Suburban Meets Urban: Towns with City-style Amenities
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Maybe you moved to Brooklyn, Lincoln Park or Mission Dolores (or countless other spots) for more space and other “suburban” perks — a backyard, perhaps, a spot to park the car or, even, a “house.” But now, you’ve decided, it’s time to pack it up and head to the REAL ‘burbs — but abandoning city life 100% isn’t in the cards.
Just like plenty of urban-to-suburban families before you, finding a balance between totally suburban and stuck-in-the-city is key. But, thanks to the influx of young families to the ‘burbs outside out your city, plenty of urban must-haves as well as a general city vibe has trickled into popular communities. If you’ve got your heart set on this urban-meets-suburban feel, consider some of these commutable towns, all just outside of city limits:
Leaving NYC? Consider BRONXVILLE…
Westchester Magazine called Bronxville “hipper every day” — and we couldn’t agree more. Amidst the tree-lined streets and gorgeous architecture sits a trendsetting town filled with hip shops, popular restaurants and plenty to do — so much so, that it rivals many borough neighborhoods when it comes to activities and must-tries.
Downtown Bronxville, too, offers the charms of the ‘burbs with the access of the city. This area is highly walkable, littered with local residents, visitors and plenty of moms with strollers. Here you’ll find big name brands like Starbucks mixed in with small, locally-owned shops and go-tos, including luxury apparel, accessories and jewelry stores, kids gear, galleries and much more. In the warmer weather this area also becomes a true destination town, with plenty of well-regarded restaurants with plenty of outdoor seating — what New Yorker doesn’t love that?
Leaving Chicago? Consider WHEATON…
With a sub-30 minute commute, Wheaton has always been popular Chicagoans looking to relocate to the ‘burbs. But, for those specifically looking for a more city-like experience, Wheaton delivers. Its downtown and Danada area has plenty of top notch restaurants, boutiques and loads of activities for residents of all ages — and especially for families.
Another perk? This bustling ‘burb was recently named the healthiest big suburb by Chicago Magazine — an added boost for active families. Wheaton boasts plenty of large, open areas including 52 parks where residents can take part in plenty of active pursuits or, simply, just hike, bike and picnic at their leisure. In addition, Wheaton’s got a host of other amenities city families will no doubt love, including great cultural destinations, top libraries and much more.
Leaving San Francisco? Consider BERKELEY…
This university town has it all, from unique, on-trend eateries to boutiques and high-end retail chains, plus plenty of theater, film, art and other cultural must-sees. Its famed Berkeley Repertory Theatre, in fact, is one of the most notable regional theaters in the country, and was the first to mount Tony-winning Passing Strange just a few years ago.
Another unique urban perk? Public transportation — because of the university connection, plenty of Berkeley residents hop on public transport each day to zip into San Francisco or, even, around town. Also, like San Francisco, Berkeley is a highly motivated, idealistic and high energy community — long-time San Franciscans will have no trouble finding other like-minded families and activities from day one.
These towns are just the tip of the iceberg — there are plenty more bustling ‘burbs just outside of your city! Dig into the local cultures, communities and activities and see what feels “right” for you and your family. Every ‘burb is different so don’t be afraid to explore, ask questions and, even, consult the pros!
Starting your search? Don’t miss Suburban Jungle’s interactive online questionnaire. This simple, comprehensive quiz helps you and your family refine what’s most important to you in your suburban search. Click here to take the quiz!
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