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North of NYC North of NYC By Houlihan Lawrence By Houlihan Lawrence by

From salt air and rippling tides to the Walden-like still of a north country pond, our communities in Westchester, Connecticut and the Hudson Valley abound with options to enjoy a waterfront lifestyle, each shade with its own unique vibe. Here are some of the local bodies of water we embrace:

jogger on hudson in peekskill

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jogger on hudson in peekskill waterfront homes in rye reservoir with clear water and rocks pontoon boat on lake aerial of farm estate
jogger on hudson in peekskill

What we call the Hudson "River" is actually a tidal estuary, an American fjord with a salt front that can extend more than a hundred miles upstream. Following its distance are the storied river towns, known for their vibrant villages and scenic views afforded from the area's rugged topography.  Steeped in history, these exciting waterside communities offer every amenity for today's active lifestyle — not to mention scenic commuting on Metro North's Hudson Line, called the "Water Level Route" for reasons we needn't explain. Their diverse housing stock, from gilded age mansions to Brooklyn loft-like townhomes, welcomes endless possibilities.

waterfront homes in rye

Who doesn't love the idea of coming home to the beach on a daily basis? For many, the Sound Shore is a sound investment. Communities like Larchmont, Mamaroneck and Rye in New York, along with Greenwich, Darien, Rowayton and Westport in Connecticut, were first popularized as summer resort communities for wealthy New Yorkers, where the solace of the sea could be enjoyed just a train ride away from Manhattan. They're just as desirable today as they were then, where private docks, infinity-edge pools and other world-class luxury amenities are hardly uncommon.

reservoir with clear water and rocks

Living in the shadow of a thirsty metropolis wasn't always a good thing: entire towns were moved, others obliterated together. But today, playing host to New York City's extensive chain of reservoirs is nothing but a blessing, accenting the local landscape with miles of breathtaking water views and scenic nature trails to enjoy. In Northern Westchester, Putnam and the Catskills, the sight of rowboat fishermen in the morning fog is a part of daily life. We might not get to drink the water we live with, but being surrounded by it is the best benefit.

pontoon boat on lake

While reservoirs strictly allow only non-power boating, several natural lakes in the region are a completely different story. Docks and Adirondack-style boat houses are a common sight at homes on Lake Mahopac, where speedboats cruise to town for boat-in movie nights at a local marina. In Westchester, Lakes Waccabuc, Rippowam and Oscaleta in Lewisboro, and Peach Lake on the North Salem-Brewster border, are favorites for tubing, water skiing and more.

aerial of farm estate

Nothing makes a statement like owning your own water feature in its entirety. At large-acreage country estates in Dutchess and Columbia counties, it's not uncommon to have several on your property, perhaps even a stocked one to practice for your next fly fishing expedition. No matter what its size, the benefits of having a pond or ponds on your property can't be underrated.