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Aerial view of a New York City suburb with several large brick and stone buildings and a couple of lush green spaces.

Moving in New York City: Guide to NYC suburbs

New York City New York State

by Michael Hochman Posted on December 14, 2023

For millions of Americans, moving to New York and living in Manhattan or Brooklyn is a lifelong dream. But for many actual New Yorkers, the dream is moving out of the city to the NYC suburbs to get away from the hustle and bustle, to have a yard and more open space, own a home, take advantage of better schools, or simply to save money. Though the accelerated exodus that the Big Apple saw due to concerns about coronavirus has slowed down, people are still moving out at a similar rate to pre-pandemic times, leaving the city proper for the outskirts of New York and beyond. 

Planning a move to the NY ‘burbs? Start by getting a quote from PODS.

Fortunately, there are dozens of New York suburbs in which to find your dream home or rental, in Westchester County, Long Island, Connecticut, or New Jersey, whether you’re moving out of the city or relocating long distance from elsewhere in the U.S. Some are lined with mostly single-family homes while others have a bevy of apartments. The best NYC suburbs also have their own wonderful parks, restaurants, boutiques, and family fun to experience — and offer considerable savings compared to living in many New York City neighborhoods (particularly Manhattan). While most offer relatively convenient access to the city by train or car, you may be spared the longer commute, thanks to the increasing acceptance of working from home. These locations can be ideal for a trip to the city once or twice a week, or whenever your employer wants some face time.

So which are the best New York suburbs for your foray away from the city? From the Nutmeg State to the heart of Devils country, the Island to Westchester, here are nine of the best NYC suburbs where you can get started looking for your new home. To help guide your search, we’ve pulled together important details like average home values based on homes sold from Zillow, public school grades from Niche.com, average rent from Niche and RentCafe, cost of living from BestPlaces.net, and commute times from rome2rio.com.

An illustrated graphic of the best NYC suburbs, with five in New York, two in Connecticut, and three in New Jersey

NYC Suburbs: Rent, Home Values, and Distance From Manhattan

Town Average
Home Value
Miles from
New Rochelle, NY $2,525 $807,300 18 miles
Yonkers, NY $2,450 $616,100 16 miles
Jericho, NY $2,650 $1,067,000 26 miles
Syosset, NY $2,725 $930,600 30 miles
New Haven, CT $2,125 $279,200 77 miles
Stamford, CT $2,875 $612,000 36 miles
East Hanover, NJ $2,775 $729,300 25 miles
Fairfield Twp, NJ $2,225 $714,000 24 miles
Ridgewood, NJ $2,450 $978,900 23 miles


Q: What is the cheapest suburb in New York City?
If you’re willing to leave the state in search of affordable NYC suburbs, New Haven, Connecticut, has a cost of living more than 100 percent below that of Manhattan. You’ll see the savings reflected in everything, from groceries to housing. The average New Haven home value is also just under $280,000, compared to the more than $733,000 average in New York.

Westchester County, NY

Street-level view of a neighborhood in New Rochelle, New York.  The homes are two stories and feature green lawns on a tree-lined street.
Homes in New Rochelle in Westchester County, NY

New Rochelle, NY

With a footprint running from a gorgeous residential Long Island Sound waterfront through wooded suburbs to the north, New Rochelle is one of the friendly and convenient suburban areas in New York, rated the tenth most diverse small city in the U.S. The city’s age distribution is nearly evenly spread among all age groups, and almost one in three residents are of Hispanic or Latino backgrounds. About half of all inhabitants rent their homes or apartments, mostly concentrated south toward downtown and the bay, and around the Iona College campus.

Housing is also very diverse in New Rochelle, from some of the most expensive neighborhoods in the nation on the north end and million-dollar gated communities along the Sound, to more affordable housing located around downtown and Home Park. The busy but casual downtown south of the Thruway features condos, high rises, and rentals along with office buildings, shopping districts, and restaurants. A number of parks and yacht clubs line islands and peninsulas along the shore.

New Rochelle, NY, Fast Facts

  • Population: 82,288
  • Affordability Compared to Manhattan: 26.5% cheaper
  • Average Home Value: $807,300
  • Average Rent: $2,525
  • Public School Rating: A-
  • Distance from Lower Manhattan: 18 miles

Best commuting options: A train ride into NYC’s Financial District takes an hour along the Metro-North Railroad New Haven Line with a transfer to the subway at Harlem-125th. The drive via I-95 and FDR Drive is about 60 minutes at rush hour and just 30 minutes off-peak.

Sunset at Yonkers downtown waterfront
Yonkers downtown waterfront
(Source: @yonkersdowntown via Instagram)

Yonkers, NY

Just north of The Bronx along the Hudson River, Yonkers is New York City’s largest suburb, bigger even than other cities around the state like Syracuse and Albany. The city is a residential urban sprawl similar to Queens and parts of Brooklyn, a friendly and cute respite from Manhattan. It’s ranked as the 11th most diverse NYC suburb.

Yonkers is mostly residential, with tight blocks of detached homes and pockets of apartment and condo buildings, and a nearly even split between renters and homeowners. The city has one of the highest public transit usage levels in the nation, and a quarter of residents don’t own a car. Downtown is located in the Getty Square neighborhood along the river, which is a shopping hub for both Yonkers and The Bronx. More retail centers are found at Cross County and Ridge Hill, and along Central Avenue. Other sites include the 43-acre Untermyer Park, the Empire City Casino, and Yonkers Raceway.

Yonkers, NY, Fast Facts

  • Population: 208,121
  • Affordability Compared to Manhattan: 50.4% cheaper
  • Average Home Value: $616,100
  • Average Rent: $2,450
  • Public School Rating: B-
  • Distance from Lower Manhattan: 16 miles

Best commuting options: Commuting into Lower Manhattan takes about an hour via the Metro-North Railroad Hudson Line and the subway through Harlem-125th. The drive south along the Henry Hudson Parkway takes about an hour at rush hour and 25 minutes at other times.

Long Island, NY

 Restaurant on the water in Jericho, NY - one of the NYC suburbs
The view at Oyster Bay, close to Jericho in Long Island, NY
(Source: @oysterbaybrewing via Instagram)

Jericho, NY

Out on the North Shore of Long Island is the hamlet of Jericho. At the junction of the Long Island Expressway and Jericho Turnpike, Jericho is a family town rated the 16th best place to live in New York by Niche.com. Over 67 percent of residents are college grads and about 47 percent of the diverse town’s residents are of Asian ancestry.

Jericho is also one of the best NYC suburbs for families. It was rated as the 5th best place to raise a family in New York by Niche.com, with Jericho schools rated A+ and a homeownership rate of 86 percent. It offers a suburban family atmosphere, primarily with neighborhoods of two-story homes. There is no walkable downtown, but there are several retail and dining outlets along Jericho Turnpike. It’s also home to the iconic Westbury Music Fair theatre, PGA-rated Meadow Brook Golf Club, and headquarters of a handful of major corporations.

Jericho, NY, Fast Facts

  • Population: 14,808
  • Affordability Compared to Manhattan: 16% cheaper
  • Average Home Value: $1,067,000
  • Average Rent: $2,650
  • Public School Rating: A+
  • Distance from Lower Manhattan: 26 miles

Best commuting options: Penn Station is just 45 minutes away via the Long Island Railroad from nearby Hicksville. The rush-hour drive to Lower Manhattan is about an hour along the Long Island Expressway and about 35 minutes during off-peak times.

House in Syosset on Long Island
Home in Syosset on Long Island
(Source: @jhogarty_via Instagram)

Syosset, NY

Just an hour by train into Manhattan, Syosset on Long Island also offers a rural lifestyle in eastern Nassau County. If you’re looking for the best suburbs of NYC for families, look here: Niche.com rates it as the second best place to raise a family in the state, as well as offering top rankings for their public schools. The hamlet is educated, prosperous, and family oriented, with a median household income of a little more than $180,000, nearly 70 percent holding a college degree, and about a quarter under the age of 18. Natalie Portman, Idina Menzel, Elaine Chao, and Judd Apatow all call Syosset their hometown. 

Syosset is largely residential, with more than 90 percent homeownership among its many streets with large split-level homes. Bordering Oyster Bay and directly north of Jones Beach, it offers easy access to a variety of recreation choices. Modern retail and casual dining can also be found along the Jericho Turnpike, which, despite its name, is a surface street. Jackson Avenue by the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) station offers a small, walkable main street with eateries, cafes, and shops. And the Long Island Expressway runs right through the hamlet.

Syosset, NY, Fast Facts

  • Population: 19,259
  • Affordability Compared to Manhattan: 22.3% cheaper
  • Average Home Value: $930,600
  • Average Rent: $2,725
  • Public School Rating: A+
  • Distance from Lower Manhattan: 30 miles

Best commuting options: The Long Island Rail Road will take you from Syosset Station to Penn Station in an hour. During rush hour, the drive down the Long Island Expressway will take about 75 minutes, and it will take about 40 minutes during off-peak times.

Q: Is Long Island a suburb?
Yes, although it’s a popular misconception that Long Island is one of the five boroughs of Manhattan. Though Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods do reside on the same land mass, Long Island can actually be considered one of the suburbs near Manhattan, home to family-friendly towns like Jericho and Syosset that feel far from the business of downtown New York.


New Haven Green
View of the New Haven Green from The Union Apartments
(Source: @renttheunion via Facebook)

New Haven, CT

A little farther away than traditional NYC suburbs, New Haven offers its own big-city amenities just a couple of hours away from New York. It’s the 11th most diverse city in the nation, with Blacks and African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, and Whites each representing about 30 percent of the population, and with people under 45 making up nearly 70 percent of all residents

Despite its distance from New York, it remains a commuter bedroom community, with 72 percent of all residents renting their homes or apartments and a large population of families and young professionals. And with a cost of living more than 100 percent cheaper than Manhattan, it’s one of the more affordable places to live near NYC.

The central focus of New Haven is the campus of Yale University on the north end of downtown. One of the most residential city centers in the U.S., downtown New Haven attracts both professionals and students with the 16-acre New Haven Green and its restaurants, bars, and shops along popular Chapel Street. New Haven was named one of the best foodie cities in America, known for Louis’ Lunch, the birthplace of the modern hamburger, and its New Haven-style pizza, known locally as apizza, a thin-crust, coal-fired Neapolitan. Much of Long Wharf along the harbor near downtown is industrial, but down the East Shore and up the Quinnipiac River, the waterfront is highly residential. The outer neighborhoods of New Haven have a suburban feel, with tree-lined family blocks and apartment complexes.

New Haven, CT, Fast Facts

  • Population: 138,915
  • Affordability Compared to Manhattan: 109.9% cheaper
  • Average Home Value: $279,200
  • Average Rent: $2,125
  • Public School Rating: C-
  • Distance from Lower Manhattan 77 miles 

Best commuting options: Penn Station is about 100 minutes from New Haven Station via Amtrak. The less expensive Metro-North Railroad to Grand Central takes 90 minutes. The drive down the Connecticut Turnpike/I-95 runs nearly 2½ hours during rush hour, but can be done off-peak in about 90 minutes.

View of downtown Stamford, CT - one of the NYC suburbs
Boats docked with a view of downtown Stamford, CT

Stamford, CT

Stretching the length of the Connecticut panhandle from Long Island Sound to the New York State border, Stamford is a city with a distinct urban/suburban mix just northeast of Greenwich and Westchester. It’s a blend of young professionals and families and a desirable New York suburb for commuters, rated one of America’s best cities for outdoor activities, for public schools, to raise a family, and as one of the nation’s healthiest.

Around 43 percent of Stamford residents are between ages 25 and 54, with about an even split between renters and homeowners. North Stamford is exurban rural, with the city’s lowest density, highest incomes, and most single-family houses. But downtown and South End along the water are young and vibrant, with trendy condos and high-rise apartments, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, hotels, and entertainment venues, along with the headquarters of a number of financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies.

Stamford, CT, Fast Facts

  • Population: 136,188
  • Affordability Compared to Manhattan: 57.1% cheaper
  • Average Home Value: $612,000
  • Average Rent: $2,875
  • Public School Rating: B+
  • Distance from Lower Manhattan: 36 miles 

Best commuting options: Amtrak Acela or North East Regional will get you from Stamford Station to Penn Station in about 45 minutes. For a cheaper price, Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line will get you into Grand Central in about 60 minutes. During rush hour, I-95 will get you into the city in 90 minutes, or you can get there in about 45 minutes at other times.

New Jersey

Troy Meadows Wetlands Preserve
Troy Brook at Troy Meadows Wetlands Preserve in East Hanover Township
(Source: WildlifePreserves.org)

East Hanover Township, NJ

East Hanover is a township favored by retirees and older residents, with nearly half the population above the age of 45 and nearly two-in-five above 55. The relatively small town is heavily residential, where 94 percent of residents own their own homes in a community with a mix of rural and suburban with large yards. Located just off the I-280 Essex Freeway east of Parsippany, it’s a short commute into New York, but most residents don’t work in the city.

The township’s busy (but not walkable) retail corridor along Route 10 includes big box stores, chain dining, and The Funplex Amusement Center. There’s a sprinkling of community parks, as well as a full-sized golf course, plus woods for exploring by the Passaic River and hiking along the Troy Meadows Wetlands Preserve boardwalk.

East Hanover Township, NJ, Fast Facts

  • Population: 11,120
  • Affordability Compared to Manhattan: 50.2% cheaper
  • Average Home Value: $729,300
  • Average Rent: $2,775
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Distance from Lower Manhattan: 25 miles   

Best commuting options: During rush hour, the drive into Lower Manhattan takes about 75 minutes, and about 30 minutes off-peak. If you don’t wish to drive into the city, you can pick up New Jersey Transit’s Morris & Essex Line in Newark, which runs into Penn Station in about 30 minutes.

Paddlers on the Passaic River
Paddlers on the Passaic River north of Fairfield Township, NJ
(Source: @ njwatermonitoringandstandards via Instagram)

Fairfield Township, NJ

North of East Hanover, the land becomes more rural as you approach the township of Fairfield. The township (not to be confused with the two other New Jersey places named Fairfield) offers a tranquil, rustic lifestyle despite being bisected by Interstate 80. Over half the residents are 45 years and older and 85 percent of residents own their homes.

The north end of the township is a vast marshy woods known as Great Piece Meadows, where the Passaic River and wetlands invite hiking, fishing, and birdwatching. South of I-80 is a residential cluster of single-family homes on open, friendly neighborhood streets. A number of national chain retailers and casual dining restaurants line busy U.S. Route 46, while large industrial parks and the Essex County Caldwell Airport inhabit the south end of the township. Two large country clubs and Wayne’s Willowbrook Mall and its 14-screen movie theater sit just outside Fairfield’s borders.

Fairfield Township, NJ, Fast Facts

  • Population: 7,761
  • Affordability Compared to Manhattan: 52.9% cheaper
  • Average Home Value: $714,000
  • Average Rent: $2,225
  • Public School Rating: A+
  • Distance from Lower Manhattan: 24 miles  

Best commuting options: Lower Manhattan is about a 75-minute drive during the morning rush and about 35 minutes the remainder of the day. You also have the option of driving to the Newark train station where it’s about 30 minutes to Penn Station via New Jersey Transit’s Morris & Essex Line.

Downtown Ridgewood, NJ - one of the NYC suburbs
Downtown Ridgewood, NJ
(Source: @VillageofRidgewoodNJ via Facebook)

Ridgewood, NJ

Located a bit north of Paterson and Hackensack, Ridgewood is a sparse suburban bedroom community in Bergen County that’s rated as the fourth best place to live in all of New Jersey by Niche.com. The median household income is $211,224, nearly 80 percent are college grads, and nearly 30 percent are under 18.

Ridgewood features mostly tree-lined streets of single-family homes, and more than 80 percent of residents are homeowners, many of which commute to work in Manhattan’s Financial District. The village has a quaint downtown along Ridgewood Avenue and around Wilsey Square with restaurants, boutiques, and cafes. There are community athletic facilities at Veterans Field, a public pool and beach at Graydon Park, and a duck pond and dog park at Saddle River County Park.

Ridgewood, NJ, Fast Facts

  • Population: 26,168
  • Affordability Compared to Manhattan: 31.9% cheaper
  • Average Home Value: $978,900
  • Average Rent: $2,450
  • Public School Rating: A+
  • Distance from Lower Manhattan: 23 miles

Best commuting options: Travel time into the Financial District is just over an hour via New Jersey Transit’s Bergen County Line from Ridgewood Station and the PATH train. The drive in rush hour is about 70 minutes, and it’s about 35 minutes off-peak along the New Jersey Turnpike.

Making Your Move to the New York Suburbs

No matter where you choose, you’ll most likely exchange a lower cost of living and rent for a longer commute into the city. But with more open space, fewer people, less noise, and more families, one of the best New York City suburbs can make a great new place to live. As you’re planning your move, check out our detailed Moving Checklist to help stay on track and reduce stress. And if you’re still on the lookout for more of the best places to live near NYC, check out these additional cities near New York with more space and a lower cost of living.

Michael Hochman is currently working as a lifestyle and travel writer for Apartment Guide and rent.com.

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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