Located about 12 kilometres from the city centre, Sutton neighbours Howth, which occupies most of the peninsula, and Baldoyle and Bayside, which meet where Baldoyle Road reaches the coast. It is served by the main road from Dublin to Howth, the DART suburban rail system, on which it has its own station, and Dublin bus route 31 and its variants.

At the coastal side of Sutton is a tombolo connecting Howth (which used to be an island) to the mainland. The original village of Sutton was situated on the city-facing (south-western) side of Howth Head, where there are today housing terraces and a small harbour, but the area is now centred on Sutton Cross, where there are two shopping areas, one anchored by Superquinn (which replaced the local cinema), and the Marine Hotel.

Sutton is surrounded by many beaches and is a popular place for golf and dinghy sailingSuttonians Rugby Football Club, at Station Road, provides for local rugby players and supporters. Sutton Tennis club has 12 outdoor courts and 3 indoor squash courts. The club is the biggest for junior squash in the Republic of Ireland.

The area is also home to one of Ireland's Martello Towers, now a private residence, at Red Rock, and to a former home of the Jameson Irish Whiskey family, which became the residence of Belgian businessman Albert Luykx, made famous during the Irish arms trial. It subsequently became Sutton House Hotel and then Sutton Castle Hotel, before being converted in 2003 to private residences.

A major leisure walk, which goes all the way to Howth village, begins near the site of the old village and Sutton House.

Sutton contains two primary schools: the Burrow School, on the Dublin Road between Sutton Cross and Howth, and St. Fintan's National School, on Carrickbrack Road. It has three secondary schools: St. Fintan's High School (boys), St. Dominics High School (a.k.a Santa Sabina) (girls) and Sutton Park School (mixed).