Living in Rockville Centre: a strong sense of community, minutes from the hustle and bustle of NYC
Faria, our newest NYC “Local,” calls Rockville Centre on Long Island “home.” Here’s her insider scoop on this suburban hotspot, and why her family’s living in Rockville Centre!
Rockville Centre—“RVC” is less than 3.5-square miles which makes carpooling and just hopping from friend’s house to friend’s house very easy. Often you can walk between destinations but, if not, you’re never more than a five to 10-minute car ride from point A to point B. That’s a HUGE perk to living in Rockville Centre.
The SCHOOL scene
Rockville Centre has some of the best schools in the country. In 2016, South Side High School was ranked #2 on Long Island and #15 in New York State in the U.S. News and World Report. This year, the U.S. Department of Education invited South Side High School to apply for its Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, in recognition of their incredible achievements. To put it in perspective, Rockville Centre is one of just 18 New York school districts that has a school invited to apply for this honor, based on a host of criteria related to program excellence and outstanding performance.
Within the district we also have five elementary schools, all of which feed into the one middle school and, from there, South Side.
Elementary Schools (K-5)
- Floyd B. Watson Elementary School
- Francis F. Wilson Elementary School
- Riverside Elementary School
- Hewitt School
- William S. Covert Elementary School
Middle School (6-8)
- South Side Middle School
There is also a very popular Catholic school—St. Agnes Cathedral School—that serves kids from kindergarten through 8th grade.
COMMUTING to the city
Another perk to living in Rockville Centre? The commute is very easy. Residents can take the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) to Penn Station or to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. During rush hour, trains can get you to and from the city in as little as 34 minutes. Lots of people love to have the option of commuting into Atlantic Terminal, which cuts down commute times significantly if you or your spouse work in Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan.
Since the town is small, many people bike or even take their scooter to the train station, eliminating the need for parking. But if you do drive, don’t worry about that—there’s ample station parking.
OUT & ABOUT in RVC
This year, the Village of Rockville Centre won the Long Island Smart Growth Awards for its strong, “Sense of Place” which, no doubt, speaks to the activity and access in our community. Our “Main Street” runs along Sunrise Highway and, no surprise, it’s a very popular destination for residents and folks in neighboring towns. There are more than 100 restaurants in our main street area which many affectionately refer to as the “Restaurant Capital of the South Shore.” At night, the entire area is incredibly vibrant and bustling—buses and trains come through the LIRR station hub, so it’s easy to hop on and hop off in RVC.
This popularity has really boomed in the last decade, as the town has added 500 new apartment units near downtown. And if you need something else? We’re 15 minutes from Roosevelt Field Mall.
An ACTIVE COMMUNITY
Another unique thing about living in Rockville Centre is how physically active the community is. There are amazing options for working out including Sportset, Orangetheory, Crossfit the Rock, Cycle Studios, Yoga/Pilates Studios, personal training institutes and more. If you want to work out OUT, the Village Green hosts Yoga in the park in the summer which is a great option. Rockville Centre Sports Athletic Complex and the local rec center are also popular go-tos, especially for families and younger athletes. In the summer, there’s even a splash pad at the rec center—definitely not to be missed!
We also have a great farmers market off of Sunrise Highway. Many families also head to Hempstead Lake State Park on weekends. It’s not in RVC, but right next door and offers an incredible 737-acre park with lots of picnic tables, pavilions and tennis courts plus a playground, playing fields, recreation programs, hiking, biking, fishing and a boat launch. In the winter, people hit the park for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and even ice fishing. Kids love the three ponds stocked with tons of fish and golfers are always happy to hear the park is home to the Rockville Links Golf Club.
Almost a BEACH TOWN
Keep in mind, all of this is just 15 minutes away from the BEACH. We’re very close to Long Beach, Jones Beach, Lido Beach, Ocean Beach Park, Nickerson Beach Park and many more—hop in the car and you’re there fast. Many residents join South Shore beach clubs or, on the weekends, head to the Hamptons, Splish Splash Park or the aquarium.
Speaking of summer, many kids hit local day camps in the warmer months. There are a number of summer camp options including popular go-tos at each public school as well as the rec center. We also have an amazing public library with plenty of programs for all ages. The community loves our local library and you’ll always see people from the neighborhood here. and is loved by the community.
Preschools to check out…
There are lots of private preschools in Rockville Centre, including:
- The Rockville Centre Recreation Center
- St. Mark’s Nursery School (co-op)
- United Methodist Preschool