Guide to the Largest Planned Neighborhoods Outside of New York City


Planned neighborhoods, known for their structured layout and community-focused amenities, offer a unique living experience that contrasts with the spontaneous and often chaotic growth of many large cities. Outside of New York City, several of these communities have gained prominence due to their size, design, and the quality of life they offer. Here’s a look at some of the largest and most interesting planned neighborhoods.

Maplewood Municipal Building

Key Takeaways

  • In Garden City, Long Island, life is quiet, close to NYC. It’s designed for families, with an average household size of 3.2.
  • Maplewood and South Orange boast their architectural past. They build strong community bonds with local actions and gatherings.
  • Montclair and Glen Ridge mix old charm with today’s living. Their streets, lined with trees, foster a close community.
  • Westport offers a life by the sea. It has beautiful beaches, a vibrant downtown, and top schools. It’s perfect for those wanting to live near the coast by NYC.
  • Short Hills presents a high-end lifestyle. It’s peaceful, with trees, great schools, and a bustling downtown, 23 miles from NYC.

Garden City, Long Island

Garden City sits on Long Island. It’s close to New York City. It’s quiet, meant for families. About 3.2 people live in each house. It feels close-knit. It’s good for those liking quiet but wanting city access.

Houses here impress. They have high ceilings, big kitchens, and fireplaces. These homes offer comfort and style. Families wanting good living choose Garden City.

Over 22,000 people live here. It’s friendly for families. It’s near New York City. So, work and culture are close. Garden City offers a life both calm and connected.

Maplewood and South Orange

South Orange

In Maplewood and South Orange, community ties are strong. Residents unite through initiatives. They also honor their architectural past with a Historic Homes Tour. This blends old and new, deepening the sense of place.

Community Engagement Initiatives

In Maplewood and South Orange, local initiatives boost businesses and build community spirit. These areas show how community support, local business backing, and neighborhood care lead to success.

Initiative Type Impact
Farmers Markets Supports local farmers and artisans
Art Fairs Highlights local artists, sparks creativity
Community Clean-Up Days Makes neighborhoods look better
Beautification Efforts Enhances public places, builds pride
Historic Preservation Keeps unique character, draws tourists

These actions knit Maplewood and South Orange closely. Residents join forces to lift each other and their environment, setting an example of effective community involvement.

Historic Homes Tour

Explore Maplewood and South Orange’s historic homes. See architectural wonders and history. Experience a mix of classic and modern styles in vibrant downtowns and quiet streets. Discover the rich past and preserved architecture. Learn about preservation efforts. See how history meets modern needs. Experience the commitment to the past in these communities.

Montclair and Glen Ridge


Montclair and Glen Ridge are not ordinary suburbs. They blend history with today. These areas balance community and fun, perfect for families or those wanting lively, yet quiet, lives. Classic homes, parks, and top schools create a distinct life near New York City.

Historic Charm Preserved

Montclair and Glen Ridge enchant with their mix of old and new homes among beautiful settings. Ideal for those who appreciate:

  1. Historic homes with stories of the past and comfort for today.
  2. Tree-lined streets perfect for walks or runs.
  3. A tight-knit community where everyone knows each other and joins in local events.
  4. Living in a place that honors its history, turning every corner into a discovery.

While the historic charm and beauty captivate, don’t miss their lively downtowns. But for now, let’s focus on the heritage and community spirit that define Montclair and Glen Ridge as unique.

Community and Recreation Balance

Christ Church

In Glen Ridge and Montclair, community and fun meet. Parks, cultural spots, and vibrant streets fill these areas. Homes mix with lively downtowns. Shops and dining spots add life. Enjoy tree-lined streets at events or use recreational sites. There’s always something to make your day better.

Feature Montclair Glen Ridge
Downtown Areas Alive Welcoming
Recreational Spots Parks & Places Parks & Sites
Community Events Varied & Fun Warm & Open
Atmosphere Energetic Pleasant

These things make life good. You join a community that loves both calm and activity.

New Canaan’s Charm

New Canaan's Charm

Situated north of NYC, New Canaan captivates. It merges classic and modern, offering a unique spot for those seeking a vibrant, yet old-fashioned community. With 23,000 residents, it provides an escape with all needed amenities.

Here’s what makes New Canaan stand out:

  1. Top Public Schools: Education matters here. New Canaan’s schools rank among the best, attracting families who value academic excellence.
  2. Lively Downtown: Beyond the quiet streets, a dynamic downtown awaits. Dining, shopping, entertainment – it’s all here.
  3. Diverse Architecture: The town showcases a mix of traditional and modern styles, adding to its character.
  4. Spacious and Affordable: Unlike NYC’s cramped spaces and high costs, New Canaan offers space and affordability.

New Canaan blends past and present, appealing to those seeking both.

Westport: Coastal Living

Westport offers a simple, coastal life. Its stunning beaches and lively downtown draw those seeking calm and community. This Connecticut town is a treasure. It offers coastal living near city hustle. Its schools excel, promising bright futures for kids. Parks and beaches offer endless outdoor fun, embracing the natural beauty.

Feature Benefit Why It Matters
Top Schools Good education Prepares kids for the future
Lively Downtown Fine shops & dining Keeps social life lively
Great Beaches Rest & play Improves life quality
Close to NYC Easy commutes Makes work-life smooth

Living in Westport means joining a community valuing quality life. With varied fun for all, from downtown walks to Long Island Sound sun, it’s the ideal spot for satisfying coastal living.

Westfields Community Spirit

Residents of Westfields gather, fostering a strong community spirit. This spirit is not just about being active; it’s about contributing to a better Westfields. Here’s what you find in Westfields’ community spirit:

  1. Community Events: There’s always something happening. Seasonal festivals and block parties bring everyone together. These events are the heart of Westfields, creating a close community hard to find elsewhere.
  2. Support for Local Businesses: Shopping local is a lifestyle here. By supporting local businesses, you help the community grow and thrive.
  3. Volunteer Opportunities: Giving back is important. Residents volunteer at food banks and community clean-ups. Volunteering is part of life here.
  4. Inclusive Atmosphere: Westfields welcomes everyone. Newcomers quickly become part of the community, improving life for all.

Westfields is more than a place to live; it’s a place to belong.

Pelham and New Rochelle

Westfields has its charm, but Pelham and New Rochelle mix suburban calm with city ease. These towns suit those torn between quiet and lively places.

Pelham offers a tight community and beautiful parks. It’s perfect for nature lovers and those seeking connection. New Rochelle brings energy with its diverse offerings, from shops to beaches. Both towns have nature trails for hiking, beach visits, and water sports.

The Metro-North train makes NYC a short ride away, ideal for city workers wanting peace. Families in Pelham and New Rochelle enjoy both suburban peace and city life, making every day both relaxing and full of adventure.

Short Hills: Upscale Homes

Located 23 miles from NYC, Short Hills offers upscale homes amidst quiet, tree-filled streets. This neighborhood is a haven for those seeking a prestigious lifestyle, where luxury is the norm. Dream of a home that blends elegance with tranquility? Short Hills is your ideal place. Here’s why:

  1. Tree-Lined Beauty: Wake up daily to beautiful, tree-lined streets. They provide shade and a stunning view.
  2. Exceptional Schools: The area boasts top-notch schools. Your kids get a great education, giving you peace of mind.
  3. Upscale Shopping and Dining: A lively downtown gives you access to high-end shops and restaurants. Your weekends can be as luxurious as your home.
  4. Example of Luxury: Consider a property at 55 Highland Avenue. It has 7 bedrooms, 5.2 baths, and spans over 6,500 square feet. It’s a prime example of the luxury homes here.

Short Hills offers more than a home. It’s a lifestyle of luxury living, close to New York City.

West Orange’s Green Spaces

In West Orange, New Jersey, green spaces abound. The crown jewel, Eagle Rock Reservation, stretches over 400 acres. It offers views of the New York City skyline. It’s a haven from city hustle.

Eagle Rock Reservation stands out. It has hiking trails winding through beautiful landscapes, picnic spots for relaxed days, and a historic stone tower for exploring. It’s a place for hikers and those who love calm views alike.

Here’s a simple guide to West Orange’s green spaces:

  • Parks: Eagle Rock Reservation. A quiet escape.
  • Hiking Trails: Spread throughout the reservation. For adventure.
  • Panoramic Views: The NYC skyline from the reservation. Breathtaking.

West Orange’s green spaces enhance life quality. They draw people seeking nature near New York City.


You just explored big planned neighborhoods outside New York City. Each has its charm. Garden City has history. Maplewood and South Orange are alive. Westport gives coastal vibes. West Orange is green. There’s a place for all. Fancy homes in Short Hills or community in Westfield, these spots offer calm and ease away from the city rush.

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