Long Island is one of the most noteworthy parts of New York state. It’s a quick drive straight to Brooklyn, has fantastic beaches, and also manages to give residents that perfect balance between urban and suburban. It’s commuter-friendly and also has some of the best healthcare in the state.
Of course, Long Island isn’t just one big neighborhood. This region of New York has a nice array of different suburbs, each with its own splendid charm. Finding the right place to live here can be hard to do, especially if you don’t know the area too well. That’s why we decided to create a list of the best neighborhoods in Long Island.
The Best Places To Live On Long Island
Moving to a new city isn’t a “one size fits all” type of deal. Every person will have their own unique needs they want to have met. With all that said, these towns and neighborhoods are regularly cited as some of the most enjoyable places to live in Long Island. Whether you're a single millennial, looking to settle down with your family, or need to commute into the city, here are some of the best places to live in Long Island.
If you’re the head of a young family that wants to grow, check out Massapequa. This famous suburb is known for having six different elementary schools, a wealth of high-ranking high schools, as well as excellent educational programs for students who want to excel in their careers.
Schooling aside, this neighborhood boasts a wide array of nature-based activities. The local parks offer excellent trails, while Massapequa Cove remains one of the most popular places to fish near New York City. No matter how you look at Massapequa, it’s safe to say that it’s an affluent neighborhood that offers all the finer things in life.
Don’t be fooled by the name. There’s nothing plain about Plainview. This top-rated neighborhood is notorious for its affluence as well as its excellent school systems. Lush parks, low crime rates, and excellent amenities make this the perfect idyllic suburb for families who want it all.
Commuters love Plainview too, and rightfully so. It’s right next to the Long Island Expressway and has mass transit access within five miles of town. So, if you work in New York City, living in Plainview just makes a lot of sense.
If nothing else, Commack is a sports lover’s dream. This Long Island city-suburb is known for formerly being home to the Long Island Arena. Even today, this area is known for having tons of athletes who enjoy healthy competition nearby.
Career-oriented people are going to enjoy the amount of networking they can do in Commack. This region is home to many celebrities, including Randy Rainbow and Rosie O’Donnell. So, don’t be too surprised if you end up having a star-studded run-in with a local here.
Though there are minor neighborhoods of Huntington on this list (like Commack), the truth is that we felt it was necessary to point out Huntington’s popularity as a whole, too. This massive town is one of the largest in Suffolk and remains well-known outside of New York state as well.
People who are fans of nightlife, good food, and music will enjoy what they can get in Huntington. That being said, it’s not all glitz and glamor. The schools in this area are excellent, and there are also tons of family-friendy places that you can visit, too.
Islip is a town that people enjoy going to when they really, truly need a respite from all the noise and craziness of New York City. This elegant yet sparse Long Island town is nestled right near the beach, giving locals a great way to enjoy the sun and surf year-round.
Though this is a suburb recognized for above-average schools, Islip still has its pull with younger crowds as well. The local nightlife is excellent, and during the summer, you can always expect to see parties popping up nearby. Don’t worry, though. Noise complaints rarely ever happen.
Islandia is one of those places that feels like it’s from a movie—known for its kind, hardworking people and for having a surprisingly down-to-earth vibe about it. That being said, there’s a lot of uniformity and simplicity in Islandia’s layout. Most people in this neighborhood live in a 500-house complex built by Levitt and Sons and get to enjoy the same school systems as Islip.
If you’re looking for something to do, this neighborhood has your back. Islandia is home to a Dave & Buster’s arcade, a casino, as well as several parks. You won’t get bored here.
Fifty miles away from New York City is Smithtown, a town that is known for being the very definition of Main Street America. Though the town is large, it remains a place where everyone knows your name and where people actively work together to make their future brighter.
Small shops, restaurants stocked with food, and a local culture that is all about team-building is what you can expect here. If you're looking for a Long Island neighborhood with a close-knit vibe, this might just be the place for you. Fans of craft beer will love to check out Tap & Barrel, which is famous for having a selection spanning over 50 beers.
There’s something to be said about finding a place in Long Island that’s affordable and yet commuter-friendly. Valley Stream is one of those rare, noteworthy gems. Nestled right next to Queens county, Valley Stream is one of the most commuter-friendly Long Island suburbs, boasting an amazing public transit system with easy access to NYC, and excellent proximity to JFK Airport.
Manhattan is only a quick drive away here, making it a commuter’s dream. Though it’s easy to hit the city, many locals choose to stay nearby during the weekends. After all, the people here are friendly, and restaurants are very affordable here.
Home to many celebrities and fans of lush living, Merrick is a neighborhood that is well known both in and outside of New York. The classic “South Shore” lifestyle that people think of when they’re in Long Island—elegant houses, sun, surf, nightclubs, and beachy activities are the norm here. Merrick is also one of the best Long Island suburbs of NYC for commuters as it's only a 45-minute train ride on the LIRR to get to Penn Station.
If you are looking for a top-grade school system, then Merrick is going to be your ideal destination. This town is recognized for having the best school system in all of Long Island, not to mention having highly respected grads.
Stony Brook is a unique blend between an educational hotspot and tourist town. While it was initially made as a tourist town thanks to its picturesque buildings and gorgeous landscapes, Stony Brook quickly became a major college town when SUNY Stony Brook moved in.
This is a town that is hard to leave once you start living there. It’s common to see alumni of Stony Brook choose this neighborhood as their hometown after graduation. Between the safe streets, fun attractions, and the overall gorgeous (yet affordable) community, it’s easy to see why.
If you’re looking for an affluent area that isn’t over-the-top about its wealth, you may want to check out Roslyn. The average home price here is $500,000, but around a quarter of all homes sold tend to fall into the $750,000 to $1 million range. As you could imagine, that kind of price tag means there’s good reason to move here.
The houses in Roslyn are beautiful, and so is the layout of the neighborhood. The town’s excellent school systems make Roslyn one of the hottest parts of Long Island real estate that money can buy. If you love giving your kids a great future, Roslyn is a must-see.
Another family-friendly entry on this list is Bellmore, a town that’s known for having a strong focus on education. Bellmore shares its school system with Merrick, which means your kids can get a world-class education without the hefty Merrick price tag. As you might expect, Merrick is also great for commuters.
Bellmore is also famous for being close to Jones Beach Park, one of the most popular beaches in the area. That alone makes many locals agree that it’s one of the best neighborhoods in Long Island’s beach scene.
Modest and yet remarkably charming in its own way, Ronkonkoma is known for having close access to public transit and being home to the Long Island MacArthur Airport. Needless to say, this blue-collar town is known for having its fair share of commuters and airline professionals calling it home.
The restaurant scene in and around Ronkonkoma is pretty great, so if you’re a food fan, you’ll enjoy this area. Walking through the many nearby parks is always a great way to get the fresh air you need in the glorious beauty of nature. Oh, and the view from Lake Ronkonkoma? It’s incredible every day of the year.
Our Final Take
Though these towns are regularly cited as the best places to live in Long Island, the truth is that you don’t have to stick to one of these places to find an amazing neighborhood in Long Island. The great thing about real estate in Long Island is that there’s literally a home for everyone. All you have to do is search for it.