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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Diversity: 4 / Housing Costs: 4 / Parks & Recreation: 4
Property Tax: 5 / Proximity to NYC: 9 / Safety: 10 / Schools: 5
Proximity to Water: 6 / Nightlife: 6 / Shopping: 5 / Downtown: 4
Eastchester, which includes the incorporated villages of Bronxville and Tuckahoe, may not excel in housing costs or diversity, but the drive to the City is a mere 30-plus minutes, and the streets are as safe as any.
Mount Vernon's Hartley Park is just off Gramatan Avenue, the city's main thoroughfare.
Photo by Adam Samson
 Mount Vernon
Diversity: 9 / Housing Costs: 10 / Parks & Recreation: 1
Property Tax: 9 / Proximity to NYC: 10 / Safety: 1 / Schools: 1
Proximity to Water: 6 / Nightlife: 6 / Shopping: 4 / Downtown: 5
Mount Vernon is quite close to Manhattan (the Metro-North will get you to Grand Central in a speedy 25 to 39 minutes depending on what time and from which of the three train stations you are traveling); has a diverse population (there’s a near 65- percent chance of randomly meeting a person of another race); and has low housing costs (the third lowest in the county after Peekskill and Buchanan) and attractive property taxes (the fifth lowest in the county, after Buchanan, Peekskill, Cortlandt, and Elmsford.) Everything’s a tradeoff, though, and its schools, parks and recreation, and safety scored low.
Diversity: 8 / Housing Costs: 8 / Parks & Recreation: 7
Property Tax: 8 / Proximity to NYC: 7 / Safety: 8 / Schools: 1
Proximity to Water: 8 / Nightlife: 6 / Shopping: 6 / Downtown: 1
One of the county’s largest municipalities (it comprises Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Tarrytown, and Hartsdale), Greenburgh is not far from water (depending on the village, some of the towns actually hug the Hudson), nicely diverse, and has a fair number of parks and playgrounds. However, there is no downtown to speak of in Greenburgh proper. And while its villages have their own school districts, most of them fare much better than Greenburgh's own. (Since Greenburgh has its own district and data was available for it, its school's score is based solely on its own district).
Yorktown is a pleasing hybrid of rural charm and suburban amenities.
Photo by Adam Samson
Diversity: 5 / Housing Costs: 9 / Parks & Recreation: 9
Property Tax: 8 / Proximity to NYC: 2 / Safety: 4 / Schools: 4
Proximity to Water: 5 / Nightlife: 4 / Shopping: 5 / Downtown: 3
It’s quite a haul to Midtown, but this northern Westchester town (which includes the hamlets of Crompond, Jefferson Valley, Mohegan Lake, Shrub Oak, and Yorktown Heights) has lots of offerings in the parks and recreation department. Residents love its country setting, with ranch homes and farmhouse colonials surrounded by wooded hills. Yorktown has got the convenience of some of the larger cities in the county, in its multi-faceted Jefferson Valley Mall and a dowtown shopping center anchored by K-Mart. It remains desirable for its comparatively low home prices.
 North Castle
Diversity: 3 / Housing Costs: 1 / Parks & Recreation: 10
Property Tax: 3 / Proximity to NYC: 5 / Safety: 8 / Schools: 9
Proximity to Water: 3 / Nightlife: 4 / Shopping: 4 / Downtown: 4
Comprising the hamlets of Banksville, Armonk, and North White Plains, North Castle abounds in green space, has top-notch schools, and tree-lined streets that are safe for kids to play in. But housing costs are high (the fourth highest in the county) and so are property taxes ($17,619 a year on average).
Diversity: 4 / Housing Costs: 1 / Parks & Recreation: 7
Property Tax: 1 / Proximity to NYC: 6 / Safety: 10 / Schools: 5
Proximity to Water: 10 / Nightlife: 8 / Shopping: 10 / Downtown: 10
This city of 15,236 residents is, in some ways, an ideal place to live—it’s safe, it’s beautiful (the streets are lined with stunning homes and expansive lawns—and there’s lots and lots of green space), and it’s on the Sound. Plus, it has a quaint, bustling downtown with lots of shopping and dining opportunities. The downside: Rye has the most expensive housing stock in the county. The average cost of a house is $1,265,020. It also has the second highest property tax ($35,708). (The town with the dubious distinction of having the highest property tax is Bronxville—$38,451.)
Diversity: 1 / Housing Costs: 8 / Parks & Recreation: 9
Property Tax: 7 / Proximity to NYC: 2 / Safety: 5 / Schools: 7
Proximity to Water: 2 / Nightlife: 2 / Shopping: 1 / Downtown: 2
Somers is blessed with wide-open spaces with lots of recreational opportunities. It is wonderfully bucolic and among the last bastions of open farmland. It rates a mere 1, though, for shopping. And it’s a trek to get to New York City.