7.4 out of 10

Westchester County

Ranked 17th best county in New York
41.1043760572915 -73.7960058756808
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Internet Access
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Resale or Rental Value
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Cost of Living
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Public Transport
  • Shopping Options
Who lives here?
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Tourists
  • Beach Lovers

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
Apr 02, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Given that it covers a lot of ground, the cities do offer everything from fine dining to casual street food; there’s also diverse shopping options from the lovely boutiques of Pelham to the traditional mall shopping of White Plains.
Westchester offers much of the promise of the American Dream for those who are able to find reasonable employment in the area.
Pros
  • Schools with good reputation
  • Proximity to NYC
  • beautiful land with lots of different ecosystems
  • great history
  • on the river
Cons
  • Some parts are very homogenous
  • not all areas have transportation
Recommended for
  • Tourists
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
Apr 02, 2012

"A Beautiful Place to Live and Raise Your Kids"

Westchester County is one of 62 counties in NY state, consisting of 6cities, 19 towns and 23 villages (towns and villages also break down further into hamlets). In 2010, its estimated population consisted of 949,113 inhabitants. The county is one of the most heavily wooded areas of New York. Here, you will find a lot of hills, plenty of wetland, ponds, lakes and streams. It played important roles in the Revolutionary war, and during the Civil War, it was home to the Underground Railroad. There are lots of historic places to visit: places like George Washington’s headquarters (many throughout the area, and there’s two in White Plains, where you can also learn about the Battle of White Plains by visiting Battle Whitney Park (signs will tell you where things occurred, and what happened there). There’s other ways of finding out about Westchester’s history as well: you can visit local libraries and call up or visit the headquarters of various cities, towns or villages’ historical societies. In Peekskill, you can take a tour of stops along the Underground Railroad and see where Lincoln gave his famous Address (Peekskill is the only place where Lincoln visited while coming to Westchester).

In 2011, the average price for a home ranged from 200,000+ to over 2,000,000 in more expensive areas (only two places cost over 2,000,000: Purchase being the highest, and Bedford being the second highest). Yonkers is the cheapest. It’s ritzy in some areas, then accommodating and affordable in others. Everywhere you go, you’ll find something to do nearby. (While you might have to have a car to drive someplace fun, there’s also buses in some areas and a train which can take you to Grand Central Station in less than an hour from most places.)

Westchester is diverse according to culture and class. You might, for instance, find yourself visiting a proud Hispanic community (such as some parts of Peekskill), and getting to taste new kinds of food you won’t be able to find anywhere else. There’s lots of different churches for people of different religious belief to choose from---including Unitarian churches, where you can appreciate and find out about all different kinds of religion while being a part of a community. There’s lots of things for families to do together: go to Playland Park in Rye, visit a historical site, go to a museum (such as the Neuberger Museum of Art on the Purchase College campus in Purchase, NY). Some places have a high crime rate (Southwestern Yonkers, Mount Vernon, and certain parts of New Rochelle and White Plains--Ferry Street in White Plains and near the White Plains Hospital---are places to watch out for and to keep your eye on yourself and your kids.

There’s lots of great parks and recreation in Westchester: like Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill, or Pound Ridge Park in Cross River. You can go hiking, boating, skating on ponds or in rinks (there’s a great indoor rink in Elmsford), go to the movies, eat out at excellent restaurants and find great places to do yoga (Energy Movement on South Street in Peekskill is excellent), or find yourself meditating in front of the gorgeous Hudson River.

Wonderful hospitals such as Phelps’ Memorial or Northern Westchester are excellent to go to for quality medical care. Local medical care like Mount Kisco Medical Group has excellent treatment. Hudson Valley Health Care in Peekskill (with assistance for those in need) are just as good. No matter who you are, you’ll always find something great to do in Westchester.
Pros
  • great history
  • on the river
  • beautiful land with lots of different ecosystems
Cons
  • near Indian Point
  • not all areas have transportation
  • housing

Best Towns in Westchester County

1

Lewisboro

4/5
"Discovering Lewisboro"
41.2673443961542 -73.5877664492658
2

Peekskill

4/5
"A Town thats Transforming Itself into a Legend"
41.2866914907172 -73.9299418160879
3

Katonah

4/5
"Keeping Up with Katonah!"
41.2586 -73.6855
4

New Rochelle

4/5
"New Rochelle has a little something for everyone"
40.945778993724 -73.7895905883316
5

Tarrytown

4/5
"Town of Tarrytown"
41.0682825192894 -73.8532459852913
6

Bedford

4/5
"Living in Bedford, NY"
41.1975154362258 -73.6447456858788
7

Yonkers

4/5
"Yonkers on 9/11/12"
40.9363971023745 -73.8510662910839
8

Scarsdale

4/5
"Shopping Options"
40.9900803435877 -73.7783795803731
"A Hidden Gem"
41.1441949591257 -73.8328125750491
10

White Plains

3.5/5
"Born and raised in White Plains, New York"
41.0343 -73.7631