Best Neighborhoods in Rockland County
Located 15 miles northwest of Manhattan and 6 miles from the Bronx, Rockland County is the southernmost county in New York State. Nestled on the west side of the Hudson River, it is designated as a Preserve America Community, and nearly one-third of the county is parkland.
Rockland County has historical significance dating back centuries. British Explorer Henry Hudson sailed up the Hudson River and dropped anchor in Tappan Zee, happy that he had found the elusive Northwest Passage to India. He eventually figured out his error, turned around and sailed for home.
However, the Duke of York, who eventually became King James II, liked what he heard and claimed the territory. Rockland County was originally part of Orange County and did not become its own county until 1798.
The area played an important part in the birth of the nation. The early seeds of the principles in the Declaration of Independence were crafted in 1774 in Orangetown. George Washington and Marshal Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau encamped in Suffern in 1781 before the siege of Yorktown, which eventually led to Lord Cornwallis’ surrender.
The first acknowledgement by the British of the independent nation happened when British Commander Sir Guy Carleton received Washington aboard his vessel Perseverance on May 5, 1783, and fired the first salute to the new flag.
Camp Shanks in Orangeburg was the embarkation point for millions of soldiers heading overseas in World War II, the last stop before departing for Europe and North Africa. Seventy-five percent of troops who participated in D-Day left from Camp Shanks. It also served as a prisoner of war camp for Italian and German prisoners.
Rockland County is steeped in history, but is it a good place to live in the 21st century? We looked at information about demographics, crime rates, housing and the commute to Manhattan. Here are some of the best neighborhoods in Rockland County in alphabetical order.
Piermont was originally known as Tappan’s Landing and is located on the west bank of the Hudson River. It is the site of the Sparkill Creek drawbridge, built in 1880 and continues to provide pedestrians access across Sparkhill Creek into the Tallman Mountain State Park.
Still operational, it may be the last remaining hand-cranked drawbridge in the U.S. and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Piermont’s proximity to the Hudson River Valley made it a hotbed of activity during the Revolutionary War for both sides of the conflict. The River Road in Piermont was a major supply trail. The Onderdonk House was fired on by British Troops and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Niche.com gives Piermont an A+ overall rating, with top marks for public schools, good for families and health and fitness, an A for outdoor activities, crime and safety, nightlife and a B+ for diversity. It’s considered an urban/suburban mix.
The median housing price is $579.800, and 67% of the residents own their homes. People looking for rental accommodation can expect to pay an average of $2,000-- double the national average. The median household income is $124,700, according to Niche.
If you’re travelling into Manhattan, it will take you approximately an hour by train, 30 minutes to drive, 75 minutes by bus, and a taxi will take you 30 minutes and approximately $180.
Suffern is located at the base of the Ramapo Mountains and has been around since 1796. Originally named New Antrim after the town’s founder, John Suffern’s home town, it was eventually renamed to honor the founder.
Suffern had strategic importance during the American Revolutionary War because of its proximity to the Ramapo Pass. George Washington and Marie Joseph Paul Yves Rock Gilbert du Motier, better known as the Marquis de Lafayette, made camp in Suffern, as did the Comte de Rochambeau, who used the New Antrim Tavern as a military base.
If military history isn’t your thing, you can also visit the Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education, a permanent collection detailing every aspect of the Holocaust. You can also visit the Suffern Railroad Museum.
Niche gives Suffern an overall A- rating, with A+ for public schools, A for diversity, outdoor activities, health and fitness and good for families. It earns lower marks with a B for nightlife and crime, and safety.
Residents of Suffern are educated. Niche reports 26% of residents with some college or university; 22% hold a bachelor’s and 21%have a master’s or better.
Seventy-two percent of residents own their own homes, the median house value is $310,900 and the median income is $81,845. Renters can expect to pay $1,550 on average.
AreaVibes.com gives Suffern a B for crime rates, 40% less than the national average. If you’re travelling into Manhattan, it will take you approximately 75 minutes by train, 40 minutes to drive, an hour by bus and a train/bus combo will take you 2 hours.
History buffs will love living in Tappan since so much of the activity around the Revolutionary War took place in and around it. Located 12 miles north of New York City and 2.5 miles west of the Hudson, Tappan was founded in 1986 by 16 families, including three free black men, and the others were Dutch immigrants.
In 1774, a group of patriots gathered in Yoast Mabie’s house to draft the Orangetown Resolutions, a precursor to the principles of the Declaration of Independence. George Washington had his headquarters in DeWint House in 1780 when British spy John André was arrested and executed in Tappan for aiding Benedict Arnold.
The village of Tappan is part of the Tappan Historic District and is listed on the National Directory of Historic Places. The Historic District encompasses “the historic commercial and residential core of the late eighteenth and nineteenth-century village of Tappan. Boundaries were chosen to include as much of the village as it developed between 1700 and 1929 as retained historical and architectural integrity.”
Niche lists Tappan as the ninth best place to raise a family in Rockland County, giving it an overall A. Tappan receives A+ for good for families and A for public schools, outdoor activities, nightlife and health and fitness, and an A- for diversity.
The Old ‘76 House is a pub dating back to 1754 and was a popular spot for local patriots during the Revolutionary War. The DeWint House, the site of George Washington’s headquarters, is still in existence, and you can visit the monument where British spy Major John André was hung for his part in aiding Benedict Arnold.
If you’re travelling into Manhattan, it will take you approximately 90 minutes by bus or 30 minutes to drive.
If you’re moving to Rockland County, New York, and need the extra space, Storage Post has a number of self-storage locations in or around Rockland County, including units of various sizes and with climate-controlled options that will safeguard your prized possessions. Contact us today.