Discover Westchester: Exploring Pelham

Jun 5, 2024

There’s so much to love about Pelham—but if we had to pick five reasons…

Perched at the southernmost tip of Westchester County, the vibrant town of Pelham offers a mix of city-style amenities—think epic arts and destination restaurants, with 13 miles of shoreline, green space galore, and a quick commute to NYC.

#1. Small Town Living with a Big City Vibe

Pelham packs a lot into its two-square miles. There’s a small but walkable downtown—stroll along Fifth Avenue and you’ll pass the local diner, a wood-fired pizzeria, a grocery store and a local hardware store, along with salons, a pharmacy, and coffee shops. And the restaurants? They’re booming. Choose from comfort fare, Thai, Japanese, Mexican—there’s even a Michelin-rated steakhouse that serves American classics with Italian flair.

The celebrated Pelham Art Center anchors the local art scene. You can check out an exhibit in the gallery, or hone your own skills—painting, pottery, collage and more!—at a class or workshop led by professional artists. 

#2. Schools that Make the Grade

Pelham may be the oldest town in Westchester, but there’s nothing old-school about the Pelham Union Free School District. This powerhouse public school system is made up of four elementary schools (each one equipped with a state-of-the-art interactive Maker Space), one middle school, and top-ranked Pelham Memorial High School

Students are exposed to STEM-based learning beginning in kindergarten and can learn multiple languages or enroll in International Baccalaureate—which encourages students to connect concepts learned in the classroom with real-world scenarios—as early as sixth grade. More than 93% of Pelham Memorial High School grads go on to college. 


There’s never a shortage of things to do in Pelham. On weekends, leash up your pups and head to Wolfs Lane Park, a dog-friendly park with an epic nature-themed playground, or soak up the sun at Orchard Beach, a 1.1-mile-long public beach (with lifeguards!) on the Long Island Sound. This local hotspot has not one but two playgrounds, picnic areas, and basketball, handball, and volleyball courts. 

And let’s not forget the luxurious New York Athletic Club on Travers Island—just one town north in New Rochelle—which is home to NYAC’s Rowing House, Yacht Club, and a state-of-the-art clubhouse with a fitness center, saltwater swimming pool, tennis courts, and athletic fields.

On summer Sundays, hit the farmers market to meet up with neighbors and catch some live music while you shop for farm-fresh fruits and veggies.

#4. A Location that Can’t Be Beat

There’s plenty to do in Pelham…and there’s even more to do just outside of town. Just across the border in the Bronx is Pelham Bay Park; at 2,772 acres, it’s the largest public park in New York City—more than three times the size of Central Park!—with miles of hiking and bridle trails, a golf course, tennis courts, a nature center, and more. And it’s an easy drive to surrounding towns like New Rochelle—home to Glen Island Park, an island with a sandy beach just for Westchester residents, the lively arts scene in Peekskill, and the celebrated restaurants of the Hudson River Towns. 

#5. Just 33 Minutes to Manhattan

All of this is just minutes from New York City—bonus! Commuters who live in Pelham barely have time to scroll their news feed before they pull into Grand Central. It’s a 33-minute train ride from the downtown Pelham station to midtown Manhattan on Metro North. Even better? The train station is within walking distance for many residents, so you can (potentially) start and end the workday with a quick walk through town. 

Searching for your suburb? Get in touch with a Suburban Jungle Strategist today to start narrowing in on the right suburb for your priorities and lifestyle.

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