Top 10 Reasons to be Thankful for Living in Rye

Beautiful beaches, quaint shops, gourmet dining, and top-notch schools—there’s no shortage of reasons to love living in Rye, New York! As the holidays approach, and we take time to be thankful for what matters most, this special community I call home is one of those things for which I am most grateful.

In the spirit of the season, I’ve narrowed my list (a challenge!) to just ten things that make Rye an idyllic place to live:

  1. The Beaches: Soft sand and gentle waters characterize our 34 beautiful acres of public beaches, known to locals as Rye Beach and Oakland Beach. Amenities include restaurants, a summer concert and entertainment series, and year-round scenic views.
  2. Rye Playland: Anyone who has seen Tom Hanks star in the movie Big is aware of our iconic amusement park, which opened in 1928. The centerpiece attraction is the Dragon Coaster, one of America’s few remaining wooden roller coasters—which also had a star turn in Big and in Fatal Attraction. A visit to Playland is always filled with old-fashioned fun.
  3. Lifestyle options: People looking to live in Rye have an array of home styles to choose from, making it easy to find one that is a good fit. From sprawling coastal estates and traditional center hall colonials, to split-level and ranch-style homes, the real estate market offers something for everyone.
  4. Top-notch schools: From private options like Rye Country Day, School of the Holy Child and Resurrection School, to our award-winning public schools in Rye and Rye Neck, which consistently rank among the best in New York State and across the nation, the educational institutions in Rye are simply stellar.
  5. Community involvement: If you’re looking to make new friends, donate time to a worthy cause, or spend time on activities you enjoy, there’s undoubtedly a community organization aligned with your interests. The Rye Arts Center, Newcomers Club, Women’s Club, Expat Connection, and Garden Club are just some of the many organizations that contribute to our vibrant civic community.
  6. Gourmet Dining: Rye has it all, including an elegant French eatery, upscale steak house, low-key bar and grill-style establishments, vegetarian dining, and beachy waterfront restaurants with views of the Long Island Sound.
  7. Shopping! Rye is a shopper’s paradise, with retailers offering fashion choices for the whole family (including the dog), home goods, and specialty stores such as Blue Tulip Chocolates, Parker’s, and Arcade Booksellers, all nestled in our quaint downtown shopping district made for strolling and browsing.
  8. Recreation: Rye is rich with recreation options! Our town park boasts a nature preserve, duck pond, and beachfront. The Rye Nature Center provides public environmental programs and includes a 2.5-mile trail system. Residents can take advantage of the Marshlands Conservancy and Edith G. Read Wildlife Sanctuary. There’s also a municipally-owned boat basin and public 18-hole golf course.
  9. Proximity to New York City: The greatest city in the world is just 36 minutes away by train! Commuting to jobs in Manhattan is a breeze. Locals who work in Westchester can hop on Metro North after work, have dinner, and catch a Broadway show, or visit one of the city’s world-class cultural institutions. 
  1. The People: As a resident and local Realtor who has lived in Rye for 19 years, I can tell you there’s just something special about the people in Rye. It’s a safe, warm, and inviting community where your neighbors become your friends. People look out for you. Rye is a city with a small-town feel. I’d be happy to show you around!

Helpful Tips For Evaluating A School District

Considering a move to the suburbs? If so, finding a great home in an excellent school district may well be at the top of your list. Keep in mind that even if you don’t have school-age children, a community’s highly regarded public school system helps to ensure strong market value and a consistently high demand for property. Here are a few tips to get you started on finding the right school district for your family:

1.Visit the school district website in the communities you are thinking about moving to. The site should provide such comprehensive information as:

  • Number of schools in the district
  • Size of each school’s student and faculty body
  • Availability of learning support services and differentiated learning programs.
  • Detailed curriculum information
  • Electives
  • Extra-curricular programs
  • Disciplinary policies
  • Athletic offerings
  • College acceptance rates and results
  • PTO activities

2. Visit the Institute of Educational Statistics at, which analyzes data related to education and allows you to look for information about public and private schools, colleges, and libraries in the communities you are researching,

3. Explore school districts you are interested in at helpful online sites such as Education.comand, which will allow you to compare statistics for schools and school districts, as well as link to local community information and parent blogs.

4. When evaluating and comparing school districts be sure to examine such indicators as:

  • Class size
  • Student-to-teacher ratio
  • Standardized test results
  • Number and range of Advanced Placement (AP) courses
  • Average SAT/ACT scores
  • College matriculation results

5. Some progressive districts offer International Baccalaureate (IB) programs in high school geared toward preparing students for a global education, which is often of interest to parents from other countries.

6. Go see for yourself! Because you want to be thorough, I suggest that you tour the schools you are interested in, interview faculty and administrators, and, if possible, talk to parents about their experiences and recommendations.

7. Lastly, ask your Realtor about local property values and how they relate to the public school district. Your Realtor is prohibited by law from telling you whether a school is good or not, and cannot not steer you to one district over another. However, he/she may be able to give you the benefit of his/her personal experience, and can certainly put you in touch with other families in the area who have children in the school district, as well as local district officials, principals, teachers, athletic coaches, and past and current clients.

Fiona Dogan is a Licensed Realtor® in the Rye office of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. She is a Westchester Five Star Real Estate Agent, Platinum Award winner, and an Accredited Buyer Representative. For more information, please contact Fiona Dogan at: or visit her website at

Let Fiona help you sell or find your dream home. Contact Fiona at 914-414-5147 or email her directly.