When you’re thinking about moving to Long Island, New York. there’s a few factors to take into account. If you’re going to be working in New York, make sure you choose a spot near an LIRR station; while you can drive into Manhattan from here, the traffic is infamously slow during rush hour (which is more like 3 hours). You should also consider how close to the water you want to be, and if you want a town with a bustling downtown or a sleepy, quiet suburban feel. If you have kids, you’ll want to take a look at the huge number of schools available on Long Island as well!
Regardless of which neighborhood you choose, all of the ones listed below are considered some of the best places to live on Long Island, New York. They all boast low crime, good schools, various outdoor activities, and plenty of shopping and good food. Even if you can’t find these in the exact neighborhood, you don’t need to travel too far to find a good beach, park, or restaurant. Plus, you can always head into New York City via the LIRR if you really want to have a night out!
We’ve got everything you need to get started, with the the details on five of the best Long Island neighborhoods. From North Shore to South, from near Jones Beach to far east communities near the Hamptons, we can help you find the perfect Long Island community for you.
Located on the North Fork of Long Island, Greenport was originally settled in 1682 as a whaling and shipbuilding village with a protected harbor. Today, Greenport is still a bustling harbor, home to hundreds of vessels, from small fishing boats to shining yachts. In fact, one of the easiest ways to get to Greenport still remains by sea via the Cross Sound Ferry where you can travel from New London, CT to Orient Point, NY. The trip only takes 80 minutes and you can bring your car..
Located near the far end of Long Island, Greenport offers a more relaxed and cozy environment than the busier Hamptons while still allowing you to get away to the beach. As one of the older settlements on Long Island, there’s plenty of history to see just by wandering around the downtown area. If you really want to learn more about the history of whaling, you can visit the East End Seaport Museum for more information.
Greenport is consistently ranked as one of the safest towns on Long Island, and features gorgeous homes in a suburban setting. The downtown area sports plenty of boutique shops, and restaurants that use plenty of locally-sourced ingredients.
The area is also home to some of Long Island’s best vineyards, making it beloved by wine-lovers. If you appreciate a good bottle of wine, you’ll want to visit Kontokosta Winery. It offers a variety of red, white, and rose wines to suit your taste. You can even sample a few before you decide to buy. There’s nothing better than enjoying a glass of wine while taking in the lovely view of the Long Island Sound.
Greenport is also one of the best Long Island neighborhoods for families. There’s the famous Carousel at Mitchell Park that your children can enjoy and after that everyone can cool off with some Italian Ice. If your kids are more into ships, Mitchell Park Marina is a great option to see a wide variety of boats from small runabouts to large luxury liners. For parents, Greenport offers a public elementary and high school as well as a couple of private schools. The high school has advanced placement classes for kids looking to challenge themselves in their studies as well as plenty of extracurricular activities from sports to drama club.
As well as being a great spot for families, Greenport also has plenty to offer young professionals. About half the residents here rent apartments, which cost about $1500 per month on average. Additionally, Greenport is the last stop on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), so it’s easy to get into Manhattan without dealing with Long Island’s infamous expressway traffic. With that said, it will take you around 2-3 hours to get into the city via the LIRR, so make sure to take a book with you! The upside of being this far from the city is that it’s less crowded and you can find a seat on the LIRR. Greenport has everything you could want from a small town, making it one of the best places to live on Long Island.
Midway across the Island, on the North Shore is the picturesque city of Smithtown. A family-friendly suburb, Smithtown offers affordable homes on tree-lined streets, and is one of the best places to live on Long Island. The average house here sells for around $475,000, while the average household income is over $110,000, making Smithtown and affluent city that is also affordable for young families and professionals starting their careers. The town has also worked hard to revitalize their downtown area to bring in more restaurants, entertainment, and nightlife to help encourage younger generations to move in.
Founded in 1665, Smithtown is a small community located along the North Shore. The township is comprised of six hamlets (including Kings Park, Hauppauge, and parts of Lake Ronkonkoma) as well as three incorporated villages. As it is located only 30 minutes away from the Atlantic Ocean, it’s no surprise that there are four pristine beaches in town: Short Beach, Long Beach, Kings Park Bluff, and Callahan’s Beach.
Smithtown is also a great place to live if you love nature! Caleb Smith State Park in Smithtown covers 543 acres and includes trails and gorgeous scenery, along with historic sites for residents to visit. Smithtown residents can enjoy even more at Blydenburgh County Park, where you can row down or fish on the Nissequogue River. In fact, the town has a total of 24 town parks and four state parks! It’s no surprise why many consider it one of the best places to live on Long Island for nature-lovers.
It’s also an excellent location for families. Besides the many parks and beaches within the town borders, Smithtown has one of the top school districts on Long Island, New York. There are a total of four public schools in the township each offering excellent teachers, resources, classes, and extracurricular activities.
Another point in favor of Smithtown is its location. Only halfway out on the island, the city is just 90 minutes from Manhattan by car, and can also be accessed via the LIRR. Living in Smithtown, you’ll also be close to Long Island’s top spots to visit, like the North Fork vineyards and the Hamptons. Whether you’re moving to Long Island, New York for family, work, or both, Smithtown should definitely be on your list of neighborhoods to check out.
Down on the South Shore, Bellmore is a quiet hamlet only 45 minutes from Penn Station by train. It’s one of the best places to live in Long Island and commute to NYC, with gorgeous suburban settings complemented by the natural beauty of a waterfront community. Just 5 miles from Jones Beach Park, living in Bellmore gives you easy access to one of the most popular beaches on the Island. The Park also hosts a number of concerts throughout the year, as well as programs for kids and families.
There’s also plenty of shopping and nightlife for people who want more than just beautiful beaches and nature. For nearby shopping, you can head down to the Bellmore Shopping Center for a variety of commercial establishments and local shops. Robbie Plaza and Merrick Mall are also a quick drive away.
Schools in this Long Island neighborhood are highly rated; John F Kennedy High School is open to Bellmore and Merrick students, and offers an array of class types, including culinary studies! The school has been recognized by Newsweek as one of the top institutions in both the state and nationally, and its students are regularly accepted into top-rated universities.
While more expensive than other parts of New York, and significantly more expensive than many areas in America, the cost of living in Bellmore is fairly affordable in comparison to other Long Island towns and cities. Houses here go for around $500,000 on average, and can sell for more than $750,000 depending on size and location, though you can find plenty of homes in the $300,000-$400,000 as well. Plus, the average Bellmore household makes about $125,000 per year, so the higher home prices are matched by higher salaries– making it an affordable option for city commuters and higher-income families.
If you’re looking for a gorgeous, spacious, and affluent area for your family, you’ll want to take a look at Roslyn, NY. Now, the median home price here may be below $500,000, but 22% of homes here are sold for between $750,000 and $1 Million. Additionally, 12% of homes here sell for over $1 million. So if you’re looking at one of the many large 1910 or 1920’s constructions, be prepared to pay the price!
Roslyn is also one of the most sought after neighborhoods on Long Island because of the quality of its schools. Roslyn Public Schools serve just over 3,000 students across 7 communities. Students at Roslyn High School perform significantly better on the SATs than other New York students on average, and the school boasts a high acceptance rate to top-tier colleges.
Of course, the schools aren’t the only reason why Roslyn is considered one of the best Long Island neighborhoods. It also has scenic locations such as Roslyn Pond Park or Clark Botanic Garden where you can enjoy the peace and quiet of nature. If you’re more of a beach person, you can hed to North Hempstead Beach Park where you can fish, kayak, swim, or just have a nice picnic along the shore.
Because of its proximity to the city, Roslyn is an ideal location for people who want a suburban lifestyle while working in the city. The train ride on the LIRR should take you less than an hour from Roslyn to Penn Station, and on peak trains cost just $13. You can also drive to Midtown in about 40 minutes– give or take Manhattan traffic. Overall, living in Roslyn is a great choice for affluent families looking for great schools and easy access to NYC.
Massapequa is one of the top places to live on Long Island for young families especially. Home to six elementary schools and a variety of high school options, the town offers great educationally opportunities for students of every age. The Massapequa School District has received an “A” rating from Niche.com, and is ranked in the top 100 public schools in New York!
Located along the South Shore of Long Island, New York, Massapequa has an area of 3.6 square miles, making it relatively small. It has a population of around 20,000 people with the number growing as more young families move out to the area due to its excellent schools and general proximity to New York City.
Like the other towns, Massapequa offers a quiet, suburban vibe. While many of its malls have since closed down, there still remains Sunrise Mall for your shopping needs. If you’re more of a foodie, the town offers some excellent burgers, pizza, and of course, seafood. They also have an annual street fair that welcomes various crafters and vendors from around the area. There’s also live music, games, a petting zoo, and plenty of food to enjoy!
Bordering the Massapequa Preserve, the town has plenty to offer nature-lovers. Plus, Massapequa Cove is one of the top spots on Long Island for fishing, since fish love the calmer, protected waters of this area. The numerous recreation areas also make this a perfect spot for families to get together and enjoy the great outdoors. If you’re not into fishing, you can also enjoy some outdoor activities at Brady Park or Marjorie R. Post Community Park.These locations offer excellent facilities for basketball, tennis, swimming, and more.
Massapequa is definitely an affluent area, with homes often selling for more than $500,000. The average household income in Massapequa is $123,000, which is more than double the national average. Folks here also bring in more income than the New York average, and even the average for the whole of Nassau County. While some homes here are more affordable, be aware that the closer you get to the water, the more expensive things get. Not to mention the fact that it is one of the best Long Island neighborhoods means real estate here is at a premium. Still, if you’re able to afford the cost of living out in Massapequa, you should consider moving here especially if you have children and want to make sure they receive a top-rated education.
Finding the Best Long Island Neighborhoods
We hope this guide has helped kickstart your look into top neighborhoods on Long Island! Whether you’re a Long Island native, or moving to Long Island for the first time, it’s important to find the community that is the best fit for you and your family! No matter which neighborhood you choose, we’re sure you’re going to love living on Long Island!
Of course, besides the five neighborhoods we listed, there are plenty of other places to live on Long Island. Just make sure to do your homework before you decide to move as not all areas of Long Island, New York are picturesque and safe. Still, many locations on the Island tend to be safer than New York City in general.
When you’re ready to make your move, we’d love to be the ones to help welcome you home. As a local Long Island moving company, we can help make your transition effortless, so you can focus on getting settled into your new neighborhood! Call PHONE today for a Long Island moving quote, or if you have any more questions about what it’s like living on Long Island!