Ten of Westchester’s Most Interesting Communities
Whether their value is rooted in quirky, historic or scenic characteristics, these towns and hamlets are worlds all their own.
Hamlet of Valhalla
Pinned between the Kensico Dam and the Mount Pleasant cemeteries, Valhalla has more than a vest-pocket business district and the renovated Valhalla Crossing restaurant/bar in the old train station. With its affordable homes, central location, and walk-to Metro-North station, it’s great for commuters and first-time homebuyers.
Gedney Farms, White Plains
This historic residential park across from Archbishop Stepinac High School has 345 pre-war homes—mostly Tudors and Colonials—and quiet streets. Hoping to keep it that way, residents are fighting plans by the French School of New York to move into the old Ridgeway Country Club.
Sparta Historic District, Ossining
A charming 18th-century settlement in the Town of Ossining, with well preserved Georgian homes, a circa-1760 tavern, Goldfish restaurant, and Liberty Park on the Hudson. The Old Leatherman is buried in nearby Sparta Cemetery on Revolutionary Road.
Nicknamed “Scarsdale lite,” this tidy, hilly, unincorporated section of Greenburgh is sandwiched between Central Avenue and the Bronx River Parkway. Edgemont has high-end homes (many with a Scarsdale PO), its own school system, and easy access to the Hartsdale Metro-North station and shops.
This pastoral, culture-rich hamlet sits amid Rockefeller-owned land not far from the Kykuit estate. It boasts a top ranked elementary school (and low taxes), the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, and the Union Church with its mid-century stained-glass windows by Matisse and Chagall.
Fort Hill Historic District, Peekskill
House painting is an art form in this charming neighborhood near the downtown area. Breathtakingly colorful Victorians anchor a 47-acre bluff where a Colonial militia battled British troops—and lost. In the late 1990s, residents fought to save Fort Hill from development—and won.
BelleFair, Rye Brook
Originally a custom-home development built in the New Urbanism concept of self-contained community, BelleFair has 261 homes, both freestanding and townhouses, as well as recreational facilities, clubhouse, a village green, a small country market and shuttle service to the Metro-North station in Port Chester.
Called one of “America’s Prettiest Neighborhoods” by Forbes, this remarkable cache of 47 mid-century homes is tucked away on wooded lots off Bear Ridge Road. Frank Lloyd Wright helped plan the community after World War II and designed three of the homes. Some of the original owners and their families still live there.
Captain Merritt’s Hill, Mount Kisco
Named for a 19th-century sea captain who was one of the village’s founding fathers, this neighborhood off Route 133 as you enter the village has about 100 homes, most of them large Victorian and Colonial manses. The gem is a storybook Victorian mansion featured in the 1981 film Ragtime.
Mohegan Colony, Crompond
Founded by anarchists in 1923 as a self-governing enclave for like-minded lefties, the Colony evolved into a summer getaway, with a beach on Mohegan Lake for fishing and boating. Now a four-season community, the Colony hosts a popular storytelling and music festival every summer.