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Why You Should Live in Upstate New York


Vineyards, lakes, sweeping vistas and cozy communities: Upstate New York has a lot to offer if you’re looking to upgrade your lifestyle! The schools in Upstate are known for their quality education if you’re seeking a family-friendly destination. If you’re looking for mountain adventures, the Adirondacks are right in your backyard.

We explained a few of the reasons why moving to Upstate New York might be the best decision you could make. We have also crafted a list of some great places in Upstate to help you choose your new hometown, so have a look.

Nature and green space

If fresh air and room to roam are top on your list, look no further. Home to the Adirondack Mountains as well as the Finger Lakes and Great Lakes, Upstate New York has so much natural splendor you might not know where to go first. What’s more, Upstate is far less crowded than more densely populated areas to the south. You have just the perfect recipe for some serious relaxation.

Great food and wine

Centered around Seneca, Keuka, and Cayuga Lakes, the Finger Lakes are dotted with over 100 vineyards producing (and offering tastings of) local wines. Also painting the rolling landscapes are farms that supply the many local farmer’s markets with incredible fresh foods, making Upstate New York a foodie paradise.

The right place for your family

High SAT scores, small classes, high graduation rates, it all sounds pretty dreamy, right? School districts in Upstate New York are praised for being top-notch, even in the smaller towns like Rhinebeck, NY, with a population of just 7,766. If you’re moving to Upstate New York with your family, you’ll find plenty of other kids to play with, other parents to connect with, and good community vibes.  

Where to live in Upstate New York

If you open up a map and look at the geography, you’ll see: there are a lot of towns in Upstate New York. In large part, that’s because Downstate is limited to a fairly small area around New York City — though, New Yorkers debate where the line between Upstate and Downstate really is. To start, take a look at these five small cities in Upstate New York and see what sparks your interest!

Why you should live in Upstate New York


Known as the City of Good Neighbors, Buffalo has undergone quite a renaissance in the last ten years. Waterfront revitalization and neighborhood renewal projects have brought an influx of new restaurants and bars, new bike lanes, activity on Lake Erie, and lots of fun things to do.

Did we mention the proximity of Niagara Falls? That’s pretty cool, too.

The love of sports, Buffalo wings, and the local favorite beef on weck sandwich (roast beef on a kummelweck roll, a roll that is topped with kosher salt and caraway seeds) runs deep in Buffalo. What’s more, consider the affordable housing and current increase in tech and start-up companies, and it’s not hard to fall in love with Buffalo. 

  • Population: 256,304
  • Housing costs: $157,000 median home price
  • Rent: $1,070 per month median 
Why you should live in Upstate New York


Two and a half hours north of New York City, the Capital of New York has a historic appeal for those who enjoy the old-world feel of 400 years of architecture. Downtown Albany is home to Empire State Plaza, the governmental center for New York and the hub of activity in the city. In the summer you’ll find farmer’s markets, free yoga, and all sorts of celebratory events for Albany residents.

Albany is also located halfway between the Adirondack Mountains and the Hudson Valley. That means that all you adventurous types can easily take a weekend away to explore the outdoor lifestyle. Academics can get their kicks at The University at Albany, part of the SUNY system, while sports lovers can enjoy the University’s 18 NCAA league teams. 

  • Population: 97,279
  • Housing costs: $186,326 median home price
  • Rent: $1,288 per month median
Why you should live in Upstate New York


In 2017, U.S. News & World Report named Syracuse the number one place to live in New York State, and we think you’ll agree. Syracuse’s downtown is friendly and walkable, even in winter. That means you can enjoy the abundance of restaurants and shops in Armory Square, all while traveling on foot.

In this medium-sized city, your commute will also be quick and easy because the suburbs are all within a pretty easy 15-minute drive of the downtown district. That makes moving to Syracuse with a family a no-brainer. Here you can have your home, your yard, and your access to all that the city has to offer. Lockheed Martin, Syracuse University, St. Joseph’s Hospital Center, and Upstate University Health System are some of the biggest employers in the area.

  • Population: 142,749
  • Housing costs: $101,480 median home price
  • Rent: $1,152 per month median


Have you seen those t-shirts that say “Ithaca is Gorges”? It’s a fun play on words, but they aren’t kidding. With over 150 waterfalls and abundant state parks, Ithaca is about as gorgeous as it gets in Upstate New York. What’s more, the surrounding county offers more than 25,000 acres of land for adventuring. That’s what makes this cute town a great jumping off point.

Housing in Ithaca tends to be in short supply with the constant flow of renters from Cornell University and Ithaca College.  In truth, the economy and job market have outpaced the building of new homes. But that also means you’ll be moving to Ithaca in a good job market!

  • Population: 30,999
  • Housing costs: $261,421 median home price
  • Rent: $1,800 per month median 
Why you should live in Upstate New York


Often called the Napa Valley of the East, Hudson is the locavore’s version of heaven. Situated in the more southern part of Upstate, this is one of the richest agricultural areas in the state. Moving to Hudson, NY, gives you the best of both worlds. You get the eclectic vibe of a port city with a rich shipping history, and the stunning views of open farmlands and rolling hills.

Downtown Hudson has maintained its historic feel as it has become increasingly urban. Only a 2-hour ride from NYC by train, Hudson has become a hub for arts and culture for those who wanted to escape the City. Even with a small city vibe, you’ll never be at a loss for something interesting to do or see. Maybe you will be inspired to start your own garden at your new home!

  • Population: 6,144
  • Housing costs: $299,000 median home price
  • Rent: $1,358 per month average

Are you ready to make the move to Upstate New York? Let us help you find the professional movers to get the job done quickly and affordably.

About the author

Unpakt Team