadow State Park. It also includes picnic and camping areas. Bayard Cutting Arboretum, located on the grounds of a 19th century estate, is a passive recreation park which offers educational programs. It also includes a farm. Connetquot River State Park Preserve offers hiking and fishing. An ocean beach is the main attraction at Robert Moses State Park, twenty minutes away.

Islip Terrace does not have its own school district. Students who reside in the hamlet attend school in the East Islip School District, which serves five thousand students. Connetquot Elementary and Ruth C. Kinney Elementary, both K-5, are located in Islip Terrace, as are East Islip Middle School and East Islip High School. Scores on state standardized exams have been strong across elementary and middle school. At the high school level, Regents passing rates are high.
The Islip Arts Council serves the greater Islip area. It includes a museum and a school offering art, music and theater classes to adults and children. It also organizes concerts and programs for the community.

With the exception of a few businesses along Carleton Avenue, Islip Terrace does not have much commercial activity. However, obtaining necessities is not difficult. Numerous shopping options can be found along Montauk Highway in neighboring East Islip. Gardiner Manor, a short trip away in Bay Shore, is anchored by Target and King Kullen, along with several other retailers. Mall shopping can also be found at Bay Shore’s South Shore Mall.

Homes in Islip Terrace are well-priced for people with smaller budgets or those seeking to downsize. The majority of inventory is priced below $350,000 and includes mainly capes, ranches and splits. A handful of homes were constructed during the 1920s and 1930s, but as with much of Long Island, building took off during the 1950s. A small selection of larger homes, priced between $350,000 and $500,000, are available. Providence on the Park is the only condo complex, and is restricted to those age 55 and older.
Pros
  • Great location near parks
  • Good schools
Cons
  • High taxes
  • Limited nighlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A storybook small town"

Sandwiched between Huntington and East Northport, Greenlawn, NY is home to 13,500 residents. Once called Old Field, the hamlet once had a flourishing pickle industry, which came to an abrupt end when blight destroyed the cucumber crops. Today, Greenlawn is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, excellent schools and walkable downtown.

The Long Island Expressway sits to the south of the hamlet, which is part of the Town of Huntington. The LIE is the closest major highway. Residents who commute by train can board at the LIRR’s Greenlawn station. Parking is a mix of unrestricted spots and Town of Huntington Resident Only, with a permit. Travel time ranged between an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and twenty-five minutes, partly because commuters must transfer at Huntington, Hicksville or Jamaica.

Greenlawn offers its residents a great variety of things to do. Broadway, lined with shops and restaurants, is a popular destination. The Robert M. Kubecka Memorial Organic Garden gives residents a chance to cultivate small gardens in a community setting. There are 8 Town of Huntington beaches, as well as a skate park. Each year Greenlawn honors its history by holding its Pickle Festival at the John Gardiner Farm, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Greenlawn Plaza includes a grocery store as well as an assortment of chain stores. The Harborfields Library is also a great asset. Located in a former school, it has an art gallery and community center, along with an 8,000 square foot Children’s Room.

The Harborfields Central School District serves students from Greenlawn, as well as Centerport, Huntington and Northport. The student population of 3,700 is spread among one primary school, located in Centerport, as well as an intermediate school, middle school and high school, all located in Greenlawn. Scores on standardized state exams, administered to students in grades 3 through 8, are solid, as are Regents exam scores, taken by high school and some middle school students.

Homes are well-priced, though not as affordable as some neighboring areas. Buyers with budgets under $500,000 will find a lot of possibilities. At the high end, prices come close to $800,000, though inventory is smaller at this end. There are no co-ops or condos.
Pros
  • Downtown shopping area
  • Family oriented
  • Good schools
Cons
  • High taxes
  • Train commute to city is long
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A wealthy town with a country-like atmosphere"

Dix Hills is unique by shopping-crazed Long Island standards. The hamlet of 26,000 has strict zoning regulations, which attempts to keep a tight rein on development. With the exception of a few gardening centers, retail shopping is nearly non-existent. Residents must travel beyond the confines of the sixteen-square mile area to purchase groceries and other necessities. There is no local LIRR service either; commuters must travel to Wyandanch orHuntington Station to catch the train.

Open spaces and parks are easy to find. The Town of Huntington, which includes Dix Hills, oversees recreational activities and supervises several parks, including a golf course at the public Crab Meadow Golf Course, and Gold Star Battalion Beach, on Huntington Bay. Dix Hills Park also has a golf course, along with an indoor ice rink, outdoor pools and a playground. The area’s Little League uses the ten fields at Otsego Park, which also has a roller hockey rink and playground. Strathmore Park, largely undeveloped, features hiking trails. A portion of the 813 acre Oak Bush Plains at Edgewood, a preserve occupying the grounds of a former psychiatric hospital, is located in Dix Hills.

Students residing in the northeastern section of Dix Hills attend school in the Commack School District, whose high school was rated #1 in Suffolk County this year by U.S. News and World Report. Rolling Hills Primary School serves the students in Dix Hills, who move on to intermediate, middle and high school in Commack. Commack participates in the International Baccalaureate program, a challenging multi-disciplinary college preparatory program. Scores on standardized state tests are high across grades and subjects. The remaining students attend the Half Hollow Hills Central School District, which draws students from Dix Hills, Melville, Deer Park and Wheatley Heights. It includes 10,000 students in seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. High passing rates on state exams at the elementary and middle school level, as well as high Regents passing rates draw homebuyers to the area. At the high school level, students can choose from twenty-six Advanced Placement courses. Collaborations with local colleges allow students to begin earning college credit. A planetarium at Half Hollow Hills West High School draws visiting students from the district’s elementary and middle schools.

A minimal number of smaller, inexpensive homes on small lots are available, but most homes are higher priced and sit on an acre of land. Those less expensive homes are priced beginning in the low $300,000 range. Buyers whose budgets are around and above the $500,000 range will have more options; current prices top out around $2.5 million. Many homes were constructed during the 1960s and 1970s; some are even newer. The relatively young age of homes means there are more contemporary styled houses than in neighboring areas.
Pros
  • Quiet
  • Well-kept and clean
  • Good schools
Cons
  • No local LIRR service
  • Must travel to obtain necessities
  • High taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A popular village in a busy hamlet"

Huntington, NY, often referred to as Huntington Village to distinguish it from other area municipalities, is actually not an incorporated village but a hamlet in the Town of Huntington. It does have a quaint, walkable downtown area with over 300 businesses. The village is the epicenter of the community, drawing both residents and visitors who come to enjoy the shops, bars and restaurants. Huntington has a vibrant nightlife as well.

The Long Island Rail Road offers direct service to and from the city. The commute takes about an hour and ten minutes. Parking options include metered spots and lots for resident with Town of Huntington permits. Huntington Area Rapid Transit has routes to the village and Walt Whitman Mall, in nearby South Huntington.

The area is a great place for recreation and cultural arts. Heckscher Park, not to be confused with Heckscher State Park on the South Shore, landed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. The park is home to the Heckscher Museum of Art, which includes 2,000 works in its collection, and the Chapin Rainbow Theater. Each summer, the Huntington Summer Arts Festival comes to Heckscher Park. Organized by the Huntington Arts Council, the festival lasts eight weeks and includes concerts and performances. The Town of Huntington also oversees Crab Meadow Golf Club, a public course for residents and non-residents, and Gold Star Battalion Beach. The beach, located on Huntington Bay, allows swimming and picnicking.

The Huntington School District educates over four thousand students. Schools include four K-3 primary schools, two 4-6 intermediate schools, one middle school and one high school. Approximately one-fifth of the student population lives in poverty; there are also a large number of English Language Learners (ELLs). Recently the New York State Education Department placed Huntington on its list of districts needing improvement in the area of English Language Arts at all grade levels. On the state exams administered to students in third through eighth grade, between six and ten percent of students did not meet standards. The high school offers sixteen Advanced Placement courses. Forty clubs and a variety of athletic teams are available.

A wide range of prices characterizes Huntington’s housing stock. Homes closer to the downtown area tend to be pricier. The inventory includes colonials, cottages, splits and ranches. Prices begin in the mid-$200,000 range. House-hunters looking at homes priced between $400,000 and $700,000 will find the most options, with prices topping out just above $1 million. Those seeking condos or co-ops will find a very small supply of available homes, priced between $250,000 and $600,000.
Pros
  • Popular downtown area
  • Great parks
Cons
  • Schools need improvement
  • congested
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Walt Whitman's old stomping grounds..."

Melville, New York, population 15,000, is a hamlet in Suffolk County. A hamlet in the Town of Huntington, it is located along the Nassau/Suffolk border. The exact origin of the hamlet’s name is unclear. Speculation often brings up Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, as being the inspiration for the name. However, unlike his contemporary, poet Walt Whitman, Melville has no connection to the area.

Parkland is abundant. Arboretum Park has a playground, as well as tennis, basketball and handball courts. In 2010, a memorial garden dedicated to Anne Frank opened. West Hills County Park offers hiking and bridle paths, and a playground. A trail named for Walt Whitman leads hikers to Jayne’s Hill, Long Island’s highest peak.

Route 110, also known as Walt Whitman Road in Melville, is home to Kohls, Marshalls and several other chain retailers. Further up Route 110, in South Huntington, is Walt Whitman Mall, which is anchored by Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, and Lord & Taylor. Several large companies occupy office space in Melville, including Estee Lauder, Sbarro and Nikon.

The Half Hollow Hills Central School District draws students from Melville and its surrounding areas, including Dix Hills, Deer Park and Wheatley Heights. The district includes 10,000 students in seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. West Hills Middle School is in Melville; the remaining schools are in Dix Hills. Half Hollow Hills is a sought-after district, with high passing rates on state exams at the elementary and middle school level. Regents passing rates are also very high, with passing rates over ninety percent in all subjects. Twenty-six Advanced Placement courses are available, and collaborations with local colleges allow students to begin earning college credit. Half Hollow Hills West High School’s most unique feature is a planetarium, which is visited frequently by students from the elementary and middle schools.

A third of Melville’s housing stock was constructed after 1990. There is a good amount of inventory currently priced between $350,000 and $500,000. Prices at the higher end go as high as $2 million.
Pros
  • Good schools
  • Parks and shopping
Cons
  • No direct rail service
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"The Heart of the South Shore"

Bay Shore is one of Long Island’s older towns. It occupies twelve square miles along the Great South Bay, with a population of 24,000. Earlier in its history, the town had a vibrant commercial area along Main Street. The arrival of the South Shore Mall in the early 1960s drew shoppers away, sending the village into a slow downward spiral. The decline continued into the 1980s, when efforts began to revitalize the area. Today, many improvements have been made. New housing, parks, shops and cultural organizations have revived the area. The Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce provides support for local businesses.

Bay Shore’s location on the water provides the area with scenic beauty and excellent recreational opportunities. Its Marina Park, which offers sweeping views of the Great South Bay, has a new spray park for kids, along with a pool, restaurant and playground. Bay Shore is the westernmost point for ferry access to the Fire Island National Seashore, which draws visitors from all over the region. The Great South Bay YMCA counts fitness, aquatics, sports, and teen programs among its many offerings.

The school district is ethnically diverse, with a poverty rate of 30%. The district, which has three K-2 schools, two 3-5 schools, one middle school and one high school, offers Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) and full-day kindergarten. Student performance is generally strong on state exams. Two Regents courses are offered at the middle school level, allowing qualified students to begin working towards high school diplomas. Students can choose from a wide range of after-school sports and clubs. The high school participates in the International Baccalaureate program, a rigorous, well-regarded college preparatory program. Twenty-three Advanced Placement courses are taught, so students can begin earning college credits.

Arts and culture are also important to the community. The Bay Shore-Brightwaters Public Library, operating for about a hundred years, organizes film series, exhibits, and children’s programs. The Boulton Performing Arts Centers is a popular venue for concerts, with many well-known folk and alternative musicians on the roster. The renovated Dr. George S. King Park features a band shell, where concerts are held during the warmer months. Sagtikos Manor, built in 1697, hosted George Washington during his tour of Long Island, and is one of the area’s most treasured landmarks.

Bay Shore offers great affordability, with a large range of prices. At the low end, mobile homes and small capes and ranches help homebuyers with smaller budgets get a foothold into the town. Currently there is a lot of inventory under $200,000. At the high end, waterfront homes and luxury condos dominate, with numerous options in between.
Pros
  • Beautiful location
  • Strong community spirit
  • Main Street shopping and dining
Cons
  • Revitalization has not reached all areas
  • High taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Diverse, with strong community spirit"

Wheatley Heights, a hamlet in the Town of Babylon, is largely residential with 5,000 residents. Until recently a part of neighboring Wyandanch, Wheatley Heights is diverse and middle-class. The hamlet shares a zip code with Wyandanch. Concerned Taxpayers of Wheatley Heights/Dix Hills, a community group, is striving to get the hamlet its own zip code, which would help give it an independent identity. The organization also sponsors beautification projects and neighborhood watches.

Shopping opportunities are minimal in Wheatley Heights, with only a few stores within the hamlet’s borders. However, neighboring towns offer innumerable choices. Residents can use two libraries, in Dix Hills and Melville. The Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts provides summer programs in art, music, theater and dance. Long Island Rail Road service is available in Wyandanch; travel time to the city is about an hour.

The Town of Babylon provides a wide variety of recreational programs and events for residents of Wheatley Heights. All the town’s opportunities are published in an annual recreation guide. Three town beaches, Overlook, Cedar Beach and Gilgo Beach, are located to the south. Griem Park has a gazebo, tennis and handball courts, and a playground. Concerts and an annual family day are held at the park.

Students who live in Wheatley Heights attend school in the Half Hollow Hills Central School District, which also includes students from Melville, Dix Hills and Deer Park. The district’s seven elementary schools, one of two middle schools, and two high schools are located in Dix Hills. West Hills Middle School, located in Melville, is the exception. With just over 10,000 students, Half Hollow Hills is well-regarded. At the elementary and middle school level, passing rates on state exams were very high, with only one to three percent of students failing to meet standards. Regents passing rates are also very high, with passing rates over ninety percent in all subjects. Twenty-six Advanced Placement courses are available, and collaborations with local colleges allow students to begin earning college credit. A wide variety of foreign language courses are available through independent study.

Single-family homes are the primary type of housing. Current prices begin around $200,000 and range through $400,000. Capes, ranches and splits dominate the inventory. The majority of homes were constructed during the 1960s and 1970s, when the post-war building boom extended across Nassau and into Suffolk. Co-ops and rentals are available in limited numbers.
Pros
  • Opportunities for community involvement
  • Good schools
Cons
  • Not a lot of local shopping
  • Slightly isolated
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"An attractive waterfront suburb"

West Islip is an unincorporated area whose borders spill into two larger Suffolk County Towns: Islip and Babylon. The area, where the Secatogue Indians once roamed, was sparsely populated and largely undeveloped until the demand for housing swept through Nassau County and into Suffolk. West Islip grew exponentially between the 1950s and 1970s to its current population of 30,000.

Sunrise Highway and Montauk Highway pass through West Islip. Most of its shopping opportunities are located here and along Union Boulevard. A short ride in either direction brings shoppers to two large malls, Sunrise Mall in Massapequa and South Shore Mall in Bay Shore. Both malls are anchored by major department stores and include many additional smaller retailers. The hamlet has an excellent library, with a large collection of items for lending. The West Islip Symphony, which puts on major concerts throughout the year, provides a great cultural opportunity for residents.

The hamlet’s location near the water makes boating and beach-going popular recreational activities. West Islip Beach, on Great South Bay, provides one option. The Robert Moses Causeway passes through West Islip, providing easy access to Robert Moses State Park, an ocean beach, and Captree State Park, which is popular with fisherman. Swimmers who prefer pools will enjoy Casamento Park, a 14 acre space which also has tennis, handball and basketball courts. Playgrounds can be found at Carnation Park, Keith Lane Park and Parkway Lawns. A community center provides a location for senior activities and town events.

The West Islip School District educates 5,600 students. There are four elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. The school district is generally well-regarded, with strong student performance on state exams. Graduation rates at the high school are around 98%. Students who are interested in Advanced Placement courses have a large variety to choose from. West Islip’s varsity lacrosse team has won the New York State Championships during four out of the last seven years. Parents who are interested in parochial school may be interested in St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School, which has an excellent reputation, and draws students from all over the area.

House-hunters will find a wide range of prices. The most expensive homes tend to be located on or near the water, while more affordable homes can be found inland. Splits, ranches, capes and colonials comprise the bulk of West Islip’s inventory. In relative terms, the majority of homes are relatively new, constructed during the 1960s and 1970s.
Pros
  • Good schools
  • Easy waterfront access
Cons
  • No direct rail service
  • High taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"Good location, lots of amenities"

West Babylon, a hamlet in the larger Town of Babylon, is the largest of the three areas bearing the Babylon name. It is sandwiched between Lindenhurst and Babylon Village. With eight square miles and 43,000 residents, it is the largest and most populous of its neighbors.

Several major roads cut through West Babylon. Sunrise Highway and Montauk Highway run parallel to each other, providing easy access to shopping centers and neighboring towns. The Southern State Parkway has three exits in West Babylon. Train commuters have multiple station options, though none of them are in West Babylon. Permits are required to park at Lindenhurst, though non-residents are eligible for them. Parking at the Babylon station, a few minutes west, is limited to village residents, but a private lot is available. Residents in the northern part of the hamlet may find their closest station option is Pinelawn, where parking is free.

Necessities can be easily obtained from West Babylon’s many stores, which include Kmart, Big Lots and Marshalls. Montauk Highway is the area’s primary retail corridor, though Little East Neck Road is home to the Babylon Galleria Shopping Center.

There are many recreational opportunities in West Babylon. Bergen Point Golf Club, located along the shore in the southernmost part of the hamlet, is an 18-hole public golf course run by the county. There are several parks and playgrounds, many with basketball courts and baseball fields, scattered across the town. Anthony Sanchez Memorial Park also features a pool.

The West Babylon School District serves 4,600 public school students, which has five elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Seventeen percent of the student population lives in poverty. The most recent available graduation statistics show 86% of students continuing their educations at two-year or four-year colleges. Some of West Babylon’s students attend either the Babylon Schools or the Wyandanch Schools. Babylon’s district gets very good results, with good passing rates on state standardized exams. Wyandanch’s district struggles with a very high poverty rate and abysmal passing rates on state exams across grade levels.

Single family homes dominate, and offer great affordability. Currently about half the homes on the market are priced below $300,000, giving several possibilities to buyers with smaller budgets. Nearly all the homes were constructed during the 1950s and 1960s. A few complexes with co-ops and condos provide buyers with additional options.
Pros
  • Good location
  • Nearby amenities
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Schools are decent but not great
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"A affordable western Suffolk suburb"

North Babylon, an unincorporated hamlet within the Town of Babylon, sits north of the Village of Babylon and west of the unincorporated hamlet of West Babylon. Its population is approximately 18,000. Founded in 1803, the area was first called South Deer Park.

The area’s location along Sunrise Highway, with the Southern State Parkway forming its northern border, makes it convenient for car travel. Though there is no direct LIRR service, residents have two nearby alternatives, both which make the trip to Penn Station in about an hour. To the south, Babylon has privately operated parking lots for non-village residents. Wyandanch, slightly north and west, has lots maintained by the Town of Babylon, though permits are not required.

Recreation is overseen by the Town of Babylon, which publishes an annual guide with details on its many programs and events. Phelps Lane Memorial Park is a town facility with a pool, basketball and tennis courts, baseball fields and a playground. New York State’s Parks Department runs Belmont Lake State Park, where visitors can boat, fish, picnic, ride horses, and hike. Three residents-only beaches, Gilgo, Overlook and Cedar, are all nearby, as well as Robert Moses State Park, a larger public beach.

Residents can meet most of their shopping needs locally, mainly along Sunrise Highway and Deer Park Avenue. Several strip malls and shopping centers offer casual dining, grocery and drug stores, as well as some locally-based independent shops. To the north, Tanger Outlets at the Arches offers a mix of discount and designer retailers.

Approximately 5,000 students attend the North Babylon School District, which is comprised of five elementary schools, Robert Moses Middle School and North Babylon High School. Scores on state exams at the five elementary schools are solid overall, with the majority of students meeting standards. At the middle school level, between four and six percent of students failed to meet standards. Two Regents classes, in Living Environment and Integrated Algebra, allow qualified middle school students to get an early start on high school diplomas. The high school takes a comprehensive approach to educating its students, which extends beyond academics to include citizenship, communications, wellness, and technological literacy. Students can earn college credits at a reduced rate through collaboration with SUNY Farmingdale, and Advanced Placement courses are also available.

Homes in North Babylon are affordable, with a handful of smaller homes currently available for under $200,000. Virtually none of the current inventory for sale was built before 1940; the bulk of homes were constructed during the 1960s and 1970s. The majority of homes on the market now are priced between $300,000 and $400,000, with only a few homes above that range. Many co-ops are available, with the most affordable ones located in the Fairfield Gardens complex, though other options in this category are available.
Pros
  • Good location
  • Good schools
  • Affordable homes
Cons
  • Traffic
  • No direct LIRR service
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"Home of Republic Airport"

East Farmingdale is an unincorporated hamlet in the Town of Babylon. Most residents don’t distinguish between Farmingdale and East Farmingdale; both areas share a post office. The greater Farmingdale area also straddles Nassau and Suffolk counties, with the incorporated village in Nassau and the unincorporated area of East Farmingdale in Suffolk. The population of East Farmingdale is 6,500, though 50,000 people reside in the greater Farmingdale area.

East Farmingdale is home to Farmingdale State College and Republic Airport. Along with St. Charles Cemetery, the three landmarks occupy one-third of the hamlet’s 5.4 square miles. Broad Hollow Road, also known as Route 110, serves as one of Long Island’s largest commercial corridors. Furniture outlets are especially well-represented, though many other big-box stores, including Target and Wal-Mart, are located on 110. Adventureland, a small amusement park and another local landmark, is located on 110 across from Farmingdale State.

Two school districts serve East Farmingdale. Students who reside in the northern part of the hamlet attend the Half Hollow Hills School District, which has a student enrollment of approximately 10,000. There are seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. Beginning in fifth grade, students may choose to participate in the district’s well-regarded theater program. Both high schools have excellent science research programs, with regular participation in the Intel and Siemans-Westinghouse competitions.

Students who reside south Conklin Street attend the Farmingdale School District, which has four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school; the district offers Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) for eligible four-year-olds. This year, the state cited Farmingdale as needing improvement in English Language Arts at all levels. An alternative high school program is available.

Residing in the Town of Babylon gives residents access to a large variety of recreation programs and activities, which are outlined in an annual recreation guide. Three town beaches, Gilgo Beach, Oak Beach and Overlook Beach, are a short ride away.

Much of East Farmingdale’s land is not residential, limiting housing options. Homes in the Half Hollow Hills School District tend to be more expensive than the Farmingdale School District. A good amount of inventory is available in the $300,000 to $400,000 range; less expensive homes tend to be smaller and in need of work. Homes in the Half Hollow Hills district hover around the $500,000 range, with very limited inventory.
Pros
  • Good location
  • Nearby shopping
Cons
  • Limited real estate inventory
  • Farmindale schools need improvement
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"Suffolk County’s Shopping Destination"

Deer Park, an unincorporated hamlet in the Town of Babylon, has evolved from an agricultural community to one of Long Island’s shopping havens. Founded in 1853 by Charles Wilson, a prosperous farmer, the area was once known as New York State’s “Fruit Basket” for the volume and variety of fruit it produced. Deer Park remained largely agricultural until the late 1940s, when the substantial increase in demand for affordable housing transformed the area into one of Long Island’s many suburban towns.

Today, Deer Park is home to 28,000 residents, and the area receives a daily influx of visitors who come to take advantage of Deer Park’s many shopping opportunities. In 2008, Tanger at the Arches, a large complex with over 100 discount and designer shops, opened after years of controversy and anticipation. However, the Arches generates tax revenue, and TangerKids Grants has recently provided two of Deer Park’s elementary schools with money for instructional technology. In addition to Tanger, the area features several big-box retails and restaurants.

Shopping isn’t all Deer Park has to offer. Several parks, mostly overseen by the Town of Babylon, give residents a range of recreational choices. The Town publishes an annual guide, which describes the many programs, activities and facilities available to residents. Though Deer Park is land-locked, Cedar Beach, Gilgo Beach and Overlook Beach are a short ride away. Several parks, including Pine Acres, Birchwood and Geiger Memorial, which is partially located in Wyandanch feature playing fields for baseball, basketball and tennis courts, and playgrounds. Buttitta Memorial Pool offers swimming, and includes a roller rink, playground and food concession. Oak Bush Plains at Edgewood, an 813-acre preserve, was created on the grounds of a former psychiatric hospital. Its most unique amenity is a model airplane flying field.

Deer Park’s school district has approximately 4,300 students and three K-2 primary schools, one 3-5 intermediate school, one middle school and one high school. The district is ethnically diverse, with a 13% poverty rate. At the elementary level, scores on state reading and math exams are close to the state median, with the vast majority of students meeting standards. At the high school level, passing rates on Regents exams are also strong. Sixteen Advanced Placement courses are available, which allow students to begin earning college credit.

Housing choices include splits, ranches and capes. Deer Park is very affordable, with the vast majority of homes priced below $350,000 and almost nothing above $550,000. Quail Run is the only condominium complex, with current prices ranging between $220,000 and $350,000.
Pros
  • Excellent shopping
  • Well-priced homes
  • Good location for commuting
Cons
  • Traffic
  • Schools are decent but not great
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"A quaint village along the shore"

Babylon is the name given to one of Suffolk County’s ten townships, as well as the name of a village within the township. The village, incorporated in 1893, was once a popular summer vacation area for affluent families. Numerous resort hotels provided vacationers with access to beaches and barrier islands; some wealthier guests built waterfront homes. Today, the village is home to 12,000 residents, who enjoy its many canals, proximity to the beach, and quaint shopping and dining district. Babylon has its own stop on the Long Island Rail Road. Travel time to Manhattan is just over an hour, making Babylon a practical choice for rail commuters.

Babylon’s business district attracts residents and visitors, who enjoy the well-kept walkable area with over thirty restaurants and lots of unique shops. Chains are nearly non-existent. The village has largely succeeded in keeping them out, and preserving the village’s charm. The Babylon Beautification Society organizes an annual County Fair each September, which includes crafts for sale, children’s activities, food and live entertainment. The group raises funds year-round to fund the fair and pay for additional beautification projects around the village.

The village’s waterfront location makes water sports and activities a recreational focus. Each year, an updated Recreation Guide is published for all Babylon Town residents, with information about programs, events and facilities. Two beaches, Cedar Beach and Gilgo Beach, are located in Babylon. In addition to their beaches, both parks also feature marinas, picnic areas and playgrounds. Argyle Park, located near the village center, has a 25-acre fishing pond. A residents-only pool offers a change of pace from the beach. Belmont Lake State Park, officially located in North Babylon, spills partially across the village’s border. This park includes bridle and hiking trails, fishing, boat rentals and picnic areas.

The Babylon School District is small by Long Island standards, with 2,000 students in three schools. Babylon Elementary houses kindergarten through second grade, Babylon Memorial has third through sixth grades, and all the secondary students attend Babylon Junior-Senior High School. The two elementary schools share a campus. Though ten percent of third graders recently failed to meet standards on state exams, scores in other grades were stronger. At the high school level, Regents passing rates are very strong. Ninety-four percent of students from the Class of 2011 continued their education at two- or four-year colleges.

Home prices in Babylon vary widely. Many of the village’s home back up onto canals, with docks for boats. Waterfront properties have become so desirable that it’s not uncommon for a buyer to purchase a small home in good condition, tear it down, and rebuild a bigger home. The village’s less expensive homes range between $200,000 and $400,000, but are very limited in numbers. Homebuyers who have budgets above $400,000 will have the most choice. Though two-family homes are very limited, co-ops and condos are plentiful. It is not unusual
Pros
  • Lovely village
  • Several beaches
  • Good schools
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Potential for flooding
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"A good location with lots to do"

Copiague, an unincorporated area in the Town of Babylon, is a 2.4 square mile hamlet on the South Shore. Its name is derived from a Native American word meaning “place of shelter.” In the early 1900s, large numbers of Italian immigrants settled in Copiague, and today it still holds appeal for recent arrivals. Today, an influx of Hispanic and Eastern European immigrants has added to the cultural diversity of the area, which also includes African Americans. Twenty-three thousand people reside in Copiague.

Several main roads, including Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road, pass through Copiague. Target, Home Depot and Stop and Shop are a few of the area’s major retailers. Nearby, Sunrise Mall and South Shore Mall both offer a wide variety of retail choices.

Many leisure time and recreation options are available. The Copiague Chamber of Commerce promotes and supports local businesses, and organizes an annual Family Festival, which occurs each fall. The Family Festival is held at Tanner Park, a waterfront facility with playing fields, a marina, a playground and a senior center. The Festival includes carnival rides, live entertainment and food vendors. The Town of Babylon publishes an official Recreation Guide, which contains information on programs, camps and local facilities, which include three beaches, Gilgo Beach, Cedar Beach and Overlook Beach. Events organized by the town include the Halloween Haunted House and the Holiday Tree Lighting. Camping enthusiasts will be interested in the campsites at the Cedar Beach Marina.

The Copiague School District educates 4,600 public school students in three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Kindergarten is a full day. Many parents in Copiague choose to send their children to area private and parochial schools. Though the schools have areas needing improvement, and contend with a 46% poverty rate, the dropout rate is less than one percent. The district has been cited by the state as needing improvement in English Language Arts. On recent exams, only half the middle school students met standards as measured by state exams. At the high school level, Regents results are satisfactory but could be better. The library is excellent, offering programs for children and adults, with a large collection of materials to borrow.

Copiague offers house-hunters affordability, with a lot of single-family homes below $200,000. Though many of those homes are smaller and need repair, they offer house-hunters with smaller budgets an opportunity to own. Buyers with budgets in the $300,000-$400,000 range will find they are able to get more for their money than they would in other towns, though school quality may be a concern. Co-ops and condos range between $200,000 and $500,000. Multi-family homes are an option, though in limited in number.
Pros
  • Good location
  • Community events
Cons
  • Traffic
  • Schools need improvement
  • Run down in areas
Recommended for
  • Hipsters
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"A well-populated village with many amenities"

Lindenhurst is an incorporated village within the Town of Babylon, Suffolk County. Its population of 27,000 makes it the fourth most populated village in New York State. Founded in 1873, it was initially called Breslau by a group of German settlers. In 1891, it was renamed Lindenhurst, after the linden trees planted by those settlers. Today, it is an affordable, attractive suburb whose residents enjoy the community’s proximity to the shore.

The Long Island Rail Road makes the 40-mile trip to Manhattan in about an hour. Parking options include metered spots, resident and non-resident permit parking and a limited number of free spaces. Several main roads pass through and near Lindenhurst. Sunrise Highway and Montauk Highway are east-west thoroughfares, lined with businesses and restaurants. Wellwood Avenue cuts a north-south path through the village, and also provides residents with numerous shopping and dining options, as do East and West Hoffman Avenue.

The village operates the Lindenhurst Community Center, which serves as the home base for several organizations. A variety of groups exist, including the village’s auxiliary police force, Disabled American Veterans, the Rainbow Senior Citizens Center, and Little League and Youth Football. A summer concert series is held annually at Village Square Park. Fireman’s Park has a recently renovated playground. Venetian Shores Park, operated by the Town of Babylon, is for residents only and offers a small beach and spray park.

The Lindenhurst School District serves 7,000 public school students. Students begin at one of six elementary schools, and then continue to Lindenhurst Middle School and Lindenhurst High School. Students fared well overall on New York State exams, with results varying based on grade. Between one and five percent of students in grades 3 through 8 failed to meet standards. At the high school level, passing rates on Regents exams were excellent. In all subjects, over 90% of students passed, and passing rates were close to 100% on several tests. The high school’s newspaper has received several awards, and students can choose from a range of Advanced Placement exams, which can help students begin earning college credit.

Shopping is plentiful and residents can address most of their retail needs locally. The village is conveniently located between two large shopping malls. Sunrise Mall in Massapequa and South Shore Mall in Bay Shore both feature a mix of large department stores and smaller specialty and chain retailers.

Lindenhurst has a good selection of affordable homes, including waterfront properties. The inventory consists primarily of capes and ranches. Though the majority of houses were constructed during the post-war building boom of the 1950s, some older homes are available. Currently, about twenty multi-family homes are on the market. Co-ops and condos are limited, with one complex, Narragansett Villas, offering units for sale.
Pros
  • Affordable homes
  • Good schools
  • Good location for shopping and commuting
Cons
  • Traffic
  • Flooding in some areas
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
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"A village working to meet many challenges"

Hempstead is the name given to both the Nassau County township, population 759,000 and one of its incorporated villages. The Town’s administrative offices are located in the village of Hempstead, which has a population of 55,000. Incorporated in 1853, Hempstead is New York’s oldest and most populous village. While its population is predominantly African-American, Hispanics comprise a large part as well.

The village of Hempstead has experienced challenges in recent years. Improving public safety and dealing with crime are ongoing concerns, as is the local economy . During the 1960s, Hempstead was a popular shopping destination, home to Abraham & Strauss, Time Square Store and other popular shops. The growth and popularity of Roosevelt Field and Green Acres drew shoppers away from Hempstead. The eventual closure of Hempstead’s big stores contributed to the blight which the village is still trying to rectify. However, an ambitious plan to develop new housing and retail in a pedestrian-oriented setting has met with great enthusiasm. Redevelopment is focused on the village’s central business district, and community input is sought through a website, RenewHempstead.com.

Hempstead Town’s offices, including the Town Clerk and Town Hall, are located in the village, along with Nassau County’s District Court. The African-American Museum, located on North Franklin Street, celebrates the contributions of African Americans through exhibits and educational programs, with a focus on Long Island. There are six parks; Kennedy Park has three pools and a gym and weight room. As part of the Town of Hempstead, residents can participate in programs and use its many parks, which include Lido Beach, Point Lookout Beach, and Lido West Beach.

Hempstead’s school district contends with a 62% poverty rate and a high number of students learning English. At the middle school level, one-fourth of students are not meeting standards. Though it was recently cited by the state as needing to improve both its high school graduation rate and English Language Arts instruction, the district has made small inroads to improvement. During the last school year, more graduating seniors earned Regents diplomas, and scores rose on both Integrated Algebra and U.S. History and Government Regents exams. Several Advanced Placement courses are available, which allow students to begin earning college credit. Instruction will also be improved through new Common Core curriculum standards, which are being implemented statewide with the goal of improving student outcomes.

Homebuyers will find bargains, but may have to weigh issues of resale, as well as costs of private schools, which many residents choose. Renters outnumber homeowners, an unusual trend for Nassau County. Hempstead has been hit hard by the subprime loan crisis, with a larger percentage of foreclosures when compared to surrounding areas. However, there are many beautiful and well-maintained Tudors and colonials, priced lower than they would be in other towns. Many legal multi-family homes are available, at a wide range of prices. Several co-op complexes offer another well-priced alternative for homebuyers.
Pros
  • Inexpensive real estate
  • Good location for commuting
Cons
  • Schools, though improving, still need support
  • Traffic
  • Crime is down, but still a concern
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"An active suburb with great shopping"

Plainview is a larger sister hamlet to Old Bethpage. The area, which is bordered by several major parkways and the Suffolk County border, was part of the Bethpage Purchase. This 1687 transaction also includes modern-day Old Bethpage, Plainedge, Bethpage, and Farmingdale. For years, farmers cultivated cucumbers and potatoes, until blight, coupled with the post-war demand for suburban housing, resulted in farmers selling their lands to developers. Today, the hamlet is home to 26,000 residents.

The hamlet’s location provides commuters and drivers with many points into and out of town. The Northern State Parkway and Long Island Expressway have multiple exits in Plainview. The Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway, another major artery, provides access to points north and south. Commuters who use the LIRR need to access the train from Syosset, Hicksville or Bethpage as Plainview does not have its own stop. Town of Oyster Bay permits are generally required to park at the stations.

Its inclusion in the Town of Oyster Bay gives residents access to many parks and recreational programs. The Town oversees the Plainview-Old Bethpage Community Park, a 19-acre space with play and picnic areas, a swimming pool and a kiddie pool. Residents can also enjoy two town beaches, Theodore Roosevelt to the north on Oyster Bay Harbor and Tobay Beach, an ocean beach in Massapequa. Mid-Island Y Jewish Community Center, which is affiliated with the United Way, serves Nassau and Western Suffolk and offers a range of youth and senior programs. The relatively unknown Manetto Hills Park, located on the grounds of an old estate, is an undeveloped parcel popular with hikers.

Plainview and Old Bethpage share many services, including the Plainview-Old Bethpage School District. The district educates 5,200 students from the two communities. All kindergarten students begin together at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Kindergarten Center, and then continue to one of four elementary schools. Three of the four elementary schools are located in Plainview, as are both middle schools and Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School. The high school has a top-notch science research program, and very high Regents passing rates. The community also shares the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library, a modern facility which offers community and cultural programs.

Several shopping centers help residents meet most of their shopping needs. Morton Village, Manetto Hill Plaza and Woodbury Plaza feature lots of variety, including well known chains like the Gap and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Fairway and Trader Joes, two specialty grocery stores, draw shoppers from neighboring towns. Plainview is also conveniently located between two shopping malls, Broadway Mall in Hicksville and Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington.

Home prices vary greatly and have dropped significantly since the recession. Current prices begin around $300,000, though those houses tend to be smaller and may need work. A small number of homes predate the post-war building boom. However, most of Plainview’s capes, splits and ranches were built during the 1950s and 1960s. The most expensive single-family homes are priced above $1 million. Homebuyers interested in co-ops and condominiums will find several options and price points, currently between $300,000 and $1 million.
Pros
  • Good schools
  • Great location
  • Wide range of housing options
Cons
  • Traffic
  • High property taxes
  • No direct rail service
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Nassau County's City by the Sea"

At the beginning of last century, Long Beach was a popular resort and vacation area for middle-class and upper-class city residents who were drawn to its many waterfront resort hotels. The city, one of two in Nassau, is located on a barrier island on the Atlantic Ocean. Gradually, air travel allowed people to travel to more distant destinations. The decline in summer visitors, coupled with local government corruption, led Long Beach into decline, which lasted until the 1970s. During the 1980s and 1990s, inventors who saw the city’s potential poured money into the city, spurring a revitalization which has lead to today’s vibrant city of 35,000 residents.

Long Beach can be reached by car from the Loop Parkway, which ends at the eastern end of the barrier island, or Long Beach Boulevard, which brings drivers into the heart of the city. Park Avenue is the city’s major road, where many unique shops and eateries are located. Dining options include Thai, sushi, Italian, pizzerias and kosher delis. Long Beach’s many bars are popular with locals and visitors.

Organized recreation is overseen by the city. The city’s main attraction is its beach and two-mile boardwalk, which is very clean and well-maintained. Resident families can purchase a season pass for $60, while non-residents will pay $120, and visitors can purchase day passes. Races, regattas and surfing competitions are organized by the recreation department, which also runs a recreation center with a pool and fitness equipment. Programs for children and seniors are also available.

Students from Long Beach attend the Long Beach City School District. With a student population of 4,000, the district operates a pre-kindergarten center, four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. A Head Start program runs year-round. Though the district contends with a 15% poverty rate, it still earns high passing rates on standardized exams. Kindergarten is a full day, and foreign language instruction begins at the elementary level. Students at Long Beach High School can select from among 50 Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and college-level courses. The International Baccalaureate program is a rigorous college preparatory program available at only a few Long Island high schools. Forty-five varsity team sports are available.

Unlike almost every other town and hamlet in Nassau, Long Beach’s housing inventory includes more condos and co-ops than houses. Homebuyers with a range of budgets will find plenty of options for all three. Small bungalows, many dating back to the 1920s, are among the less expensive single-family homes, and buyers looking to spend less than $400,000 will find many possibilities.
Pros
  • Beautiful oceanfront location
  • Wide range of real estate options
  • All the amenities of a city
Cons
  • Limited parking during beach season
  • Traffic
  • Susceptible to flooding and hurricane damage
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"An affluent North Shore Hamlet"

Glen Head, a hamlet in the Town of Oyster Bay, is home to 5,000 residents. It regularly lands on lists of America’s most expensive zip codes.

While Glen Head is relatively small and quiet, lacking the busy strip malls and large chains typical for Long Island, residents don’t have to go far to meet shopping needs. Two of Nassau County’s major roads, Northern Boulevard and Glen Cove Road, pass near or through Glen Head, where stores, eateries and other services are conveniently located. Wheatley Plaza, a popular northern Nassau shopping destination, has several stores, including a large Pathmark grocery store.

Two private country clubs provide residents with golfing opportunities and more. The Glen Head Country Club has a golf course and driving range. The North Shore Country Club, also private, has an 18 hole course, tennis courts and a pool. Its inclusion within the Town of Oyster Bay gives residents access to a large assortment of recreational programs and parks. Beach lovers have a few options. To the north, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, on Oyster Bay Harbor, allows swimming, and offers picnic, sports and play areas. Nearby Glenwood Landing is the home of Harry Tappen Beach, located on Hempstead Harbor. In addition to its beach, amenities include a marina, a playground, pool and picnic areas. Residents interested in an ocean beach can visit Tobay Beach in Massapequa.

Students who reside in Glen Head attend school in the well-regarded North Shore School District, which also covers Sea Cliff, Glenwood Landing and part of Greenvale. The student population is approximately 3,000. Glen Head Elementary serves the students in the town through sixth grade, and students can stay local as both North Shore Middle School and North Shore High School are in Glen Head. In 2008, North Shore High School was ranked 263rd nationally by Newsweek magazine.

Despite Glen Head’s reputation as a high-priced hamlet, homebuyers will find some inventory of small capes and ranches priced under $500,000. The majority of homes are colonials, built during the 1950s and 1960s. One co-op development, The Knolls, ranges in price between $479,000 and $799,000.
Pros
  • Great schools
  • Well-kept and clean
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not convenient to highways
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"An affluent waterfront enclave"

Great Neck is the name given to an incorporated village as well as a small collection of villages and unincorporated areas located on a North Shore peninsula. Approximately 10,000 people reside in the village, with an additional 30,000 in the greater Great Neck area. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald called Great Neck home between 1922 and 1924. The fictional West Egg, the setting for his most famous novel, The Great Gatsby, was based on Great Neck.

The village left another small footprint in history. From 1947 to 1952, Great Neck served as the temporary home for the newly-formed United Nations, while its permanent headquarters underwent construction in Manhattan. In 1943, the United States Merchant Marine Academy was founded on the Chrysler estate in Kings Point, an incorporated village on the Great Neck Peninsula.

Parks and recreational activities in the greater area are overseen by a special parks district. The Parkwood Sports Complex includes tennis courts, a pool and an ice skating rink. Steppingstone Park, located on the waterfront, has a marina, a theater, a playground and a wading pool. Kings Point Park, also located along the water, offers five miles of walking trails across 175 acres, with facilities for picnicking. The Village Green is the home of the village’s Veterans’ Memorial, with a formal rose garden, gazebo, bandstand and playground. Great Neck House serves as the district’s cultural hub, providing a site for performances, concerts, art classes, exhibits and movies.

Great Neck’s public school district, highly regarded by the community, consists of ten schools and 6,500 students hailing from the entire Great Neck area. Schools include the Parkville Pre-K Center, four elementary schools, North and South Middle Schools, North and South High Schools, and Village School, an alternative program. Passing rates on state standardized exams are very high, with the vast majority of students meeting standards. Both high schools offer numerous Advanced Placement exams. Both Great Neck North and Great Neck South have been recognized in Newsweek’s annual America’s Best High Schools issue. In 2006 North was ranked 23rd; in 2011 South was ranked 49th.

Single-family homes dominate. A very limited number of homes are available under $500,000, for those who wish to gain a toehold in the area. In recent years, ripping down older homes in favor of new construction, an activity not all residents favor. Most of the housing stock dates back to the 1920s and 1930s, adding to the area’s charm. Condominiums and co-ops are available. Prices for co-ops are reasonable, beginning under $100,000 for studios. In luxury complexes, prices go close to $1 million.
Pros
  • Excellent schools
  • Short train commute to city
  • Well-maintained and attractive
Cons
  • Not convenient to highways
  • Expensive
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A vibrant community with great schools and lots to do"

Franklin Square, located near the Nassau-Queens border, is a well-kept hamlet with excellent schools and a great location. Hempstead Turnpike, one of the county’s major east-west arteries, provides Franklin Square with one of its major commercial corridors. The town’s name is surrounded by mystery. Though Franklin Square has an active historical society, no one has been able to establish its origin.

Additional commercial areas are seated along Franklin Avenue, New Hyde Park Road and Dogwood Avenue. Roosevelt Field, one of Long Island’s largest malls, is fifteen minutes away and surrounded by other big-box and chain stores. Franklin Square’s Chamber of Commerce supports local businesses, organizing expos and other events. Buses run frequently along main roads, but there is no direct Long Island Rail Road service. Stewart Manor and Nassau Boulevard, the nearest stations, reserve parking for Garden City residents only, posing a challenge to rail commuters from Franklin Square.

Two school districts serve the majority of students who live in Franklin Square. Elementary students, through sixth grade, attend the Franklin Square School District. The district consists of three schools, and approximately 2,000 students. Results on standardized tests are excellent, with only 1 to 2 percent of students failing the exams. Franklin Square is also served by one of Nassau’s three central high school districts, Sewanhaka.

The Sewanhaka Central High School District’s five schools serve area students in seventh through twelfth grade. H. Frank Carey High School, named for a former Board of Education president, is located in Franklin Square. In 2000, the school was named as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. It’s known for its strong academic programs and championship sports teams. Approximately one-third of students take Advanced Placement courses for college credit. Valley Stream North High School, part of the Valley Stream Central High School District, is located in the south part of Franklin Square. Valley Stream North has good Regents results, though Carey fares slightly better.

The Town of Hempstead oversees parks and recreation for the town. Rath Park, exclusively for residents of Franklin Square’s Special Park District, has an outdoor pool, playing fields, a tennis court, and playground. Echo Park, located in neighboring West Hempstead, has an indoor pool for all Hempstead Town residents. Several town beaches and Jones Beach State Park are a short ride away.

Home prices have decreased in recent years, following an overall trend and making Franklin Square more affordable than it was during the height of the market. A good amount of inventory can be found starting at the high $200,000 range, with a lot of options under $400,000. More expensive homes can be found for residents who may wish to trade up while remaining in the school district. Like much of southern Nassau, Franklin Square underwent a building boom during the late 1940s and 1950s, to meet postwar demand. Most of the homes were built during that period, though a handful of older and newer homes can be found.
Pros
  • Strong school districts
  • Close to NYC
  • Great Family Community
Cons
  • No Train Station
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
franklinsquare
franklinsquare I believe franklin square will continue to get better. I love f.s my family and i enjoy the peafulness. We love that to get a suburban lifestyle we dont have to go out to suffolk or westchester we have it all here in the square
2yrs+
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"An attractive suburb with shopping, culture and sports"

Many of Long Island’s best-known modern landmarks call Uniondale home. The unincorporated Town of Hempstead hamlet, population 25,000, was initially called Turtle Hook. Today, the hamlet sees visitors from all over the region who come to enjoy Uniondale’s many amenities.

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum provides the New York Islanders with a home base. It can seat up to 18,000 spectators, depending on the event. It has also hosted live wrestling. Concerts and children’s performances are regular offerings. Mitchel Field Athletic Complex is another of Uniondale’s main attractions. The 49-acre park hosts collegiate and high school track events and competitions. In 1998 it hosted the Goodwill Games, which brought 1,500 athletes from around the world. Soccer, lacrosse and football games are also held. Hofstra University, Long Island’s largest private college, is also partially located in Uniondale. Nassau Community College, a two-year public school, is adjacent to the Coliseum.

Nearby Garden City offers great cultural opportunities for families. The Cradle of Aviation museum features exhibits chronicling Long Island’s role in the world of flight, located near the site of Charles Lindbergh’s historic transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. The Long Island Children’s Museum has interactive exhibits and programs for parents and kids.

Residents can enjoy several smaller neighborhood parks and easy access to shopping. Cedar Street Park, Uniondale Avenue Park and Smith Street Park offer assorted opportunities for recreation, including playgrounds, playing fields and basketball courts. One of Long Island’s first Wal-Mart stores is located in Uniondale. Roosevelt Field Mall and Westbury’s plethora of big-box and chain stores are located just to the north, offering a wide variety of retail options. Movie theaters and restaurants are also plentiful.

The Uniondale School District educates approximately 6,300 students. It is comprised of five elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. In grades 3 through 8, between 7 and 9 percent did not meet standards on state exams. The district contends with a 34% poverty rate, and was newly identified by the state as needing to improve scores in English Language Arts. However, the district has a detailed improvement plan on its website, and parent comments on school review sites show a largely favorable attitude towards the schools and the steps they are making to raise student performance.

Homes in Uniondale are very affordable. Current prices for single-family homes range between $150,000 and $450,000. Some of the less expensive homes are older cottages and bungalows, while the homes at the upper end of the price range are newer. Like much of Nassau County, the majority of Uniondale’s housing inventory dates from the 1950s. However, older and newer homes are available. House hunters seeking multi-family homes and condominiums will find availability in limited numbers.
Pros
  • Many well-kept residential neighborhoods
  • Lots of nearby cultural and recreational opportunities
Cons
  • Schools are better in surrounding areas
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"An affluent North Shore community"

Manhasset, a North Shore hamlet in the Town of North Hempstead, includes additional incorporated areas and villages. The greater area is an affluent suburb, known for excellent schools, luxury shopping and lovely homes. Commuters appreciate the thirty-minute commute to Manhattan, but the Long Island Expressway is nearby and easily accessible for drivers. Northern Boulevard is the main east-west road, and features shops, eateries and professional services.
The Miracle Mile, arguably Long Island’s most well-known non-shopping mall retail area, lines Northern Boulevard. It includes Lord & Taylor and the Americana at Manhasset, an upscale open-air shopping center. The Americana includes three restaurants and several well-known luxury and higher-end brands. Fendi, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, J. Crew and Banana Republic represent a sampling of the retailers. Plandome Road features a more typical mix of Main Street-style shopping. A local Chamber of Commerce provides promotions and support for its local businesses.
Residents enjoy a wide range of recreational options, which include golf and yacht clubs. Its location on Manhasset Bay makes sailing a popular choice. The southern part of the area is home to three country clubs, Deepdale Golf Club, Fresh Meadows Country Club, and North Hills Country Club. The Town of North Hempstead oversees some of the parks. Its parks, including Manhasset Valley, Whitney Pond and Plandome Park, are peaceful and picturesque and feature assorted amenities including walking trails, playgrounds and tennis courts. The Long Island Science Museum also makes its home in Manhasset, where it is a popular destination for school groups and families.
Though many children attend private and parochial schools, Manhasset’s public schools have a well-earned reputation for excellence. The Manhasset School District serves 3,000 students at two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Unsurprisingly, results on standardized state exams are excellent. Recent results show 100% pass rates for seventh and eighth graders on the state math and ELA exams. Manhasset High School, which has excellent academic and athletic programs, was ranked #87 nationally by Newsweek magazine in 2010.
Much of Manhasset’s housing stock dates back to the 1930s. It escaped the rapid development of middle-class housing which took over Nassau County during the 1950s. Before gaining fame for developing and building Levittown, William Levitt honed his craft building homes in Manhasset, which were larger and more unique than the modest models he later created. Single family homes begin in the mid-$500k range, but inventory at that price point is very limited. Very few homes are available under $750k. The majority of homes are priced above $1 million. Condos and co-ops are available and vary widely in price, with affordable and more expensive luxury options.
Pros
  • Great schools
  • A half hour from Manhattan
  • Beautiful commity
Cons
  • Expensive real estate
  • Traffic on Northern Blvd
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A well-located, affluent Nassau hamlet"

Woodbury, a “sister hamlet” to Syosset, occupies five square miles in northeastern Nassau. Like Syosset, it is an affluent community. It is part of the Town of Oyster Bay and home to 8,900 residents. Unsurprisingly, Woodbury is easily confused with the Orange County home of Woodbury Commons outlets.

Jericho Turnpike, one of Nassau County’s major roads, cuts across the middle of Woodbury. Lined with shops, restaurants and other services, the turnpike is heavily traveled. The Northern State Parkway forms the southern border, and the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway borders the hamlet to the west. Easy accessibility to major highways and the railroad add to the area’s appeal. Two LIRR station options exist, in Syosset and over the Suffolk border in Cold Spring Harbor. However, parking at Cold Spring Harbor is reserved for residents only, limiting use to commuters who are dropped off.

The Town of Oyster Bay runs parks and recreational programs. Syosset-Woodbury Community Park’s 46 acres offers a pool, along with a playground and numerous other amenities. Woodbury is also home to significant undeveloped green spaces. Stillwell Woods is a 270 acre park and preserve with nature trails and indigenous plants. Trail View State Park is a unique space, a 400 acre linear park stretching over 7 miles through Woodbury to Cold Spring Harbor. Public beaches, overseen by the Town, are located at Tobay Beach in Massapequa and Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay.

Woodbury is served by the Syosset School District, which has a student population of 7,000 students from the two hamlets. The district has seven elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. Walt Whitman Elementary School is the lone school located in Woodbury. Its excellent outcomes have earned the district awards and national recognition. Passing rates on standardized state exams are exceptionally high across subjects and grades. Newsweek magazine ranked Syosset High School at #143 nationally on its list of America’s best high schools. Numerous foreign language courses are available, including Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Japanese, Latin and Chinese. One hundred percent passing rates on Regents exams are not uncommon. Students seeking college credits can earn them through Advanced Placement exams and collaborations with area colleges.

Woodbury’s least expensive homes are pricier than Syosset’s. Current prices begin around $500,000, compared to about $375,000 in Syosset. Princes range as high as $2,000,000 for single family homes. Condominium and co-ops are available, priced currently between $400,000 and $1.1 million. The vast majority of homes were constructed during the 1950s and 1960s, with many homes build as recently as the late nineties.
Pros
  • Good schools
  • Nearby amenities
Cons
  • Traffic
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Busy North Shore suburb with excellent schools"

Syosset, meaning “place in the pines,” evolved from hunting grounds for the Matinecock Indians to farmland settled by Quaker and Dutch farmers. Today, it is a busy hamlet in the Town of Oyster Bay, and home to 19,000 residents. Though it is well located, with highways to the south and east, Syosset remained a farming community until post-war demand brought developers to town. Syosset has its own LIRR station, where permits are required for parking. Travel time to Penn Station averages fifty minutes.

The recession shuttered many of Syosset’s small businesses, and the downtown area along Jackson Avenue and Cold Spring Road has been a topic of debate within the community. Shopping centers offer many choices, and residents can meet most of their needs within the town’s borders. Walt Whitman Mall, just across the nearby Suffolk County border, is anchored by Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s. The Syosset Chamber of Commerce supports local merchants and organizes community events, including Street Night, Movie Night and the Holiday Lights Spectacular. Jericho Turnpike, one of Nassau’s major roads, is home to Home Depot and other big-box stores.

While Syosset lacks a waterfront location, it has plenty of green space in the form of parks, and residents can take advantage of Town of Oyster Bay beaches in Oyster Bay and Massapequa. A pool is available at the Syosset-Woodbury Community Park, which has a playground and many other amenities on its 46 acres. Residents seeking a quieter recreational experience will enjoy Stillwell Woods, a 270 preserve with nature trails and a large assortment of indigenous plants. The Town of Oyster Bay operates a public 18-hole golf course, while Woodside Acres Country Club in neighboring Muttontown offers a more upscale option.

Homebuyers with families gravitate to Syosset for the schools. Approximately seven thousand students attend the public school district, which has seven elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. The district has earned awards and national recognition for its excellent outcomes. Passing rates on standardized state exams are exceptionally high across subjects and grades. Newsweek magazine ranked Syosset High School at #143 nationally on its list of America’s best high schools. Numerous foreign language courses are available, including Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Japanese, Latin and Chinese. One hundred percent passing rates on Regents exams are not uncommon. Students seeking college credits can earn them through Advanced Placement exams and collaborations with area colleges.

Like most of the North Shore, Syosset is expensive. Though prices begin in the high $300,000 range, which is manageable for many, housing dollars don’t go as far here as they would in other nearby communities. However, the quality of the school district often impacts the prices. Most of the housing stock was built during the 1950s, and consists of splits, capes and ranches. A limited number of co-ops and condos are available.
Pros
  • Excellent schools
  • Great for families
Cons
  • Traffic
  • High taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"A diverse, busy community just outside the city"

Elmont
One hundred two countries are represented in the Town of Hempstead hamlet of Elmont, population 33,000. Its diversity, large selection of well-kept homes, and proximity to the city have made it a desirable place to live in recent years.

Belmont Park is the hamlet’s most well-known landmark. Located in Elmont’s northwest corner, the raceway was built in 1905, and modeled after European race tracks. Belmont is recognized nationally at the home of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown, horseracing’s most coveted prize. The park brings substantial traffic to Elmont, especially on weekends and during important races.

Leisure time activities are abundant. The Elmont Memorial Library is a modern 62,500 square foot facility with performing arts space used by the Broad Hollow Theater Company, a local organization which puts on performances for adults and children. Hempstead Turnpike, which is the hamlet’s major road, features ample shopping opportunities. Roosevelt Field and the greater Westbury area, which offer shoppers more possibilities than anywhere else in Nassau, are about fifteen minutes away. The Elmont Coalition for Sustainable Development, a community group representing a cross-section of area organizations, is actively focused on involving residents in the process of community planning as Elmont looks to the future.

Residents can also choose among several parks. Averill Boulevard Park and Pool has a swimming pool and spray pool, as well as a playground, playing fields, picnic areas and a jogging trail. Dutch Broadway Park and Elmont Road Park offer similar amenities, including playing fields and playgrounds. Though Elmont is located north and west of Nassau’s South Shore beaches, Jones Beach State Park and the Town of Hempstead’s beaches are easily accessible by way of the Southern State and Meadowbrook Parkways.

Elmont is one of only a handful of towns served by separate elementary and high school districts, Elmont and the Sewanhaka Central High School District. The Elmont School District serves 4,000 students in kindergarten through sixth grade. There are six elementary schools. The state education department recently placed Elmont on the list of schools needing improvement in English Language Arts at the elementary and middle school levels. Only half of the seventh and eighth graders scored at or above grade level in ELA on recent state exams. Results at Elmont Memorial High School, which educates 2,000 students, are better. The high school has been recognized by the College Board for having large numbers of African-American students taking and passing Advanced Placement exams. Overall, graduation rates are high, with the vast majority of students heading to two-year or four-year colleges.

A big part of Elmont’s appeal is its affordability. Prices vary widely, allowing residents to start in one of its many small capes, and trade up while remaining in the area. Many legal two-family homes are available, and often buyers live in one and rent out the other. Ages of homes vary as well, with inventory from the 1920s and 1930s readily available. Like most of Nassau, Elmont grew rapidly after World War II, leading to a great deal of home construction during the 1950s and into the 1960s. A new senior complex, Foster Meadow Golden Age, opened last year with 30 co-op units priced at $150,000.
Pros
  • Diversity
  • Close to NYC
Cons
  • Schools at the elementary level need improvement
  • Lots of traffic, especially when Belmont is open
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A diverse, active waterfront city"

Glen Cove, population 27,000, holds the distinction of being one of Nassau County’s two cities. Once a haven for some of the country’s wealthiest citizens, today it’s known for its ethnic and economic diversity.

The city is fairly self-contained, due to its location on the North Shore and lack of easy highway access. Most residents find they can meet their basic shopping needs locally, along Forest Avenue, Glen Avenue and School Street. The Long Island Expressway is about five miles to the south, though traffic on its approaching roads can become heavy. The area is served by three Long Island Rail Road stations, at Sea Cliff, Glen Avenue and Glen Cove. Riders from all three stations must usually transfer at Mineola or Jamaica, and travel time averages about an hour. An express bus runs between Glen Cove and Manhattan; local bus service is also available.

Three residents-only beaches, Pryibil, Crescent and Morgan Park, provide residents with access to the Sound. Several other parks throughout the city allow residents to partake in active recreation. Stanco Park is an extensive complex with tennis and basketball courts, a playground, a dining and concession area and an 18-hole golf course. Old Tappan Park is a two-acre space with tennis courts and a playground. Three yacht clubs, Glen Cove, Hempstead Harbor and Sea Cliff, offer a variety of sailing-related activities and events. Another popular attraction is Garvies Point Museum and Preserve, a 62-acre space with trails and a museum devoted to archaeology and geology. Summer camps and swimming lessons are offered by the city’s recreation department.

The Glen Cove City School District educates 3,000 public school students. The city’s diversity is reflected in the schools. Approximately a quarter of the school district population lives in poverty. Students begin their educations at one of the district’s two pre-K-grade 2 schools, and then continue to one of two schools for students in third through fifth grade. There is one middle school and one high school. Glen Cove High School has an excellent music programs. Its Select Chorale is one of Long Island’s best, and has performed at Lincoln Center, the United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Glen Cove is surrounded by several of Long Island’s top school districts. Its results may pale in comparison, though performance on state exams is solid. However, the district also contends with greater numbers of students learning English and has more students in poverty. Several private and religious school options are available in the city and its surrounding areas, an option chosen mostly by wealthier families.

Most of Glen Cove’s housing inventory consists of single-family homes. First-time buyers with smaller budgets will find they have many options, including co-ops and condos. Homes are available for less than $200,000 with a lot of options in the $200,000 to $350,000 range; many of those homes are smaller and may need work. Buyers with budgets closer to the one million-dollar range will also have a great deal of choice. Unlike most of the North Shore, the city has a good selection of multi-family homes. Currently, prices range between $300,000 and $800,000.
Pros
  • Diversity
  • Waterfront location
  • Affordable homes
Cons
  • Traffic
  • Somewhat isolated
  • Schools are good but not great
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"The part of Massapequa you may not have heard of..."

East Massapequa is a hamlet in the Town of Oyster Bay, and part of the greater area known as “The Massapequas.” Its population is approximately 20,000. It shares a zip code, library and fire district with Massapequa.

The Southern State Parkway forms the community’s northern border. Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road run parallel to the parkway, offering easy access to neighboring town, along with numerous shopping and dining option. Two LIRR stations provide service to Manhattan. Residents in the easternmost part of East Massapequa will find they are closer to the Amityville station, though permits through the Village of Amityville are required. Town of Oyster Bay permits are required to park at Massapequa.

Westfield Sunrise, formerly the Sunrise Mall, is located in East Massapequa, and draws shoppers from all over the surrounding areas. Shopping is abundant in the Massapequas, and situated primarily along Sunrise Highway. The area is also home to numerous restaurants, both franchise and independently owned.

East Massapequa has excellent recreational activities, within the hamlet and in surrounding areas. The Town of Oyster Bay operates facilities and programs for residents. Tobay Beach, located on the Massapequa shore, offers a smaller, cozier alternative to Jones Beach. Burns Park offers the only public boat launch, along with 52 acres with athletic facilities and a play area for children. Marjorie Post Park is a 42-acre facility with a playground, tennis, handball and basketball courts and a skating rink. East Massapequa is also home to the Peninsula Golf Club, a public 9-hole course.

Students in East Massapequa are split among three area school districts: Farmingdale, Massapequa and Amityville. Farmingdale serves a small number of students in the northernmost part of the hamlet, with four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. This year, the district was cited by the state as needing improvement in English Language Arts at all levels. The Massapequa School District is one of Nassau’s largest. The district’s size has led to some unique organizational strategies for its 8,000 students. Students remain in elementary school through sixth grade, then move on to Berner Middle School. Massapequa High School has two campuses, a ninth grade building and a 10-12 building. Academic performance is strong across the district, and 94% of graduating seniors continue to two- or four-year colleges. Students who live east of Carmans Road attend the Amityville Public Schools, which have approximately 3,000 students, three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Though academic performance pales in comparison to the other two districts, scores have been improving across the district. The high school has strong athletic programs, and offers college credit through Advanced Placement courses and collaboration with Syracuse University.

Most residents don’t specifically seek out East Massapequa, as real estate offices don’t distinguish between there and Massapequa. Generally, there is always a large amount of inventory in the entire greater Massapequa area, with a wide range of prices. Since 2008, home prices have dropped significantly, though taxes remain high. The least expensive homes are generally found in the Amityville school district, though prices there vary widely as well.
Pros
  • Great location
  • Close to shops and parks
Cons
  • Schools are better in other parts of the area
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"An affluent, active community on Cow Neck Peninsula"

Port Washington is an unincorporated area in the Town of North Hempstead. It is located on Cow Neck Peninsula, along with several other small hamlets and villages, which comprise the greater Port Washington area, population 16,000.

Northern Boulevard is closest main road, though it does not go into Port Washington. The entire peninsula is a good distance from the Northern State and LIE, two of Nassau's major highways. Geography has made the area a bit isolated and difficult to reach. However, train commuters have the advantage of being the first stop on the Long Island Railroad, which means riders never have to worry about not getting a seat.

Large grocery stores are available, and there is a nice mix of shops and eateries along Main Street. The Americana Mall, on Northern Boulevard in Manhasset, provides a large variety of upscale retailers. Other leisure time plans may include a visit to the Port Washington Library, which was established in 1892 in the home of a local resident. Landmark on Main Street draws visitors from all over the region to take in performances by well-known folk, rock, and Broadway performers. The hall, constructed in 1908, operated until 1985, then reopened in 1995.

Boating plays a large role in Port Washington’s recreational activities. Many parks fall under the auspices of the Town of North Hempstead. Town Dock Park offers fishing, with spots for boat moorings. Harbor Links, a public golf course, has an 18-hole course and a driving range. Sunset Park, with a band shell named for famed composer and area resident John Phillip Sousa, holds summer concerts. Parents with young children will enjoy the playground facilities at Blumenfeld Family Park. The North Hempstead Country Club, founded in 1916, offers golf, tennis, and children’s programs, and has a pool and two restaurants. Sands Point Preserve, located in an adjacent village, is a 216-acre site featuring historic Hempstead House. The Port Washington Tennis Academy teaches students from age 4 to age 18, and runs adult programs too. There is also a yacht club and skating center.

The public schools are often cited as one of the best things about the area. The district has approximately five thousand students, who attend five elementary schools, one middle school, Carrie Palmer Weber, and Paul D. Schreiber High School. At the elementary level, only one to five percent of students fail to meet state standards on standardized exams. In 2011, the New York State Education Department designated Weber Middle School as a “School-to-Watch.” This honor is bestowed upon schools which have demonstrated excellence, and signifies that the school can be looked to as a model. Paul D. Schreiber High School has received local and national recognition for its student outcomes. It offers over two dozen Advanced Placement courses.

Despite Long Island’s vast amount of coastline, houseboats are difficult to find. However, Port Washington often has a few on the market, priced below $150,000. Housing budgets do not go as far here as they would on the South Shore, but unlike some North Shore towns where all the home prices are astronomical, Port Washington has some affordable inventory. Current prices begin in the mid-$300,000 range. Home ages vary as well; buyers who are interested in older homes will find more than in many Nassau towns, mostly from the 1920s. Many co-ops and condos are available, with a very wide price range, beginning around $200,000 and exceeding $1 million.
Pros
  • Great schools
  • Excellent family community
  • Beautiful location
Cons
  • Isolated
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A community that crosses town lines"

House-hunters who wish to reside in Plainedge, a community of 8,800 people in the Town of Oyster Bay, may find themselves challenged in their searching, because there is no town or village with that name. It does not have its own post office. Technically, it is a census-designated place, consisting largely of parts of Massapequa, North Massapequa and Bethpage, with smaller part of Seaford and Farmingdale. The community, which occupies about a square mile and a half, was once called Turkeyville. Before the post-war building boom of the 1950s, it was largely open fields, where raising poultry was a profitable industry.

The Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway, one of Nassau County’s larger highways, cuts through the area, providing access to the Northern and Southern States, and the LIE. Hempstead Turnpike serves as the primary commercial center, with numerous shops and dining establishments, along with St. Joseph Hospital. Bus routes run on other routes besides the Turnpike, including Hicksville Road and Boundary Avenue. Depending on where in the community commuters live, the Long Island Rail Road can be accessed at Bethpage, Farmingdale or Seaford.

Plainedge does not have any major parks within its borders, but it still enjoys close proximity to pools, parks and beaches. Allen Park, in Farmingdale, is currently being expanded from its 15-acre area, which includes a play area and sports fields. To the south, Massapequa State Preserve offers 423 acres of mostly undeveloped land. Its wetlands provide a habitat for a large variety of wildlife. Bethpage State Park receives recognition for its world-class golf courses, which have twice hosted U.S. Open Golf Championships. Bethpage Community Park and Marjorie Post Park, in Massapequa, have pools. The Town of Oyster Bay operates Tobay Beach, a small ocean beach for residents only.

Shopping options in the area are mainly located along the Turnpike and Hicksville Road. Westfield Sunrise, formerly the Sunrise Mall, provides a large shopping-mall experience, featuring many well-known large and small stores.

The Plainedge School District educates approximately 3,500 students in three K-5 elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. The district is generally regarded as strong, with test scores at all levels to prove it. Plainedge High School boasts an award-winning robotics team, and a strong athletics program. Its varsity baseball team won the County and Long Island championships this year; its varsity softball team won the County championship. College credits can be earned though a dozen Advanced Placement courses, as well as collaborations with area colleges.

Nearly all of Plainedge’s housing inventory was constructed during the 1950s and 1960s. Prices vary widely. The community is affordable, with many single-family options in the $300,000 to $400,000 range. One condominium community, Bethpage Landing, was built in 2011, with prices in the low $300,00s. The majority of homes are in Bethpage, Massapequa and North Massapequa, with a few homes located in Farmingdale and Seaford.
Pros
  • A nice residential area
  • Good schools
  • Well located
Cons
  • High taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"A small suburb with lots of parkland"

Old Bethpage is a hamlet in the Town of Oyster Bay. Initially called Bethpage, it added “Old” to its name when the neighboring hamlet of Central Park, tired of sharing a name with the Manhattan landmark, co-opted the name Bethpage. Old Bethpage wanted to remain autonomous and distinctive, and modified its name. Today, the hamlet is home to 5,500 people.

Despite its name connection with Bethpage, Old Bethpage shares a library, school district and municipal services with its sister hamlet Plainview. The Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District educates 5,200 students from the two communities. All kindergarten students begin together at the kindergarten center, and then continue to one of four elementary schools. Both Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School and Mattlin Middle School are located in Plainview. Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School has a top-notch science research program, and very high Regents passing rates.

The hamlet is well-located, with easy access to surrounding towns. Old Country Road, one of Nassau’s major thoroughfares, forms the northern border. Its eastern edge is the border of Suffolk County. The Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway has an exit which takes drivers directly into Old Bethpage. The closest LIRR station for most residents is Farmingdale, which issues permits to non-residents and also has metered parking. Bethpage’s LIRR station is also conveniently located, where parking is reserved for Town of Oyster Bay residents with permits.

Old Bethpage itself has minimal commercial activity with the exception of Old Country Road. Manetto Hill Road in Plainview has addition shopping, including the first suburban location of the popular grocery store Fairway. Broadway Mall, located in nearby Hicksville, is anchored by Target, Macy’s and Ikea, with a movie theater and over 100 stores.

Approximately two of the hamlet’s 4.1 square miles are taken by Bethpage State Park, which has five world-class golf courses. The park has hosted the U.S. Open Golf Championships twice, in 2002 and 2009. Play and picnic areas and tennis courts are also available. Battle Row County Park and Campground is a 44-acre space with 64 campsites, playing fields and bathroom and shower facilities. Plainview-Old Bethpage Community Park offers play and picnic areas, a pool and lighted tennis courts. The Town of Oyster Bay also operates two beaches, the South Shore’s Tobay Beach, and Theodore Roosevelt Park and Beach on the Long Island Sound.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration, one of Long Island's most well-known historic sites, has 209 acres with 51 historic buildings and 7 reconstructed buildings. Civil War re-enactments are held on a regular basis. The park is a popular field trip destination for Long Island schools.

Despite its name, Old Bethpage’s housing stock is thoroughly modern. The vast majority of the homes were constructed during the postwar boom of the 1950s and 1960s. Split levels and ranches dominate, currently ranging in price from around $400,000 to $700,000. Like nearly all of Nassau County, property taxes are high. There are no co-ops or condominiums.
Pros
  • Quiet residential streets
  • Good schools
  • Lots of parkland
Cons
  • High taxes
  • Limited housing inventory
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"A wealthy, modern counterpart to historic Roslyn"

Roslyn Heights, part of the area known as “The Roslyns” is an unincorporated hamlet just south of the village of Roslyn. The hamlet, part of the Town of North Hempstead, has a population of 6,500. Occupying a 1.5 square mile space, Roslyn Heights is seahorse-shaped and bordered by a long stretch of the Northern State Parkway.

The Long Island Expressway also cuts a path through Roslyn Heights, making the area conveniently located for commuting and travel. The LIRR’s Roslyn station is actually located in Roslyn Heights, where permits are not required. Travel time is approximately fifty minutes, which includes a transfer at Jamaica. Albertson’s LIRR station is located within Roslyn Heights’ borders, which also has unrestricted parking. However, passengers who want to avoid the need to transfer must travel further south to Mineola, which has more frequent service but limited parking.

Shopping and dining options are plentiful within Roslyn Heights and beyond. Neighboring Roslyn has a quaint downtown area with unique shops and eateries. The Americana at Manhasset has a large selection of luxury retailers. To the south, Roosevelt Field Mall is the centerpiece of a large commercial area which includes several shopping centers along Old Country Road and Glen Cove Road.

Roslyn Heights is part of the Roslyn School District. Its 4,000 students also hail from Roslyn Harbor and Greenvale. The schools have an excellent reputation and are a major draw for young families looking to settle in the area. One of the district’s three elementary schools, Heights School, and the middle school and high school are located in Roslyn Heights. Roslyn High School offers twenty Advanced Placement courses, and more than fifty clubs and extracurricular activities. Some parts of Roslyn Heights are zoned for Mineola’s schools, which are solid but not stellar, or East Williston, which includes the well-regarded Wheatley School.

The Town of North Hempstead operates area parks and recreation programs. Clark Botanic Garden, located near Roslyn Heights’ border with Albertson, features about 5,000 species of plants, along with ponds and streams. The Town operates a beach in Port Washington during the summer; those seeking an ocean experience can travel down the Meadowbrook Parkway to Jones Beach State Park. Christopher Morley Park, a county facility in Roslyn, has 98 acres which includes a 9-hole golf course, athletic facilities, a playground, an outdoor ice rink and a pool. Gerry Pond, in the village of Roslyn, is quiet and pretty, with a large pond and gazebo.

Most of the housing inventory in Roslyn Heights is priced near or above a million dollars, but less expensive homes can be found in small numbers, beginning around $400,000. While those home prices will be out of reach for many, they are relatively less expensive than other North Shore towns. The more affordable homes are mixed between the Roslyn School District and the Mineola School District. These homes tend to be split between the Roslyn schools and the East Williston schools. Co-ops and condos are widely available at a wide range of price points. Roslyn Gardens, a co-op complex with one- and two-bedroom units, are currently priced between $100,000 and $300,000. The more upscale Summit at High Point is a condominium community, where prices begin around $650,000.
Pros
  • Great schools
  • Safe
  • Lots of nearby amenities
Cons
  • Expensive real estate
  • High taxes
  • Noise and traffic from highways
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"A historic, lovely North Shore village"

Roslyn is a small historic village on Long Island’s North Shore. It is located within the Town of North Hempstead, with a population of 2,770. The village, which occupies a little more than half a square mile, is not easily accessible by major roads or parkways, which have helped it retain its old-world charm.

The village has many leisure time options. During the summer, the Town of North Hempstead operates a beach in Port Washington, and Jones Beach State Park is a short car ride away. To the west, Christopher Morley Park has 98 acres which includes a 9-hole golf course, athletic facilities, a playground, an outdoor ice rink and a pool. Gerry Pond Park sits within the village’s borders and is one of the first sites visitors see when they arrive from the south. The park, which also has a gazebo, is a popular site for wedding photos. Donald Street Park has a splash park and tennis and handball courts.
Bryant Library, named in honor of poet and journalist William Cullen Bryant, is Nassau County’s oldest library. Bryant’s daughter Julia deeded the property and land on her father’s behalf after his death, and the building originally included lodgings for the librarian. Bryant’s home, Cedarmere, is located in Roslyn Harbor, though only the grounds are currently open to the public. Roslyn Harbor is also home to the Nassau County Museum of Art, located on the ground of the former Frick family estate.

Many people who settle in Roslyn cite the schools as a major draw. With 4,000 students from Roslyn and surrounding areas, including Roslyn Harbor and Greenvale, the district has a well-known reputation for excellence. The district has three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. In 1999, the Wall Street Journal ranked Roslyn as one of the country’s top ten high schools. Students can choose from as many as fifty clubs and extracurricular activities, and choose from among twenty Advanced Placement courses, which can be taken for college credit.

Unsurprisingly, Roslyn has no chain stores. The village’s dedication to preserving its history leaves no room for run-of-the-mill retailers. However, it’s not devoid of shopping or dining. Boutiques, restaurants and other independent businesses are popular with residents and visitors. Two historical districts have been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. The Main Street Historic District is comprised primarily of houses, and the Roslyn Village Historic District includes commercial properties along Old Northern Boulevard. The village’s clock town, built in 1895, is probably its most famous landmark.

Many of Roslyn’s housing stock is from the mid-1800s. When compared to other Long Island homes, Roslyn’s tend to be smaller, and on smaller lots, and buyers pay for the historic value. The more expensive homes, at or over the million-dollar mark, are generally larger and newer, though there are often a few larger historic properties on the market. Some co-ops and condominiums are available.
Pros
  • Pretty and historic
  • Good schools
Cons
  • High taxes
  • A bit isolated
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"A diverse village with great shopping and recreation"

Valley Stream is an incorporated village in southwestern Nassau County. It also includes unincorporated areas outside the village, also referred to as Valley Stream. Approximately 38,000 people reside in the village, which occupies 3.5 square miles. Incorporated in 1925, the area began as a vacation community, but evolved into a year-round residence when many visitors decided to settle in the area full-time. Over the years, the area has become more ethnically diverse.

Sunrise Highway is the primary road across the town, which is located south of the Southern State Parkway. Valley Stream’s location near the Queens border gives it easy access to the borough’s parkways, the Belt and the Cross Island. Bus routes travel along Sunrise, West Merrick Road, and North and South Central Avenue. Long Island Railroad service is available at two locations: within the village at Valley Stream and Gibson, located in the unincorporated area. Travel time to Manhattan is just under forty minutes. On the other side of the county border, Rosedale provides another station option.

The Green Acres Mall, which is the country’s 26th largest, is located in South Valley Stream, and is a shopping destination for western Nassau and Queens. Sears, Macy’s, Kohl’s and JC Penney anchor the mall. Other local and national retailers are located along the area’s major roads.

Recreational opportunities are plentiful. Valley Stream State Park, the town’s largest, has picnic and playground areas, as well as kid-friendly nature trails and an exercise course with 15 fitness stations. Within the village boundaries, Hendrickson Park also has a playground, mini-golf course, bike and walking paths and a pool. Village Green Park has a band shell, and holds summer concerts. The village oversees numerous programs for residents. Camp Barrett, for students in kindergarten through sixth grade, is a popular program which organizes field trips during the summer.

Three elementary school districts and one central high school district serve the village and the surrounding unincorporated areas. All four districts are ethnically diverse. Valley Stream 13 has 4 schools, with a total of 2,200 students. Six percent of the students live in poverty. Results on standardized tests are very good. Valley Stream 24 is smaller, with 1,100 students, but has a poverty rate of almost double that of District 13. Scores in District 24 are slightly lower than District 13’s. District 30, with 1,400 students, has a 19% poverty rate. The majority of students at all three elementary schools met standards on state exams. The Valley Stream Central High School District has almost 5,000 students. Valley Stream North and Valley Stream South serve students in grades seven through twelve, while Memorial Junior High School has grades 7 through 9. Students later move on to Valley Stream Central High School to finish grades ten through twelve.

Valley Stream is very affordable. Current prices begin around $200,000, and range up to $800,000. Between the incorporated village and the surrounding parts of Valley Stream, there is a great deal of inventory. Most of the homes were constructed during the 1940s and 1950s, though older homes can be found. A small number of older homes date back to the turn of last century. Coops and condos are well-priced, with one bedrooms available for under $100,000.
Pros
  • Close to shopping
  • Affordable homes
  • Close to NYC
  • Parks
Cons
  • High taxes
  • Congested
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Excellent schools, and close to everything"

Jericho, an unincorporated hamlet in the Town of Oyster Bay, began as a Quaker settlement in the 1600s. Named in 1692 for the Middle Eastern town near the Jordan River, its 14,000 residents reside with a 4.1 square mile area. It has a long history as a farming community, but today it’s a heavily residential area known for its outstanding school district.

With the Northern State Parkway and the Long Island Expressway crossing the town, it’s well-located for commuting and travel. LIRR access can be found in Hicksville, which has one of the system’s busiest stations with trains running frequently. Town of Oyster Bay permits are required to park at the station, which Jericho residents are eligible for. To the north, Syosset’s LIRR station offers another option, though service is less frequent.

Broadway, also known as Route 107, and Jericho Turnpike are the town’s two other main roads which provide access to neighboring towns and beyond. Residents can take care of shopping for most necessities locally, though Broadway Mall is located in Hicksville, which is anchored by Target and Ikea.

Two well-known Long Island landmarks are located in Jericho. The Westbury Music Fair, now known as the NYCB Theater at Westbury, began operations in the mid-1950s. It evolved from its early days as a small tent venue to its current theater-in-the-round with seating for 3,000. The Milleridge Inn is a well-known restaurant and catering establishment which began as a two-room house with a central fireplace in 1672. Today it has a restaurant and several private rooms for small functions, along with a cottage and carriage house often used for weddings. A small village features a bakery, a florist and other shops.

Jericho’s schools are often cited as the town’s best asset. The district, which educates approximately 3,000 students in three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school, has received accolades for its strong performance. In 2010, Newsweek magazine ranked Jericho High School #2 in New York and #32 nationally. The high school has a 99% graduation rate, and is one of the few schools to offer a Regents exam in Latin. Several Advanced Placement courses are available, and students can also earn college credit through St. John’s University.

The town lacks significant parkland, but open spaces aren’t too far away. Cantiague Park, a country-run facility, is located along Jericho’s south border. The park features golfing and other sports facilities, and has a large aquatic center. To the east, Syosset-Woodbury Community Park has play and picnic areas, sports facilities, and a pool. Residents can also utilize two Town of Oyster Bay beaches, Theodore Roosevelt Park and Beach, located on the Sound, and Tobay Beach, an oceanfront town park.

House-hunters will find that their money does not go as far in Jericho as it would in other parts of Nassau. The quality of the school district drives up prices, which currently begin at around $400,000. Condos and co-ops, which are usually less expensive than single-family homes, currently begin around $500,000. Despite its long history, most of the housing stock consists of ranches and splits from the 1950s and 1960s.
Pros
  • Great schools
  • Convenient location
  • Good dining and entertainment
Cons
  • No local parks
  • Real estate budgets will buy more elsewhere
  • High taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Gold Coast affordability, with excellent schools and shopping"

Greenvale, a small hamlet with 1,100 residents, is located in the Town of North Hempstead, Nassau County. Though it’s primarily more middle-class than its neighboring towns, it’s still considered part of Long Island’s “Gold Coast” area. The hamlet is very small, occupying less than half a square mile, and has no school district, churches or synagogues.

Northern Boulevard and Glen Cove Road, two of the county’s major roads, intersect in Greenvale. Several bus routes use these roads, providing residents with easy access to public transportation. Residents will find ample shopping along these two roads as well, including Wheatley Plaza, a popular shopping destination for northern Nassau. Wheatley Hills has numerous stores and boutiques and a large Pathmark grocery store. It offers a personal shopping service as well.

Two excellent school districts serve the hamlet. Students in the eastern part of Greenvale attend the North Shore School District’s schools, while students in the western part attend Roslyn’s public schools. The North Shore district educates approximately 3,000 students who also hail from Glenwood Landing, Glen Head, and Sea Cliff. The district has been recognized locally and nationally for its outstanding results, with North Shore High School being ranked 263 in the nation by Newsweek magazine in 2008. Roslyn’s district is slightly larger, with 3,500 students. Harbor Hill School, located on Glen Cove Road in Greenvale, educates students through grade six and has very high passing rates on state standardized exams. Two institutes of higher education, New York Institute of Technology and Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus, are located adjacent to Greenvale’s borders.

Greenvale is home to Roslyn Cemetery, which is the final resting place for Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of The Secret Garden, and the writers Christopher Morley and William Cullen Bryant. The Roslyn East Toll Gate is also located within the cemetery’s borders, a remainder from the days when tolls were collected along North Hempstead Turnpike, which is now called Northern Boulevard. The roadway was moved many years ago, putting the toll house within the cemetery’s borders. The toll house, built in 1864, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

The very small size of Greenvale means the housing inventory is also small and limited to single-family homes. At present, home prices begin in the mid-$300k range, making the area relatively affordable by Long Island standards.
Pros
  • Great shopping
  • Great schools
  • Centrally located
Cons
  • Limited real estate inventory
  • Minimal parkland
  • Lots of traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"A hip seaside village"

Sea Cliff is a densely populated, artsy village occupying one square mile along Hempstead Harbor. Part of the Town of Oyster Bay, it has a population of 5,000. Unlike much of Nassau County, the majority of the village’s housing stock predates World War II. Many buildings are listed on local, state and national historic registries.

Recreational choices include numerous public parks and playgrounds within Sea Cliff, as well as several private clubs. Part of the North Shore Country Club is located along the southern border of the village, with an 18-hole golf course. To the west, the Glen Head Country Club is open 365 days a year for golf. Sailors can join the Sea Cliff Yacht Club, which holds regattas and offers a children’s program. Harry Tappen Beach, also located in nearby Glenwood Landing, offers a long stretch of waterfront access along with a pool and playground.

Sea Cliff is one of the towns located within the well-regarded North Shore Central School District, which educated approximately 3,000 students. Students also hail from Glenwood Landing, Glen Head, and Old Brookville. In 2008, North Shore High School was ranked 263rd nationally by Newsweek magazine. The district also has a middle school and three elementary schools, including one in Sea Cliff. Recent third grade scores show 10% of the students at Sea Cliff Elementary failing to meet standards, though all remaining grades fared better.

Geography has made Sea Cliff somewhat isolated from much of Nassau’s hustle and bustle, as well as its big-box shopping. However, the village has a nice selection of independent shops along Glen Cove Avenue and Sea Cliff Avenue. Route 107 provides access to Northern Boulevard and the area’s major parkways. Sea Cliff has a station on the Long Island Railroad, located just outside the village’s border.

House-hunters seeking older homes with period details will appreciate what Sea Cliff has to offer. It’s one of the few Long Island towns with a good selection of Victorians, in addition to colonials, capes and Tudors. Most prices begin in the ballpark of $400,000, but there are a handful of lower-priced options. No condominiums or co-ops are available.
Pros
  • Cool and fun
  • Excellent schools
  • Unique housing inventory
Cons
  • Isolated
  • High taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A small village within a bustling suburb"

Farmingdale encompasses a one-mile incorporated village as well as a larger unincorporated area in the Town of Oyster Bay. The population of the combined areas is approximately 50,000. The area offers both a small-town atmosphere as well as a lot of big-box shopping opportunities.

Republic Airport, Farmingdale State College and Adventureland are probably Farmingdale’s most well-known landmarks. In operation since 1969, Republic Airport provides regional and charter service, and employs 1,400 people. Farmingdale State has successfully transitioned from a two-year, primarily agricultural school to a four-year institution with over 7,000 students. Adventureland draws visitors from all over Nassau and Suffolk counties, who come for the rides and arcade games. Farmingdale has also become an excellent shopping destination in recent years, with an eclectic mix of independent shops in the village and well-known national retailers along Route 110. The area also has its own LIRR station. Travel time to Manhattan averages about fifty minutes. Several bus routes also pass through along the main roads.

Students in both the village and the unincorporated area attend the Farmingdale School District. There are four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school; the district also participates in Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK). This year, the district was cited by the state as needing improvement in English Language Arts at the elementary, middle and secondary levels. An evening high school program serves students over 17 who have dropped out but wish to return and complete a diploma.

Farmingdale offers activities beyond shopping. Bethpage State Park forms the area’s north border, with five world-class golf courses. The park has hosted the U.S. Open Golf Championships twice, in 2002 and 2009. Allen Park is a 15-acre space undergoing expansion. It currently has a children’s play area and playing fields; plans include adding additional sports facilities and a community center. Michel Park has a playground and baseball field. Though Farmingdale has no direct waterfront access, residents can use Tobay Beach, a town beach located adjacent to Jones Beach State Park, which is also nearby.

Like much of Long Island, Farmingdale grew rapidly in the years following World War II, though older homes are available. More inexpensive properties are available, but those homes are more likely to need work. Prices vary widely, with many options in the $300,000 to $400,000 range. Several co-op and condominium complexes are available as well.
Pros
  • Small town atmosphere with lots of amenities
  • Affordable homes
  • Well-located with good public transportation
Cons
  • Airport noise
  • Schools need some improvement
  • High taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A lovely small village on the Sound"

Bayville is a small incorporated village on Long Island’s North Shore. It’s almost entirely surrounded by water. Initially a summer community, it was also home to people who worked on the large estates in adjacent towns. Today, it has a more down-to-earth vibe than its exceptionally wealthy neighbors.

Its location means most of its recreational opportunities are beach-based. Three beaches, Mill Neck Creek, West Harbor Beach and Sound Side Beach, are for Bayville residents only. Mill Neck Preserve, located near the town’s western border, is undeveloped, with marshlands and waterways.

Bayville Avenue is the main road through the village. Many of the town’s stores, restaurants and professional services are located along this stretch. The village has an active Chamber of Commerce, which works to support and promote local businesses. The Bayville Free Library, located across from Village Woods Park, has a variety of materials for borrowing. Nassau’s major roads and highways are a good distance away, making the area a bit isolated, but necessary amenities are conveniently located. There is no direct LIRR service, so residents must travel to Locust Valley to board the train; travelers on this line must change trains at Jamaica.

The Locust Valley Central School District educates 2,300 students from Bayville and its surrounding areas. The district has received national and local recognition for its excellence. In 2012, Newsweek magazine identified Locust Valley High School as #2 on Long Island, #6 in New York, and #55 nationally. U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post ranked the school similarly. In addition to its Advanced Placement courses, students can participate in the International Baccalaureate program, an academically rigorous college preparatory program. Students at the elementary and middle school level also have high passing levels on state standardized exams. Bayville has its own elementary school in the district, but students must travel to nearby Locust Valley for middle school and high school.

Bayville’s zoning does not allow condominiums, but homes are well-priced. Currently, prices begin at around $300,000, making the area affordable, especially for a coveted waterfront town. However, prices range well beyond $1 million dollars. There is a good amount of inventory in between, allowing residents the option of trading up.
Pros
  • Beautiful location
  • Excellent school district
  • Great beaches
Cons
  • Isolated
  • No area train service
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"The gateway to historic Oyster Bay"

East Norwich is a small hamlet within the Town of Oyster Bay, Nassau County. Geographically, it is sandwiched between Syosset and the hamlet of Oyster Bay. It occupies approximately one square mile, with 2,700 residents.

Despite its small size, East Norwich is well-located, with good access to nearby shopping and other amenities. Northern Boulevard, one of the county’s major roads, provides a route to points east and west. Oyster Bay Road is the hamlet’s other main road, taking traffic to the hamlet of Oyster Bay, which offers additional shopping and dining. Most of East Norwich’s shopping, dining and professional services are located along these two roads. There is no direct Long Island Railroad service, but there are stations nearby in Oyster Bay and Syosset, where express trains travel frequently to and from the city.

East Norwich has minimal recreational areas, with the exception of the private Pine Hollow Club, which opened in 1955 and uses a former Vanderbilt mansion for its facility. To the north, Theodore Roosevelt Park, a Town of Oyster Bay property, offers a beach, picnic and play areas, and areas for sports. Planting Fields Arboretum, also located in nearby Oyster Bay, is a state historic park on the grounds of Coe Hall, a 67-room estate with a large formal garden.

The Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District has three schools: Theodore Roosevelt for kindergarten through second grade, the James H. Vernon School for grades 3 through 6 and Oyster Bay High School for students in grades 7 through 12. The district has strong passing rates on state exams at all three levels: elementary, middle and high school. Several Advanced Placement courses are offered to qualified high school students.

Real estate in East Norwich is expensive, with current prices beginning around half a million dollars. However, the North Shore in general tends to be more expensive than the South Shore. The small size of the area limits the amount of inventory for sale at any given time. Taxes, though high, are relatively less than other Nassau County towns.
Pros
  • Quiet residential streets
  • Nearby amenities
  • Good schools
Cons
  • Expensive real estate
  • No direct LIRR service; not close to parkways
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"A wealthy residential village"

Hewlett Harbor is an incorporated village within the Town of Hempstead. It occupies less than one square mile on Hewlett Bay in southwestern Nassau County with a population of approximately 1,300. The village is located in the Five Towns area, an informal grouping of towns.

Hewlett High School, which serves students living in “The Hewletts” and Woodmere, is located in adjacent Hewlett Bay Park. The Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls, a private yeshiva, is located in the community as well. Many of students throughout the Five Towns attend yeshivas. The Hewlett-Woodmere district has a student population of 3,400. The district, with one early childhood center, two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school, performs solidly on state exams. Depending on subject and grade, between 2% and 6% fail to meet standards at the elementary and middle school level. Performance at the high school level is very strong, with passing rates above 90% on all Regents exams. College credits can be earned through Syracuse University and Long Island University.

Most of the area’s shopping is located along Peninsula Boulevard and Broadway. Well-known chains, like Loehmann’s and CVS, are present, as well as smaller, independently owned shops. A number of store owners close early on Friday and remain closed on Saturday in observation of the Sabbath.

Its inclusion in the Town of Hempstead gives Hewlett Harbor residents access to over 90 parks, including nearby beaches. Grant Park, in the eastern part of the nearby hamlet of Hewlett, is a county-run park on 35 acres. It includes new fields for baseball and softball, tennis and basketball courts, and a playground. Fishing is allowed in the park’s pond. The Seawane Club, a private golf and country club, is located in Hewlett Harbor with an 18-hole golf course, 8 tennis courts and a pool. Atlantic Beach is also nearby, with its collection of private beach clubs.

Like its neighbor Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Harbor is small and exclusive, with high prices even by Nassau County standards. The community consists entirely of single-family homes, with no co-ops or condominiums.
Pros
  • Lovely waterfront location
  • Good schools
Cons
  • High real estate costs and property taxes
  • Somewhat isolated
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"A tiny affluent waterfront enclave"

Hewlett Bay Park is not a park, rather, it is an affluent incorporated village with slightly over 400 residents. Located on a canal leading to Hewlett Bay, it is located in the Five Towns area of southwestern Nassau. Recent data identified it as one of the highest-income places in the United States.

The village is almost entirely residential, but located convenient to shopping in the adjacent unincorporated area of Hewlett, along Peninsula Boulevard and Broadway. There is a mix of chain retailers and independently owned shops. A number of store owners close early on Friday and remain closed on Saturday in observation of the Sabbath. Residents who need to travel to Manhattan can catch the train at the Hewlett LIRR station. Parking at the station is free and travel time is roughly a half hour.

Hewlett High School, which serves students living in the Hewletts and Woodmere, is located in Hewlett Bay Park. The Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls, a private yeshiva, is located in the community as well. Many of students throughout the Five Towns attend yeshivas. The Hewlett-Woodmere district has a student population of 3,400. The district, with one early childhood center, two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school, performs solidly on state exams. Depending on subject and grade, between 2% and 6% fail to meet standards at the elementary and middle school level. Performance at the high school level is very strong, with passing rates above 90% on all Regents exams. College credits can be earned through Syracuse University and Long Island University.

Hewlett Bay Park is part of the Town of Hempstead, which gives residents access to a large range of public parks and recreational programs, including local town beaches. The Seawane Club, a private golf and country club, is located in nearby Hewlett Harbor with an 18-hole golf course, 8 tennis courts and a pool. Atlantic Beach is also nearby, with its collection of private beach clubs.

Current homes on the market range in price from just under a million to four million. Taxes are high. Many of the homes come with excellent water views.
Pros
  • Beautiful location and homes
  • Exclusive
  • Excellent public and private schools
Cons
  • Out of reach for most buyers
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"An active residential hamlet"

Hewlett is a hamlet in the Town of Hempstead, located in southwestern Nassau County. Its name comes from an early family who settled in the area in the mid-1600s. Approximately 7,000 people reside here.

Despite its official designation as a hamlet and not a town, Hewlett is one of the “Five Towns,” an informal organization of hamlets and villages. Inwood, Cedarhurst, Lawrence and Woodmere are the other four parts major of the area. There are addition areas within “The Hewletts”- Hewlett Bay Park, which is not a park, Hewlett Manor and Hewlett Neck.

The hamlet, or town as it’s more commonly called, is oddly shaped and not convenient to any highways. Hewlett has its own LIRR station, but some residents may find it more convenient to commute from Gibson or Lynbrook.

Hewlett, like most of the Five Towns, has a high Jewish population, and many of the students attend yeshivas. Public school students attend the Hewlett-Woodmere public schools, which has a student population of 3,400. The district, with one early childhood center, two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school, performs solidly on state exams. Depending on subject and grade, between 2% and 6% fail to meet standards at the elementary and middle school level. Performance at the high school level is very strong, with passing rates above 90% on all Regents exams. Some parts of Hewlett are part of Lynbrook’s school district, which is also well-regarded.

Most of the area’s shopping is located along Peninsula Boulevard and Broadway. Well-known chains, like Loehmann’s and CVS, are present, as well as smaller, independently owned shops. A number of store owners close early on Friday and remain closed on Saturday in observation of the Sabbath.

Its inclusion in the Town of Hempstead gives residents access to over 90 parks, including nearby beaches. Grant Park, in the eastern part of Hewlett, is a county-run park on 35 acres. It includes new fields for baseball and softball, tennis and basketball courts, and a playground. Fishing is allowed in the park’s pond.

Homes can be found at many prices, with limited inventory in the low-$300,000 range. Like nearly all of Nassau County, property taxes are very high. There are a handful of condominium and co-op options available.
Pros
  • Community spirit
  • Well-kept area
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Limited affordable options
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"Oceanfront village with beautiful views"

Atlantic Beach is a small, affluent village in the town of Hempstead, located on the western end of Long Beach Island, a barrier island off the south shore of Nassau County. Its population is approximately 2,000 year-round residents; during the summer the population grows as visitors flock to its many private beach clubs. Atlantic Beach has been featured prominently in several movies and television shows.

In addition to its member-only beach clubs, which range in price, the Town of Hempstead operates parks in Atlantic Beach. Veterans Memorial Park has a pool and playground, as well as a basketball court. Scott Drive Park also has a playground and basketball court. Atlantic Beach Estates is for residents of the village only, and is located on the water.

A bridge connects Atlantic Beach to Long Island via the Nassau Expressway, which briefly separates Queens and Nassau. Train commuters must travel to either Long Beach or Inwood to catch the LIRR. A bus route is located along Park Street. There are some businesses and retail in the village, but nearby Long Beach offers additional shopping and dining options.

Atlantic Beach does not have its own school district. Students travel off the island to attend school in the Lawrence School District, which is located in southwestern Nassau. Lawrence has three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. There are 3,000 students; 23% of the student population lives in poverty. The district was recently identified by the state education department as being in need of improvement in English Language Arts across grade levels. At the high school level, Regents scores were adequate.

The majority of Atlantic Beach’s housing consists of single-family house. Current prices begin in the mid-$300,000 range and go beyond $1 million. There are two condominium options in Atlantic Beach. Pebble Cove is a luxury complex, where prices hover around a million dollars, while the Oceanview condos are more moderately priced.
Pros
  • Oceanfront location
Cons
  • Isolated
  • High taxes
  • Much of the beach property is private
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"A waterfront town with homes for many budgets"

Massapequa is a four-square mile unincorporated area in the Town of Oyster Bay. Technically a hamlet, its 22,000 residents usually refer to it as a town. Sunrise Highway, one of Long Island’s busiest roads, cuts across the middle of Massapequa. However, its residential areas reflect none of the busyness found on the town’s multiple major roads. Homebuyers gravitate to Massapequa for its quiet, residential streets, solid school district and access to parks and recreation. The Long Island Railroad offers an approximately 50-minute commute to Penn Station.
Shopping is plentiful. Westfield Sunrise, formerly known as the Sunrise Mall, is anchored by Sears, Macys’, Wal-Mart and JC Penney, and has over a hundred additional stores and eateries. Additional shopping and dining opportunities are located along Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road. Massapequa is a major shopping destination for southeastern Nassau and southwestern Suffolk residents.

The Massapequa School District is well-regarded, as well as one of the largest in Nassau County with 8,000 students. Overall, student performance on state exams is excellent. Three of the district’s six elementary schools are in Massapequa, and the other three are in the Village of Massapequa Park. Students remain in the elementary schools until the completion of sixth grade; Berner Middle School houses seventh and eighth graders. The district created a unique solution to working with its high school-aged population by creating a campus for ninth graders only. The Ames Campus of Massapequa High School is intended to provide freshman with an easier transition to high school. Approximately 300 students take Advanced Placement exams, and 94% of graduating seniors go on to two-year or four-year colleges.

Residents can take advantage of several parks and recreational activities. The Massapequa State Preserve sits between Massapequa and Massapequa Park, with 423 acres of mostly undeveloped land. Its wetlands provide a habitat for a large variety of wildlife. The Town of Oyster Bay operates parks within and beyond Massapequa, including Tobay Beach, which is for residents only and offers a smaller alternative to Jones Beach. Burns Park offers the only public boat launch, along with 52 acres with athletic facilities and a play area for children. Marjorie Post Park is a 42-acre facility with a playground, tennis, handball and basketball courts and a skating rink. Oyster Bay Town also organizes recreational activities for residents throughout the year, including baseball, softball, hockey, and races.

Homes can be found at all prices, from $200,000 to $2,000,000. The 2008 financial crisis and its impact on the housing market brought down prices significantly in Massapequa. Though the less expensive homes tend to be smaller or in need of work, there is a large amount of inventory. The larger, pricier homes tend to be located south of Merrick Road, along the canals or on the bay. There is one condominium complex, Seasons, with limited availability. Though it is located in Massapequa, it is located in the neighboring Amityville School District.
Pros
  • Good schools
  • Lots of home price options
  • Nearby shopping and parks
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"An ideally located suburban community"

Massapequa Park is an incorporated village in the Town of Oyster Bay. Located on Nassau County’s South Shore, its schools, parks, and community atmosphere have made it a highly desirable place for young families to put down roots. It occupies 2.2 square miles, some of it waterfront, and is home to 17,000 residents.

Students attend the Massapequa Public Schools, which is one of Nassau County’s largest with 8,000 students who also hail from the unincorporated area of Massapequa. Three of the district’s six elementary schools are in Massapequa Park. Over the years the growing population has led to changes in the district’s organization to better educate the students. A former middle school is now an elementary school, and the district developed another innovative idea for its high school students. Ninth graders are housed separately at Massapequa High School’s Ames campus. The goal of the arrangement is to help ease students into the transition from middle school to high school. Ninety-four percent of recent Massapequa High School graduates continued their education at two-year or four-year colleges. A small percentage of students in the north part of the village attend school in the Farmingdale district, which is generally well-regarded.

Parkland is abundant in Massapequa Park. Tobay Beach, which is east of Jones Beach State Park, is a residents-only beach. Burns Park, which is also run by the Town of Oyster Bay, has 52 acres on the water, with athletic facilities, trails and a boat launch. Massapequa Preserve is long, narrow 423-acre parcel of mostly undeveloped land separating Massapequa and Massapequa Park. Its wetlands provide a habitat for a large variety of wildlife. The village oversees additional parks and playgrounds.

Westfield Sunrise, formerly known as the Sunrise Mall, has been a popular shopping destination for people from all over the south shore since it opened in the 1970s. Today, it’s anchored by Wal-Mart, Macys’, and JC Penney and Sears and has over 100 other stores and eateries. Sunrise Highway, the main road through Massapequa Park, is lined with shopping centers and restaurants, as is Merrick Road. Smaller, locally-based shops, restaurants and bars are located along Front Street and Park Boulevard, contributing to the small-town feel that gets lost on the village’s major roads.

Several bus routes pass through the village, and train commuters can catch the LIRR at the Massapequa Park station. Travel time is just under an hour. Parking requires a resident permit.

Home prices have come down substantially from 2008, making the area more accessible to buyers. Current prices start in the mid-$200,000s and up, with several homes in the $300,000 range. Prices range up to $1,000,000 for homes located in the waterfront neighborhood of Bar Harbour, where many homes have views of the Great South Bay. Property taxes are typical for Long Island.
Pros
  • Excellent parks and shopping
  • Good schools
  • Nice residential areas
Cons
  • Traffic
  • High taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"Small and residential"

Alberston is a small hamlet with 5,200 residents in the Town of North Hempstead, occupying less than one square mile. Its small size and relative isolation, by Long Island standards, means many people have never heard of it. The town’s name comes from Townsend Albert, who settled in the area and started a farm and a grist mill.

The hamlet is primarily residential. Willis Avenue, which leads drivers to the Northern State Parkway, is the main commercial area with shops, eateries, banks and other services. To the north and the south, there are ample shopping opportunities, most notably the Roosevelt Field Mall. Albertson has its own LIRR station, which makes the trip to Penn Station in about fifty minutes. Permits are not required to park at the station.

Three school districts serve Albertson, with the majority split of students between Herricks and Mineola. A small number of students attend school in the East Williston district. Meadow Drive, which is part of the Mineola district, is located in Albertson. Herricks and East Williston are both very highly regarded, with excellent results on state exams and graduation rates.

Caemmerer Park is one of two parks. It has tennis and basketball courts, and a playground. Clark Botanic Garden is a park located on the grounds of Grenville Clark, an attorney and advisor to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The garden features about 5,000 species of plants, along with ponds and streams.

Home prices begin in the mid-$300,000 range. The small size of Albertson means inventory is limited. Many people who settle there are initially looking to be in one of the three school districts. Many of the homes, when constructed, were small. However, many of the homes have been expanded, and knocking down homes and rebuilding from scratch became a popular choice in recent years. Willis Terrace is a condo complex for seniors over 62, and there are usually a few units on the market.
Pros
  • Good location
  • Good schools
  • Close to shopping
Cons
  • High taxes
  • Limited housing inventory
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
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"Not your typical Nassau County suburb"

Old Westbury, incorporated in 1924, is a wealthy village on Long Island’s North Shore. Its 8.6 square miles falls within the boundaries of both the Town of Oyster Bay and the Town of North Hempstead. Home to 4,500 people, the village is almost entirely residential. Unlike most of Long Island, Old Westbury’s homes are on large plots of land, giving the village an almost countrified feel.

Business Week and Forbes have both cited Old Westbury among the country’s wealthiest suburbs. Many famous families built their estates here, among them the Vanderbilts, the Phippses, the Whitneys and the Du Ponts. Today, some of those formerly private homes have been converted for other purposes. Old Westbury Gardens, once the estate of John Schaffer Phipps, is open to the public and features award-winning gardens. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney’s former estate has been subdivided and shared among the New York Institute of Technology and the Old Westbury Country Club.

The village has no commercial areas. However, the Americana at Manhasset is a short drive away, with a large selection of luxury retailers. To the south, Westbury and Garden City both feature ample shopping opportunities.

Most of the village’s recreational activities will be found at private clubs. Old Westbury Golf and Country Club, opened in 1962, features multiple golf courses. The Glen Oaks Club has two 18-hole courses. The village has thirty miles of horse trails. The Meadowbrook Polo Club, opened in 1881, is the oldest polo club in the country.

Several colleges occupy land which were once part of estates, include the aforementioned NY Tech. SUNY Old Westbury is a public liberal arts college located at the former estate of philanthropist F. Ambrose Clark. Three public school districts also serve the village: Jericho, East Williston and Westbury. In general, Jericho and East Williston are well-regarded districts with excellent test scores and graduation rates. Westbury, which is significantly less affluent, performs adequately but pales when compared to the other two districts. There are two nearby private school options: Holy Child Academy, a Catholic K-8 school, and the Westbury Friends School, a K-5 school whose approach is based on Quaker values.

Real estate in Old Westbury is very expensive, with its cheapest homes costing close to a million dollars. Property taxes are also very high. There are no co-ops or condos, and though there is open space that could be developed, residents work very hard to have a voice in what is done with the land. In recent years, some new residential areas have been constructed, but they fall in the price range of the rest of the village.
Pros
  • Beautiful location and homes
  • Nice public facilities- colleges, gardens
Cons
  • Out of reach for most buyers
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Before Levittown, there was Williston Park"

Williston Park is a small incorporated village in the Town of North Hempstead. Founded in 1926, its name is in honor of Samuel Willis, a late 17th century settler. Developer William Chatlos envisioned a planned community, twenty years before Levittown, and on a much smaller scale. Chatlos oversaw the construction of 1,000 Dutch colonials, built at the rate of one per day.

Hillside Avenue and Willis Avenue are the main roads and provide most of the village’s commercial activity, with approximately 300 stores, eateries and professional offices. Most residents likely find it easy to obtain necessities. The village has odd, irregular borders with the exception of its eastern border with East Williston, which falls along the rail road tracks. The LIRR station provides travel to Manhattan in about 45 minutes. Williston Park sits on the west side of the tracks, with permit parking for residents and non-residents. East Williston is on the other side, with a lot for residents with permits. Buses travel regularly along Hillside and Willis Avenues.

Despite its name, parkland is minimal in Williston Park. Kelleher Park hosts the village’s Little League games, and a sliver of Albertson’s Caemmerer Park stretches across its border. Caemmerer Park has a playground and restroom facilities. Clark Botanical Gardens, twelve acres of gardens, trees, ponds and streams, is also located in Albertson. The Town of North Hempstead owns and operates Harbor Links, a residents-only public golf course with 18 holes, a driving range and miniature golf course, located in Port Washington.

The village does not have its own school district. Mineola takes the students who live east of Willis Avenue, and the students who reside west of Willis attend the Herricks School District. Each district has one elementary school in Williston Park: Center Street is one of Herrick’s three elementary schools, and Cross Street is in the Mineola district. Academically, Herricks is more highly regarded, but Mineola is also considered a solid district.

At the moment, home prices begin in the mid-$300s, a bit higher than some surrounding areas. Home buyers interested in older homes will find a good amount of inventory from the 1920s. Many homes were added during the late 1940s and early 1950s to accommodate returning war veterans and their families, but there are some newer homes as well. Condominiums are available, but in short supply.
Pros
  • Good public transportation
  • An attractive, well-kept village
  • Good school districts
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Less affordable than other nearby areas
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A pleasant place in central Nassau"

Mineola is an incorporated village in the Town of North Hempstead, home to 19,000 residents. It’s also Nassau County’s seat, home to several administrative and government offices and agencies. The county seat designation was granted to Mineola in 1898, and the village was incorporated in 1906. The name “Mineola” is derived from a Native American word for “pleasant place.”

Jericho Turnpike is Mineola’s main east-west road, and Old Country Road forms its southern border with Garden City. Despite the presence of these two heavily traveled roads, a quieter village feel exists along Mineola Boulevard and its other secondary roads. Its residential streets are quiet and lined with well-kept homes. Public transportation is abundant, with multiple bus routes and the LIRR station in Mineola. Approximately 10,000 passengers a day board the train at this station to make the approximately 40-minute ride to Manhattan. The Meadowbrook and Northern State Parkways are well-located for car commuters.

There is a lot to do in and around Mineola. The recreation department operates a community pool with free resident shuttle service. Memorial Park features a gazebo and memorials to area war veterans, residents lost on September 11 and victims of the December 1993 LIRR shooting. Wilson Park has a lighted roller rink, playing fields and recreation equipment. Jones Beach State Park is a short ride down the Meadowbrook Parkway. Its inclusion in the Town of North Hempstead allows residents to take advantage of parks and cultural activities beyond Mineola.

Shoppers have plenty of options as well. Roosevelt Field Mall and additional shopping in neighboring Westbury provide enough variety for recreational shoppers. Numerous restaurants line the main streets. Portuguese cuisine is popular, owning to the village’s large number of residents from Portugal.

The Mineola School District, whose borders overlap slightly into neighboring towns, educates 2,500 students. There are three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. The high school graduation rate is 97.8%. Both the middle school and high school offer a large selection of extracurricular clubs and sports teams.

Single-family homes comprise the bulk of Mineola’s real estate inventory. Many of the houses were built during the 1920s and 1930s, but like much of Nassau County, it was impacted by the post-war building boom of the 1950s. Prices vary widely, but have come down significantly in recent years. Co-ops and condominiums are plentiful and popular with first-time buyers, who often remain in Mineola and later upgrade to houses.
Pros
  • Nice community feel
  • Good schools
  • Great location
Cons
  • Busy main roads
  • High taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Hipsters
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Just now

"An affordable island community"

Island Park is part of the geographic region of Long Island, but it isn’t on Long Island. A hamlet in the Town of Hempstead, it’s on a small island located between Oceanside and Long Beach. Its 4,600 residents reside within a 1.5 square mile space.

During the Revolutionary War, the island was strategically important, and it was the site of several attacks and at least one big battle. After the war, the island remained mostly undeveloped, populated by pigs that were brought to the island to graze, leading to the name “Hog Island.” By 1900 Island Park had become a popular resort area for people from nearby New York City. Small bungalows popped up all over the island, and later winterized and expanded as summer residents became year-rounders.

Its small size means there is little shopping, though it is fairly easy to obtain necessities. Nearby, Long Beach offers nightlife, shopping and dining, with a beach primarily for residents. However, three Town of Hempstead beaches, Point Lookout, Lido Beach, Lido West and Sands, are a short drive away. Oceanside also offers shopping and recreation. Though Island Park isn’t convenient to major parkways, it does have its own LIRR station. Travel time to Manhattan is about 50 minutes.

Students in Island Park deal with a unique situation when they finish middle school. The Island Park School District, which includes the adjacent hamlets of Harbor Isle and Barnum Island, has no high school. Students have two options: nearby Long Beach High School, or West Hempstead High School, which is about a half hour away and relatively similar with regard to academic offerings and graduation rates, though West Hempstead is smaller. The district’s K-8 population is about 700. Scores on state assessments are adequate, with 2-5% of students failing to meet standards, depending on subject and grade. Approximately one-fifth of elementary and middle school level students live in poverty.

Unsurprisingly, flooding causes issues. However, its proximity to the water also makes it a desirable place to live, with a good selection of affordable homes. Prices vary widely, from small bungalows and ranches to larger, newer homes on waterfront property.
Pros
  • Community spirit
  • Lovely location
  • Affordable homes
Cons
  • Prone to flooding
  • Not convenient to highways
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Shopping, dining, nightlife, and great schools"

Rockville Centre is an active incorporated village sitting along the South Shore in Nassau County. Its population is 24,000. The area is known for excellent schools, great shopping and dining, and a strong community atmosphere.

Residents have several recreational opportunities through both the village and the Town of Hempstead. The village runs a recreation center, which can be rented for birthday parties. During the summer, children can attend Lego camp and choose from a large variety of other programs. Programs for adults and seniors are also held year-round. Morgan Days Park has sports facilities and a playground. New baseball fields were recently constructed at Hickey Field. Though Rockville Centre is not located directly on the water, it enjoys relatively easy access to the Town of Hempstead beaches, which include Point Lookout and Lido Beach. Jones Beach State Park is about a half hour away. In addition to parks, golf enthusiasts will be interested in Rockville Country Club, a members-only golf course with 18 holes, built in 1925
.
Peninsula Boulevard, which leads to the Southern State Parkway, is the main way into and out of Rockville Centre, though Sunrise Highway cuts across the village’s midsection. Residents can meet most of their shopping needs locally, along Sunrise, Merrick Road or North Park Avenue. There are several fitness centers and numerous restaurants, which draw people from nearby towns. Dining choices range from casual to upscale across a variety of cuisines.

The Rockville Centre school district is a major draw for house hunters. The district educates approximately 3,500 students. South Side High School was recently ranked #22 in the nation and #2 in the state by U.S. News and World Report. Newsweek magazine has also favorably rated the high school. The high school offers the International Baccalaureate program, a rigorous, multi-disciplinary course of study for juniors and seniors. Greenhouse, an alternative program, provides additional support to struggling students.

Train commuters can catch the LIRR at the Rockville Centre station. Travel time to Penn Station is about forty minutes. Residents and non-residents can obtain permits to park at the station.

Since Rockville Centre is an incorporated village, residents pay additional taxes to fund services. Homes are available at several price points, making it possible for first-time buyers to trade up while remaining in the village.
Cons
  • High taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • 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 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A busy suburb undergoing change"

West Hempstead is an unincorporated hamlet in the Town Of Hempstead. It occupies 2.8 square miles, and has a population of 19,000. Multiple main roads cut across the town, providing easy access to neighboring areas, and the Southern State Parkway forms the entire southern border.

The proximity of main roads to residential areas makes it easy for shoppers to easily obtain necessities. In addition to the Turnpike, local businesses and restaurants are located along Nassau Boulevard and Hempstead Avenue. Commuters can choose from three LIRR stations- West Hempstead, Hempstead Gardens within the town, and Lakeview, in an adjacent town. However, the line has no weekend or holiday service, and there is no parking at Hempstead Gardens.

Parts of the town had been in decline in recent years, but recently it has been rebounding. The Courtesy Hotel, which had once provided visitors with budget-friendly accommodations, had declined into a hotbed of criminal activity in recent years. However, efforts by the community led to its recent demolition. Luxury apartments will be built on the site, which is located in walking distance of the train station. The West Hempstead Library underwent a $10 million dollar renovation in 2007. It offers exercise and meditations classes, SAT prep, and children’s programs among its many activities.

There are numerous recreation options in the area. Echo Park, open to all Town of Hempstead residents, has an indoor pool. Hall’s Pond Park is a quiet 11 acre property, with a 5.5 acre pond. Hempstead Lake State Park is partially located in West Hempstead, with 20 tennis courts, a playground and three fishing ponds. The West Hempstead Chiefs soccer club has summer camps and several team options for children who are interested in the sport.

Students attend the West Hempstead School District, which has a student population of 2,500. At the elementary level, scores are adequate but not outstanding. The middle school fares slightly better, with a passing rate of 100% among middle school students who took Regents exams. The dropout rate at West Hempstead High School is 1%.

Housing inventory includes Tudors, colonials and splits. First-time buyers will find a good selection of affordable homes. The majority of the housing stock was built in the 1950s, though there are some older homes, as well as some new construction.
Pros
  • Well-located for commuting
  • Close to shopping
Cons
  • High taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"A well-located suburb with great amenities and so-so schools"

Malverne is a small incorporated village in the Town of Hempstead. It occupies a 1.1 square mile area, with a population of 8,500. Initially, it was called “Norwood” but another town had already officially claimed the name, so the name was changed to Malverne, after Malvern, England. No one is entirely sure how the “e” ended up in the town’s name. One theory holds that the railroad signs included the “e” on the end, and it stuck. In its early days, many Broadway performers and vaudevillians called it home. Today, Malverne is a charming village in a great location for commuters, with excellent leisure time activities.

Though Malverne is not located on the water, it enjoys close proximity to the Town of Hempstead beaches, and Jones Beach State Park is also easily reached. Residents can also enjoy the Town of Hempstead’s other 90+ parks and golf courses, as well as numerous recreation and cultural arts programs. Within the village, Gaddis Park has a playground, a bicycle path and a basketball court. Chester A. Reese Veterans Memorial Park has a gazebo, and is the site of outdoor summer performances. Carbone Toddler Park was designed with children under 5 in mind.

Locally, there are several other free time options. Crossroads Farm at Grossman’s is a newly reopened working farm, using certified organic practices. First established in 1895, the farm was recently acquired by the Nassau County Land Trust and revitalized. San-Dee Lanes, a bowling alley, has operated in the community for 50 years and offers birthday parties, events, and leagues. Another local favorite is Malverne Cinema 4, which shows mainstream, foreign, independent and second-run films.

The Malverne School District has a student population of approximately 1,700. Though the village’s poverty level is less than 3%, the school district’s poverty rate is 20%. However, the vast majority of students meet standards on state assessments. Kindergarten is a full day program. At the middle school level, Regents courses are offered to qualified students, giving them an opportunity to get a head start on high school credits. Fewer than 600 students attend the high school, and its small size is often cited as one of the school’s strong points. Its graduation rate is 92%. Several Advanced Placement courses are offered to students who wish to undertake college-level work. For a small school, it has a very wide selection of extracurricular clubs and athletic teams.

Though prices have fallen in the village since the peak of 2005-2006, they began rising again in 2009. Last year the median price was around $407,000. There is a nice mix of older colonials from the 1920s and 1930s, and more recently built capes and ranches. Property taxes are very high, as they are across Long Island.
Pros
  • Lots of things to do
  • Close to NYC
  • Small town feel
Cons
  • Surrounding school districts are better
  • Taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"An attractive village with a long history"

Lynbrook is an incorporated village in the Town of Hempstead, with a population of approximately 20,000. Many of its original residents, who arrived at the turn of the last century, hailed from Brooklyn. The name “Lynbrook,” bestowed upon the village in 1894, was formed by reversing the order of the syllables. The village was incorporated in 1911.

Sunrise Highway bisects the town, and is the major east-west artery. Residents who commute to work on the Long Island Rail Road have three nearby station options: Lynbrook, Westwood in Malverne and Centre Avenue in East Rockaway. Lynbrook residents can get permits to park at all three. To the north, the Southern State is the main parkway and also sees heavy commuter traffic.

Five school districts are located within the village’s Lynbrook’s boundaries, though the majority of students attend Lynbrook’s schools, which have approximately 3,000 students. Students attend a kindergarten center, then one of three elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. The district has an excellent reputation, and is one of main draws for house hunters. Depending on the grade and subject, only 1-2% of K-8 students failed to meet standards on state exams. Middle school students who qualified academically can take high-school level Regents exams; in 2011 the passing rate was 100%. The high school, which also has strong Regents passing rates, was ranked by Newsweek in 2011 as one of the top 400 high schools in the U.S. In addition to several Advanced Placement exams, high school students can earn college credit through Molloy College and SUNY Albany.

The village has its own recreation department, which runs programs and parks. There is a municipal pool for residents only. Tanglewood Preserve, which is located on the border of Lynbrook and Rockville Center, is an eleven acre park with nature trails and a pond for fishing. Hot Skates, an area institution, is an indoor skating rink which has open skate as well as roller hockey. In addition, Lynbrook residents can take advantage of the Town of Hempstead’s many parks, which include four nearby town beaches.

Lynbrook’s status as a relatively older village means many of the homes are over seventy years old. However, a good number were also built after World War II. Several condo and co-op complexes provide another option. Property taxes are very high, which are a concern, but residents generally appreciate the quality of life they have in this small, historic village.
Pros
  • Good schools
  • Good selection of homes
  • Great commuter location
Cons
  • High property taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"A bustling, busy town with great schools"

Bethpage, located in central-eastern Nassau County, is a hamlet in the Town of Oyster Bay. It is home to almost 17,000 residents. The town was named for the biblical town of Bethphage. It was part of the 1695 Bethpage Purchase, which included parts of modern day Farmingdale, Plainedge and Plainview.

Bethpage is centrally located with several main roads. Hempstead Turnpike, referred to as the Hempstead-Bethpage Turnpike, forms the town’s southern border. The Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway travels along the eastern edge of the town, providing access to Nassau’s other major highways. It has its own Long Island Rail Road station, with travel time to Penn Station averaging 45 to 50 minutes.

The majority of students who reside in Bethpage attend school in the Bethpage district, though a small number attend the Island Trees or Plainedge districts. The district’s 3000 students generally perform well on New York State’s standardized exams, which are one of the primary measures of school district quality. Most of the elementary and middle school level students met standards. Qualified middle school students also get the opportunity to take high school level Regents courses, with a 100% pass rate in 2011. Perfect passing rates were also achieved at the high school level in French, English, U.S. History and Government, and Living Environment. Overall, Regents passing rates were excellent in all subjects. The school offers 14 Advanced Placement Classes, which allow students to begin earning college credits. The 2011 graduation rate was 99%, with 95% heading to two-year or four-year colleges.

The Town of Oyster Bay has about 150 parks for its residents. Closer to home, residents can use the Bethpage Community Park, which occupies 19 acres. The park offers a pool, a playground, a skating rink, and a café, as well as tennis and basketball courts. In 1932, President Roosevelt’s New Deal led to the development of Bethpage State Park, a 1,472 acre property with picnic and recreation areas. However, it’s best known for its golf, and in 2002 and 2009 it hosted the U.S. Open Golf Championships. Massapequa, which is south of Bethpage, is home to Tobay Beach, a small residents-only beach on the Atlantic. Jones Beach State Park is also a short drive away.

Grumman Aerospace, which was based in Bethpage and built military and civilian aircraft and spacecraft, was one of Long Island’s major employers for several decades. The company maintains only minor operations in the area, and most of its former property has become a corporate park. Some of its tenants include Cablevision, Briarcliff College, Goya Foods and Verizon. Grocery chain King Kullen is also based in Bethpage.

Home prices vary. Affordable homes exist, but most of the cheaper ones need work. . Like much of Nassau County, the population grew after the war and most of the town’s housing stock is from the Fifties. However, older and newer homes are available. There are some condominiums and co-ops, though they tend to be located in the parts of town within the Island Trees and Plainedge school districts, which are both very good.
Pros
  • Great schools
  • Nearby grocery/drugstores, etc
  • Great commuter location
Cons
  • High taxes
  • Lots of traffic on main roads
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"A typical postwar suburb"

Hicksville is a large, densely populated hamlet in the Town of Oyster Bay. Despite its designation as a hamlet, its residents generally refer to it as a town. Located in central Nassau County and close to several major roads and highways, Hicksville has a mix of busy commercial areas and quiet suburban streets. Though the town is still predominantly white, the Asian and Hispanic populations are growing.

The town, or hamlet if you want to be technical, was named in the 1800s for the Hicks family, who counted among its members a well-known abolitionist and an early president of the Long Island Railroad. The train depot opened in 1837, and has been rebuilt three times, in 1873, 1909 and 1962. Today, the Hicksville train station is the LIRR’s busiest stop east of Jamaica, making the trip to Penn station in about forty-five minutes.

The Hicksville UFSD has a student population of approximately 5,500 students, attending seven elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. The vast majority of students met the state standards as measured by annual standardized tests. The high school offers Advanced Placement courses to allow qualified students to begin earning college credit. Extracurricular activities, focusing on the arts, community service, and academics, are also available for middle school and high school students.

The Town of Oyster Bay’s recreation department organizes a wide array of recreational programs and activities, including softball, mall walking, swimming lessons and running events. Nassau County runs Cantiague Park, whose 127 acres include a 9-hole golf course and mini-golf course, lighted tennis courts, a playground, and a swimming facility with multiple pools. It also has an indoor ice rink and fields for baseball and softball. Some of the Hicksville’s residents reside in Levitt houses, and are eligible to use the Levittown Joint District pools. The nearest pool is located on Levittown Parkway in Hicksville.

Hicksville’s shopping pales slightly in comparison to its neighbor Westbury, but it still has a lot to offer. Broadway Mall’s 1.5 million square feet include Macy’s, Target, and a multiplex cinema. The only Long Island location of IKEA, the Swedish furnishing giant, is at the Broadway Mall. Across the street is Sears, which has been open at that location for over thirty years. There is no real downtown or walkable village area, and the stores are not unique, but all the necessities are nearby.

Though significant traffic passes through Hicksville on its major roads, the residential areas are quiet, with well-maintained ranches, split levels and capes on small lots. The southwest part of town has several streets of Levitt houses, which were built using an assembly-line process. Some homes built during the town’s early days still stand, but like much of Long Island, Hicksville boomed during the post-war 1950s, which is when most of the houses were built. Though taxes remain high, prices have come down in the last few years, allowing homebuyers to get more for their money.
Pros
  • Great commuter location
  • Affordable homes
  • Good school district
Cons
  • Main roads see lots of traffic
  • High property taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"Where you can look out at the Atlantic..."

Point Lookout is a tiny waterfront hamlet located on the eastern tip of Long Beach Island. It began as a small community of summer cottages, and grew into a year-round home for 1,200 residents. Long Beach Island is a barrier island, located between Reynolds Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. Point Lookout is the only town in New York with a uniform speed limit of 15 miles per hour.

There is a residents-only beach, as well as the public Point Lookout Town Park, which is run by the Town of Hempstead. The Town operates three other beaches; Nassau County operates one. Point Lookout residents can also take advantage of other Town of Hempstead and Nassau County recreational facilities. Down the road, Long Beach’s oceanfront is open to residents, but non-residents can purchase season or day passes. There are a few establishments which offer boat rentals for fishing.

Students who reside in Point Lookout attend the Long Beach City School District, which serves the entire island. There are 4,600 students attending seven schools: one pre-kindergarten center, four elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. The high school offers several Advanced Placement courses; students can also earn college credit through collaboration with Syracuse University. Eleventh and twelfth grade students can also participate in the International Baccalaureate program, a rigorous, multidisciplinary college prep curriculum. The majority of students met state standards as measured by standardized annual assessments.

With a few exceptions, retail establishments are limited to a grocery store and a pharmacy. There are several restaurants along Lido Boulevard and Bayside Drive. Long Beach, which is a few miles down the road, has substantial shopping. However, the Loop Parkway, which connects Long Beach Island to Nassau County, leads to the Meadowbrook Parkway and Roosevelt Field Mall. The only other way off the island is by Long Beach Road, however train commuters can use the LIRR station in Long Beach, which makes the trip to Penn Station in under an hour.

There are only 850 houses in Point Lookout, and no condos or co-ops. The oceanfront location drives up the home prices, even in the current housing market. At present, the least expensive house on the market is $399,000, for a place that would undoubtedly be cheaper somewhere else. Generally, the smaller homes were built between the 1920s and the 1940s. A limited number of larger, newer homes have been constructed within the last 30 years.
Pros
  • Beautiful oceanfront location
  • Great recreation
Cons
  • Isolated
  • High taxes
  • Expensive homes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"A tiny, tucked-away village"

East Rockaway is a small incorporated village in the Town of Hempstead. With fewer than 10,000 residents, it’s one of Nassau’s least populated areas. It occupies one square mile on the South Shore. Originally called Near Rockaway, it was a busy hub for shipping and trading. It was a free port, meaning ships could unload cargo without paying customs duties, and its free status made it very busy.

The village is somewhat isolated, at least by Long Island standards. It is located a good distance from Sunrise Highway, the nearest major road. Drivers who need the Southern State Parkway must access it through Malverne or Rockville Centre. The village’s location, however, has helped it retain a level of charm missing from much of the South Shore, with its overabundance of strip malls. Though East Rockaway is not devoid of shopping, its retailers are generally not of the big-box variety. Rail commuters can choose from two LIRR stations, at East Rockaway and Centre Avenue. There is a two-minute difference between the two stations; travel time runs between 40 and 45 minutes.

The school district is the smallest in Nassau County, with approximately 1,200 students. There are two elementary schools, Rhame Avenue and Centre Avenue, for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Students in seventh through twelfth grade attend a combined junior and high school. In 2009, the U.S. Education Department designated Centre Avenue School a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Overall, scores on state assessments, including Regents exams, have been strong. Nine Advanced Placement courses are offered to high school students, and scores have been increasing steadily. An alternative program for struggling students has a 91% graduation rate.

Despite its small size, East Rockaway has a lot of recreational offerings. In 2011, the John Street Recreation Center opened, providing a place for area kids to participate in organized activities. The department runs sports and preschool camps. Memorial Park has a recently renovated playground, and its bandstand is the site of outdoor summer performances. Bay Park, run by the county, has 96 acres with tennis and basketball courts, athletic fields and bike and running paths. Its location along the water also allows for fishing and boating. There are no swimming beaches, but several Town of Hempstead beaches are nearby.

East Rockaway’s real estate prices vary, with a good amount of affordable inventory. However, property taxes are very high. Many of the homes were built during the 1920 and before, and these homes tend to be small. The village’s larger homes were built later, after World War II. There are several condo and co-op complexes.
Pros
  • Small-town feel
  • Excellent recreation
  • Near the water
Cons
  • High taxes
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"Centrally located suburb, with a small-town feel"

Carle Place, a small, densely populated hamlet, is an unincorporated area in the Town of North Hempstead. It’s located in central Nassau County, with about 5,000 residents living in 2.4 square miles.

The hamlet, which most people refer to as a town, derives its name from early resident Silas Carle, who built the 32-room Carle House in the 1800s. Early in its history, the town was referred to as “Frog Hollow.” The name still hangs on, most notably as name of the high school sports team, the Frogs. William Levitt, who gained fame as the builder of Levittown, bought 19 acres in Carle Place. He built 600 houses, testing the efficient, inexpensive process he later used to build Levittown.

Despite its small size, several of Nassau’s major roads pass through Carle Place. Old Country Road, which is a major east-west artery, and Glen Cove Road, which travels north-south, features almost all of the town’s commercial activity. The Long Island Rail Road offers direct service from the Carle Place station, with travel time averaging about forty minutes. Fuschillo Park, with playing fields, facilities for sports and a community room, is the only park. However, Eisenhower Park and its 930 acres are nearby, with golf courses, playgrounds, swimming facilities and picnic areas.

Immediately to the east, Westbury offers abundant shopping, and the trend continues in Carle Place on a smaller scale. The Country Glen Center underwent a significant expansion a few years ago, adding a Stop & Shop and overhauling its Barnes & Noble. Several other stores and restaurants share the space. Parkway Plaza, anchored by TJ Maxx, also has several other local and national retailers.

Carle Place’s school district is one of the smallest in the state, with 1,465 students. It includes small parts of Mineola and Westbury. There are only three schools: Cherry Lane for kindergarten through second grade, Rushmore Avenue for grades three through six, and a combined junior-senior high school. The district’s results are very good, with high passing rate on the elementary and middle school state exams in math and English. At the high school level, Regents passing rates are also excellent. Twelve Advanced Placement classes are offered, and 99% of the Class of 2012 graduated, with 97% going on to college.

Its small size means housing inventory is limited, and there are no co-ops or condos. Property taxes are high. However, Carle Place’s residential streets give it a small-town feel, with the advantages of great schools, a convenient location, and excellent shopping opportunities.
Pros
  • Pretty residential neighborhood
  • Great schools
  • Lots of nearby shopping
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Lots of traffic on the main roads
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"Nassau County’s Shopping Wonderland"

Westbury, NY is an incorporated village of 15,000 in the town of North Hempstead, Nassau County. Though the village occupies only 2.4 square miles, it's surrounded by other unincorporated areas, including Salisbury, New Cassel, and East Garden City, which are also referred to as “Westbury” and may use one of its postal codes.

Westbury is known for shopping. Post Avenue is the heart of the village, and still retains a small-town feel despite the looming presence of malls and big chain stores. The Wesbury LIRR station,which opened in 1840, is in the village. The area beyond has morphed significantly in recent years, with area institutions like Fortunoff and Roosevelt Raceway Flea Market going out of business. The former Raceway property underwent a long, extensive transition, and today a movie theatre, condominiums and stores occupy the area. Roosevelt Field, an upscale mall anchored by Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Macys, is one of the Northeast’s largest. The Source Mall, once anchored by the now-defunct Fortunoff, includes Nordstrom Rack and Off Fifth.

Most of the students attend the Westbury School District. There are 3,800 students in the district, attending four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Student performance on state exams has been adequate enough to keep the district off the state’s list of schools needing improvement. However, four to thirteen percent of elementary and middle school students failed the tests in 2011, and the district also contends with a 67% poverty rate. Qualified middle school students can take Regents exams in two subjects. Passing rates on Regents exams are also middling. However, students at the middle school and high school level are offered a wide selection of athletics and extracurricular programs, and the district has partnered with the Long Island Philharmonic and BOCES Arts in Education to enhance its academic programs. The western area of the town is part of the Carle Place School District, and the Salisbury area is part of the East Meadow School District. Both districts are well-regarded. Private school options include the Westbury Friends School, a K-8 Quaker school, and St. Brigids, a parochial school that goes up to 8th grade.

There is little parkland. However, the county-run Eisenhower Park, a 930-acre property, is located partially in Westbury. The park has three public 18-hole golf courses, three playgrounds, picnic areas and a two-mile fitness trail. To the north, Old Westbury Gardens features a historic home and formal English gardens. Westbury also has a terrific public library, which has an especially large selection of programs for children. Westbury Music Fair, technically located in Jericho, has a rotating stage and always draws well-known musical performers.

Housing is affordable. Most of the inventory consists of single family homes, with a limited number of multi-family homes. The more expensive houses are located in the East Meadow and Carle Place school districts. There are also several condominium and co-op complexes.
Pros
  • Abundant shopping choices
  • Diverse
Cons
  • School district needs improvement
  • Lots of traffic
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"A waterfront town with great schools and lots to do"

The city of Long Beach and some small barrier islands stand between Oceanside, NY and the Atlantic, making its name not entirely accurate. However, the hamlet of 32,000 still embraces its waterfront location.

Oceanside’s schools, with a student population of 6,100, are well-regarded. There is a kindergarten center, six elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Newsweek magazine recently placed Oceanside High School in the top 2% of high schools nationally. Approximately two dozen Advanced Placement courses are offered. Middle school students have been recognized for their extensive work with charity organizations, including Ronald McDonald House. The vast majority of students meet standards on state exams.

There are numerous leisure time options. Oceanside Park is located on the waterfront, offering a playground and opportunities for sports. Though there are no beaches, Hempstead Town runs four small beaches nearby: Lido Beach, Lido West, Point Lookout and Sands. Jones Beach State Park is about fifteen minutes away. Golfers will be drawn to the Middle Bay Country Club, which has an 18-hole course and a catering hall. Fishermen can hop on one of the fishing charters. The South Shore Sports Complex is an indoor facility which includes batting cages, turf fields, and an exercise room among its amenities. The Oceanside Library, besides circulating books and other materials, organizes art lectures, book discussions and language classes.

Most residents probably find they can meet their shopping needs within the town. There is a Stop & Shop and Trader Joe’s for groceries. The Whistle Stop Bake Shop has been popular since its opening in 1977. Shopping areas are also located along Brower Avenue and Long Beach Road. Though shopping areas with larger selections are nearby, Oceanside’s location is not convenient to any major highways. The section of Sunrise Highway cutting across Nassau County has traffic lights, so it is slower-moving than the Southern State Parkway.

Homebuyers will find a good amount of inventory, with many possibilities in the $200-$300k range. There are homes on the water, or with water views, though flooding has been an issue for some homeowners. Some houses have no basements because of their proximity to the water. The housing inventory also includes co-ops and condominiums, most priced between $200,000 and $300,000
Pros
  • Great location
  • Great schools
  • Good inventory of affordable homes
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Not convenient to highways
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"An affordable waterfront community"

Baldwin Harbor is a hamlet in the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County. Its designation as a community is recent, and came after the 1990 census. Despite its new status as a hamlet, Baldwin Harbor still shares a zip code, library and school district with Baldwin. Its population is about 8,200 people, residing within a 1.7 square mile area.

The hamlet is almost entirely residential, though Baldwin Harbor Park occupies a large parcel on the water. Despite its waterfront location, there are no swimming beaches, but Jones Beach State Park and several Town of Hempstead beaches are nearby.

Atlantic Avenue is the main road, forming the north border and providing access to Baldwin’s shopping areas along Grand Avenue and Sunrise Highway. Most residents probably find they can meet most of their needs locally. Baldwin Plaza, on Sunrise Highway, has Best Buy and CVS. Roosevelt Field Mall, about fifteen minutes away, is one of the largest malls in the U.S., with over 270 stores. Baldwin Harbor residents can catch the LIRR to Manhattan from the Baldwin station. Travel time averages 35-40 minutes.

Children who live in Baldwin Harbor attend school in the Baldwin school district, which educates 5,500. There are seven elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Ninety-four percent of recent graduates continued on to two-year or four-year colleges. The high school has a strong academic program, with numerous Advanced Placement courses. There are over fifty interscholastic sports teams, in addition to an arts program and robotics team. The high school has been recognized as a “School of Excellence.”

Baldwin Harbor’s median income is slightly higher than Baldwin’s. Home prices in Baldwin Harbor vary widely, ranging from small, single family homes to pricier homes near the water.
Pros
  • Affordable homes
  • Baldwin Harbor Park
  • Close to everything
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Flood insurance may be necessary
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A historic, well-located hamlet"

Baldwin is an ethnically diverse, middle-class hamlet in the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County. Though it is technically a hamlet, residents refer to it as a town. Unlike many of its neighboring hamlets and villages, Baldwin was well-established and prospering by the 1920s. With a third of its current housing stock built before 1939, Baldwin is a great place for anyone seeking an older, charming home.

Geographically, Baldwin is long and narrow, two miles wide and five miles long. Its population is about 23,000, with an additional 8,000 residents living in the southern community of Baldwin Harbor, established in 1990. Though settlements existed before the Revolutionary War, the current town was founded in 1855 as Baldwinsville, after the locally prominent Baldwin family. The name was later shortened to avoid confusion with Baldwinsville, an upstate NY town.

Though the town has waterfront access, there are no swimming beaches. However, the Town of Hempstead has four nearby beaches, all adjacent to each other: Point Lookout, Lido Beach, Lido West and Sands. Jones Beach State Park is also nearby. Baldwin Park, located on the water, has facilities for sports, a spray pool, playground and skate park. Coes Neck Park has similar offerings. There are two “passive recreation” areas, created for relaxation rather than activity. Lofts Pond Park and Silver Point Park both have fewer than 15 acres, with ponds, benches and walkways.

Grand Avenue is the main north-south road through the town, and is lined with stores and restaurants. Most residents probably find they can meet most of their needs locally. Baldwin Plaza, on Sunrise Highway, has Best Buy and CVS. Roosevelt Field Mall, about fifteen minutes away, is one of the largest malls in the U.S., with over 270 stores. Sunrise Highway and Grand Avenue also provide access to nearby highways, the Southern State and the Meadowbrook. Train commuters can take the LIRR from the Baldwin station, which makes the trip in 35 to 40 minutes.

The Baldwin UFSD educates 5,500 students from Baldwin and Baldwin Harbor. The district’s borders overlap slightly into some of the neighboring areas, and some students who reside in Baldwin attend school in Oceanside. There are seven elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Ninety-four percent of recent graduates continued on to two-year or four-year colleges. The high school has a strong academic program, with numerous Advanced Placement courses. There are over fifty interscholastic sports teams, in addition to an arts program and robotics team. The high school has been recognized as a “School of Excellence.”

Single-family homes form the bulk of Baldwin’s real estate inventory, but co-ops and condos are also available. Prices have decreased significantly, with good possibilities priced below $300,000. Unfortunately, taxes remain high, which is true of most of Long Island.
Pros
  • Excellent location
  • Lovely older homes
  • Good schools
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Beach Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"A diverse, revitalized nautical village"

Freeport is one of two incorporated villages in the Town of Hempstead. It is ethnically and economically diverse, almost evenly divided among white, black and Hispanic residents. It was settled in the 1640s by the Merokee tribe, and later, it prospered as an oystering community. In 1853 the village was given its current name, which came from its early designation as a place where ship captains could unload cargo without paying customs duties.

The Nautical Mile, a stretch of shops, restaurants and bars, is the village’s commercial heart. The area recently underwent an extensive revitalization to improve it cosmetically. A miniature golf course was added, and live music is featured regularly. The village’s commercial and charter boat operations are based here. An annual festival draws both residents and visitors.

The village has many recreational facilities. The Freeport Recreation Center has an indoor pool, an exercise room with fitness equipment, a playground, handball court, an outdoor pool and a kiddie pool. There are six parks; four were recently renovated and improved. Two of the parks, Martin Luther King and Randal, also have outdoor pools. Fishing is allowed at Waterfront Park. The recreation department also runs a summer camp and other programs throughout the year. Freeport’s library, one of Nassau County’s largest, was founded in 1884 and offers ESL classes, career counseling, and other programs for children and adults.

The Freeport Union Free School District educates 6,200 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district was the first on Long Island to implement a magnet school structure, which focuses curricula on a theme or topic. Freeport’s four magnet schools are K-4 and emphasize different academic areas and technology. Columbus Avenue School offers Universal Pre-Kindergarten to 300 students at its early childhood center, and has a dual language program. Qualified middle school students can get a head start on high school diplomas by taking Regents course and exams, which are offered in three areas. Freeport High School sends 87% of its graduates on to higher education. The school also has what may be the oldest high school newspaper on Long Island, Flashings, founded in 1920. The district struggles with a student poverty rate of 39%, and it was recently placed on the state’s list of districts in need of improvement for English Language Arts across all levels.

Housing options include single-family and multi-family homes, as well as co-ops and condominiums. Though crime in the village is a concern, it has decreased in recent years in many categories. The village has its own police department. Revitalization and improving existing assets is a priority for the village, which has a great location on the waterfront, adding to its potential as a great place to live and visit.
Pros
  • Nautical Mile
  • In a great location
  • Diversity
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Schools need some improvement
  • Crime is down, but still a concern
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Centrally located suburb with excellent amenities"

Merrick is a family-oriented hamlet of 23,000 in the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County. Its proximity to Manhattan, attractive homes and excellent school district has made it a sought-after town. Native Americans, the Merokees, were the first to settle the 5.2 square mile town, followed by Puritans from England. After World War II, the population soared as young servicemen and their families left the cities for the suburbs.

The town has great recreational facilities. Normal Levy Park and Preserve, named for the former state senator, local resident and environmental advocate, was built in 2000 on top of a former landfill. It features the highest point on the South Shore, a 115-foot spot with views of both Manhattan’s skyline and the Sound. There are trails and ranger-led tours. On a smaller scale, Camman’s Pond has 8 acres for “passive” recreation- benches and a half-mile walkway. Merrick Road Park has facilities for sports, including baseball, soccer, tennis and basketball.

People who settle in Merrick often cite the schools as a key asset. Two districts serve the town, an elementary district for students in kindergarten through sixth grade, and a high school district which draws students from four area districts. The elementary district has 1,800 students in 3 schools. Scores on state exams are strong, with most students meeting standards. The high school district offers Advanced Placement courses in 19 different subjects.

Merrick has an active community. There are numerous civic organizations and a library offering programs in addition to its lending capabilities. The Merrick Historical Society, founded in 1975, strives to preserve the history of “The Merricks” which include Merrick and North Merrick. The group organizes speakers who share their expertise on topics including the town’s involvement in the whaling industry and oral histories of residents. The Merrick Theater and Center for the Arts is celebrating its twentieth year of performances, music and acting classes and summer camps. It offers a program for children and families in addition to its regular season performances.

The Long Island Rail Road provides service from Merrick’s train station, with travel times averaging forty to forty-five minutes. The Meadowbrook Parkway borders the town’s western border, and Sunrise Highway and the Southern State Parkway also run through the town.

Home prices have dropped significantly since 2008. Today, there is inventory below $300,000, making Merrick more accessible to buyers than it has been in the past. Prices range all the way to the million-dollar mark, allowing residents to trade up if they are able.
Pros
  • Great schools
  • Excellent family community
  • Parks
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A family-oriented community with great schools and shopping"

Seaford is a hamlet of 15,000 in the Town of Hempstead. Located on Nassau County’s southern shore between Wantagh and Massapequa, it has 2.6 square miles.

The town was initially settled by the Marsapeaques, a Native American tribe. Later, settlers from England arrived, including Captain John Seaman, whose name was given to a school, a street and a park. No one is certain about the origin of the town’s name. During the town’s early days, vacationers retreated to Seaford to enjoy its proximity to the water. In 1929, Sunrise Highway was built, which led to more people moving to the area. After World War II, an especially large influx of new residents moved in, many from Brooklyn.

Though Seaford has no direct beach access, it’s very close to Jones Beach, in neighboring Wantagh. Seaman’s Neck Park is located on the water, and has a fishing pier, playing fields, a sprinkler park, and other amenities. Tackapausa Museum is a county-owned facility offering educational programs, with a wildlife sanctuary, walking trails, ponds, stream and swamps. Cedar Creek Park has 259 acres, located partially in Seaford. In 2006, its playground was voted “Long Island’s Best” by the Long Island Press. Along with playing fields and tennis and basketball courts, the park has a year-round roller rink and an archery range. In addition, Seaford residents can take advantage of any of the Town of Hempstead’s 90 parks. The Town’s Recreation Department also organizes the Children’s Summer Festival, which is held at parks throughout the town, putting on performances and educational programs.

The Seaford UFSD serves 2,600 students in four schools: Seaford Manor Elementary, Seaford Harbor Elementary, Seaford Middle School and Seaford High School. Student performance on state exams is generally strong. The high school offers Advanced Placement courses in 14 subjects, including computer science, art and foreign language.

Seaford’s location gives residents easy access to shopping, dining and mass transit. The town has a great selection of restaurants, located mainly on Merrick Road and Sunrise Highway, along with retail shops and other businesses. Sunrise Mall, in nearby Massapequa, has many national and chain retailers and restaurants. The Long Island Rail Road provides direct service to Seaford on the Babylon branch. Travel time to Penn Station is about fifty minutes. Its location is also convenient to Long Island’s major highways, primarily the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway.

Though home prices have decreased in recent years, homes are still relatively expensive. Because Seaford has minimal industry, the residents carry much of the tax burden. Homes located near canals and waterways tend to be more expensive, though there are house at a range of prices. In 2011, the median home price was $415,000.

Seaford is a popular choice for home-buyers looking for a friendly community, with excellent schools and a great location for commuters.
Pros
  • Great schools
  • Excellent family community
  • Well-located for shopping and commuting
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road are very congested
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Beach Lovers
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 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Well-located, with great schools"

Bellmore is a hamlet within the Town of Hempstead, one of three towns in Nassau County. It occupies three square miles, and has a population of approximately 16,000. Bellmore and adjacent North Bellmore are sometimes collectively referred to as “the Bellmores.”

In general, Bellmore is known as a family-friendly community, drawing new residents and keeping natives because of excellent schools, suburban conveniences and good commuting location. The town’s history dates back to the 1600s, when English and Dutch settlers arrived. In the mid-1800s, the name “Bellmore” was conferred on the area, but the origin of the name is uncertain. The town’s population grew exponentially after World War II, a trend taking place across Nassau County.

Schools in Bellmore are well-regarded. The school organization is unique. Unlike most Nassau districts, where the students remain in one district their entire school career, Bellmore is served by separate elementary and high school districts. The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District educates students in grades 7 through 12, taking in students from four area elementary districts. Student performance is very strong in both the Bellmore elementary district and the central high school district.

Inclusion in the Town of Hempstead gives Bellmore’s residents access to a wide variety of recreational and cultural programs. The Town has 90 parks, plus two public golf courses. Its arts programs include classes in painting and quilting. During the warmer months, many of the town’s parks host concerts. Bellmore’s Newbridge Arena offers ice skating lessons, open public skating and ice hockey leagues.

Many of Bellmore’s residents commute to Manhattan from its Long Island Rail Road station. Travel time to the city is about forty-five minutes. Parking permits aren’t needed, but spaces go quickly during the morning rush. A program is being piloted which would distribute a very small number of resident permits. Sunrise Highway, Southern State Parkway and the Wantagh Parkway are conveniently located for car commuters.

Shopping is abundant, with restaurants and retailers located along Bedford Avenue, Merrick Road and Sunrise Highway. Bellmore’s proximity to parkways puts it close to two large malls, Roosevelt Field and Sunrise.

The recession and housing slump have made Bellmore more affordable than in recent years, thoughproperty taxes are still high. Five years ago, homes priced below $300,000 were almost non-existent or needed major overhauls. Though inexpensive houses are not abundant, they do exist. Homebuyers who choose to purchase starter homes will be pleased with Bellmore, as houses come at a variety of price points, allowing people to trade up while remaining in the same town and school district.
Pros
  • In a great location
  • Great schools
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Gateway to Jones Beach...and much more"

Wantagh, a hamlet of 18,871 in the Town of Hempstead, is known as “The Gateway to Jones Beach,” but it has many other assets making it a sought-after place to live. Like many Long Island towns, its name is derived from its Native American origins. The Long Island Rail Road has a station in Wantagh, and makes the trip to Penn Station in about forty-five minutes.

Located between the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway and the Wantagh Parkway, the 4.1 square mile town has ample shopping and dining, and surrounding areas are easily accessible via the parkways. Wantagh has a good nightlife scene, with several bars located on and near Wantagh Avenue. Mulcahy’s is probably the best known, as it brings in large crowds looking to hear live music.

The town sees its share of traffic along the main thoroughfares, and most of the homes are built close together on relatively small lots. However, residents can find plenty of wide open space at the town’s many parks, including Jones Beach State Park, whose six and a half miles of shoreline draws visitors from all over the region. Wantagh Park occupies 111 acres and offers excellent views of East Bay, along with playing fields, walking and biking trails, and a pool complex. Cedar Creek Park has 259 acres spread across Wantagh and neighboring Seaford. In 2006, its playground was voted “Long Island’s Best” by the Long Island Press. Along with playing fields and tennis and basketball courts, the park has a year-round roller rink and an archery range. Closer experiences with nature can be found at Twin Lakes Preserve, a 58-acre passive recreation and fishing area, and Mill Pond has 15 acres with a fishing area and walking trails. Forest City Community Park, located in the northwest neighborhood of the same name, has two pools and a playground.

The majority of students in public school attend Wantagh’s public schools. The district is highly successful, with 99.9% of 2011 graduates attending two or four-year colleges. Regents exams are offered to qualified middle school students; the most recent available data shows a 100% passing rate in all three subjects tested. Arts programs and sports are a priority. North Wantagh and Forest City are located in the Levittown School District, and a small percentage attends Seaford and North Bellmore schools. All three districts are well-regarded.

Residents value the town’s history. The Wantagh Museum was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. There are three structures: the original train station, built in 1885, a train parlor car, “The Jamaica,” built in 1912, and the original post office, built in 1907.

Most of the homes were built in the 1950s, but older and newer homes are available. Homes styles vary, but include colonials, ranches, capes and splits, with the occasional Victorian. There are also a few condominium complexes. In recent years, prices have dropped but taxes remain high.

Many of Wantagh’s residents are the second and third generation to live there. It has all the qualities of a great family town, but its nightlife and proximity to the city also make it good for singles.
Pros
  • Great family community
  • Excellent school district
  • Proximity to the beach
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A busy, family-oriented suburb"

East Meadow, a busy suburb of New York City, has grown significantly since its early years as a grazing area for cattle and sheep. During the 1800s, the town’s sheep population were able to meet half the country’s demand for wool. Like most of Long Island’s South Shore, the town is flat with virtually no wetlands, which made the area easy to develop into the active town it is today. Home construction flourished during the 1950s, so the majority of homes are splits, ranches and capes.

Eisenhower Park, a 930-acre property, is run by Nassau County and is one of the town’s most well-known landmarks. The park has three public 18-hole golf courses, three playgrounds, picnic areas and a two-mile fitness trail. During the summer, visitors can attend concerts and movies at the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theater. In 1998, a modern indoor swimming facility was constructed for the Goodwill Games. It hosts major events and competitions, but is also open to the public. Additional recreational facilities include Speno Park, which has a playground and basketball and handball courts, and Veterans’ Memorial Park, which has a pool.

Another well-known site is Nassau University Medical Center, which is a teaching hospital affiliated with SUNY Stony Brook. At 299 feet, it’s the county’s tallest building, and employs 3,500 people. There are 85 specialty clinics associated with the hospital; its emergency room treats 80,000 people a year. The Nassau County Correctional Center is also located in East Meadow, but it is a highly secure facility. East Meadow is located in Nassau’s First Precinct, which has a low crime rate.

The medical center is located on Hempstead Turnpike, the town’s main thoroughfare. Most residents will find they can meet their daily shopping needs locally at places like Wal-Mart, though Roosevelt Field Mall and Broadway Mall are nearby.

LIRR commuters must travel to neighboring Bellmore or Hicksville to catch the train to the city. Travel time to Penn Station averages about 45 minutes. The town’s location between the Meadowbrook and Wantagh Parkways gives drivers easy access to the county’s other towns and highways.

The East Meadow School district has five elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. The student population is 7,481. Test scores are strong across grades and subjects, with the vast majority of student meeting state standards. In 2011 the passing rate for select middle school students taking high-school level Regents exams was an impressive 100%. Both high schools have excellent athletics programs as well as strong academic programs.

Single-family homes vary widely in price, from the mid-$200s to $900k. One neighborhood, Salisbury, is technically in Westbury but part of East Meadow’s school district. Two condo complexes, Belaire and Seasons at East Meadow, are communities for residents 55 and over. Another complex, Mitchel Manor, is for military personnel.

Though the area sees a lot of traffic, it’s typical for Nassau County. Residents enjoy the convenience of easy access to shopping, schools and recreation. East Meadow is a great town, especially for families.
Pros
  • Good schools
  • Eisenhower Park
  • Lots of restaurant variety
Cons
  • Traffic
  • High school and property taxes
  • No direct rail service
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"The birthplace of suburbia, still going strong"

As World War II drew to an end, builder William Levitt saw an opportunity. Young men, returning from war with their futures in mind, needed places to live. The rise of the automobile made it possible for people to move from cities to suburbs. Demand grew for affordable, well-built homes. Using a simple design and an assembly line-style approach inspired by William Levitt’s military experience, Levitt & Sons was able to build 30 houses a day. Building the homes on slab foundations instead of digging basements also hastened the process.

Today’s Levittown bears little resemblance to the early town. The original homes were predominantly built in two styles: small box-like Capes and ranches with attached carports. The designs lent themselves well to renovation and expansion, which most residents have taken advantage of. Unmodified homes are difficult to find. In recent years raising the roofline has become a trendy change, adding attic space and leading to the not-always-complimentary term “McLevitt”.

Despite its exterior changes, Levittown is still an active family community. Sports are very important, as evidenced by the large number of organizations. Little League Baseball and Levittown Athletic Club girls’ softball have been active since the 1950s. There are two soccer clubs, lacrosse, football and cheerleading. Levittown’s nine Joint District pools are free for residents, and offer free and low-cost swimming lessons. Jones Beach State Park is a short ride away, though it is very busy during the summer.

The majority of students attend the Levittown Public Schools, which are well-regarded. The district covers a 5.5 square mile area, which includes parts of Seaford and Wantagh. There are 7,700 students attending six elementary schools and two middle schools, where qualified students can take Regents exams, which count towards high school diplomas. There are also two high schools, as well as a career and technical high school with two-year programs. The smaller Island Trees UFSD has 2,600 students attending two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Like Levittown, they offer Regents exams in math and science at the middle school level.

Shopping is plentiful. Hempstead Turnpike is the primary retail corridor, ranging from Target, BJs, Kohls, and Old Navy, to the Tri-County Flea Market, which has evolved greatly since its opening in the early 1980s. Loews Nassau Metroplex, opened in the late 70s as “Loew’s Quad,” now has ten screens. Well-known chain restaurants, including TGIFridays, Denny’s and Five Guys Burgers and Fries, are relatively recent arrivals, but longtime favorite like Dominicos still serves up excellent Italian food and pizza.

The decline in the housing market has made Levittown more accessible. Fixer-uppers and small, unexpanded homes are priced in the low $200,000, a price not seen five years ago. Larger, updated homes are priced in the mid-$400s, with a lot of inventory in between. Though home prices have dropped considerably, school and property taxes remain high.

Though Levittown has changed and evolved since its early days, it remains a welcoming and friendly town.
Pros
  • Strong community spirit
  • Good schools
  • Lots of programs for kids
Cons
  • High property taxes
  • Turnpike traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • 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 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"An idyllic country town"

Red Hook, a town in Dutchess County’s northwestern corner, consists of two villages, Tivoli and Red Hook, and several hamlets. Its population is 11,319, spread across 40 square miles. The land was initially occupied by the Esopus and Seposco Indians. Dutch navigators, who arrived from the river, first observed the peninsula-shaped area covered with red foliage and named it “Red Hoek.”

Recreation opportunities are plentiful. The Red Hook Recreational Park has a public pool and holds pool parties for children and teens. Several sports programs are available, including girls’ field hockey and lacrosse. Stevenson Gymnasium, located on the campus of Bard College, is open to the public in the summer. It has sports fields and courts, a pool and a fitness center. The Red Hook Golf Club is a semi-private club established in 1931, with 18 holes. The most unique of Red Hook’s recreational facilities, though, is Poets’ Walk Park, a 120 acre property developed in 1949. It was designed to celebrate the connection between nature and literature, and reportedly inspired many 19th century writers.

The town has an excellent school system, one of the strongest in the county. Mill Road has a primary division for kindergarten through second grade and an intermediate school for third through fifth graders. At Linden Avenue Middle School, qualified students can take Regents exams in two subjects, allowing them to begin earning credits for their high school diploma. U.S. News and World Report recently ranked Red Hook High School 38th out of 370 in NY, and 221 out of 21,776 nationally. The high school has excellent sports teams, as well as a renowned drama department.

There are no big strip malls or shopping centers. However, there are shops and restaurants located throughout the town. The Chocolate Factory is one collection of small businesses; it’s no longer a chocolate factory. It includes an art framer, a florist, a preschool, and a few doctors’ offices.

Many residents are part-timers who reside in New York City during the week. Though there is no train service to the town, it is a two-hour trip by car via the Taconic Parkway. Whether the search is for a weekend home or a full-time dwelling, home shoppers will find options across a wide range of prices.
Pros
  • Good Schools
  • Nice place to raise a family
Cons
  • Scant shopping
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"A town and a city, with positives and negatives"

Located halfway between New York City and Albany, Poughkeepsie is both a city and town, with a combined population of 75,000. Its location along the Hudson shore adds natural beauty. Though the city has been plagued by crime and a declining economy, it has many assets, including a vibrant art scene and lots of history.

Poughkeepsie is the retail hub of the county, home to the Poughkeepsie Galleria and many big-box and national retailers. The Galleria is the largest mall in the Hudson Valley. Most of the area's shopping is found along the Route 9 corridor.

The City of Poughkeepsie has its own school district, which has a student population of 4,600. Sixty-one percent of the students live in poverty. The district has five elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Its high school graduation rate has been subpar, and the state has placed Poughkeepsie on its list of districts in need of improvement. However, the district has received a large grant from the state whose funds will go toward raising graduation rates and strengthening curriculum.

Poughkeepsie town is served by four districts: Arlington, Hyde Park, Spackenkill and Wappingers. Arlington and Wappingers are both large districts, each with over 10,000 students. Both districts have mostly solid results on state exams, but Wappingers has been identified by the state as needing improvement in English across grade levels. Hyde Park, with 4,300 students, has also been identified by the state as needing improvement; the district also has a poverty rate of 21%. Spackenkill is the smallest district, with 1,675 students. Student performance on state exams is generally good.

Both the town and the city have excellent recreational opportunities and facilities; state and county-run properties also draw residents and visitors. Spratt Park, which has a pool and offers swimming lessons, is run by a partnership between the town and city. Pulaski Park, which is part of the city, is located near the regionally well-known Walkway Over the Hudson, a state park formed from the former Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge, which was initially constructed in 1889. Numerous programs are available and there are several facilities for a variety of interests.

Art and culture are valued by Poughkeepsie’s residents. In 1869 the Bardavon Opera House opened, and has remained so ever since, making it the longest continually operating theater in the state. It has expanded beyond opera to host the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. Live music and movies are also featured. The Barrett Art Center, located in the 1830s Greek Revival home of artist Thomas Weeks Barrett, hosts shows and exhibits. SPARC Poughkeepsie features information about cultural happenings in the area, and promotes restaurants and arts organizations. The three area colleges, Vassar, Marist and Dutchess Community, also have events open to the community.

House-hunters will find a great deal of variety, from recently built homes, to older homes and multi-family dwellings. Luxury townhouses are being built along the riverfront. Poughkeepsie is accessible to buyers with a range of budgets, and has a great deal to offer its residents.
Pros
  • Lots of shopping
  • Artsy and historic
  • Renowned colleges
  • Lots of restaurants and bars
Cons
  • Schools are hit or miss, depending on area
  • High poverty rate
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"Historic village with lots of amenities"

The village of Wappingers Falls is tucked into a one-square mile space just south of the bustling town of Poughkeepsie. The village, part of the larger town of Wappinger, has a population of 5,500. The name of the town and village comes from the Wappinger Indians, a confederacy of Native Americans who resided in the area.

Wappingers Falls appreciates its long, storied history. In 1984 its historic district, which includes several buildings representing a variety of 19th century styles, was honored by its inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The village’s Grinnell Library, chartered in 1888, is the 6th oldest in the state. It was founded in 1867 by Irving Grinnell, a wealthy New York City resident who retired young and relocated to Wappingers Falls.

With 12,500 students, the Wappingers Central School District is the 8th largest in New York State. The district’s geographic area covers 120 square miles and includes parts of neighboring towns. There are ten elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools and an alternative high school. The State Education Department recently listed Wappingers as a district in need of improvement based on its results on state English Language Arts exams. Passing rates varied by grade, but fell between 54% and 68%. Exams are administered to students in grades 3 through 8.

The village has excellent recreation offerings, which include a free youth art program for eight to seventeen year olds and a low-cost camp program for five through twelve year olds. The county oversees Bowdoin Park, which occupies 301 acres along the Hudson River. A chapel and lodge can be rented for parties and weddings. Playing fields, picnic pavilions and hiking trails round out the park’s amenities.

Route 9, also known as Albany Post Road, cuts through the village. There are numerous fast-food establishments and chain stores along this road, which also passes through Fishkill and Poughkeepsie. Residents likely find that most of their shopping needs can easily be met along Route 9.

Currently, the median home price in the village is $225,000. Housing possibilities vary widely, and buyers with a wide range of budgets will find that Wappingers Falls has a great deal of potential.
Pros
  • Shopping nearby
  • Community spirit and friendliness
Cons
  • School district needs improvement
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • 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 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"An active rural community"

Union Vale is located in the southern-central part of Dutchess County. It occupies almost 40 square miles, with a population of 4,877. Poughkeepsie, with is large variety of stores and restaurants, is about ten miles from the town.

Like much of the county, Union Vale is rural and fairly undeveloped. People who seek quiet surroundings a quiet place to live and don’t mind traveling several miles to purchase necessities will find the town ideal. However, the town’s countrified atmosphere doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on. Union Vale has an active recreation department which organizes sports and martial arts programs for adults and children. It also sponsors events throughout the year, including Community Day, Chili Cook-Off, and an Easter Egg Hunt.

The town’s offices are located in Tymor Park, which at 500 acres is the largest municipal park in the country. Its offerings include playing fields, a pool, a playground, a fishing pond and twelve miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The smaller Godfrey Memorial Park has 12 acres with a playground and tennis and basketball courts. Golf enthusiasts will want to take advantage of The Links at Union Vale, a semi-private 18-hole course.

Union Vale does not have its own school district but is served by three school districts: Arlington, Dover and Millbrook. Arlington is the largest district with 10,100 students, eight elementary schools, three middle schools and one high school. The most recent data available shows 90% of its graduates going on to higher education. The Dover district is smaller, with 1,600 students attending four schools. The district’s performance on state exams is adequate, with 5 to 10 percent of students failing to meet standards. Unlike Arlington, which has a half-day, Dover has a full-day kindergarten program. Millbrook, the smallest of the three districts with 1,200 students attending four schools, is also the highest-performing of the three districts serving Union Vale.

Union Vale’s real estate offerings vary widely, from large estates on multiple acres to smaller single-family homes. Reasonably priced vacant lots are also available.
Pros
  • Peace and Quiet
  • Nice parks
Cons
  • Can feel isolated
  • Far away from amenities
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • 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 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"A tranquil town with peaceful parks"

Northern Dutchess County is characterized by rural, tranquil towns. Stanford, population 3,800, is one of these quiet and mostly undeveloped locales. The town’s first settlers arrived in 1750, when the town was still part of the town of Washington. In 1793, Stanford became its own entity.

There are nine hamlets within the town. Stanfordville and Bangall are the town’s commercial centers; the remaining hamlets are rural and residential. For the past two years, the town has been collaborating with an outside organization to develop and execute a master plan. The plan’s primary goal is to enhance the town while preserving its rural character.

Two properties, the Dr. Cornelius Nase Campbell House and the Pulver-Bird House, were both recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Both homes were built during the mid-1800s.

Stanford does not have its own school district. The town is served mainly by the Pine Plains Central School District, which draws from a 140 square mile area, including towns in both Dutchess and Columbia Counties. The student population is approximately 1,200. Though the district is in good standing with the state, it is dealing with some performance issues on elementary state exams. Almost one-fifth of the district’s students live in poverty. The district recently reconfigured its two elementary schools. Cold Spring Elementary is now the district’s early learning center, housing grades kindergarten to grade 2. Seymour Smith Elementary changed from a K-5 building to an intermediate school for grades 3-5. Students at Stissing Mountain Middle School and Stissing Mountain High School have better test results than the elementary grades.

The town has excellent recreational activities and facilities. The town’s Recreation Park has facilities for baseball, basketball, and tennis. There is also a playground, a skateboard park and a small beach. Nature enthusiasts will especially appreciate what Stanford has to offer. The Buttercup Farm Audubon Sanctuary is a 500 acre property with six miles of trails and a scenic overlook. Amateur and professional ornithologists will both enjoy identifying the 80 species of birds who reside in the preserve. The Stanford Free Library offers programs for adults and children. The library is small, but its inclusion in the Mid-Hudson Library System allows patrons to electronically request and borrow materials from other branches.

Home come at a range of price points, from large estates to smaller single-family homes. Several vacant lots are available for sale.
Pros
  • Green
  • Peaceful
Cons
  • Small real estate inventory
  • Few local businesses
  • Somewhat isolated
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"Quaint village with an artsy edge"

Tucked into Dutchess County’s northeastern corner, Tivoli is a small riverfront village of 1,118. It occupies a 1.8 square mile space within the town of Red Hook.

Tivoli, like some other Dutchess towns, has been revitalized recently by an influx of artists. One of the longest-standing organizations is the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, a 153 acre space devoted to supporting the art of dance. The center provides dancers with a facility for practice and education, and is planning a 1,200 seat performance theater. Theater fans will appreciate the Tangent Theatre Company, which performs at the Carpenter Shop Theater, is a professional company putting on established and original plays. The Tivoli Artists’ Co-Op is a group of 30 artists who maintain a gallery and show their work in a series of exhibits throughout the year.

Recreation opportunities are numerous. The village operates the Tivoli Memorial Recreation Park, which has a playground and facilities for baseball and basketball. During the summer, the recreation department operates a program featuring sports and arts and crafts. There is a 9-hole private golf course, the Edgewood Club, which dates back to 1884. Tivoli Bays, a 1,722 acre wildlife management area, offers passive recreation opportunities. The Visitors’ Center is the site of monthly lectures focusing on the science, art, history and culture of the region.

The well-regarded Red Hook Central School District educates Tivoli’s school-age population. With 2,285 students, the district is small. Road Primary School is attended by children in kindergarten through second grade; Mill Road Intermediate houses grades 3 through 5. Linden Avenue Middle School offers Regents exams in two subjects to its advanced students, allowing them to being acquiring credits toward high school diplomas. Red Hook High School was recently ranked 38th out of 370 New York high schools by U.S. News and World Report. Nationally, it placed 221 out of 21,776 high schools.

Tivoli’s housing inventory includes single family homes at a range of price points as well as condominiums.
Pros
  • Lots of arts organizations
  • excellent schools
Cons
  • Limited real estate inventory
  • no train line
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"Excellent outdoor activities"

Pine Plains is located in the north-central part of Dutchess County. It is bordered to the north by Columbia County. There are five hamlets within the town: Bethel, Hammertown, Mount Ross, Pachin Mills, Pine Plains and Pulvers Corners. The town occupies about 31 square miles, with about 2,600 residents.

Students attend the Pine Plains Central School District, which also draws from some of the surrounding areas. There are two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. There are approximately 1,200 students. At the elementary level, scores on state exams are well below the mean, though Cold Spring Elementary School outperformed Seymour Smith Elementary School. At the high school level, performance on Regents exams was generally strong. The district has to contend with an 18% poverty rate.

Shopping is limited, so residents must travel to neighboring Kingston or Rhinebeck. There is also no direct train service. The closest stop is Wassaic, on Metro-North’s Harlem line, which is a 25 minute drive.

While towns like Beacon and Millerton are great for art lovers, Pine Plains is an excellent choice for outdoors aficionados. There are several parks with facilities for sports, swimming, hiking and boating. The 75-acre Thompson Pond is part of a larger 507 acre preserve. The area was designated a National Natural Landmark, with 387 plant species. It’s an excellent place for hiking and nature study. Thrill seekers will love Stissing Mountain, which is 1,403 feet and part of Stissing Lake Recreation Park. At the top is a 90-foot fire tower, which offers panoramic views to those brave enough to climb the swaying, creaky structure. Visitors can also boat and swim in the park’s lake. A small town recreation department offers a baseball league, and oversees a town beach at Twin Island Lake. Boating and fishing is also possible. Several horse farms have opened in recent years.

Some of the current properties for sale include a few horse farms, with price tags in the millions. House-hunters looking for affordable single-family homes will find a good amount of inventory. It is also possible to buy vacant land.
Pros
  • Stissing Mountain is a cool hiking area
  • Green and pleasant setting
Cons
  • Schools are better in surrounding areas
  • Isolated
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"The artsy hub of northeastern Dutchess"

The village of Millerton is the commercial and cultural heart of North East town. Its population is under a thousand, but it’s become a busy tourist destination in recent years. The village was named for Sidney Miller, whose work was influential in the creation of the Harlem Railroad.

Millerton was once a successful town, where three busy railroad lines converged and dairy farms prospered. Gradually, the railroads folded and the area went into decline. But an influx of artists and other entrepreneurial types from the city have helped Millerton rebound. Today, the village is home to galleries, antique shops and boutiques selling an eclectic mix of items. Dining options vary and include pizzerias and cafés.

The North East-Millerton Library supports literacy in the community by organizing reading challenges for kids and has a weekly story time. The library was founded in 1867 with a few hundred books; today its holdings included over 27,000 items. It is also a member of the Mid-Hudson Library System, which allows patrons access to materials from other member libraries. The village is also home to the North East Community Center, which provides residents of both Millerton and North East with recreation opportunities. There are camps for children, as well fitness classes and workshops, events and programs.

The Webutuck Central School District, also known as the North East School District, serves Millerton and the surrounding areas, which include Amenia, Dover and Washington. It has three schools: Webutuck Elementary for kindergarten through third grade, Eugene Brooks Intermediate School for grades 4-8 and Webutuck Junior-Senior High School, for grades 9-12. There are slightly over 800 students in the district, with about a quarter of them living in poverty. The district’s overall performance is solid, though not outstanding, with scores on state assessments hovering around the state median. During the summer, the district runs an enrichment program for English Language Learners and a program for intermediate students who wish to improve their writing skills.

Millerton’s small size puts many homes in walking distance of the village’s amenities. As a result, the housing stock is also limited. Though there are a few expensive homes, most of the homes are affordable.
Pros
  • Great Local businesses
  • Picturesque surroundings
Cons
  • Cut off from public transport
  • Isolated
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"A quiet corner of Dutchess"

North East is aptly located in the northeastern corner of Dutchess County. Established in 1788, it is one of the county’s earliest settlements. Its name was probably chosen as a counter to the town of Southeast, established the same year. Though initially part of Dutchess, Southeast became part of Putnam County upon its formation in 1812. North East’s population of 3,000 people is spread out over 44 square miles.

Excellent agricultural conditions made farming the prime industry for a long time. Today, the area is popular with visitors who are drawn to the area’s natural, unspoiled scenery. Taconic State Park, located in the northernmost part of the town and bordered by both Connecticut and Massachusetts, has two sections along the Taconic Mountain Range. The Rudd Pond section has trails, and boats and canoes are available for rental. The Copake Falls section has over 100 campsites for rental. Part of the Appalachin Trail, which ends in Maine, also runs through Taconic State Park.

The Village of Millerton, located in North East, is the area’s commercial hub, with shops and restaurants. The North East Community Center, located in Millerton, provides residents with recreation opportunities. There are camps for children, as well fitness classes and workshops, events and programs. A weekly farmer’s market is a popular destination.

Children attend the Webutuck Central Schools, also known as the Northeast School District. It has three schools: Webutuck Elementary for kindergarten through third grade, Eugene Brooks Intermediate School for grades 4-8 and Webutuck Junior-Senior High School, for grades 9-12. There are slightly over 800 students in the district, with about a quarter of them living in poverty. The district’s overall performance is solid, though not outstanding, with scores on state assessments hovering around the state median.

North East has fewer than 1,500 housing units, so homebuyers will find limited inventory. However, homes are available at several price points, making the town financially accessible to a large range of buyers.
Pros
  • Peace and Quiet
  • Safe
Cons
  • Not much to do
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • 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 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
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"A well-located suburb"

LaGrange, located just east of Poughkeepsie, is home to approximately 16,000 residents. Established in 1821, the town was initially called “Freedom,” a name still used for a park and one of the main roads. At 40 square miles, the town is large but not densely populated. The Taconic State Parkway serves as a north-south route through the town.

Basic necessities, which include two grocery stores, are conveniently located in the town. Neighboring Poughkeepsie and Fishkill give residents easy access to many other national retailers, with movie theaters and restaurants. LaGrange has an active Chamber of Commerce, which strongly promotes shopping its local stores. A farmers’ market runs on Fridays from June through October.

Three school districts serve the town. Most of the students attend one of the Arlington School District’s schools, which include eight elementary, three middle schools and one high school. Overall, the students perform close to or above the median on state exams at the elementary and middle school levels. Passing rates on Regents exams, administered to high school students, are also high. Though the Arlington district covers a 114-square mile geographic area, many of its schools are located in La Grange. The Wappingers Central School District also takes students from LaGrange. With 12,000 students, it’s one of New York’s most populated. In 2011-2012, the district was newly identified by the state as being in need of improvement in the areas of elementary, middle school and secondary English Language Arts. However, this designation gives the district additional support to help it meet the needs of all students. Millbrook’s district, with 1,200 students, is the smallest of the three districts. It has two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school, and gets excellent results on state assessments. LaGrange’s library supports the Arlington district by organizing summer reading list books for middle school and high school. The library is also part of the Mid-Hudson Library System, which provides access to patrons who wish to borrow materials from other member libraries.

James Baird, an engineer who contributed to the Lincoln Memorial and the Folger Shakepeare Library, donated his 590 acre LaGrange farm to New York State. Today, James Baird State Park has seven miles of trails for hiking, though snowshoeing and cross country skiing is possible in the winter. A nature center offers educational programs; there are two picnic pavilions and a playground as well. The town also oversees five parks and a recreation program, which includes several sports leagues.

LaGrange has a wide range of housing choices. Toll Brothers, a company which builds luxury homes, is currently developing a new community of single-family homes, called The Hills at LaGrange.
Pros
  • Good Schools
Cons
  • lacking transportation
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"A thrift shopper's paradise"

Stormville is a small hamlet in the town of East Fishkill. It was named for brothers Jacob and Rupert Storm, who settled the area.

At one time Stormville was home to an airport, which has ceased operations. Today, it’s home to the Stormville Airport Antique Show and Flea Market, which runs several weekends a year. The market features over 600 vendors from eight states, and draws visitors from all over the region.

Most of the students who live in Stormville attend the Carmel School District, in neighboring Putnam County. Carmel has 4,600 students, and its state test results support its reputation as a high-performing school district. The Arlington Central School District, which covers over 100 square miles, also includes Stormville students among its population of 10,100. Significantly larger than Carmel, the district has eight elementary schools, three middle schools and one high school. Overall, most of the student population performs well on state exams, and 90% of its graduates go on to college.

Its inclusion in the town of East Fishkill allows Stormville’s residents to take advantage of the town’s recreation amenities, which include programs for people of all ages. The main facility, East Fishkill Recreation Park, has a roller rink and skateboard park. Red Wing Park has a beach. Adults have the option of joining men’s or women’s softball. There is also a roller hockey team, as well as other sports for adults and kids. During the summer, concerts are held on Friday evenings in the two parks. Stormville’s neighboring hamlet, Hopewell Junction, has both public and private golf courses.

Stormville’s homes are well-priced for middle-class buyers. The small size of the hamlet means inventory is limited.
Pros
  • Green and picturesque
  • Very quiet
Cons
  • No amenities nearby
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"A small hamlet with nearby amenities"

Hopewell Junction, a hamlet in the town of East Fishkill, has a population of 2,600. Its location in lower Dutchess County makes commuting to Manhattan doable, if lengthy. The area’s recent growth sprouted from an increased demand for reasonably priced housing after many homebuyers were priced out of Westchester, leading to more interest in areas like Hopewell Junction.

Its inclusion within the town of East Fishkill gives residents access to many recreation programs and facilities, including the main Recreation Park and Red Wing Park, which has a beach. Hopewell Junction is also a great place for golf, home to multiple courses. The Beekman Golf Club is a 27-hole public course, and there is also a Trump National course. The East Fishkill Golf Center is a multi-sport facility, which also has a driving range and batting cages.

Two school districts, Arlington and Wappingers, serve the majority of the district’s public school districts. The Arlington Central School District, with 10,100 students, has students from several towns. The district has eight elementary schools, three middle schools and one high school. Overall, most of the student population performs well on state exams, and 90% of its graduates go on to college. The Wappingers district, with an enrollment of 12,000, is one of New York’s largest. Like Arlington, Wappingers educates students from several towns in the southwestern part of the county. In 2011-2012, the district was newly identified by the state as being in need of improvement in English Language Arts at all grade levels.

There are a handful of shops and restaurants in the hamlet. Poughkeepsie, fifteen minutes away, is home to the Galleria Mall and many other national retailers, as is neighboring Fishkill.

Vacant land is available in Hopewell Junction, and the inventory includes many recently-built homes. In addition, there are older, less expansive single family homes and condominiums.
Pros
  • Beautiful homes and properties
Cons
  • Car necessary
  • no train station
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • 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 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"An ideal suburban community"

East Fishkill was officially created in 1849, when it split off from the town of Fishkill. Once rural, the now-bustling town has a population of 29,000. Its 53 square miles are located in the southeastern part of Dutchess County. It shares a border with Putnam County. The Taconic Parkway and Interstate 84 make the town easily accessible by car, though there is no direct commuter train service.

The town’s recreation department oversees programs and parks, which include a main facility, East Fishkill Recreation Park, with a roller rink and skateboard park. Red Wing Park has a beach. Adults have the option of joining men’s or women’s softball. There is also a roller hockey team, as well as other sports for adults and kids. During the summer, concerts are held on Friday evenings in the two parks.

The library is an important part of the community, and is visited over 200,000 times a year. First opened in 1938, today the library has over 70,000 books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and other materials. The library is also part of the Mid-Hudson Library System, which gives patrons access to materials from other libraries in the system. The town’s historical society organizes the annual Strawberry Festival, as well as a lecture series and holiday programs. It also runs educational programs for children.

East Fishskill is served by four school districts. Most of the students attend school in Wappingers district. With an enrollment of 12,000 students, it’s one of the largest districts in New York State. The district also draws from surrounding towns, covering nearly the entire southwestern corner of the county. In 2011-2012, the district was newly identified by the state as being in need of improvement in the areas of elementary, middle school and secondary English Language Arts. The large Arlington School District, with 10,100 students, also takes from multiple towns, including East Fishkill. Ninety percent of Arlington’s graduates go on to college, with the remaining students entering the military or the workforce. Students in the eastern part of East Fishkill attend schools in the Pawling district, which enrolls 1,400 students. Overall performance on state exams is above the state median, and each year the district has increased the number of students earning Regents diplomas. Though located in Putnam County, some of East Fiskill’s students attend school in Carmel, which is also regarded for its strong student performance.

At this writing, the median price is down slightly, to $380,000. There are homes available at every price point, with the most expensive priced well above a million, to small, single family homes and condominiums.
Pros
  • Housing for a variety of budgets
  • Growing economy
Cons
  • Varying quality of school districts serving the town
  • Need a car to travel most places
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • 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
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"For people who really want to get away from it all..."

Wingdale is a hamlet in the town of Dover. At one time it was home to the Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center, which closed in 1994 after 70 years. During its years of operation, the hospital employed progressive treatments, though many of them have since been discontinued. Today, the land sits unused, though there are plans to develop a mixed-use community of homes and shops. The complex, called Dover Knolls, will be conveniently located to the Harlem Valley-Wingdale Metro North station and may generate up to $11 million dollars in tax revenue.

The hamlet has minimal amenities, and is characterized by its rural and quiet atmosphere. To the south, the town of Pawling has a small village with shops and restaurants. The area sits approximately halfway between Danbury, CT and Poughkeepsie; both feature large malls and numerous big-box stores and restaurants.

Students who reside in Wingdale attend Dover’s public schools. The district educates 1,600 students in four schools. Wingdale Elementary houses kindergarten through second grade, Dover Elementary has grades 3-5, and secondary students attend Dover Middle School and Dover High School. The district’s performance on state exams is adequate, with 5 to 10 percent of students failing to meet standards. Approximately one-quarter of the students live in poverty. However, the district participates in the universal pre-kindergarten program, which allows parents to enroll their children in pre-school, tuition free. Kindergarten is a full day.

Residents of Wingdale can use Dover’s recreational facilities and programs. The main property is Thomas J. Boyce Park, with a playground and equestrian facility. There is also a public pool, Ketcham Memorial. A section of the Appalachin Train, which stretches from Georgia to Maine, also cuts through the area.

There are many vacant plots of land for sale. House-hunters who are prefer existing homes will find options at every price point, from homes priced at or near a million dollars to modest single-family starter homes.
Pros
  • Quiet and simple lifestyle
  • Virtually no traffic congestion
  • has its own train station
Cons
  • Relatively far from amenities
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • 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 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"Undeveloped possibilities"

Named after a town in England, the town of Dover has two hamlets and a population of 8,500. It shares its eastern border with Connecticut, and sits directly north of Pawling.

Though it occupies a large area, Dover is relatively undeveloped. In 1994, the Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center closed after 70 years. As one of the area’s major employers, the closure has a negative impact on the town. The building, located in the hamlet of Wingdale, was demolished in 2010. Plans are underway to create a multi-use development with housing and retail.
Route 22, which runs north to south, is the main thoroughfare. No major highways travel through the town, but two Metro-North stations, Harlem Valley-Wingdale and Dover Plains, make the trip to Grand Central in less than two hours.

The Dover Union Free School District educates 1,600 students. There are four schools: Wingdale Elementary for kindergarten through second grade, Dover Elementary for grades 3-5, with Dover Middle School and Dover High School for secondary students. The district’s performance on state exams is adequate, with 5 to 10 percent of students failing to meet standards. Approximately one-quarter of the students live in poverty, which poses a challenge to the schools. However, the district participates in the universal pre-kindergarten program, which allows parents to enroll their children in pre-school, tuition free. Kindergarten is a full day.

The best recreation opportunities can be found over the state border in Connecticut. The Macedonia Brook State Park, in Kent, Connecticut, is a 2,300 acre property for fishing, camping and hiking. West Mountain State Forest, located on 830 acres on the town’s opposite border with Beekman, has streams and wetlands, but no formal trails. The town operates a recreation department which has a park, Thomas J. Boyce, with a playground and equestrian facility. A section of the Appalachin Train, which stretches from Georgia to Maine, cuts through Dover.

People hoping to build homes will find a good amount of vacant land. Existing homes range from large homes on large properties to smaller homes needing work.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"Historic charm in northwest Dutchess"

New York’s first elected governor was George Clinton, who served five terms and went on to serve as Vice President under Presidents Jefferson and Madison. Today, the historic town bearing his name occupies almost 40 square miles in northwestern Dutchess County. The Taconic Parkway forms the town’s eastern border. Its 19 miles of dirt roads and rustic charm make Clinton a popular choice for city dwellers seeking second homes. Approximately 4,300 residents live here full-time.

Clinton has no town center and little in the way of retail and restaurants, but neighboring Rhinebeck has a quaint downtown area with shops and eateries. Poughkeepsie, which is twenty minutes away, has additional big-box shopping. The nearest Metro North station is also in Poughkeepsie, with Amtrak service available in Rhinecliff. There is a weekly farmer’s market, and a local winery, Clinton Vineyards.

Recreation is limited. Little League baseball and softball teams, as well as programs for seniors, are among the department’s offerings. There are two town parks and a town hall with community rooms. However, Mills-Norrie State Park, located just west of Clinton on the Hudson shore, has golf, trails, and a boat launch.

Clinton does not have its own school district. Depending on where they reside, students attend school in one of the four districts whose borders overlap with the town. Rhinebeck has 1,100 students, with one school each for elementary, middle and high school. Overall, student achievement is excellent. Millbrook is similar in size, with 1,200 students, two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Students perform similarly well on state assessments. Pine Plains and Hyde Park both get adequate results, but deal with a challenge Clinton’s two other districts do not: roughly one-fifth of the students in both districts live in poverty. New York State recently cited Hyde Park as being in need of improvement in English Language Arts at the middle school level.

House-hunters will find possibilities at all price points, from large homes on multiple acres to small starters, making Clinton an appealing choice to buyers with a range of budgets.
Pros
  • Green and serene
Cons
  • Not all the area school districts are strong
  • A bit isolated
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"Growing and welcoming"

Beekman, a sprawling town located in southern Dutchess County, has a population is 14,600. Henry Beekman, an early landowner, gave his name to the town. During his life, the 30 square mile area was Dutchess’ second-largest land holding. The town has five hamlets: Beekman, Clove Valley, Poughquah, Green Haven and Silver Lake.

Today, thanks to business and industrial expansion, Beekman is one of the county’s fastest growing towns. The town is well-located for travel, sitting east of the Taconic Parkway and north of Interstate 84. Route 55 provides a direct route to Poughkeepsie, which is the county’s main retail and dining area.

Beekman has some unique shopping opportunities. The Stormville Airport Antiques Show and Flea Market is held six times a year, and features over six hundred vendors. The show draws locals and visitors from around the the region. And while there are many pick-your-own farms offering apples, Barton Orchards has expanded choices which include peppers, tomatoes, peaches and grapes. Visitors may also take advantage of food concessions and, and visit the farm’s animals.

The proximity to Poughkeepsie is a plus. There is no direct train service in Beekman, but Metro-North’s two final stops, New Hamburg and Poughkeepsie, are nearby. Entertainment can be found at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, the site for trade shows and performances. Recent shows include Riverdance, Sesame Street Live, Frankie Valli and Chicago. It’s also the home of the Hudson Valley Bears hockey team.

Summer camps, swimming lessons, sports and senior programs are some of choices offered by the town’s recreation department. There are three parks with a variety of amenities, including playing fields and nature trails.

Most of the students from Beekman who attend public school are in the Arlington Central School District, which educates 10,000 from several towns. The district has 8 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and one high school. Students perform well, overall, on state exams, and 90% of recent graduates have gone on to higher education.
New home construction seems to be flourishing in Beekman. There are also several condominium complexes. Beekman is welcoming to homebuyers, with budgets big, small, and in the middle.
Pros
  • Growing Quickly
  • Safe
  • Still relatively quiet
Cons
  • Not a ton of retail options
  • Not much to do
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • 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 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"A sprawling, centrally located town"

According to its town website, Pleasant Valley is a “rural-suburban” community with a population of 10,000. Located in the central part of Dutchess County, it stretches out over a 33 square mile area. The town was settled in 1735. Early residents came to the area to take advantage of water power provided by Wappinger Creek.

The Pleasant Valley Free Library serves the town, with books, DVDs and other materials available for borrowing. The library is part of the Mid-Hudson Library System, which gives patrons access to materials from other libraries.

The Pleasant Valley Department Store is one of the last of its kind. Established in 1946 by two soldiers returning from war, it’s one of the few independently owned department stores in the country. It sells clothes for men, women and children, as well as toys, accessories, shoes and sporting goods.

Most of the students who live in Pleasant Valley attend school in the Arlington Central School District, which covers 114 square miles. There are 10,100 students attending from several different towns. There are eight elementary schools and three middle schools. Arlington High School has 3,400 students; last year’s graduating class has 750 students. However, the district’s large size does not preclude it from successfully educating its students. Ninety percent of its graduates go on to college, with the remaining students entering the military or the workforce.

Pleasant Valley’s recreation department operates 5 town parks. Three public schools also have recreational facilities for public use. The most historic property, Mill Site Museum and Memorial Park, is located on the site of Lott’s Mill, which was built in 1757. The Taconic-Hereford Multiple Use Area is a state property with equestrian and hiking trails on 909 acres; hunting is permitted during the season. Innisfree Garden is a 150 acre public garden whose borders stretch across two towns, Pleasant Valley and Washington. Forty acres of the land is covered by a lake, with walking trails crisscrossing the property.

People looking in Pleasant Valley will find inventory at several price points. There are large homes on several acres of property, as well as smaller single family homes.
Pros
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Great hiking trails!
Cons
  • You need a car to live here
  • Nightlife is pretty slow
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"The corner of historic and charming..."

Bedford Corners, the newest hamlet in historic Bedford, actually shares a post office and zip code with neighboring Mount Kisco. Located in the southeast corner of the town, Bedford Corners is similar to its sister hamlets. It is residential, and features large homes and estates on multiple acres.

Though quiet characterizes the area, signs of life in the form of retail shopping are close. The hamlet is bordered by South Bedford Road, also known as State Route 117, which leads to Mount Kisco’s business district. One of the few Target stores in upper Westchester is located in Mount Kisc, adjacent to a large A&P grocery store.

The hamlet is located near two parks, Leonard Park, which is part of Mount Kisco, and the Marsh Memorial Sanctuary, which is a 156 acre nature preserve with hiking trails. Bedford Corners is also home to Stonecrest, a home dating back to 1879, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

Students who live in Bedford Corners attend the Bedford Central Schools, which has 4,200 students attending five elementary schools, and a middle and high school. The district has been recognized both locally and nationally for excellence.

Residents who need to commute to the city have three station options: Bedford Hills, Mount Kisco and Katonah. Travel time averages around 50 minutes. The hamlet is also located in easy proximity to both the Saw Mill Parkway and Interstate 684.

Like Bedford and its other hamlets, Bedford Corners is expensive. Most of its properties are over a million dollars, with some homes costing in the multi-millions.
Pros
  • Beautiful terrain
  • Good Schools
  • Peaceful
Cons
  • Too expensive for most
  • Can feel remote
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
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"Multi-faceted and promising"

Westchester County is known for its great affluence, but middle-income house-hunters will be pleased to stumble upon the town of Mount Pleasant, a collection of geographically desirable villages and hamlets characterized by quality schools, excellent amenities and housing options for a wide range of budgets. Combined, the population of the town is about 45,000, and it covers 27.7 square miles.

The town’s many services, including recreation and libraries, are shared, which gives residents more options than they would have in a smaller town. House-hunters will find a great deal of variety among the neighborhoods, with unique elements to make each area unique.

Hawthorne, which grew as a suburb during the 1950s, is small and densely populated. Its own Metro-North station makes it a great option for city commuters. The Mount Pleasant School District educates children from Hawthorne and neighboring Thornwood, and performs well on state assessments, which are one of the most important indicators of quality. Several corporations, including IBM, are located in Hawthorne.

Pleasantville is probably the most affluent part of Mount Pleasant. The village of 7,000 features lovely Victorians and colonials, as well as ranches built during the Sixties. It’s a good place for boutique shopping, and the Jacob Burns Film Center draws people from all over to view documentaries and independent films. Its school district, which has three schools, gets excellent results.

Sleepy Hollow is Mount Pleasant’s riverside village. Still struggling after the 1998 closure of it General Motors plant, the village is reinventing itself as a shopping and dining destination, with appealing historic sites. Its location in the town of Mount Pleasant has not kept village officials from establishing a partnership with nearby Tarrytown, in an effort to revitalize both communities. The schools have some strong points but need to improve certain areas as mandated by the state.

Thornwood has the advantage of in-town shopping, meaning residents don’t have to travel to nearby towns to get groceries and other necessities. It is part of the Mount Pleasant School District, along with Hawthorne. The town’s Metro-North station closed years ago, but the Hawthorne and Pleasantville stations both offer relatively easy commutes to the city.

Valhalla is the town’s southernmost hamlet. It has its own train station, and travel time to Grand Central is about 40 minutes. Though small in size, it is home to two hospitals, Westchester Community College, and a large cemetery. It has its own school district, which performs well and has a good sports program.

Mount Pleasant has a lot of possibilities, especially for those who don’t have a million dollars. The location, schools, and variety of amenities combine to make it a popular place to live.
Pros
  • Good school districts
  • Great leisure time activities
  • community pool
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5
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"Mount Pleasant's artsy, affluent village"

Pleasantville is probably Mount Pleasant’s most affluent village. Its 1.7 square miles is home to 7,000 residents.

Tenant farmers were the first to settle in the area. During the Revolutionary War, the area was “neutral ground” so no fighting happened, but British spy John André was captured en route to meeting Benedict Arnold, an event many historians view as pivotal to the Americans’ ultimate victory. In the following century, Pleasantville was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Metro-North service is available directly in the village, with travel time averaging around 50 minutes. The station is located by the small business district, which has small shops and restaurants but no big-box stores. A proposal to build a Stop & Shop supermarket was defeated a few years ago, leaving residents to continue grocery shopping in nearby Thornwood.

The village has its own recreation department, which oversees four parks, one pool and tennis courts, which are located at the middle school. The 431-acre Graham Hills Park is located in the southern part of the village, with 5 miles of rugged trails for mountain biking.

The Jacob Burns Film Center, which was established in 2001, shows documentaries and independent films. It also draws well-known speakers from several fields, including Bill Clinton, Stephen King, Woody Allen and Martin Scorcese. The Center is popular with residents, but film buffs come from all over the region to see movies at Jacob Burns. Every July, the recreation department and a local radio station, 107.1, organize the Pleasantville Music Festival, which features three stages and well-known musical acts.

Pleasantville’s schools are well-regarded and are a major draw for house-hunters who have or are planning families. There are about 2,000 students in the district. At Bedford Road School, the district’s only elementary school, passing rates on state exams were between 98 and 100%, depending on the grade and subject. At the middle school, all of the students in grades 6, 7 and 8 passed their state exams; in the fifth grade only 2% failed to meet standards. Pleasantville High School also had excellent results on state-administered Regents exams. The high school rounds out its academic offerings with several extra-curricular activities, including performing arts, sports and service clubs.

Taxes are high in Pleasantville, as they are across most of Westchester. House prices vary widely, but more choices will be found at the higher end. Most of the lower-priced homes appear to need work, but house shoppers with smaller budgets also have several co-op and condominium complexes to consider as well.
Pros
  • Great community atmosphere
  • The Film Center
Cons
  • Minimal shopping and no grocery stores
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"A lakeside neighborhood in progress"

Shenorock is a tiny hamlet in the town of Somers. Its location, almost directly in the middle of the town, makes it convenient to Somers’ schools, parks, and retailers. The hamlet is entirely residential, with a population of 1,900.

During its early days, the hamlet was primarily a summer community of modest houses and cottages. Vacationers were drawn by the area’s rural beauty and its many small lakes. Lake Shenorock, a 14 acre lake, was one of them. Today, however, the lake is unusable. In 1977, the lake went into use as a reservoir, so swimming was prohibited. In 2003, the lake became open to the public again, but it needs an expensive clean-up. However, outside funds may become available to clean it. The United Owners Association of Shenorock is working to revitalize the lake and renovate an old clubhouse.

Shenorock is part of the Somers Central School District, which has a student population of 3,500. Since there is only one school for each level, students share their entire school experience together. Primrose School, which has a full-day kindergarten, also houses first and second graders. Somers Intermediate has grades 3 through 5. Students at Somers Middle School take standardized exams in math, reading, science and social studies, and the majority of students meet standards. Somers High School offers the required Regents courses, as well as Advanced Placement classes, which allow students to begin earning college credits.

Once the lake is functional, it will likely become the neighborhood’s recreational hub. In the meantime, Somers has other options. Reis Park, located next to the Somers Library, has playing fields and courts for basketball and tennis, along with a playground and running trails. The former estate of William and Mildred Lasdon became Lasdon Park, which has a horticultural library in the main house, along with formal gardens and walking trails.

Shopping in Shenorock is minimal, and the situation is only marginally better in Somers, but most residents like this aspect of the town. Somers Commons is the largest shopping center, with a Stop and Shop grocery store as its anchor. There is a fitness club and several smaller stores, along with a few eateries. The smaller Somers Town Shopping Center includes a dry cleaner, nail salon, bagel store along with a few additional shopping and dining choices.

Shenorock’s small size means limited real estate inventory. At this time, there are no homes for sale in the hamlet. However, when homes do come on the market, they tend to be slightly more expensive than the rest of the town.
Pros
  • High ranking school system
  • Quiet & private
Cons
  • Not convenient to highways or train
  • Limited housing inventory
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A small neighborhood with lovely older homes"

Granite Springs is one of several neighborhoods in Somers, located in northern Westchester County. The entire town has a rural, quiet character, which its residents value. There is little retail in the area, and like many neighborhoods, Granite Springs is almost entirely residential.

The neighborhood sits between the Amawalk Reservoir and the town of Yorktown. Interstate 684 and the Taconic Parkway are the closest highways, but neither is very close. There is no Metro-North service in the area either. The Harlem line stations are probably closer than the Hudson line, but are still 20 minutes away, on top of the hour needed to get to Grand Central.

Granite Spring’s small size means it does not have its own school district, but students who live in the neighborhood attend the Somers schools. Primrose Elementary has a full-day kindergarten, and goes through grade 2. Somers Intermediate has grades 3 through 5. Students at Somers Middle School take standardized exams in math, reading, science and social studies, and the majority of students meet standards. At the high school level, students take Regents exams in several subjects, and nearly all the students earn passing scores.

As residents of the town of Somers, people in Granite Springs can take advantage of Somers’ recreation options. There are no parks in the neighborhood, but a short car ride will lead to several options. One well-known destination is Muscoot Farm, a 19th century farm with a multitude of animals, including horses, cows, chickens, pigs and goats. There are special programs, along with picnic areas and walking trails. Other popular parks include Reis Park, located next to the Somers Library, which has playing fields and courts for basketball and tennis, along with a playground and running trails. The former estate of William and Mildred Lasdon became Lasdon Park, now run by Westchester County. The park has a horticultural library in the main house, along with formal gardens and walking trails.

One of the few businesses in Granite Springs is Stuart’s Fruit Farm, a pick-your-own farm open to the public. It has been in the Stuart family since 1828. Other businesses and retailers are located nearby. These include Somers Commons, which has a Stop and Shop grocery store as its anchor. The Somers Town Shopping Center includes a dry cleaner, nail salon, bagel store along with a few additional shopping and dining choices.

Homes in Granite Springs range from lovely older homes to more recently built ranches and splits. The small size of the neighborhood limits the number of houses for sale at any given time, so house-hunters who want Somers schools will probably need to expand their search to the town’s other neighborhoods, which all have a great deal to offer.
Pros
  • Close to shopping and restaurants
  • Good schools
Cons
  • Not convenient to highways or train
  • no real shopping or nighlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Centrally located suburb with good schools and recreational opportunities"

Hawthorne is a densely populated hamlet in the town of Mount Pleasant, with 4,600 residents living within 1.7 square miles. The hamlet experienced most of its growth during the 1950s, when small Capes on quarter-acre lots were built on streets organized into a neat grid pattern. Veterans returning from World War II were quick to purchase many of these homes.

Residents have the convenience of a nearby Metro-North station, which gets commuters to Manhattan in about 45 minutes. Hawthorne is also sandwiched between the Saw Mill and Taconic Parkways, which crisscross at the town’s northern border.

The Mount Pleasant Central School District educates 2,000 students from Thornwood and Hawthorne. All students begin at Hawthorne Elementary, which houses kindergarten through second grade. Third, fourth and fifth graders move over to Columbus Elementary in Thornwood. Westlake Middle School and Westlake High School share a campus. On state exams, the vast majority of elementary students pass the standardized exams in math and reading. Middle school students have the opportunity to take Regents exams in earth science and integrated algebra; the current data shows a 100% pass rate for algebra and 99% for earth science. Passing rates on Regents exams at the high school level are also excellent.

Residents of Hawthorne can use any of the 19 parks and recreational facilities in Mount Pleasant. Broadway Field is located in the hamlet, occupying 6 acres with playing fields and a picnic area. Bradhurst Park and Community Center is a 7-acre facility with a playground. Though there is no library in Hawthorne, residents can use the Mount Pleasant Library. The main library is in Pleasantville and a branch is in Valhalla.

There is a Bloomingdale’s Clearance Center, which sells discounted mattresses, furniture and rugs. Many small, independent businesses are scattered across the town, though White Plains with its two large malls is a short ride away. Skyline Drive is home to several corporations, including IBM.

Though most of the homes in Hawthorne are modest and unpretentious, its location and school district make Hawthorne desirable, and therefore expensive. While many home-buyers will find a good selection of affordable homes, they will also see their money not going as far as it would in other areas, especially in the northern suburbs. However, Hawthorne is a great place to live and may be worth the expense.
Pros
  • Good schools
  • Access to Mount Pleasant's amenities
  • Fairly convenient train access
Cons
  • Homes are expensive for what you get
  • Some places have bad traffic/parking situations
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Six communities, one town, one excellent possibility"

Located in the north-western corner of Westchester County, the Town of Cortlandt has two incorporated villages, Croton and Buchanan, two hamlets, Cortlandt Manor and Montrose, and the unincorporated areas of Verplanck and Crugers. It is bordered by the Hudson River to the west and the town of Yorktown to the east. The population of the combined areas is about 41,000.

The town is highly desirable for many reasons. It offers suburban charm, but it has more open space than its southern Westchester neighbors. It’s easily accessible for commuters, who have a couple of station options for Metro North. There are many retail, dining and recreation options. Several school districts serve the town, and all are generally well-regarded. There are many housing options, making home-buying a possibility for people with a wide range of budgets.

Buchanan, one of the town’s waterfront areas, is the home of the Indian Point power plant, which plays a regular role in discussions about safety, terrorism, and natural disasters. The Town of Cortlandt website has information on evacuation procedures. The village offers many affordable housing options, and the presence of the power plant has resulted in lower taxes when compared to Cortlandt and Westchester.

Like Buchanan, Cortlandt Manor also has good affordable choices, but there are higher priced options too. It is home to the Hudson Highways Gateway Park, which is one of the town’s largest, with 352 acres, most of it undeveloped.

Croton, another riverfront village, has a large selection of luxury real estate as well as more moderately priced options. The village is known primarily for its beautiful scenery, and hosts two events popular with residents and visitors: the Clearwater music festival, which features well-known folk musicians, and the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, where 4,000 carved pumpkins illuminate the historic Van Cortlandt Manor.

Tiny Crugers, which is so small it sometimes has no houses for sale at all, does have a 75 acre park, the Oscawana Island Nature Preserve, which is mostly undeveloped. Its location on the riverfront limits future development.

Montrose is located in the southwestern part of the town, with two riverfront parks, Georges Island and Montrose Point State Forest. There is a good amount of reasonably priced real estate in this area.

Verplanck, which played a pivotal role during the American Revolution, also has a riverfront location. It is very small, with limited housing inventory, but when homes come on the market they too tend to be accessible to buyers with moderate budgets.

Each area within Cortlandt has its own unique personality, with a great deal to offer homebuyers. The location, schools, proximity to the city and leisure time opportunities make the Town of Cortlandt a terrific place to live.
Pros
  • Served by several good school districts
  • Excellent retail options
  • affordable
  • rich in history
Cons
  • Heavy traffic in spots
  • Some areas don't have easy train access
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Rural and residential"

Crompond is a community located in the town of Yorktown. Its population is about 2,300. The community is almost entirely residential, with no large strip malls or shopping centers. However, it’s in an excellent location with most necessities just a short car ride away.

About half the community’s eastern border is adjacent to Franklin Delano Roosevelt State Park. The park’s most notable feature is a swimming pool that is large enough to accommodate 2,000 bathers. There is a large playground with a climbing wall, as well as picnic areas, a golf course, and areas for fishing and boating. Yorktown also has a large recreation department, with several parks and town pools, with a variety of programs for residents of all ages.

A handful of small businesses and restaurants sit along Crompond Road, but residents must travel to nearby Jefferson Valley for more shopping choices. The Jefferson Valley Mall has 90 stores, a’nchored by Sears and Macy’s. A little further away, the Cortlandt Town Center has 40 stores, including Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Office Max and Pet Smart. Both shopping centers have movie theaters.

The Lakeland Central School District serves 6,400 students, including those who reside in Crompond. Lakeland is Westchester’s largest geographic district, taking in students residing in a 40 square mile area. There are five elementary schools in the district; Lincoln-Titus Elementary is located in Crompond and has 450 students. The district is one of the few in the area to offer full day kindergarten. A universal pre-k program allows parents to send their children to preschool in the district tuition-free. THe district also has a middle school and two high schools.

The community’s small size means real estate inventory is small, but most of the homes are affordable. Home buyers who like the school district may need to look outside Crompond in order to find something, but there are many other small villages and hamlets with a great deal to like.
Pros
  • Well ranked school system
  • Has access to Yorktown's amenities
Cons
  • Small size means limited real estate inventory
  • Lacks a town center
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A hamlet with a great location for shoppers"

Shrub Oak is an unincorporated hamlet in Yorktown. About 2,000 people reside in the 1.6 square mile area, which is bordered to the east by the Taconic Parkway. Originally a summer community, the construction of the highway in the 1960s resulted in additional housing for year-round living. Route 6 cuts across the northern part of Shrub Oak, and Phoenix House, a residential treatment facility for treating adolescents with substance abuse problems, occupies 150 acres in the southern half of the hamlet.

The Lakeland Central School District, which has a student population of 6,400, educates Shrub Oak’s school-age population. There are five elementary schools, one middle school and two high schools. Lakeland High School and the district’s offices are located in Shrub Oak. The district has a full-day kindergarten and participates in the universal pre-K program, which allows children who live in the district to attend preschool free of charge. Students in the district perform well on state assessments.

With the exception of the Gambrell Country Village, which features several eateries, there is little shopping in Shrub Oak. However, the hamlet is ideally located for easy travel to two of upper Westchester’s main shopping destinations. Jefferson Valley Mall, located in the neighboring hamlet of the same name, is anchored by Sears and Macy’s, and has 90 other stores and a movie theater. To the west, the Cortlandt Town Center, anchored by Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Home Depot and Waldbaums, has a 12 screen multiplex cinema, restaurants and 40 other stores.

Shrub Oak Memorial Park is the largest of the hamlet’s parks. Yorktown has a recreation department with extensive offerings and several parks, which are open to residents of Shrub Oak. The John C. Hart Memorial Library serves the hamlet and has programs for adults, teens and kids.

Homebuyers will find inventory to suit many budgets. In addition, Trump Park, a luxury adult condominium community, opened recently with 141 units and many amenities.
Pros
  • Good schools
  • Family-friendly
  • Great small-town vibe
Cons
  • Some areas are noisy due to adjacent parkway
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Small village with great schools and parks"

Montrose is a small hamlet in the Cortlandt. It is located west of Route 9, which is the main road leading to towns to the north and south. The hamlet is served by the Cortlandt Metro North Station. Travel time to Grand Central averages 55 minutes.

Despite its small size, Montrose offers quality leisure-time activities. The Premier Athletic Club, which has operated for 35 years, has an indoor and outdoor pool and facilities for racquetball and tennis. There are fitness classes as well as programs and camps for kids. Outdoor lovers will be drawn to the area’s parks. The Montrose Point State Forest is an undeveloped 51 acre space which was once a brick factory. It’s a great place to hike and observe nature. Westchester County runs Georges Island Park, which is a 208 acre waterfront space with wetlands, rugged trails and picnic areas. Kayaks, canoes and small watercraft can take to the river from the park’s boat launch.

Though there is minimal shopping, the Cortlandt Town Center, which is one of upper Westchester’s main retail sites, is close, with enough stores to meet most people’s needs. There is also a large multiplex cinema.

Montrose is part of the Hendrick Hudson School District, which has a total student population of 2,700 students who hail from Montrose and its surrounding areas. There are three elementary schools in the district. Frank G. Lindsey Elementary serves the children in Montrose. There are approximately 450 students in the school. On recent state exams, most of the students performed well with only 3-5% failing to meet standards. Students from all three elementary schools join each other at Blue Mountain Middle School, and go on to Hendrick Hudson High School, which is also located in Montrose. Both the district’s secondary schools have won recognition locally and nationally for excellence.

The hamlet offers many affordable housing options. There are many single family homes under $500,000, as well as condominiums. A limited number of new homes are also in progress.
Pros
  • Good school system
  • Peace and quiet
Cons
  • No real shopping
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
3/5 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 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Indian Point = safety concerns and low taxes"

Buchanan, NY, a village in the town of Cortlandt, offers an affordable option for people who want to live near the river but don’t have large budgets. It’s known primarily as the home of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which became the subject of renewed concern after the 2011 Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Buchanan was named for the Buchanan family, who operated a tannery in the area. Many names were used and discarded until 1928, when the area was officially recognized as a village. The name Buchanan was settled upon to honor the family for their substantial contribution to the village.
The village has a small business district and a small strip mall. The Cortlandt Town Center is ten minutes away, and is the retail hub for all of Cortlandt. There are forty stores, including a Wal-Mart and one of the few Barnes and Nobles in the area. There is also a large multiplex in the shopping center.

The Hendrick Hudson school district serves the children in Buchanan. Students who live in the village attend elementary school at Buchanan-Verplanck Elementary, one of three in the district. There are 340 students in the school, which has a full-day kindergarten. Later, students move on to Blue Mountain Middle School and Hendrick Hudson High School, which have both been recognized for excellence. However, Buchanan-Verplanck has a 14% poverty rate, the highest in the district. Its scores are also significantly lower than the other two elementary schools in the district.

Though small in size, Buchanan has many recreation options. Lake Meahagh, which sits in both Buchanan and Verplanck, has a park on the Verplanck side, where fishing and ice skating are popular activities. Lents Cove Park, located on the Hudson, provided British soldiers with a safe haven during the Revolutionary War. Today, it has playing fields, a picnic area and a boat launch. The Blue Mountain Reservation, which is located in nearby Peekskill, is a county-owned 1,538 acre park with 2 mountain peaks for climbing enthusiasts.

Indian Point’s presence in the village does have an advantage. It provides 37% of Buchanan’s operating budget, which means residents pay lower taxes than residents of surrounding towns. Homes are more affordable as well. Most of the homes on the market are modest single-family homes. There are no co-ops and one small condo complex.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Low Taxes
  • Nice Community
  • Lots of recreational activities
Cons
  • Elementary school is not as good as others in the district
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Great parks and schools"

Millwood is a sister hamlet to Chappaqua, located in the town of New Castle. There are about 1,200 residents.

In 1958, passenger train service to the Millwood train station ended; freight service ended a few years after that. The tracks were paved over, and the North County Trailway was born. A portion of the 22.1 mile path passes through Millwood, giving cyclists, runners and walkers a safe, scenic place to exercise.

Though the trail is popular throughout Westchester, Millwood residents have additional options. The town of North Castle organizes summer camps and year-round programs through its recreation department. There are several parks as well; Millwood is home to two. Gedney Park has a picnic area, a playground, playing fields and walking trails. It is the only park in North Castle with a pond for ice skating in the winter. Millwood Park is smaller, but has a playground and tennis courts.

During the last decade, concerns about Millwood’s lack of development led to the formation of the Millwood Task Force. The organization was charged with examining ways to improve the tax base and introduce needed retail options without ruining the area’s rural qualities. Public utilities, including ConEdison, own one-fourth of Millwood’s land. Areas supplying New York City’s drinking water are also protected from development. This has made the hamlet less developed than neighboring Chappaqua, but three small shopping centers were approved and built. One of them includes an A&P supermarket.

Millwood is located entirely within the Chappaqua Central School District, which has an outstanding reputation. Three elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school educate the district’s 4,200 students. At the elementary level, most students in Millwood attend Westorchard, and move on to Seven Bridges Middle School, which was recently built to accommodate the growing population. Horace Greeley High School offers 18 Advanced Placement exams, which allows students to obtain college credit. U.S. News and World Report ranked Horace Greeley at #46 in its 2008 edition of America’s Best High Schools.

Though the hamlet’s original train station is gone, residents can catch the train to the city at Metro-North’s Chappaqua station. Travel time to Grand Central is about fifty minutes. The Taconic Parkway is the nearest highway.

Compared to Chappaqua, homes in Millwood are smaller, and on smaller lots. However there are still many options above a million dollars and what’s considered affordable in North Castle is still expensive. There are multiple condominium complexes. House-hunters who wish to be in the Chappaqua School District but are dissatisfied with its lack of lower-priced options may find a larger selection of more affordable homes.
Pros
  • Great schools
  • Quiet charm
Cons
  • Still pricey, though less so than neighboring towns
  • Car dependent lifestyle
  • No night life or entertainment
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A beautiful, quiet neighborhood"

West Harrison is a neighborhood in the town of Harrison. Most notably, the Westchester County Airport occupies a very large section of the area.

Like many parts of Westchester, the area saw fighting during the Revolutionary War. In October 1776, British and American troops fought the Battle of White Plains, which actually occurred in West Harrison. The British prevailed, and chased General Washington and his men into New Jersey and Pennsylvania until Washington’s historic Delaware River crossing and the Battle of Trenton.

The Cross Westchester Expressway, also known as Interstate 287, borders part of West Harrison, but it has an otherwise wide-open atmosphere, not unlike the larger town of Harrison. There are a few small businesses, but no centralized shopping district. However, White Plains is a short ride away via I-287.

Silver Lake Preserve also occupies a 236-acre portion of the neighborhood. The Westchester-county owned park is mostly undeveloped, with trails for hiking and nature study. Though there is a small lake, fishing is not permitted. Because it’s part of the town of Harrison, West Harrison residents can take advantage of the many recreational programs, which include day and specialty camps, and sports programs for adults. Delfino Park, West Harrison Park and West Harrison Pool are facilities run by the recreation department.

All of West Harrison is located in the Harrison Central School District. At the elementary level they attend S.J. Preston Elementary, which is located in the neighborhood, and later attend Louis M. Klein Middle School and Harrison High School.

Real estate prices in West Harrison mirror those in Harrison, with most of the inventory in the neighborhood of a million dollars. There are a limited number of co-op apartments. Smaller, more modestly priced homes are more expensive than they would be if located in less prestigious towns.
Pros
  • Community pool
  • Beautiful setting
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Only one road leads there
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
Rye
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A "Sound" little city"

The City of Rye, formerly known as the Village of Rye, was chartered in 1942, making it New York State’s youngest city. Like many of Westchester’s waterfront communities, Rye’s roots sprouted in the late 19th century, when wealthy city residents built vacation homes along the shore of the Long Island Sound. By the 1920s, the rise of the railroad turned Rye into a “bedroom community” with an increase in new home construction.

Today, Rye is an affluent community, home to 15,000 residents. In 2010, Coldwell Banker identified it as the country’s 3rd most expensive place to buy a home. It offers two great school systems, lovely surroundings, great dining, arts and recreation, and an easy commute to Manhattan. Travel time from the Rye station runs between 40 and 50 minutes.

The Rye City School District educates the majority of the public school students. All three of the district’s elementary schools are New York State Schools of Excellence and National Blue Ribbon Schools. Rye Middle School is also a Blue Ribbon School. The high school, which has its own television studio, is regularly named by U.S. News and World Report as a Top 100 School. Students must fulfill a community service requirement in order to graduate.

A small number of students attend the Rye Neck schools, which is also held in high regard. Rye Neck High School is also a Blue Ribbon School; there is also one middle school and two elementary schools. There are 1,500 students in the Rye Neck district, which draws most of its population from Mamaroneck.

The historic Playland amusement park is Rye’s most notable recreation area. It features the Dragon roller coaster, which is the oldest of its kind in the Northeast. Several properties are owned by the city, including the Rye City Marina and Rye Nature Center. The Rye Golf Club, though also city-owned, is a members-only club on 126 acres. It has an 18-hole golf course, a pool and a snack bar. Smart development has given the city a charming shopping and dining district, with a Starbucks mixed in with independently owned shops and restaurants.

Rye’s home are expensive; the majority of homes for sale are well over a million dollars. Condominiums and co-ops, which are usually an affordable option for those wanting to get a foothold in an expensive town, are very expensive here as well.
Pros
  • Award-winning schools
  • Cute shopping district
  • Extremely safe
Cons
  • Traffic is very heavy at times, in spots
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • 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 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Suburban Splendor"

Harrison is located in lower Westchester. Geographically, its twenty-two square miles make it one of the county’s larger towns. The current population is approximately 27,000.

In 1696, John Harrison, the town’s founder, was given a day to ride around and mark the boundaries of his property. Specifics about the deal are unclear; Harrison may have bought the land from Native Americans, or he may have been given the land by King William III of England. Regardless, the area was first known as “Harrison’s Purchase.” The New York State Legislature officially made it a town in 1788. Today, the northern part of the town is known as Purchase.

The town began receiving train service in 1848. There was no actual station until 1870, and until then residents had to flag down the train to get it to stop. Modern-day riders have an easier time catching the train at Harrison’s Metro North station. Travel time to Grand Central is 35-40 minutes.

The town lacks a centralized shopping district and there are no strip malls. However, its location is convenient to both White Plains and Greenwich, Connecticut, which both have large selections of upscale retailers. Big-box stores, including Costco, are located in nearby Port Chester.

Like the town, the school district is geographically one of Westchester’s largest. The schools have an excellent reputation, and typically get excellent results on state assessments. Four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school educate 3,500 students. There are private and parochial schools in the town as well.

Great recreation opportunities and facilities can be found in Harrison. Two recreation centers, Mintzer and Sollazzo, host a variety of activities year-round. During the summer, camp programs are available for many interests. There are regular day camps available for younger children, as well as camps for interests, including filmmaking, basketball, and football. Programs for adults include soccer, softball, basketball and volleyball. There is a senior program as well.

Real estate is pricey in Harrison. Though the median price has fallen to $805,000, most of the inventory is still very expensive. Though moderately priced options do exist, those homes are still more expensive than comparable homes in other towns, especially in the northern part of the county.
Pros
  • Excellent schools
  • Great recreational activities
  • Safe and sound
Cons
  • Out of reach for many budgets
  • Minimal diversity
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"Great location and schools"

Ardsley is a small village sandwiched between two of Westchester County’s major highways. It occupies a little over one square mile, with a population of approximately 4,300.

The village developed as a residential area mainly after World War II; most of the homes are splits and ranches built during the 1960s and 1970s. Though the town lacks the picturesque quality possessed by its neighbors Scarsdale and Hastings, Ardsley is nonetheless a sought-after place to live for its proximity to the city and excellent schools.

The town’s location makes is a great choice for commuters. Though Ardsley does not have its own Metro-North station, Dobbs Ferry and Hartsdale are both easily reached and make the trip to Grand Central in about a half hour. Interstate 87, the Saw Mill Parkway and the Sprain Brook Parkway are easy to get to for car commuters.

Ardsley’s schools are excellent. There are 2,200 students in the district. Only half of the students reside in Ardsley proper; the rest hail from parts of Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, White Plains, Hastings, Scarsdale and Hartsdale. There are three schools in the district: Concord Road Elementary, Ardsley Middle School and Ardsley High School. Parents who elect to settle in Ardsley often cite the district as one of the primary factors in their choice. The high school offers many honors and Advanced Placement classes; all three schools have strong academic programs and extracurricular programs.

The town’s recreational programs are also a major draw. There is a community center with a Youth Advocate, a social worker who is a resource for children and teens. The programs offered include basketball for adults and kids, chess, pee-wee soccer, and skateboard clinics. Ardsley has a strong art scene as well. It is one of the four towns served by the Rivertowns Arts Council. This organization works with to provide residents of Ardsley, Hastings, Dobbs Ferry and Irvington with arts education programs and events.

The median house price in Ardsley is on the rise. When the town was in its early stages of development, there was a large gap between prices in Ardsley and prices in the more exclusive surrounding towns, but today the gap has shrunk. In recent years a limited number of larger homes have been built on the few remaining plots of empty land. There are many properties over a million dollars, and at the other end of the spectrum, there are small single family homes and condos. The current median price is $450,000.
Pros
  • Good Schools
  • Growing arts community
Cons
  • No Town Center
  • No Train Station
  • Lots of traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A town and two villages"

Eastchester is a large town occupying five square miles in lower Westchester. Within its boundaries are the incorporated village of Bronxville, the incorporated village of Tuckahoe, and a large unincorporated area referred to as Eastchester. As incorporated areas, the two villages govern themselves, but share some services, such as the recreation department, with the town.

The town’s first settlers came from Fairfield, Connecticut, in the 1600s, and created a farming community. During the Revolutionary War, the area was deemed “neutral ground” between British troops occupying New York City and American-held territory in upper Westchester, and so no major fighting happened there. The rise of the railroad during the 1800s began to shift the area from its rural beginnings, as did the discovery of marble quarries in Eastchester and Tuckahoe. Marble found in the quarries was transported all over, including New York and Washington D.C., to be used in construction. Meanwhile, Bronxville’s founder, William Van Duzer Lawrence, envisioned the village as an artists’ colony and built homes equipped with art studios.

Today, Eastchester is a sought-after town, especially by families with children. There are three excellent school districts, each named for the area it serves. Residents who work in Manhattan have four nearby Metro North stations to choose from: Tuckahoe, Bronxville, Crestwood and Scarsdale. The trip to Grand Central takes thirty to forty minutes.

Bronxville is the most exclusive of the three areas, with very few choices for buyers with smaller budgets. Tuckahoe and Eastchester have some pricey properties as well, but both have a wider selection of less expensive single family homes. There are also more co-op and condominium complexes in Tuckahoe and Eastchester.

There is a substantial amount of parkland in Eastchester, as well as private clubs for golf and tennis. Lake Isle Park is the largest facility, with five pools, a public golf course, and six tennis courts. The park is open to all residents of Eastchester and its villages. Eastchester’s recreation department oversees all its town parks, and organizes programs for kids, adults and seniors.

Tuckahoe and Bronxville both have centralized shopping areas, while Eastchester’s primary draw is the large Vernon Hills shopping center, anchored by Lord and Taylor. Its location near Yonkers and White Plains gives Eastchester residents additional opportunities for mall shopping.
Pros
  • Excellen school districts
  • Great location for commuters
  • Good park and recreation programs
Cons
  • Traffic
  • "Affordable" is relative; it's still an expensive town
  • Nightlife is minimal
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • 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 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"A small and lovely suburb"

Eastchester is a town in lower Westchester which includes the villages of Tuckhoe and Bronxville. Within the town there is a large unincorporated area, also referred to as Eastchester. This unincorporated area occupies three and a half square miles, with a population of 19,000.

Settled in 1664, Eastchester began as a farming community. During the 1800s, marble quarrying became a major industry in both Eastchester and Tuckahoe. The quarries thrived for over a hundred years and provided marble for important buildings in New York City and Washington D.C. Today, many residents commute to the city and have a choice of several Metro-North stops. Bronxville, Tuckahoe, Crestwood and Scarsdale are all convenient to Eastchester residents, with trains serving all four stations frequently and making the trip in a half hour to forty minutes. Two highways, the Bronx River and the Hutchinson River, also border Eastchester.

The area is well-positioned for shopping. The Vernon Hills Shopping Center is a popular destination with numerous national retailers, including Lord and Taylor, Banana Republic and Gap. Grocery stores and drugstores are easily reached, and proximity to shopping areas in White Plains and Yonkers gives residents additional choices.

Lake Isle Park is a large facility and the jewel of Eastchester’s recreational offerings. Once a private club, it is now run by the town. There are five pools, including kiddie pools, an 18-hole golf course, and 6 tennis courts.

The schools are an important selling factor. The Eastchester UFSD educates 3,100 students. There are three elementary schools: Waverly, Anne Hutchinson and Greenvale. Students later attend Eastchester Middle School and Eastchester High School. Newsweek magazine recently ranked the nation’s high schools, with Eastchester being ranked 314 in the nation. The rankings are based on graduation rate, SAT scores, number of students taking AP exams, and availability of college-level courses.

Eastchester has an active arts scene. The Eastchester Arts Council is an organization presenting cultural programs including concerts, exhibits, and after school programs in the Eastchester, Bronxville and Tuckahoe school districts. The town’s recreation department also sponsors a summer theater program for youth, and summer concerts are held at the Eastchester Town Hall.

Compared to its sister village Bronxville, Eastchester can accommodate a wider range of housing budgets, with moderately priced co-ops and condominiums. House-hunters who don’t have million-dollar budgets will also find a good selection of single-family homes.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
Just now

"One square mile of affluence and charm"

Bronxville is a tiny village just outside New York City. Occupying just one square mile, it’s home to about 6,300 people, and often ranks among the country’s most affluent towns. The English-inspired village is charming and compact, with excellent shopping and restaurants. There is a Metro-North station; travel time to Grand Central averages around 35 minutes.

William Van Duzer Lawrence, a pharmaceutical and real estate mogul, founded the town in the late 1800s as an artists’ colony. Many of the village’s first homes were equipped with art studios. Today, the town is unaffordable to most artists, with most homes priced at or close to a million dollars. There are co-ops and condominiums, but those are pricey as well.

Bronxville is an active community. There are two private clubs, the Siwanoy Country Club for golf and the Bronxville Field Club for tennis and swimming. The county-owned Bronx River Reservation is a 21-acre open space located next to the river. There are also several smaller town parks with a range of amenities, including playgrounds. The recreation department runs a day camp during the summer, as well as tennis programs.

Unsurprisingly, the schools in Bronxville are excellent, with test scores consistently better than most of the state, and a great variety of academic and extracurricular opportunities. The district is unique for its small size, but also for its compactness: elementary students, middle school students, and high school students are all housed within the same building. The school has many amenities, including a drama lab and four indoor gymnasiums, to meet the students’ extracurricular interests. In addition, there are two colleges: Sarah Lawrence, which is technically in Yonkers, and Concordia College.

The library is an integral part of the town’s history. It was founded in 1906 and stocked with books donated by residents. For many years it occupied a couple of rooms, but got its own space in 1942. Today, the library is housed in a large Georgian-style building with a large and valuable art collection.

Excellent schools, a great location, and a range of housing options make Bronxville worth checking out.
Pros
  • Easy commuting distance
  • Excellent school district
Cons
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options