Westchester County is one of the centrally located counties within the New York metropolitan area.
The county is positioned with New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, and Long Island Sound to its south; Putnam County to its north; Fairfield County, Connecticut to its east; and Rockland County and Bergen County, New Jersey across the Hudson River to the west.
It shares its southern boundary with New York City and its northern border with Putnam County. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 500 square miles (1,300 km), Pelham Bay Park is the largest of New York City's parks, forming a substantial buffer between suburban Westchester and the urban Bronx, while Van Cortlandt Park to the west acts as a similar buffer.
It is bordered on the west side by the Hudson River and on the east side by the Long Island Sound and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Westchester's Long Island Sound shore is generally rocky, interspersed with tidal mud flats, marshes and wetlands, as well as several natural and artificially-maintained sand beaches.
The Croton Dam and Aqueduct was begun in 1837 and completed in 1842; now a National Historic Landmark, the Croton Aqueduct is considered one of the great engineering achievements of the 19th century.
In the 1840s, the first railroads were built in Westchester, and included the New York and Harlem Railroad, the Hudson River Railroad, and the New York and New Haven Railroad.
Municipal and County owned parks provide access to beaches, nature preserves and passive and active waterfront recreational facilities.
Several large harbors lie along the shore including Milton Harbor in Rye, Mamaroneck Harbor, Larchmont Harbor, and Echo Bay, and the upper and lower harbors in southern New Rochelle. Army's Fort Slocum, is currently unoccupied but is slated for use as passive parkland; Glen Island, currently a Westchester Parks Department run beach and park, was one of the first amusement parks in the country serving as a summer resort at the turn of the twentieth century; Huckleberry Island is largely undeveloped, and has one of the largest rookeries in western Long Island Sound; Echo Island is owned and used by a private yacht club; Execution Rocks is the site of a 19th-century lighthouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places; Columbia, Pea, and Goose Islands are undeveloped; Clifford, Harrison and Tank Islands are part of the "Five Islands Park" and nature preserve; while Oak and Pine Islands are used as private residences.
These would later split from Manhattan to form their own county.
Clockwise from top: The Tappan Zee Bridge and replacement; Mamaroneck Harbor; Philipsburg Manor; downtown White Plains; downtown Scarsdale; shops in Katonah; the New Croton Dam; Getty Square in Yonkers The annual per capita income for Westchester was ,813 in 2011.