Best Places To Live
Call us gluttons for punishment (and angry letters from you), but this year, we dared to tackle the unthinkable—we’ve numerically ranked (virtually) every place there is to live in our county, from best to worst. Yes, this means there is indeed a Number 1—and it also means there is a Number 40. Read on, and see where your town fell in our rankings.
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Hastings-on-Hudson's blend of artsy stores, hot restaurants, and quaint mom-and-pop shops make the village an appealing choice for many.
Photo by Phil Mansfield
Diversity: 4 / Housing Costs: 5 / Parks & Recreation: 5
Property Tax: 5 / Proximity to NYC: 9 / Safety: 4 / Schools: 9
Proximity to Water: 10 / Nightlife: 6 / Shopping: 7 / Downtown: 8
This rather artsy rivertown is right off the Saw Mill River Parkway, about a half-hour drive to Midtown with good schools and some terrific river views. And the combination of all that plus an un-gentrified but nevertheless charming downtown, a couple of “wow” restaurants, and an interesting array of living choices (houses at different price points, condos, co-ops, apartments, and affordable units) add up to one of Westchester’s top places to put down roots.
Mamaroneck offers a thriving, bustling downtown in Westchester.
Photo by Phil Mansfield
Diversity: 7 / Housing Costs: 5 / Parks & Recreation: 4
Property Tax: 2 / Proximity to NYC: 7 / Safety: 10 / Schools: 8
Proximity to Water: 10 / Nightlife: 9 / Shopping: 7 / Downtown: 9
Mamaroneck bustles with energy along its main drag, with an array of restaurants and shops reflecting a diverse populace. (Indeed, the odds of someone of one race bumping into someone of another race in Mamaroneck is 50/50.) Check it out on a Thursday night—the town is jumping with music, outdoor dining, and shops open late for business. As for proximity to water, you couldn’t get much closer, and there’s plenty for everyone to do along the Long Island Sound shoreline, from the weekly farmers’ market in the warmer months to opportunities to kayak and sail, and playgrounds and ball fields for youngsters.
Traffic moves smoothly during most hours in the downtown, thanks to many pedestrian-friendly crosswalks and a lack of traffic lights. Like Hastings, Mamaroneck offers a variety of housing, making it an attractive place to live for people of many different income levels—although property taxes are high: $22,738 per year on average.
Diversity: 6 / Housing Costs: 6 / Parks & Recreation: 4
Property Tax: 6 / Proximity to NYC: 4 / Safety: 10 / Schools: 7
Proximity to Water: 4 / Nightlife: 10 / Shopping: 8 / Downtown: 9
This central Westchester village (it’s virtually smack-dab in the middle of the county) couldn’t have a more appropriate name. With the Jacob Burns Film Center (in its scant nine-year existence, it’s become a Westchester institution that not only screens top-notch films but frequently hosts the actors and/or directors of those films for enlightening discussions), quaint shops, quality restaurants, and tree-lined streets along which children can safely walk to school (all kids walk—or are driven; there are no school buses here), the town lives up to its moniker. Shopping, nightlife, and the downtown are all admirable. And if you yearn for a lovingly restored Victorian with front porches to rock on and greet your neighbors, this is the place. Usonia, an enclave of low-slung cantilevered houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and other architects, shares a zip code with Pleasantville (but is outside the village proper). The town offers an easy commute to Midtown, with many residents living within walking distance of the Metro-North station, and is nestled almost equidistant between the shopping/dining areas of Central Avenue to the south and Mount Kisco’s Main Street to the north.