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How to Find the Right Long Island Neighborhoods for You

How to Find the Right Long Island Neighborhoods for You

New York is one of the most diverse states in the country, boasting big cities, rolling hills, farmland, beaches, and more!

If you’re planning to relocate, New York can accommodate every need, budget, and lifestyle.

Long Island is one of the most desirable destinations in the Empire State thanks to its perfect balance of urban and suburban living.

Home to over 7.5 million people, Long Island, NY is the ideal location for families, young professionals, and retirees alike.

Before you pack your bags and hop on the ferry, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular Long Island neighborhoods so you can find the right community to call home.

What Areas Make Up Long Island?

If you’re new to the New York area, you may be wondering what counties, cities, and towns make up Long Island.

Long Island is comprised of two major counties — Nassau and Suffolk.

Nassau County is located directly outside of New York City, making it a prime location for career-minded individuals and commuters. Suffolk County is east of Nassau but shares the same suburban feel.

Parts of Queens (Queens County) and Brooklyn (Kings County) are found near the westernmost tip of Long Island and boast more urban living.

Within these counties of Long Island, you’ll find 2 cities, 13 towns, 2 villages, and 95 incorporated villages. Needless to say, there’s no shortage of neighborhoods to choose from when researching life on Long Island, NY.

But which are the best Long Island neighborhoods and what do they have to offer?

Let’s take a closer look!

A Look at the Best Long Island Neighborhoods

Choosing the best places to live on Long Island comes down to individual preferences and need.

A family of four looking to expand may put schools at the top of their priority list. A recent graduate looking for job opportunities would likely consider proximity to the city and public transit more important.

The good news is, Long Island, NY offers it all!

Massapequa Park

Let’s start with a Long Island neighborhood that’s perfect for growing families. Massapequa Park is a small village located in Nassau County, 12 miles south of Oyster Bay and 33 miles outside New York City.

It’s considered a suburb of New York City with an average population of 20,000. This area has been voted as one of the best places to live in New York — and here’s why.

Massapequa Park is the ideal Long Island neighborhood for both young professionals and families.

The area schools are some of the most highly rated on the Island with six elementary schools, a wealth of top-rated high schools, and impressive post-graduate educational programs.

When you’re not working or learning, residents can take advantage of an abundance of outdoor activities. Massapequa Cove is one of the most popular fishing spots outside NYC.

There’s also no shortage of parks, restaurants, and jobs in this Long Island neighborhood.


Nearby Massapequa Park is another idyllic hamlet of Long Island, NY — Plainview.

But don’t let the name fool you. There’s nothing plain about this affluent neighborhood. Top-rated schools, low crime rates, ample amenities, and breathtaking parks make this a perfect neighborhood for growing families and retirees.

Working parents and professionals also love Plainview thanks to its close proximity to the Long Island Expressway. Mass transit for commuters is just five miles from town.

With plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, parks, and entertainment, Plainview offers a lively urban feel as a backdrop to the picturesque suburban surroundings.


From small, quaint hamlets like Massapequa and Plainview to one of the largest towns in Suffolk County, Huntington is a prime example of the diversity that Long Island, NY has to offer.

Huntington, which is part of the New York metro area, is located on the north shore of Long Island, east of Nassau County.

With a population of over 200,000, Huntington is perfect for city-lovers who enjoy live music, good food, and exciting nightlife activities. These are just a few reasons young adults and singles flock to this area.

You can’t consider living in Huntington without mentioning its world-class beaches. Open from May to September, these small, intimate beaches accommodate visitors and residents of all kinds.

Whether you want to bask in the sun and picnic or swim, canoe, and kayak, Huntington beaches offer a welcomed escape from the busy city.

What makes Huntington one of the most diverse Long Island neighborhoods is that in addition to bustling city life, it also has excellent schools and plenty of family-friendly activities.

Young professionals and newlyweds can lay roots in Huntington and focus on their careers before settling down and starting a family.


Another popular beach neighborhood on Long Island is the small town of Islip.

The stark opposite of Huntington, Islip is an elegant, sparse Long Island town that attracts young professionals, families, and retirees.

The summer months buzz with energy and excitement with pop-up beach parties and vacationers taking advantage of the beautiful scenery.

Don’t worry — the crowds and noise are short-lived. Once summer comes to an end, Islip returns to a quiet, suburban neighborhood perfect for families and older couples.

Similar to other Long Island neighborhoods on this list, the schools in Islip are above-average.

If you plan to work or commute to New York City, you may want to choose a closer town. Islip is located over 50 miles east of the Big Apple.


Another Long Island neighborhood located 50 miles from the City is Smithtown. Referred to as the definition of Main Street America, if you’re looking for a warm, welcoming feel, you found it!

When you move to Smithtown on Long Island, you’re buying more than just a house. You’re joining a tight-knit community that will welcome you with open arms.

That’s not to say that Smithtown isn’t large. This Long Island neighborhood is home to over 115,000 residents — all working together to create a bright future for everyone.

Smithtown prides itself on inclusion and teamwork among residents. Here you’ll find plenty of family-owned shops and restaurants, which means plenty of jobs for working parents and retirees looking to keep busy.

Children living in Smithtown have access to top-rated schools with several high schools receiving A+ ratings.

Valley Stream

If you thought all neighborhoods that were in close proximity to the city were out of your budget, think again. Valley Stream is a rare Long Island gem located in Nassau County directly next to Queens County.

Out of all the Long Island neighborhoods on this list, Valley Stream is by far the most commuter-friendly of all suburbs. Residents here have easy access to New York City, JFK Airport, and an excellent public transit system.

Living in this Long Island neighborhood means finding a job and getting to work has never been easier.

These are just a few reasons Valley Stream attracts career-driven young adults who love city life and young families looking to expand and prosper.

All the restaurants, entertainment, and amenities of Manhattan are just a short drive away. But if you want to avoid the big crowds, stay in Valley Stream and take advantage of the affordable, local restaurants and eateries.


Home to a variety of celebrities including Michael Khors, Lindsay Lohan, and Debbie Gibson, Merrick boasts lush living for Long Island, NY residents.

Merrick is a hamlet located in the town of Hempstead in Nassau County and is well-known for its luxury living and upscale homes.

Merrick boasts plenty of elegant houses, nightclubs, and beach activities. When you’re not having fun in the sun, this Long Island suburb is only a 45-minute train ride from NYC.

Life in Merrick follows the motto, “work hard, play hard”, with over 90% of the workforce having white-collar jobs with above-average income.

Homes in Merrick will probably come in at the top of your budget since this Long Island neighborhood is considered one of the most expensive in not only New York but America.

But don’t let these price tags scare you away! Investing in a house in this Long Island neighborhood is the optimal choice for successful professionals and retirees looking to purchase their forever homes.

That’s not to say that families can’t move to Merrick also. In fact, this town is recognized for having one of the best school systems in all of Long Island.


Roslyn offers the same luxury living as Merrick at slightly more modest prices. Another small Long Island village located in Hempstead, Roslyn is affluent but affordable.

The average home in Roslyn sells for around $500,000, with other properties ranging from $750,000 to the $1 million mark. High listing prices often mean high-quality living and that’s exactly what you can expect from life in Roslyn.

Not only are Roslyn homes picturesque but these Long Island neighborhoods are designed with beauty and curb appeal in mind. This warm, community feel combined with an excellent school system make Roslyn the perfect Long Island, NY village for growing families.

According to both residents and visitors, the countryside appeal of this suburb is one of its most attractive qualities. A stark contrast to city life, Roslyn boasts what some call, a “New England feel”, making it a great NY destination for retirees as well.


Do you want the world-class education of a luxury neighborhood like Merrick at a more budget-friendly price? Bellmore delivers!

This hamlet of Nassau County is considered a safe, clean, diverse middle-class neighborhood with plenty of jobs, amenities, and affordable housing.

Because Bellmore shares a school system with Merrick, this is one of the most family-friendly Long Island neighborhoods on the list.

In addition to quality education, residents are also in close proximity to plenty of recreational facilities, shopping centers, and restaurants — all at reasonable prices.

With a population of just over 15,000, this small Long Island suburb also attracts a range of young professionals and small business owners.


Ronkonkoma is another neighborhood in Long Island that boasts plenty of job opportunities thanks to its close proximity to MacArthur airport and several public transit stations.

A number of airline professionals and commuters call this hamlet of Islip home. Although on the smaller side with just 18,000 residents, Ronkonkoma is known for its diverse restaurants and natural parks.

It’s also home to Lake Ronkonkoma where residents and visitors can enjoy fishing and other water activities.

Houses in this Suffolk County neighborhood are moderately priced and average around $350,000. Another area with highly rated schools, Ronkonkoma is a quiet, quaint place to raise a family, retire, or start a new chapter.


If you like the Hamptons, you’ll love Greenport.

Located on the North Fork of Long Island, you can enjoy the same charm and appeal of the Hamptons minus the pretension.

Greenport is a casual waterfront village in Suffolk County home to just over 2,000 residents. Here, you’ll find everything from award-winning vineyards and vintage shops to hip hotels and eateries.

Houses in Greenport showcase idyllic porches and picket fences with a quaint, farmhouse feel. The area is also rich in history and boasts several gorgeous beaches.

Families have access to an excellent school system but parents may need to commute to work.

Whether you’re looking to buy or rent, Greenport is sure to meet your needs.

Let Us Find You the Perfect Long Island Home

When it comes to diversity, these Long Island neighborhoods won’t disappoint.

From sandy beaches and natural parks to bustling cities and nightlife entertainment, Long Island living offers something for everyone.

Families love Long Island, NY thanks to the top-rated school systems and job opportunities. Retirees can pick from a myriad of small, quaint beach towns and tight-knit communities.

And don’t forget about the potential for growth and career mobility for young professionals just starting out.

Let the professionals at Dean Miller Real Estate help you achieve your homeownership goals. More than just another real estate agency, we’re in the business of connecting people and their dreams.

Call us today at 516-248-5007 or fill out an inquiry form here!

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