Pre-pandemic, your criterion for the perfect suburban abode may have been a home closest to a Metro-North RR commuter station, with an easy commute to Manhattan. But with the tectonic shift toward remote work and school, now you may be wishing for a home with a big backyard where you and your kids can take Zoom breaks and a little exercise, while breathing in some fresh air.
For urbanites fleeing New York City, there are plenty of factors to consider before putting down new roots: schools, space, amenities, lifestyle, and more. But if the search for the perfect town seems overwhelming, here’s some simple advice: consider Rye, New York! With the prospect of kids and spouses being home from work and school looming, you’ll find Rye to be a pretty-near-perfect town to settle in — in a pandemic and beyond.
As resident of this beautiful city on the Long Island Sound for over 20 years, I’m grateful for all that Rye has offered to me and my family. Here are 10 reasons why:
- It’s like being on vacation, all year-round.
Dip your toes into the soft sand and gentle waters at one of Rye’s beaches and you’ll feel like you’re visiting a seaside resort town. As a resident, you’ll have access to 34 acres of public beaches, known to locals as Rye Beach and Oakland Beach. We have a boardwalk, too, with great views of the sparkling Long Island Sound ahead and Rye’s historic art deco amusement park, Rye Playland, as a backdrop. Challenge the kids to a round of Playland’s miniature golf course. Just minutes away is Longford’s Ice Cream, serving small-batch, premium frozen deliciousness for the past 26 years. This is coastal living at its best.
- It’s where everybody knows your name.
OK maybe not everybody will know your name right away, but because of its size — Rye is a small city of about 16,000 residents — there’s a very strong sense of community here. Shopkeepers and restaurant owners will get to know you. Your school community will be tight-knit. And there are many ways to get involved. If you’re looking to make new friends, donate time to a worthy cause, or spend time on activities you enjoy, there is undoubtedly a community organization aligned with your interests. Our 70-year-old Rye Newcomers and Neighbors Club is a warm and welcoming way to meet people. Many of their activities, including an outdoor book club, have continued throughout the pandemic. The Woman’s Club of Rye, Garden Club, Rye YMCA, and the Expat Connection are just some of the organizations that contribute to our vibrant community. In no time at all you’ll recognize everyone in our amazing local newspaper, The Rye Record!
- There’s always green space nearby.
There’s no better place to be outdoors than Rye! Our beautiful 62-acre Rye Town Park has verdant spaces for picnicking and relaxing. The Rye Nature Center offers educational programs and includes forest and wildlife sanctuary and two miles of trails for hiking. Nearby, the Edith G. Read Sanctuary offers 179-acres of forest, bamboo groves, native grasses, birds, and wildflowers. The Marshlands Conservancy of Rye is excellent for birdwatching. Pristine beauty surrounds us.
- Waterfront recreation is minutes away.
In addition to our beautiful beaches for swimming and frolicking in the sun, Rye is home to beach clubs, yacht clubs, fishing areas, and a marina with a public launching area, winter boat and kayak storage. Sign the kids up for sailing or kayak lessons or rowing classes with Row America.
- We are home to a top-ranked school district.
Rye City Schools top regional and national lists each year. In 2020, U.S. News ranked our district 12th in New York State and #125 in the nation, and Niche.com gives our education an “A+” rating. Not only will you find excellent public schools but there are outstanding private school options nearby. You’ll find amazing teachers and a rich array of programs and activities in our strong school communities. Education is simply stellar.
- Our restaurants rival the Big City’s.
You won’t miss city dining when you move to Rye. When it comes to gourmet fare, Rye has it all, including an elegant French eatery and patisserie, a fabled steakhouse, wonderful fish, low-key bar and grill-style establishments, plus beachy waterfront restaurants with views of the Long Island Sound. We know how to dish good food!
- Shops that stock what you need — and want.
Our bustling downtown offers everything from home décor and clothing to fine wines, fresh produce, and prepared foods. Our independent bookstore has thrived for over 30 years. What’s more, our very active Rye Chamber of Commerce created a pandemic-friendly pedestrian area on our main thoroughfare, Purchase Street, where we enjoy al fresco dining, outdoor exercise classes and dancing, and a farmer’s market.
- Art and culture thrive here.
Our thriving Rye Arts Center is a community gem that offers opportunities to engage in art classes, lessons, exhibitions, performances and more. They’re offering robust virtual activities now and are rolling out in-person small-group programs. History buffs will want to engage with the Rye Historical Society and Jay Heritage Center. Need a mindful wellness break from these stressful times? Check out Wainwright House, the oldest nonprofit holistic learning center in the nation.
- It’s a short commute to NYC.
If you’re heading into town, to the office or otherwise, frequently or sporadically, take a 40-minute trip on Metro-North to Grand Central. The commute can’t be beat.
- There are homes to suit every taste and budget.
You’ll find a varied inventory of homes here. From classic and custom Colonials, to contemporary estates, romantic Tudors, ranches, co-ops and condominiums, historic homes and brand-new construction, Rye has it all.
You may have seen Rye featured in scenes on television shows like Mr. Robot, and big-screen features like “This is Where I Leave You,” starring Tina Fey and Jane Fonda, and “Big,” starring Tom Hanks. Our city looks beautiful on screen — but it’s even better in real life! I’d be happy to share my extensive knowledge and experience to help you make the move.