When it comes to Long Island, two of the New York Counties Nassau County and Suffolk County always come to mind. Generally, these counties are known for their quiet and suburban atmosphere, away from the typical hustle and bustle of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Looking for the best neighborhood considers a number of factors, depending on one’s preference and personality.
Whether you are looking for a family-friendly neighborhood or an affordable cost of living, Long Island has some of the best neighborhoods, towns, and villages that fit your wants and needs.
That is why in this article, I created a list of the 12 best neighborhoods in Long Island while considering affordability, places for recreation, educational institutions, and many more.
In summary, here are my recommendations for the 12 best neighborhoods in Long Island:
- Lake Ronkonkoma
Area: 3.0 sq mi (8 km2)
Bellmore is a lovely hamlet on the South Shore of Long Island with a population of 16,218. It is a family-friendly suburban neighborhood with several prestigious schools such as the John F. Kennedy High School.
The location is convenient and close to places of interest including Jones Beach State Park, Bellmore Shopping Center and John F. Kennedy International Airport one of the New York City Airports.
Families looking for a home can expect an average median home value from $433,000 to $500,000 or more. For those looking for a rental place, the average rent per month is about $1,800.
With approximately 36 miles of distance, going to New York City is also easy thanks to its major roads including Southern State Parkway, Grand Central Pkwy, and Newbridge Road.
Area: 12.0 sq mi (31.0 km2)
Commack is one of the most decent options for families looking for a peaceful and quiet neighborhood.
It is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) with a suburban vibe and lots of green spaces for relaxation such as Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve and Whitman Hollow Park. New York City is only about 44 miles away and is easily accessible via the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).
The average median home value in Commack is $466,200 and the average rent per month for a 1-bedroom apartment is over $1,600.
Commack School District is a school worth a look for families with children. There are 9,895 families and 36,124 residents in the neighborhood, of which 91.6% of the population are White.
Area: 1.20 sq mi (3.11 km2)
If you are into fishing and yachts, Greenport is the best option. It is a lively harbor located on the North Fork of Long Island in Suffolk County. In the past, it used to be a shipbuilding and whaling center but is now a major tourist summer destination.
Tourists flock to Greenport for its port, vineyards, and popular restaurants. For public education, Greenport Union Free School District offers high-quality schooling for Pre-K to 12th grade.
Transportation is easy and diverse with the Ronkonkoma Branch of Long Island Rail Road, Suffolk County Transit bus S92, and the North Ferry.
Area: 7.1 sq mi (18.4 km2)
If affordability is the priority, Holtsville offers one of the most inexpensive housing in Suffolk County on Long Island.
The average median home value is about $380,000 and the average rent is about $1,600. However, it is not as commutable as other neighborhoods since the Holtsville train station closed already.
Transportation is possible via car or by going to the nearby stations including Medford and Ronkonkoma stations. It is a perfect place for recreational activities since it has the Harold H. Malkmes Wildlife Education and Ecology Center and Country Fair Entertainment Park. The only educational institution available for children is the Sachem School District.
Area: 10.5 km2 (4.1 sq mi)
Jericho is one of the most desirable places to live for its low crime rate, which is 5.31 per 1,000 residents. However, housing is more expensive compared to other neighborhoods since it has an average median home value of about $832,000 and an average rent per month of more than $2,200.
Families can choose from several educational institutions such as the Jericho Union Free, the Syosset Central School District, and some nearby school districts like the Westbury Union Free School District.
Commuting by train is possible via nearby Long Island Rail Road train stations including Hicksville, Syosset, and Westbury.
If traveling by car, the Long Island Expressway (LIE) or the Interstate 495 (I-495) is accessible in the area. Some of Jericho’s notable places are One North and Nathan’s Famous.
6. Lake Ronkonkoma
Area: 4.9 sq mi (12.7 km2)
Located in Suffolk County in a total area of 4.9 sq mi (12.7 km2), Lake Ronkonkoma is one of the best neighborhoods on Long Island.
It provides affordable housing with an average median home value of about $353,900. Moreover, it is a commutable hamlet thanks to the Ronkonkoma station of the Long Island Rail Road.
Lake Ronkonkoma is found in three towns: Brookhaven, Islip, and Smithtown. It is served by several educational institutions such as the Sachem Central School District and the Middle Country Central School District.
For parks and recreation, the neighborhood provides Lake Ronkonkoma County Park, Ronkonkoma Beach & Recreation Center, and Walter S. Commerdinger Jr. County Park.
Area: 2.4 sq mi (6.3 km2)
Manhasset is a suburban hamlet and census-designated place with a population of 8,080 in a 2.4 sq mi area. The neighborhood is nestled on the North Shore of Long Island in Nassau County. Commuting is easy via the Manhasset station of the LIRRm, which takes about an hour to reach Manhattan.
If you are looking for a shopping district, the neighborhood offers Miracle Mile which has an upscale mall called the Americana Manhasset mall.
The neighborhood has many options for education, from school districts to private schools. Some of the schools available are the Manhasset Union Free School District, St Mary’s Elementary School, and Our Lady of Grace Montessori School.
Area: 4.0 sq mi (10.4 km2)
Massapequa is an affluent hamlet perfect for those who prefer nature and recreational spots. It is home to several parks and reserves for trailing and fishing including Massapequa Cove, Massapequa Preserve, Marjorie Post Park, and John Burns Park.
Traveling to New York City is only a 30-mile distance and is convenient with its Massapequa Train Station.
Families with children have a variety of school options since the Massapequa School District has six elementary schools, one middle school, one high school for grade 9, and one high school for grades 10 to 12.
The average median home value is about $485,500 and can go as high as $653,000. Moreover, renting a 1-bedroom apartment costs about $1,800 a month.
Area: 5.2 sq mi (13.5 km2)
Located in Hempstead on the South Shore of Long Island, Merrick is an ideal neighborhood for a variety of outdoor leisure activities. It is known for its beach activities like surfing, as well as recreational places for appreciating nature including Cammans Pond County Park, Merrick’s Veteran Memorial Park, and Norman Levy Park.
There are two school districts available in the neighborhood: Merrick and North Merrick School Districts for elementary and Bellmore–Merrick Central High School District for secondary.
Going to New York City is effortless with Merrick Train Station, which takes about 48 minutes to reach Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan.
It is also one of the most affordable places to live with reasonable housing prices set at an average median home value of $527,200. In total, 22,097 residents live in the neighborhood, of which 95.18% are White.
Area: 14.85 km2 (5.733 sq mi)
With its easy commute, variety of educational institutions, low crime rates, and several community parks, it is no wonder this upscale neighborhood is one of the top places on Long Island. Doing outdoor activities is possible with Plainview-Old Bethpage Community Park, Manetto Hills Park, or Borella Fields.
For shopping, Plainview Shopping Centre and Manetto Hill Plaza are some of the popular shopping districts in the neighborhood.
Plainview provides several schools for education, including Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District and some private schools like Hebrew Academy-Nassau County.
When it comes to buying a house, expect that median home value at about $603,900 to $790,000. For rental properties, the average monthly rental price is about $1,700 for a 1-bedroom apartment.
Area: 0.66 sq mi (1.70 km2)
Roslyn is a small wealthy neighborhood in North Hempstead, Nassau County with an average median home price of about $500,000 to $750,000. It is one of the most desirable places to live with its easy commute via Roslyn Station.
Getting to Pennsylvania Station in New York City takes an hour and 45 minutes via Nassau Inter-County Express or about 50 minutes via Long Island Rail Road through Oyster Bay Branch.
The Roslyn Union Free School District serves residents of Roslyn, with its three elementary schools and two secondary schools.
Out of the total population of 2,770, about 86% are White, 11.2% are Hispanic or Latino, 8.85% are Asian, 2.2% are Black or African American, and the rest of the percentage is other races. Moreover, there are about 1,060 households and 603 families living in Roslyn.
Area: 12.1 sq mi (31.4 km2)
Located in Smithtown in Suffolk County, Smithtown is home to 26,470 people who have a median household income of about $81,272.
It is a hamlet and census-designated place that is served by Smithtown Central School District which has seven elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high school campuses.
Smithtown residents have access to two parks for outdoor relaxation, which include Blydenburgh County Park and Caleb Smith State Park.
To live here, it is worth noting that the median home value is about $472,200 and rentals per month are as high as $2,900 a month.
If you wish to travel to New York City, it is only approximately 50 miles away and is easily reached via the Smithtown Train Station. One of the most well-known attributes of the neighborhood is its variety of restaurants and bars offering craft beers.
Which Neighborhood Is Best for You?
Of course, every neighborhood has its own charm and unique attributes, so it can be difficult to say which is the best for every person or family.
Bottom line, you have to consider your priorities before deciding which is the most ideal for your current situation. If you prefer neighborhoods with easy access to train stations, then it is best to stay in the ones with their own train station such as Lake Ronkonkoma or Smithtown.
For those looking for options for schooling, it is safe to say that all of the mentioned neighborhoods above are great options since they have their school districts and some with private schools.
Lastly, if inexpensive housing is a concern, then it is probably best to look into Bellmore, Commack, Holtsville, or Lake Ronkonkoma. At the end of the day, think about which works best according to your desired lifestyle.
Did you find this list informative? Share it below in the comments section and let us know your thoughts! If you have other recommended neighborhoods not listed here, simply post a comment too.