Best Towns to Live in New York 2016
There’s more to New York than life in the city. From college towns, to natural landmarks and historical villages, visitors and residents alike can agree this state has a lot to offer. The state of New York is a total of 54,555 square miles and is home to nearly 20 million residents. The state shares borders with New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, and also divides maritime waters with Rhode Island. To the north, New York State shares an international border with Quebec, Canada. In addition to its famous fast-paced city life, New York is also a frontrunner in terms of creativity, entrepreneurship, and social tolerance.
Our ratings were compiled by combining census, education, wealth , happiness and internal RentApplication data to create a unified rating system for all of the towns in California. Ranked below are the top towns.
#1 White Plains
An affluent suburb north of New York City, White Plains is a commerical hub of close to one million residents. Post-World War II up until present day, White Plains has been a hub of retail giants. Major corporations including General Foods, PepsiCo, Nestlé and IBM are all housed here. White Plains is 7 miles from the Hudson River, and surrounded by park and greenery.
Situated in the Finger Lakes region of the state, Geneseo is also just outside of Rochester, NY. The city of 9,654 (200) is bordered by rural villages and farmland. Each year, the city celebrates its Geneseo Airshow as well as the Ring of Fire fireworks display at Conesus Lake. Historical Red brick buildings house the present-day high school and public library.
#3 Glens Falls
Glens Falls of Warren County east New York got its name from the waterfall of the Hudson River that forms at its southern tip. Arts and culture are big in the area, including the Adirondack Theater Festival, the Opera Saratoga as well as several museums: The Chapman Historical Museum and the World Awareness Children’s Museum.
#4 Mount Hope Town
Located in the southeast corner of the state, sits Mount Hope Town. Locals can enjoy the outdoors at the Mount Hope Town Park or the Shoddy Hollow Fishing Hole. The population was 7,018 according to the 2010 census.
#5 East Aurora
Bordering Lake Erie, the town of East Aurora has lots of coastline and is also in close proximity to Buffalo. It is considered part of the greater Buffalo-Niagra Falls area. Community activism has twice thwarted efforts for retail giants to take root; local economy is based on self-owned businesses or small retail companies. East Aurora is home to Explore & More Children’s Museum and the Aurora Theatre.
Geneva is located at the northern end of Seneca Lake and shares land between Ontario and Seneca counties. In 2010, the population was 13,261. The Belhurst Lake and other historical residence line the shores of Seneca Lake. Geneva’s location in the Finger Lakes also make the city one of the largest wine-producing areas in the state.
#7 Penn Yan
Penn Yan, an abbreviation for “Pennsylvania Yankee”, lies in west-central New York and is a home to 5,159 residents. Crooked Lake Canal’s ending point in Penn Yan brought about the Penn Yan Boat Company in 1921. Historic sites include the Yates County Courthouse, the Sampson Theatre, and the Penn Yan Historic District.
South of Lake Erie and and in the town of Pomfret, lies Fredonia, Chautauqua County. Canadaway Creek, a small stream, winds through the city, and into Lake Erie. State University of New York at Fredonia’s campus along with the Fredonia Opera House, and Fredonia Commons Historic District can also be found here.
Oneonta is a lively upstate village with a population of about 21,000 well -regarded for its family friendly vibe, academic excellence, economic prosperity, and natural beauty. Throughout the year, the city participates in fresh-produce markets and festivals. The city boasts Victorian style buildings, an orchestra, and a science museum.
Hugging Lake Champlain to the northeast, Plattsburgh makes up a total area of 6.6 square miles Today, 19,989 people call the city home. The city of Plattsburgh lies entirely within the town of Plattsburgh. Plattsburgh played a significant role in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. The city can be easily accessed via rail, ferry, or plane.
Cortland, New York is located in the center of the city. As of 2010, 19,204 people reside. The city was once part of the Central New York Military Tract. Once the Cortland Normal School, the city now hosts present-day State University of New York at Cortland. Historically significant buildings include The Cortland County Courthouse and the Cortland Free Library.
A city once burned to the ground at the Battle of Saratoga, Kingston today is a thriving small town in Ulster County, New York, 91 miles from New York City. Kingston is broken into three districts, including Stockade District, Neighborhood Broadway Corridor, and Roundout-West Strand Historic District. Passersby can take note at the city’s impressive Victorian style buildings and roofed sidewalks.
Cheektowaga of Eerie County has a total population of 88,226 and is the second largest suburb of Buffalo. Buffalo Niagra International Airport is the county’s primary airport. Cheektowaga welcomes thousands of commuters each day, to or through the city, via New York State Route 78. Empire State College and Villa Maria College are both located within the city.
Set alongside its namesake river, the city of Hudson has an area of 2.3 square miles. Beginning in 2011, every year residents participate in the Hudson Music Festival –New York’s largest free music festival. The Leterbox Farm Collective is famous in the city for providing locals restaurants with fresh meats, eggs, and produce.
#15 Crawford Town
Named after once of its earliest European settlers, Crawford Town of Orange County is picturesque small town America–the perfect place to raise a family. Each year, the city puts on a summer camps and Summer Series Concert, as well as a local farmers’ market. Approximately 10,000 people live in Crawford Town today.
The Old mill dam at Big Bend in Batavia is just one of many outdoor vantage points the city has to offer. Batavia is located in western New York, with a total size of 5.2 square miles. Batavia has seen an influx of Polish and Italian immigrants in past decades, during which time that city rapidly expanded. Historical sites include the Holland Land Company-turned museum.
As the capital of the state of New York, Albany is not only home to gubernatorial politics, but to higher education and the high-tech industry. An estimate in 2015 lists Albany’s population at 100,104, with more than a million residents in the greater metropolitan area. There are four lakes within the city parameters as well as the Albany Pine Bush.
#18 Coeymans Town
Coeymans derives its name from an early settler, and sits just south of Albany. According to 2010 census records, 7,418 people inhabit the area. Much of the economy is focused on local business; recent efforts have been made to encourage environmental responsibility and sustainability.
Chittenango is situated virtually in the center of the state, just below the Lake Erie Canal. The population is a total of 5,081 (2010). Every year, the town hosts Oz-Stravaganza! to celebrate L. Frank Baum, author of the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and who was born in Chittenango. The city even constructed its own yellow brick road in the town, an homage to the beloved story of Oz.
On the Chemung River lies the city of Corning, population 11,183, nearly at the Pennsylvania border and in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The city is well-regarded as a must-see small town for art lovers. Visitors and residents can stop by the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rockwell art museum.
Home to St. Lawrence University and SUNY Canton, this northern city attracts young and old, families and singles. Permanent residents bring the population to 10,995 (2010), although the city swells from September to May each year. The Grasse River flows through Canton northward, and the Oswegatchie River flows northwest. Many small villages neighbor the city of Canton.
Brockport is located in northern New York, near to Rochester.State University of New York at Brockport is situated here. The Erie Canal runs through the city of 8,377(2014). Points of interest include historic residences and the Main Street Historic District.
Just northeast of Canton, lies the city of Potsdam, home to 17,029 at the 2010 consensus. School-Clarkson University and SUNY Potsdam are located here. During school months, due to the universities of Potsdam and nearby Canton, the city grows by about 8,000 people. Sugar Island and Bucks Bridge are some of the city’s landmarks.
Norwich is located in the central region of the state, within Chenango County. Downtown main street is full of local eateries, shops, and repair centers. NBT Bancorp and Chobani both have headquarters in Norwich.
Nicknamed the “Maple City”, Hornell was once covered, low-hanging in large maple trees. Today, this city of 8,563 (2010) is known for is Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, which incorporates the community’s local clubs and businesses, and features the mayor in never-before-seen float. The Hornell Municipal Airport is nearby, as is Route 36.
At the north end of Owasco Lake, the city of Auburn can be found on the Finger Lakes of Central New York. The town had a population of 27,687 at the 2010 census. Auburn lays claim to the home of abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Auburn has a long history with the National Association of Professional Baseball, including the previous base for the Minor Leagues.
Olean is the largest town in its county, at the border with Pennsylvania. A total of 14,452 people resided in Olean as of 2010. The city is considered a transportation, financial and entertainment hub. Olean is home to several historic residences as well as sports facilities and stadiums.
Thirty miles southeast of Rochester is the city of Newark, Wayne County. It is the most populated in its county with a total of 9,145 residents and extends out to Lake Erie. Newark’s downtown is lined with shops and other local businesses. The city’s public school district has a reputation for academic excellence.
Troy is located on the eastern shores of the Hudson River. Together with Albany and Schenectady, the region is referred to as the Capital District. Economically speaking, Troy has a history of textile production. Troy is home to several universities, including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute , Russell Sage College, and the Emma Willard School.
#30 Fallsburg Town
Fallsburg of eastern Sullivan County has a population of roughly 12,000. The town is home to the Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum as well as the Dramatic Workshop-Rivoli Theater. The town is surrounded by many small ponds, lakes, and greenery.
Named after the original tribe inhabitants, Oneida, Madison County is anchored to Oneida Lake. The city’s design including public parks, buildings, and private residences are all in close proximity, making Oneida a very walkable city. Several higher education institutions are within commuting distance, such as Syracuse University, Colgate University, and Utica College.
#32 Ellicott Town
Centrally located within Chautauqua County, Elliott had a population of 8,714 in 2010. The city is well situated and easily accessible via major highways that connect Ellicott to Jameston and farther-reaching cities. The Chadakoin River flows through this quiet town, as does Cassadaga Creek.
The rolling hills of Walden is the largest village in its southwest county, with an area of 5.3 square meters, and a population of 6,978. The town holds historical significance, which is visible through its architecture and building preservation, including the Jacob Walden home and the Village Hall. Panoramic views of the village show the Great Falls and Hudson Highlands.
Situated in Niagra County, the city got its named because of Erie Canal locks in the city. Erie Canal passes through the town, and onto Tonawanda Creek. Past waves of immigration to the city have given it a Celtic flare. Historical sites of interest include residences, Union Station, and the Lockport Industrial District.
The village of Medina, spread between Shelby and Ridgeway in the western part of the state, is the location of the Oak Orchard Creek; the Erie Canal also passes through. The village is home to the Medina Railroad Museum. Buildings in the downtown are notable for their brownstone construction.
Watertown is situated about 70 miles north of Syracuse, 20 miles south of the Thousand Islands, and about 30 miles from the Ontario border. Historically, the town experienced a surge in immigration at the end of the American Revolution. Today, Watertown has a total population of about27,023 (2010). Black River flows west through the city an into Lake Ontario, giving the town its name. Today, competitive and recreational kayaking have become popular in the area.
Bath is located in Steuben County, northwest of Elmira, New York. Dairy and agriculture are some of Bath’s major industries. Every year, the city of 12,097 residents puts on a dairy festival in June. Built in 1877, Bath VA Medical Center is also nearby.
The city of Rome is located in Oneida County of Upstate New York. In 2010, the population reached 33,725. Historically, Rome, New York was a frequented battle site during the French and Indian War. Internationally recognized music festival, Woodstock, was held in Rome in 1999. Among other sports facilities, Rome is home to the John F Kennedy Civic Arena.
Meaning “beyond the pines”, Schenectady was founded along to Mohawk River, to the south. It is also connected to Lake Erie on the west. The city is a leader in the technology industry, including innovative technology that focuses on renewable energy (steam-powered locomotives).
Binghamton of Broome County, New York has a city population of 47,376 (2010), and a metropolitan area of 251,725 (2010). Binghamton University is here, and has steered the city in the direction of budding healthcare and education-related employment. The city hosts a variety of community events each year, including First Friday Art Walk, I Love New York festival, and Blues on the Bridge.
#41 Deerpark Town
The town of Deerpark is located in southern New York. It was originally settled by a group of Dutch colonists in the mid 17th century and breifly caught up a boundary dispute between New York and New Jersey. As of 2014, an estimated 7,789 residents live in Deerpark. Local landmarks include the Neversink Preserve and the Huguenot Schoolhouse.
Waterloo in Seneca County, New York is situated between two Finger Lakes: Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake. Several historical sites in the city have been recognized by the National Register of Historical Places, including the William H. Burton House and the Hunt House. Waterloo’s sports field are fit for any competitive teams or some weekend family fun.
Located on Lake Ontario, Oswego is considered the “Port City of Central New York”. Oswego has a history as a fort and military base town. Outdoor activities like boating, hiking, and fishing are common in the town. Each year, Oswego hosts a four-day festival of music, culture, and arts during the Oswego Harborfest.
Known for its manufacturing industry, Johnstown and nearby Gloversville are often considered twin or “Glove Cities”. The city has a population of 8,743 and played a crucial role in the Revolutionary War. Several notable figures in history have come from Johnstown, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Today, the leather industry makes up a majority of the town’s economy.
Elmira, New York, with a population of 29,200 (2010) is a prime destination due to its historical intrigue. Elmira was an important city during the Revolutionary War, and also became a prisoner of war camp. Today, some of the city’s biggest industries include glass manufacturers, heat treating and waterworks companies.The Chemung River passes through the town, met on either side by luscious greenery.
With coastline stretched along the St.Lawrence River, Ogdensburg has varied terrain and wildlife. The town is family-oriented, catering to community involvement and entertainment, Each year, the city puts on the Ogdensburg International Seaway Festival. Activities during this last week in July include a canoe race and battle of the high school bands.
Monticello, Sullivan County is located in the southern region of the state. Monitcello saw battle and growth during and after World War II. Monticello draws visitors in with its raceway. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts was the site of the internationally acclaimed Woodstock Festival in 1969. In addition, the city boasts several resorts including Concord and Grossinger’s.
On the north side of the Mohawk River, sits the village of Herkimer, population 7,743 (2010). The area is known for its “Herkimer diamonds”, which in actuality are quartz crystals, but sometimes have the look of actual diamonds. In addition to functioning mines, several mines cater to tourists hoping to strike gold, or quartz at least.
Jamestown has a population of 30,737, and fits between Lake Erie to the northwest, and Alleghney National Forest to the south. Nearby Chautauqua Lake attracts fisherman and boaters each year. Chautauqua Institution, which is 17 miles away, offers arts summer camps–musical theater, and educational classes. Today, jamestown is home to many sports teams as well as history and art museums.
A village in Orleans County, Albion is located northwest of the city of Rochester. There are 6,056 people living in Albion. The town was originally founded in 1822 and has been expanding ever since. The Erie Canal passes through. Albion is the focal point of Medina’s sandstone industry, as well as cultivation of apples, cabbage, and beans.