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What’s It Like Living in Rye, NY?

New York State

by Bridget Houlihan Posted on March 29, 2024
Interested in living in Rye, NY, but want to know a little more about it before making the move? Then you’ve come to the right place. We’re delving into the specifics: Where exactly is Rye, NY? And is Rye, NY, a good place to live? 
Planning a move to Rye? Start by getting a quote from PODS.

Rye is perfect for those looking to ditch the urban living in NYC and replace it with more of a suburban, small-town vibe. It’s a tight-knit community of welcoming folks who enjoy a slower pace of life and are interested in family-friendly activities in a quieter atmosphere. 

If you’ve always wanted to live in an upscale suburb that’s not too far from NYC and has access to multiple beaches, great schools, and all kinds of opportunities to get outdoors to enjoy nature, then Rye, NY, could be just rye-ght (see what we did there?) for you!

Where is Rye, New York?

Rye, NY, is located in Westchester County along the Long Island Sound and New York-Connecticut border. Traveling from Rye, NY, to NYC takes about 40 minutes by car, depending on traffic, but you can also take the train into Grand Central in about an hour. 

Where Rye is today was originally inhabited by the Munsee Lenape, Wappinger, and Schaghticoke indigenous peoples. The first settlers didn't arrive until 1660, and they named the area “Rye” after an English coastal town. During the Colonial Era, it was a small farming community, claimed by both New York and Connecticut. New York eventually won sovereignty over the town in 1731, and its location along the Boston Post Road contributed to its rise in population and importance. The trip from Boston to New York on this road took about 14 days, and in addition to the mail, stagecoaches with travelers would stop to rest, promoting the increase in taverns and other trades in the city.

In the 19th and early 20th century, wealthy Manhattanites would escape the summer heat of New York City for their second homes among the beautiful countryside and cool ocean breezes. Today, Rye is considered a suburb of New York City, and there are a lot of folks who still commute there today. 

Since Rye has such a deep history, it boasts two major National Historic Landmarks — the Boston Post Road Historic District that includes the childhood home of Founding Father John Jay, and the Rye Playland, which was built in 1928 and featured in the Tom Hanks film Big. 

Q: Is Rye, New York, a good place to live?
A:
Rye, NY, is considered a great place to live! According to Niche, Rye is one of the top 30 best places to raise a family in New York, and it’s also ranked in the top 150 best suburbs to raise a family in America. In Westchester County, specifically, it holds the No. 5 spot for best places to raise a family.

What Makes Rye One of the Best Places To Live in New York?

What’s it like to live in Rye, NY? If you ask the locals, they’ll tell you there’s a very strong sense of community and that the location simply can’t be beat. There are 34 acres of public beaches, including a boardwalk and fantastic views of the sound. Residents also love that they can enjoy a picnic or walk in areas like Rye Town Park or the Rye Nature Center without feeling overcrowded. 

This smaller community (the population was only 16,248 as of 2022) also has lots of clubs and organizations to help members feel like they’re part of a family, including country clubs, swimming clubs, boating clubs, and golf clubs. What’s more, Rye has an A+ overall grade on Niche, including an A+ for public schools, an A for outdoor activities, and an A+ for being “good for families.”

The schools are highly ranked and, because of the town’s size, also come with a tight-knit community of staff members and teachers that want to see students succeed. Students are challenged academically and encouraged to join clubs and sports.

Cost of Living in Rye, NY

Rye is obviously a wonderful community, but because of its proximity to NYC and its location on the coast, the housing prices are quite high — the median home sale price is $1.8 million. Rye’s cost of living index is also above the national index of 100, coming in at 157, while New York state’s is 121.5. But with all the wonderful things that Rye has to offer, a higher cost of living likely doesn’t come as a surprise.

Q: Is Rye a wealthy town?
A:
Considering its proximity to NYC and other major hubs, Rye, New York, is wealthy in amenities and accessibility, but that’s not all. It’s actually NY state’s 5th wealthiest town, according to Bloomberg.

Rye Weather

If you’re wondering what the weather in Rye, NY, is like, we hope you like all four seasons! Lots of folks love the changing of the seasons and prefer it over the same type of weather all year. Unsurprisingly, Rye weather is similar to the weather in NYC, which means the summers are typically hot, humid, and rainy with highs in the mid 80s. Winters can be cold and snowy, and you can expect lows to get into the 20s and 30s consistently. 

Commuting To and From the City

Some residents of Rye work in the community, while others choose to commute to the city. If you drive, you can be in the city within 45 minutes when traffic is low. If you choose to take the train from Rye, NY, to NYC, that will take around 60 minutes. With commute times like that, it’s easy to see why living in Rye, NY, is a great idea.

Q: Is it expensive to live in Rye, NY?
A:
Yes, the cost of living in Rye, NY, is higher than both the state and national average.

A two-story Colonial home in Rye, New York. The home features a white exterior with blue shutters and a two-door, two-car garage.

Guide to Rye, NY, Neighborhoods

Interested in Rye, NY, real estate? If you want to move to Rye but aren’t quite sure where to live, your decision might be easier than you think. There are only three constituent neighborhoods in Rye, and they all come with easy access to the stunning coastal beauty of the Long Island Sound and the historic downtown area filled with local shops and upscale restaurants.

Greenhaven

Residents of Greenhaven live on beautifully maintained streets that boast lovely colonial homes as well as gabled stone mansions. This historical neighborhood is where you’ll find the Jay Heritage Center, which features a variety of American history classes, author talks, school tours, and programs to educate people on environmental issues, social justice, and historic preservation. 

When you live in this neighborhood, you’re surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the coast, including the Marshlands Conservancy and Otter Creek Preserve. Locals enjoy boating in Mamaroneck Harbor and taking in the sights of Maries Neck, Hen Island, and Rye Point. And when you’re ready to enjoy an elegant meal, just a short drive up the Boston Post Road is the Whitby Castle, a 19th-century mansion that’s located on the grounds of the popular Rye Golf Club. 

Milton 

If you’ve always wanted to live right along the coast — or at least have incredibly easy access to the beach — then perhaps you should look for a home in the Milton neighborhood of Rye. Peningo Neck is full of stately waterfront homes where residents can easily keep their boats or participate in events held by the American Yacht Club or RowAmerica. 

Milton residents like to stroll to Rye Town Park and the historic Playland Park, or simply enjoy time in the sun with friends and family at Rye Beach. You can also explore the trails of the Friends of Read Wildlife Sanctuary and admire the local wildlife in their natural habitat or take in a bit of culture at The Rye Arts Center. When it’s time to refuel, Milton residents love grabbing a pint and a bite at Kelly’s Sea Level.

City Center 

Living in City Center offers you the chance to be up close and personal with historic Rye. Here, there are lots of Gothic and Greek Revival homes that mix effortlessly with the downtown business district. Lots of residents in this neighborhood belong to The Apawamis Club, which offers a fantastic golf course and clubhouse. 

You’ll find all kinds of opportunities to get outdoors and walk or bike on the Rye Nature Center trails. And you can easily check out some of the local small businesses on Boston Post Road, like Jerry’s Post Road Market, or visit the Rye Historical Center.

Craving some delicious Italian food? Locals can’t recommend Rafele Rye enough —  it’s actually a top Michelin Star Rye, New York, restaurant!

Dozens of locals enjoy a sunny day at the Beach in Rye, New York.

What About Apartments in Rye, NY?

If you’re more interested in renting an apartment, there are lots of luxury options available in Rye, NY.

City Center 

The Highlands at Rye is a beautiful apartment complex in downtown offering studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments. With easy access to the main business district, interstates, and the train station, you can easily make this your home base for venturing near or far. These apartments offer exposed brickwork, hardwood floors, crown molding, and modern appliances and fixtures. This pet-friendly facility also has reserved parking, a fitness center, and impeccably maintained green areas.

2nd Street Lofts

Looking for a modern rental? Consider the one-bedroom lofts at 2nd Street Lofts. The interior was designed by Granoff Architects and features bleached wood floors and impressive marble baths. These sleek apartments are in the heart of Rye and located near the train station and all the shops and dining the downtown area has to offer. Each apartment has 11-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, stainless-steel appliances, beautiful quartz countertops, washers and dryers, and your own dedicated parking space. You’ll even have access to a roof deck! 

Rye Village Apartments

The Rye Village Apartments feature lots of spacious options — everything from a one-bedroom to a four-bedroom townhome. This complex is also located in a great area with easy access to roads and the train station, which is especially helpful if you’re a commuter. As a pet-friendly apartment building, your four-legged dog and cat friends are welcome. And with beautiful hardwood floors, modern appliances, available storage units, and a playground for kids, this could easily be your next home.

Q: Is Rye, NY, affluent? 
A:
There are a lot of affluent people who choose to call Rye, New York, home.

What About the Schools in Rye, NY?

Rye, NY, is home to some of the best school districts in New York. In fact, U.S. News & World Report has ranked this district the 12th best in the state and 125th in the country. The public school rating on Niche is an A+, and with plenty of options to choose from, it’s easy to see why living in Rye, New York, is so desirable for families. Here are a few top-notch schools you’ll find in the community, all with A+ ratings:

Public Schools

  • Rye High School
  • Milton School
  • Rye Neck Middle School
  • Osborn School

Private Schools

  • Rye Country Day School
  • French-American School of NY
  • Hackley School

The exterior of Rye Village Apartments, an apartment community in Rye, New York. The building is made of red brick and its entrance features several grassy areas and a large shade tree.

Top Things To Do in Rye, NY

When you live here, you’ll find that there are a lot of things to do in Rye, NY. Whether you love exploring the outdoors near the water, in a park, or on one of the many beautiful trails, Rye residents are known for their active lifestyles. Additionally, there are lots of clubs in the area that specifically cater to spending time outdoors or on the water. That’s not to say that there’s no art or culture in Rye, because there are plenty of both! With historic residences, art galleries, boutiques, and dining options to rival NYC, it’s easy to see why residents are so happy to live in this town. 

Make New Friends

Whether it’s on dry land at the Apawamis Club or the Rye Golf Club or in the water at the Greenhaven Yacht Club, the American Yacht Club, or Row America, Rye has plenty of ways to welcome new community members.

Get Up Close and Personal With Rye’s History

If you’re a history buff wondering what to do in Rye, NY, there are all kinds of interesting and educational events that happen at the John Jay Heritage Center as well as the Rye Historical Society. With plenty of pre-colonial and colonial history in the area, including the oldest house in Westchester County (the Knapp House), there’s always something to learn more about.

Become the Food Critic You Always Wanted To Be

While it isn’t quite as large as the NYC food scene, there are all kinds of amazingly delectable restaurants to try in the area, including two with Michelin Stars, the Italian fare at Rafele Rye and the Asian fusion at OKO Kitchen. Not to mention a variety of other restaurants that will satisfy any craving you might have, like creole at Rye Roadhouse, amazing steaks at Frankie & Johnnie's Steakhouse, and New England’s finest seafood at Town Dock.

Let Your Inner Artist Shine

Learn a new way to get creative at one of the many classes or workshops offered at the Rye Arts Center. Whether you want to learn more about drawing, painting, or theater, you can do it all here. You can also take holistic classes at the Wainwright House and go deeper into your study of yoga or tai chi. Or catch a new show at the Edward B. Dunn Performing Arts Center!

Engage in Community Events That Are More Like Family Gatherings

One of the top reasons people like living in Rye, NY? The small community is more like a family. Neighbors know each other and join clubs together to pursue similar interests. There’s also high community participation in events like food truck festivals, the Turkey Run, the window painting contest, and the holiday bonfire and sing-along. Knowing other members of the community helps you feel engaged and is a great support system. 

Moving to Rye, NY

When you’re ready to make the move to your new home in Rye, let PODS help you get there on your schedule. When you rent a PODS portable storage container, you can take as long as you need to load it up safely and securely. And PODS can help you find local moving and packing help if you need assistance with the heavier items. 

When you’re ready to get the show on the road, a PODS professional will pick up your container and drive it to your new Rye home, where you can also unload it on your own schedule. The best part? One month of storage is included in your move!


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.

(Source for image featured at top: City of Rye, New York via Facebook)

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