8 Suburban Towns for Families
It may seem like there is a mass exodus out of the city — I count eight families from my neighborhood who have moved away in the last year. Many have left for different reasons. Financial, schools, one friend wanted to be near the ocean. Another wanted to be near her parents.
All of them say the same thing. They decided to move for their family, but they all wanted to be close enough that New York City still feels part of their lives. Making the decision to move to the suburbs for some may be an easy move, while others need a bit more intel to move to your new home.
I get it; here are eight places to check out that are worth moving to and not far from your first love, NYC.
Psst…Looking for more towns? Check out The Top Towns to Move to in 2021!
Located in Union County, New Jersey, this town is only 22 miles from Manhattan. Westfield’s commuters dream town is dubbed as a “classic town for modern families” rich in culture and architecture. Whether working remotely or from home, one reason families are moving to this town is it’s quick access to the city.
Families benefit from top-rated schools, which includes six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. Families can enjoy access to numerous parks, greenery, golf courses, recreational facilities.
And no need to venture far to shop and dine on delicious food as Westfield is known for its vibrant shopping and dining with over 450 stores! Westfield has that bustling energy where young families are moving about their days’ mixed residents who have been there for generations making for a community that feels warm and welcoming.
Frank D. Isoldi of Coldwell Banker, the realtor of this drool-worthy house, says, “Set on one of Westfield’s most recognizable streets, the impressive home underwent an extensive addition & upgrade boasting quality craftsmanship throughout and gorgeous curb appeal. This remarkable home is situated on professionally landscaped property, including a two-car attached garage, a covered patio, and an additional two-tier bluestone patio boasting a fireplace and a stone station with grill and refrigerator, perfect for entertaining.”
Montclair/ Glen Ridge NJ
You know who you are, the city folks, who swore they would never leave the urban life. But now, a few kids later, a flexible job, and the need for space have you searching for a home in a diverse community. At only 12 miles from New York City, Montclair/Glen Ridge beckons.
Amy Owens of Keller Williams understands her clients and shares, “Montclair is the closest suburb with a city-like feel, boasting many of the characteristics city dwellers fear giving up!”
Amy is right. City folks will feel at home with Montclair’s bustling restaurant scene that, even in the time of COVID, have pivoted to safely serve up the eclectic range of dishes from the many available dining options. The downtown area has lovely stores that feel special. On Bloomfield Ave, you will find one of my favorite shops, Parcel, where you can shop for gifts, handmade stationery, and trinkets from all over the world. Since schools are on the top of many reasons families move to the suburbs, new residents will appreciate that the Montclair school system offers excellent public schools and top-rated private schools. Amy shares, “Nearly ninety percent of Montclair High School graduates go on to post-secondary institutions of higher learning, including Ivy League universities and dozens of highly competitive schools.”
I speak the truth when I share that I have lost count on how many of my friends have moved to this picturesque town. At only thirty minutes from the city, I get it. The NJ Transit train has a midtown direct that can get you into the city in under 45 minutes.
The tree-lined streets and beautiful houses beckon even the most hardcore city type. The town is rich in diversity, with many religions and lifestyles welcomed.
The schools are high performing. Mark Slade of Keller Williams Realtors’ own son recently graduated from Columbia High school, and he shares, “The schools are very good. We have students matriculating to the Ivy League Schools, but also to renowned worldwide universities as well as schools like Juilliard. Columbia High School is purported to have the widest variety of AP-Advanced Placement courses and offers a tremendous number of sports and clubs.”
If you are looking to go coastal, you are going to want to check out Rye, New York. Yes, it is a suburban town, yet it is unique in many ways. It has 34 acres of public beaches as well as five private beach clubs. There are also a public golf course for more family fun (okay, maybe that’s for the adults) and a public pool, parks and the historic Art Deco amusement park, Rye Playland.
Located in Westchester County, Rye is a 40-minute trip on Metro-North Railroad to Grand Central. Both public and private schools in Rye City are rich in academic and extracurricular offerings and offer top education choices for families.
A home we recently spied at 51 Green Avenue really caught our eye. Fiona Dogan of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty noted, “It’s a contemporary Colonial that recently underwent a total luxury renovation. Situated in one of Rye’s premier neighborhoods, it is just steps from the beach, town park, marina, clubs, shops, restaurants, and an award-winning elementary school. For today’s work-at-home environment, a fourth bedroom/guest suite/office is quietly tucked away.”
Mamaroneck, located in Westchester County, is one of the oldest communities in Westchester and a top pick for growing families. I count Mamaronek as one of the top places I visit now as many of my friends have moved to this quaint town. At only a 40 minute commute on Metro-North, Mamaroneck is ideal for commuters who also want to have a suburban neighborhood way of living. With accessible schools — you can walk the kids to schools and catch the train as many homes are within walking distance.
One of the main reasons many fellow parents I know moved to Mamaroneck is the schools. Favorite go-to realtor, Ann Marie Damashek of Compass, says of the school system, “There are two school public districts that serve Mamaroneck; Rye Neck and Mamaroneck. Both rank very high in the Niche Best Schools Districts in America, with an A+ rating. The French American School of New York also has two campuses here. They offer both a bi-lingual immersion program and an International program for all students, no french required.”
Greenwich, Connecticut, is my dream town. It is where you go when you are ready for some serious space (67 square miles) and ample greenery. City people love their neighborhoods, and Greenwich is known to be tight-knit.
Realtor Karen Colella of Compass shares about Greenwich, “There is a remarkable sense of community in Greenwich. I am always overly impressed by the incredibly selfless time and energy Greenwich residents dedicate to improving the lifestyle of our neighbors and maintaining the beauty and resiliency of our town. We especially witnessed the unique character of our community recently during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
And while many families move to Greenwich for the town’s rural beauty, schools are also a top reason families choose to move here.
The public schools offer diverse extracurriculars and frankly feel like private schools. The private schools are highly competitive, and if the right fit cannot be found in town, there are more regarded private school options located nearby in Westchester and Lower Fairfield County areas.
Short Hills/ Millburn, NJ
At 25 miles from Manhattan, Short Hills/Millburn in New Jersey is ideal if looking to truly live the contemporary suburban life, yet still have an easy commute to the city.
Many fashionistas know this area for premium shopping, so trekking to the city is not needed. Also, many Manhattanites take pride in their parks, and so does Short Hills/ Millburn, which are surrounded by gorgeous parks.
The schools are top-notch with a ranking of #2 in Niche 2021 Best School Districts in New Jersey. Houses in Short Hills/Millburn NJ, are beautiful, with many having cool design add-ons.
Real Estate agent Victoria Carter of Weichert shares that her latest house listing at 55 Highland Avenue in Short Hill encompasses “A fully-equipped in-law apartment accessible by elevator or private staircase, conducive to multi-generational living as well as many quiet retreats throughout the residence to facilitate working and studying from home.” The Millburn Township website shares the fun fact that “Short Hills was the first planned commuter suburb in America.”
Rye Brook, NY
You had me at “village.” At 3.5 square miles, Rye Brook is a village in Westchester County nestled between Greenwich & Rye. For families who think moving hours away is the only way they will find an idyllic community, you will be pleasantly surprised and in awe of Rye Brook. The express train is a 40-minute ride to Grand Central, and peak service clocks in around 20 minutes. To get to the train from your home is a 5 to 10-minute drive.
And what is it like to live in a village? Fantastic shopping and dining can be found throughout the town. Trusted realtor Kori Sassower of Compass also shares, “The town itself has two fantastic parks where the kids can run & play. Great sports fields, beautiful beaches, hiking trails, a famed downtown concert hall, golf, pool, and tennis clubs. Whether you are going to a homecoming game, enjoying a movie in Pine Ridge Park, celebrating Rye Brook’s annual birthday bash at Crawford Park or letting the dogs run in the dog park, you will find there much to be entertained by in this wonderful town. People fall in love with Rye Brook for its true neighborhood feel. It is the kind of town that you see your neighbors in your front yard, but your backyard is private. The streets are filled with kids, dogs, strollers, walkers, and runners.”
If looking for a laid back vibe close to the city, this is one spot to check out.