The New Jersey City coastline, looking out toward New York City. Skyscrapers on both sides of the water tower over smaller nearby buildings.

11 Cities Near New York: More Space & Lower Cost of Living

New York City New York State

by Bonnie Azoulay Posted on June 20, 2024

The allure of living in New York City is real. We see it in movies, books, and in the way people’s eyes light up when they talk about it. We’ve romanticized New York City — in part, because it lives up to its romantic persona. But is the high cost of living worth it? For most, it’s not even feasible. If you want to earn a livable salary and live a comfortable life, especially with children in tow, New York can be more stressful than romantic. Besides, if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that space really is of the essence, and hustle culture is not all it’s cracked up to be. But what about the cities near New York? 

Ready to make your move to a city near New York? Start by getting a moving quote from PODS.

According to the New York City’s comptroller in a 2021 report titled “The Pandemic’s Impact on NYC Migration Patterns,” the pandemic had a major impact on migration in and out of the city. At the time, many people moved to the suburbs “temporarily” for more space, but some ended up staying there permanently. Since, though, as offices have reopened and housing prices in the suburbs have risen, many people have moved back into the city. New York might have experienced one of the largest exoduses as a result of the pandemic, but its population drop has since slowed and is back on the rise, according to Bloomberg.

Still, if you want to live more comfortably — physically and financially — exploring some cities near New York City may be just the ticket you’ve been looking for. They offer the culture, history, and activities you’re looking for with a cheaper price tag and more space — plus easy access to the Big Apple means you still have your NYC fix. Here are 11 of our favorite cities near New York.

Q: What small towns are near New York City?
Between the traffic, the thousands of restaurants, and the millions of residents, New York is no small town. But believe it or not, there are many quaint small towns near New York City. Here are a few:

  • Cold Spring, NY
  • Hudson, NY
  • New Paltz, NY
  • Rhinebeck, NY
  • Greenport, NY
  • Woodstock, NY

Aerial view of the city of New Rochelle, New York, and its coast on a sunny day. Square-shaped brick buildings make up the city center, and residential homes and mature trees fill the surrounding areas.

With a beautiful waterfront, you get the best of both worlds in New Rochelle: urban living and popular beach clubs.

1. New Rochelle, NY

New Rochelle, NY, a popular city in Westchester County, is a short 25-mile commute from New York City. By car, it’s about one hour away. With the Metro-North Railroad, you can be at Grand Central Terminal from New Haven in 40 minutes. It’s very common for people who live in New Rochelle to commute to NYC for work or a night out. 

As the seventh largest city in New York, New Rochelle, NY, has plenty to offer. Its suburban charm features older homes to marvel at and recently built homes/condominiums where newcomers can reside. And with a beautiful waterfront, you get the best of both worlds: urban living and popular beach clubs. There are also plenty of colleges and high schools for young adults to attend. 

A diverse population of over 83,000 people are spread out across popular New Rochelle neighborhoods, including Wykagyl Park, Paine Heights, Forest Heights, and Beechmont. Some of the most famous kid-friendly attractions include Glen Island Park, The Rock Club, and the Museum of Arts & Culture at New Rochelle High School.

On Main Street downtown, you can easily find restaurants, boutique shops, and other fun places to walk around. Additionally, there are plenty of newly constructed rental buildings and many co-ops available.

Afternoon light casts long shadows from the buildings of Jersey City on the Hudson River.

Don’t let Jersey City’s name fool you — it’s closer to New York City than you think!

2. Jersey City, NJ

If you’ve never heard of Jersey City, NJ, then you’d be surprised to know that it’s a part of New Jersey and New York. Now, don’t let this city’s name fool you — it’s closer to New York City than you think! You can easily get to NYC from Jersey City in only 30 minutes by taking the ferry or PATH Subway, making it one of the easiest cities near New York for commuting into Manhattan.
Jersey City, NJ, home to over 291,000 residents, is known for its young community and college-town vibes. Many young adults and couples live here because of its proximity to NYC, where they work or go to school. The city itself has its own vibrant nightlife, boasting tons of restaurants and bars. Its diverse community lends credibility to its diverse food, too. 

And as the second-largest city in New Jersey, its budget-friendly living options (in comparison to Manhattan) make it a top pick for people who want to live in New York without paying its high cost of rent. Head to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island by boat or hang out in Liberty State Park for the day. End your night with Razza, a pizza place that won 27th place on the list of best pizzas in the world in 2022.

Did you know? According to RentCafe, renter-occupied households in Jersey City make up 70 percent of the total occupied housing units. The secret is out, and more people are renting in Jersey City!

The Hoboken, New Jersey, waterfront at dusk. A pier in partial disrepair is jutting out into the water as the last of the day’s sunlight reflects off city buildings.

It can be quicker to get from Hoboken, NJ, to New York than to travel from the east side to the west side in NYC.
(Source: Pierre Blaché via Pixabay)

3. Hoboken, NJ

When it comes to cities close to New York, it’s tough to get much closer. Hoboken, New Jersey, is a city in Hudson County, and it’s just four miles from New York City. Similar to Jersey City, Hoboken is a quick commute to NYC. You can drive through the Holland Tunnel in just 20 minutes. Similarly, you can take a 20-minute bus ride from the Hoboken Terminal to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York or the PATH train into Penn Station. Interestingly, it can be quicker to get from Hoboken to NYC than it is to travel from the east side to the west side in NYC. 

With only a little over 57,000 residents, Hoboken is a small and tight-knit community. It attracts young adults who go to college or are in entry-level roles in their careers. Families who choose to move there, though, will have solid schools and safe neighborhoods to choose from.

The best part? The cost of living in Hoboken is less expensive than NYC. Read everything you need to know about moving to Hoboken in our Garden State Guide to New Jersey Moving

Q: Which cities are closer to New York?
Some of the most popular cities that are close to New York City are New Rochelle, Jersey City, Hoboken, and Elizabeth. They are all within about a 45-minute commute by train or car. 

Aerial view of downtown buildings in White Plains, New York, on a sunny day. Cars are parked along the city street below, and the blue sky is filled with faint wisps of clouds.

White Plains is rich in history, plus it’s full of activities to enjoy with the whole family.

4. White Plains, NY

Like New Rochelle, White Plains is a city in Westchester county in New York. But unlike New Rochelle, White Plains only has a population of around 61,000

In 1776, Judge John Thomas of Purchase read the Declaration of Independence out loud for the first time in the state of New York in White Plains. Then, just a few months later, General George Washington fought the British in the Battle of White Plains. Can you believe that only 505 people lived in White Plains during the late 1700s? The city has grown more than a hundred fold in the last two centuries! 

Now, the city boasts more than just a few houses and a courthouse. It has proper school systems, restaurants, safe neighborhoods, and a great quality of life for families. 

And if you’re looking for a job opportunity, you don’t even have to leave the city. More than 170 businesses are headquartered in Westchester County, which White Plains is part of, including Mastercard, Pepsico, and IBM. 

From the Bronx River Path and Soldier’s Monument at White Plains Armory to the White Plains Performing Arts Center, White Plains is rich in history and activities to enjoy with the whole family. 

Q: What towns are one hour away from NYC?
Some of the most popular towns near New York City that are no more than an hour away (depending on the traffic) include the following:

  • Stamford, Connecticut
  • Ossining, New York
  • Tinton Falls, New Jersey
  • Montclair, New Jersey

Aerial view of the riverfront in the village of Ossining, New York, on a cloudy day.

Even though Ossining is a small village, there are tons of restaurants, grocery stores, and activities for families to enjoy.
(Source: The Village of Ossining, New York via Facebook)

5. Ossining, NY

Ossining, NY, is a small village in Westchester County with a population of around 27,000 residents. It takes about an hour to drive from Ossining to NYC, and taking the Hudson Line to Grand Central Terminal is around the same. It’s not as close as the other cities near New York we’ve listed, but its charm makes up for it.

If you’re the outdoorsy type, you’ll love the village of Ossining’s quaint streets and hikes through the Croton Aqueduct Trail. Take in its rich history with a Museum in the Streets walking tour or visit Bethany Arts Community to check out the art installations. Then, end your weekend watching the sunset over the Hudson River from Sparta Park or Henry Gourdine Park. 

Most residents in Ossining own their homes and live a slower pace of life. But even though it’s a small place to live, there are tons of restaurants, grocery stores, and activities for families to enjoy.

Q: What cities are 2 hours away from New York City?
Some popular cities near New York City that you can typically reach within a two-hour or so drive (or train ride) include towns in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, such as:
  • Beacon, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • New Haven, CT
  • Atlantic City, NJ

Aerial view of the city of Yonkers, New York, on a bright summer day. The foreground features greenspaces and mature trees, and a low mountain range can be seen in the distance.

Since it’s located only a few miles north of The Bronx, locals call Yonkers “The Sixth Borough of New York.” 

6. Yonkers, NY

Yonkers, NY, is a city on the Hudson River in Westchester County. By car, it’s about a 35-minute commute to NYC, and by train, it’s about 40 minutes on the Amtrak-Metro North Station to Penn Station. 

Yonkers is known for its greenery and historic monuments. As the largest city in Westchester County, there are almost 208,000 residents. Within the city, there are a myriad of busy streets and waterfront views. And since it’s located only a few miles north of The Bronx and Manhattan, it’s no wonder why locals call it “The Sixth Borough of New York.” 

Yonkers has many different types of homes to choose from, including lofts, apartments, condos, single-family homes, and multi-family homes. However, there is a higher cost of living compared to other cities surrounding New York City. 

The cost of living in Yonkers is 29 percent higher than the New York State average and 57 percent higher than the national average. Still, it’s cheaper than living in NYC.

Some of the most popular colleges in Yonkers include Sarah Lawrence College, Manhattan College, and Westchester Community College. Because there is a high Irish-American population, the city’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration is not to be missed! And best of all, if you’re looking to move with a family, Yonkers was rated No. 8 for the safest city in America in 2023. 

Q: Which state is close to New York?
The nearest state to New York is New Jersey, which is home to a ton of great cities close to NYC, like Hoboken, Jersey City, and Garden City. 

Aerial view of Harbor Point Marinas and Kosciuszko Park in Stamford, Connecticut, during the golden hour.

Stamford has many large corporations — including nine that are Fortune 500 companies.

7. Stamford, CT

Stamford, Connecticut, might not be in New York, but it’s only about an hour away by car or by the Amtrak train. The cost of living is significantly lower than living in NYC, but it’s still 24.6 percent higher than the state average and 38.6 percent higher than the national average.

Stamford has many large corporations — including nine that are Fortune 500 companies. It’s become known as “The City That Works,” with a growing financial district and population of just over 136,000 residents. If you want to travel, the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and the Newark Liberty International Airport are just an hour away, while LaGuardia is just 45 minutes away. And from The Connecticut Grand Opera and The Terry Connors Rink to the The Avon Theatre Film Center and Cummings Park public beach, you won’t have to travel far for family-oriented attractions. 

Pro Tip: Once you’ve chosen a city to live near NYC, have a PODS portable moving container delivered to your driveway, where you can pack and load at your own pace. When you’re ready, PODS will pick it up and deliver it to your new home. And if you need storage, it’s built into every move!

View of the city of Montclair, New Jersey, beneath a rainbow in the sunny moments after a rainstorm.

Montclair is known for its culture, arts, and small businesses, so there’s always plenty for locals to do.

8. Montclair, NJ

Dubbed “The Brooklyn of New Jersey,” the township of Montclair is one of the most underrated near NYC. It’s a 35-minute car ride and about 45 minutes away by train to NYC. Because it’s known for its culture, arts, and small businesses, there’s plenty to do. You can visit the Montclair Art Museum and the Van Vleck House & Gardens. Or spend the day at Edgemont Memorial Park and the Montclair Brewery

Most people in Montclair own their homes and raise their families in a suburban neighborhood. And although it’s not cheap to live there, it’s worth it for their highly rated public school district, safe neighborhoods, and local shops. 

 Aerial view of Garden City, New York, on a summer day with the big city in the background.

Technically a village of Long Island, Garden City is home to about 23,000 people, the vast majority of whom own their homes.
(Source: The Garden City Hotel via Facebook

9. Garden City, NY

It only takes a glance at the average home value of $1.2 million to see that the cost of living in Garden City isn’t exactly cheap — in fact, it’s 60 percent higher than the national average and 32 percent above the state average. That said, the housing is still less expensive and more spacious than you’ll find in most parts of NYC. The average rent, for instance, is about $4,250 in Garden City, but that’ll get you 1,244 square feet of space (on average), versus an average $4,825 for a 702-square-foot apartment in Manhattan

Garden City is considered one of the best suburbs to live in New York, according to Niche, along with being one of the best places to raise a family. Parents will appreciate the A+ public school rankings, in particular. 

Technically a village of Long Island, Garden City is home to about 23,000 people, the vast majority of whom own their homes. As for getting into Manhattan, you can make the 28-mile journey either by driving (it’ll take about an hour without traffic), or hopping on the Long Island Railroad and taking it all the way to Penn Station (which typically takes 35-45 minutes).

A quaint commercial street in the village of Ridgewood, New Jersey, on a sunny day.

The village has a population of just over 26,000 and a charm-filled vibe that’s led some to compare it to Stars Hollow, the adorable fictional town at the center of the show “Gilmore Girls.”
(Source: Village of Ridgewood via Facebook)

10. Ridgewood, NJ

Not to be confused with the neighborhood in Queens, Ridgewood, NJ, is another of the cities close to NYC. The village has a population of just over 26,000 and a charm-filled vibe that’s led some to compare it to Stars Hollow, the adorable fictional town at the center of the show “Gilmore Girls.” Take a look at the streets lined with historic homes and downtown dotted with restaurants, shops, and cafes to see what you think. 

Families also gravitate toward Ridgewood for the top-notch public schools — just one of the reasons Niche has ranked it as the second-best suburb to live in New Jersey and the fourth-best place to live in New Jersey overall. So it’s not hard to see why it’s one of the best places to live near NYC, too. 

Though this city close to New York is a bit further than some of the others on this list, it typically takes just under an hour to drive into Manhattan from here, or you can go by train for a slightly longer commute. 

Q: Where to live to commute to NYC?
That all depends how long a commute you’re willing to have, but some of the cities near NYC with the quickest commute times are Weehawken, NJ; Hoboken, NJ; and Jersey City, NJ. 

Rows of residential homes in Weehawken, New Jersey, with a view of New York City from across the river.

Situated just across the Hudson River from Hell’s Kitchen, Weehawken is one of the closest cities near New York.

11. Weehawken, NJ

Situated just across the Hudson River from Hell’s Kitchen, Weehawken is one of the closest cities near New York. Though the township is home to just over 17,000 people, it lies just north of Hoboken and east of Union City, so the area feels urban, well-connected, and bustling. Most residents here rent their homes, and the average rent of $3,800 per month is nothing to sneeze at. Still, the cost of living in Manhattan is 28 percent higher than Weehawken.

Since it’s situated right by the water, Weehawken Waterfront Park is a great place to spend a sunny afternoon, complete with playgrounds, fields, and tracks. And, of course, a core perk of living on the Jersey side is the magical NYC skyline views. Stick around the waterfront to see them sparkle by night. 

And when you want to travel toward that skyline, it couldn't be easier. You can catch a bus in Weehawken and be in Midtown Manhattan in less than half an hour, drive over in 20 minutes, or even catch a ferry to cross the Hudson.  

Making Your Move to One of the Cities Near New York

Before you officially say goodbye to the Big Apple, learn about PODS City Service, a portable moving container service specialized for big-city moves, which can make the complicated, tight-squeeze logistics of moving in a city so much easier. And to start budgeting for your move to a city close to New York, explore NYC moving costs and take a look at other moving tips and tricks on the PODS Blog.

Bonnie Azoulay Elmann is an NYC-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to the PODS Blog. Her work has appeared in Glamour, Health, and Parents, among others. She is an extremely driven digital storyteller who may or may not have a slight obsession with fanny packs.

Editor's note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

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