12 Best Places to Live in New Jersey in 2024

by Jem
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New Jersey isn’t just a state; it’s a captivating destination that has stolen my heart. From the majestic cliffs of the Palisades to the tranquility of the Pinelands and the vibrant pulse of cities like Newark and Jersey City, the Garden State offers a mosaic of experiences. Deciding where to settle down can be a challenge, given its rich diversity.

Having roamed extensively through New Jersey, I can vouch for its unique charm and varied landscapes. Whether you’re captivated by the allure of the Jersey Shore, the cultural richness of Hoboken, or the suburban tranquility of Montclair, there’s a piece of New Jersey that resonates with every kind of wanderer.

But the question remains—where should you plant your roots? Each individual has different priorities, whether it’s proximity to the shore, access to excellent schools, or the cost of living.

Join me as I unravel the best places to live in New Jersey, tailored to your preferences. Drawing on my experiences exploring this diverse state, I’ve delved into data, gathered insights from locals, and compiled a guide that caters to every lifestyle and budget. Let’s embark on this journey to discover the gems of New Jersey that makes this exceptional place to call home!

The top places to live in New Jersey right now

The Best Places to Live in New Jersey        

Eager to explore the most picturesque corners of New Jersey? As mentioned earlier, this diverse state has something to offer every taste. Continue reading to unveil the top places to live in the beautiful state of New Jersey.

In search of the perfect living spot in New Jersey? Whatever your preferences, New Jersey has the ideal location for you.

  • Best for suburban charm: Cherry Hill
  • Best for rural ambiance: Chesterfield
  • Best for innovation and technology: Edison
  • Best for nightlife and young professionals: Hoboken
  • Best for urban living: Jersey City
  • Best for community and arts: Metuchen
  • Best for families: Mount Laurel
  • Best for lakeside serenity: Mountain Lakes
  • Best for academics and history: Princeton
  • Best for schools and family life: Ridgewood
  • Best for commuting professionals: Summit
  • Best for upscale living: Upper Montclair

Here’s a guide to the best places to live in New Jersey that you ought to know about:

1. Cherry Hill

Imagine living in a place where urban amenities and suburban peace coexist in perfect harmony. That’s Cherry Hill for you, a gem in Camden County. With a variety of shopping centers and top-notch schools, it’s New Jersey’s best place to live for families and young professionals alike. The Garden State Park adds a layer of green to the community, perfect for those weekend family picnics or morning jogs.

But Cherry Hill isn’t just about the amenities; it’s about the people. The community is as diverse as it is welcoming, making it easy for anyone to fit in. Whether you’re a young family looking for a safe environment for your kids or a professional seeking a peaceful retreat after a long day’s work, Cherry Hill has something for everyone.

What sets this town apart is its strategic location. Situated close to Philadelphia, it offers the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the quiet suburban life without missing out on the urban excitement. So, if you’re wondering where to live in New Jersey, Cherry Hill should definitely be on your radar. It’s a locale that offers a lifestyle that’s hard to beat. This makes it a top choice for those seeking balance in their lives.

Cherry Hill is a treasure located in Camden County.
Cherry Hill is a treasure located in Camden County.

2. Chesterfield

Step back in time and experience the charm of rural America in Chesterfield. This quaint town is a good place to live in New Jersey if you’re yearning for a simpler, quieter life. Historic farms dot the landscape, and the community vibe is tight-knit and welcoming.

While Chesterfield may seem like a sleepy town, don’t be fooled. It’s a community that values its traditions while embracing the future. Local farmers markets meet tech-savvy schools, creating a unique blend of old and new. It’s a place where your neighbors know your name, and community events are the talk of the town.

What really sets Chesterfield apart is its commitment to preserving its rural character. Open fields, scenic farms, and a lack of big-box stores make it a refreshing change from suburban sprawl. If you’re asking what are the best places to live in New Jersey, Chesterfield offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

In Chesterfield, take a trip down memory lane and discover the allure of rural America.
In Chesterfield, take a trip down memory lane and discover the allure of rural America.

3. Edison

In the heart of Middlesex County lies a town that’s a beacon of innovation and diversity. Edison, named after the iconic inventor Thomas Edison, is a hub of creativity and opportunity. With a strong job market and a community as diverse as its industries, it’s one of the best cities to live in New Jersey for those looking to make their mark.

The town isn’t just about work; it’s about play too. From the sprawling Roosevelt Park to the Thomas Edison Center, there’s no shortage of recreational and educational spots. Whether you’re an aspiring inventor or a nature lover, Edison offers a range of activities to keep you engaged.

What makes Edison truly special is its sense of community. Despite its size and diversity, the town has a small-town feel where everyone seems to know everyone. It’s this unique blend of opportunity and community that makes Edison a top city in New Jersey to live.

Creative energy and opportunity converge in Edison.
Creative energy and opportunity converge in Edison.

4. Hoboken

Skyline views that take your breath away and a nightlife that keeps you on your toes—welcome to Hoboken. Just a ferry ride across the Hudson River from Manhattan, this city offers a vibrant lifestyle that’s hard to resist. With its young, energetic population, Hoboken is one of the coolest places to live in New Jersey.

Don’t let the city’s compact size fool you; Hoboken is packed with things to do. From trendy boutiques and cafes to waterfront parks, there’s never a dull moment. Whether you’re into live music or prefer a quiet corner in a coffee shop, Hoboken has got you covered.

The city’s proximity to Manhattan is a huge perk, especially for those who work or play in the Big Apple. Yet, despite its urban flair, Hoboken has a community vibe that makes you feel right at home. It’s this unique combination that makes it one of the best places in New Jersey to live in for those who want it all—urban excitement with a touch of community warmth.

Hoboken offers breathtaking views of the skyline and an exciting nightlife.
Hoboken offers breathtaking views of the skyline and an exciting nightlife.

5. Jersey City

Urban living without the Manhattan price tag—sounds like a dream, right? In Jersey City, it’s a reality. Just a stone’s throw away from NYC, this bustling city offers a more affordable alternative without compromising on the urban experience. It’s one of the best areas to live in New Jersey if you’re seeking city life without the city price.

Jersey City isn’t just a cheaper version of Manhattan; it has its own unique charm. The city’s arts scene is burgeoning, and the waterfront offers some of the most stunning views you’ll ever see. From chic galleries to cozy cafes, there’s a lot to explore and enjoy.

One of the standout features of Jersey City is its diversity. The city is a melting pot of cultures, adding a rich, international flavor to the local lifestyle. Whether you’re into global cuisine or enjoy cultural festivals, Jersey City is a nice city to live in New Jersey that offers a world of experiences right at your doorstep.

This vibrant city provides a less expensive option without sacrificing the urban atmosphere.
This vibrant city provides a less expensive option without sacrificing the urban atmosphere.

6. Metuchen

Small-town charm meets big-city convenience in Metuchen. Known as “The Brainy Borough,” this town is a hub of intellectual activity and community engagement. With its excellent schools and regular community events, Metuchen is the best town to live in New Jersey for families and individuals who value a nurturing environment.

While the town may be small, it’s big on culture. From art galleries to historical landmarks, Metuchen offers a rich tapestry of experiences that cater to a variety of interests. The local farmers market is a weekend staple, offering fresh produce and artisanal goods that reflect the community’s commitment to quality and sustainability.

What truly sets Metuchen apart is its sense of community. It’s the kind of place where neighbors greet each other by name and local businesses are supported with pride. If you’re wondering where to live in NJ, Metuchen offers a warm, welcoming atmosphere that makes it easy to call home.

In Metuchen, big-city conveniences blend with small-town charm.
In Metuchen, big-city conveniences blend with small-town charm.

7. Mount Laurel

For those who crave the great outdoors without sacrificing modern amenities, Mount Laurel is your sanctuary. Located in Burlington County, this community is a haven for nature lovers and active families. With numerous parks and recreational facilities, it’s one of the best New Jersey towns to live in if you’re into hiking, biking, or simply enjoying the fresh air.

Mount Laurel isn’t just about the green spaces; it’s also about the lifestyle. The town offers a range of housing options, from quaint cottages to modern apartments, catering to various budgets and tastes. The local schools are highly rated, making it an excellent choice for families.

The community vibe in Mount Laurel is strong and inclusive. Seasonal events like the autumn harvest festival and the summer farmers market are community highlights, bringing neighbors together in celebration. If you’re searching for places to move in New Jersey, Mount Laurel offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty and community spirit.

Mount Laurel is your haven if you love the natural outdoors but don't want to give up on contemporary conveniences.
Mount Laurel is your haven if you love the natural outdoors but don’t want to give up on contemporary conveniences.

8. Mountain Lakes

Nestled amid rolling hills and sparkling lakes, Mountain Lakes is a slice of paradise in Morris County. This residential community is the best city to live in New Jersey for those who appreciate a touch of luxury and a lot of nature. With its Tudor-style homes and scenic landscapes, Mountain Lakes offers an idyllic setting that’s perfect for raising a family or enjoying a peaceful retirement.

But don’t let the town’s serene atmosphere fool you. Mountain Lakes is a hub of activity, offering a plethora of outdoor adventures. From kayaking on the lake to hiking in the nearby Tourne County Park, there’s no shortage of ways to connect with nature.

What sets Mountain Lakes apart is its commitment to community well-being. The town boasts excellent schools, low crime rates, and a range of community events that keep the spirit of togetherness alive. If you’re considering New Jersey’s best cities to live, Mountain Lakes offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty and community spirit that’s hard to beat.

Mountain Lakes in Morris County is a little piece of heaven, truly one of the best places to live in New Jersey.
Mountain Lakes in Morris County is a little piece of heaven, truly one of the best places to live in New Jersey.

9. Princeton

Ah, Princeton—the name alone conjures images of ivy-covered buildings and intellectual rigor. But this iconic college town offers more than just an elite education. With its rich history and vibrant arts scene, Princeton is a nice part of New Jersey to call home, whether you’re a scholar or not.

The town is a cultural melting pot, offering a range of experiences from world-class museums to intimate art galleries. The Princeton University Art Museum and the McCarter Theatre are just a couple of the cultural gems you’ll find here. And let’s not forget the shopping; from high-end boutiques to quirky bookstores, Princeton is a shopper’s paradise.

But what truly makes Princeton special is its community. The town has a cosmopolitan feel, thanks to its diverse population of students, academics, and professionals from around the world. If you’re looking for the most livable cities in New Jersey, Princeton offers a sophisticated yet laid-back lifestyle that’s hard to beat.

Just the name Princeton evokes visions of buildings wrapped in ivy and academic rigor.
Just the name Princeton evokes visions of buildings wrapped in ivy and academic rigor.

10. Ridgewood

Picture a town where tree-lined streets meet upscale boutiques, where historic homes blend seamlessly with modern amenities. Welcome to Ridgewood, a Bergen County treasure that’s one of the best New Jersey cities to live in. With its top-rated schools and family-friendly atmosphere, Ridgewood is a magnet for those seeking a high-quality life.

The town is a haven for foodies and shoppers alike. From artisanal bakeries to designer boutiques, Ridgewood offers a shopping experience that’s both unique and upscale. And when it comes to dining, the options are endless—think gourmet Italian, authentic sushi, and everything in between.

What sets Ridgewood apart is its sense of community. Annual events like the Ridgewood Guild Film Festival and the Art in the Park showcase the town’s commitment to arts and culture. If you’re pondering where is the best place to live in New Jersey, Ridgewood offers a blend of sophistication and community spirit that’s truly one of a kind.

One of the greatest places to live in New Jersey is Ridgewood, a hidden gem in Bergen County.
One of the greatest places to live in New Jersey is Ridgewood, a hidden gem in Bergen County.

11. Summit

Elevate your living experience—literally and figuratively—in Summit. Perched atop the Second Watchung Mountain, this Union County gem offers panoramic views that are nothing short of breathtaking. With its excellent public transportation and proximity to Manhattan, Summit is a great place to live in New Jersey for commuters and families alike.

The town is a cultural hotspot, boasting a range of activities that cater to all ages and interests. From the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey to the Reeves-Reed Arboretum, there’s always something happening in Summit. The town’s vibrant downtown area is a mix of charming boutiques, gourmet eateries, and cozy coffee shops. This makes it a go-to spot for weekend outings.

But what truly sets Summit apart is its sense of community. The town is known for its excellent public schools and a range of community events that keep the spirit of togetherness alive. If you’re on the hunt for what are the best places to live in New Jersey, Summit offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty and community spirit that’s hard to beat.

In Summit, you can literally and symbolically live a better life which makes it one of the best places to live in New Jersey.
In Summit, you can literally and symbolically live a better life which makes it one of the best places to live in New Jersey.

12. Upper Montclair

Imagine a place where suburban tranquility meets urban convenience. That’s Upper Montclair in a nutshell. Located in Essex County, this unincorporated community is a top city in New Jersey to live if you’re seeking the best of both worlds. With its tree-lined streets and upscale homes, Upper Montclair offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Don’t mistake it’s quiet demeanor for a lack of activity, though. Upper Montclair is teeming with cultural landmarks and recreational spots. The Montclair Art Museum and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens are just a couple of the local attractions that add a touch of elegance to the community.

What makes Upper Montclair truly special is its people. The community is tight-knit, with neighbors often coming together for block parties and local events. If you’re contemplating where to live in New Jersey, Upper Montclair offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty and community spirit that’s hard to beat.

Envision a location where metropolitan convenience blends with suburban peace.
Envision a location where metropolitan convenience blends with suburban peace.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Best Places to Live in New Jersey

Interested in learning more about top residential spots in New Jersey? Here are frequently asked questions about the state’s best living areas.

What is the best part of New Jersey to live in?

The “best” part of New Jersey to live in can vary depending on individual preferences, lifestyle, and needs. Here are some of the best towns to live in New Jersey:

  • Northern New Jersey: Close to New York City, this area offers a mix of suburban and urban living. Towns like Hoboken, Jersey City, and Montclair are popular among young professionals and families.
  • Central New Jersey: Known for its excellent schools and family-friendly communities. Towns like Princeton and Metuchen offer a blend of small-town charm and modern amenities.
  • Southern New Jersey: Offers a more laid-back lifestyle with proximity to beaches and beach houses. Towns like Cherry Hill and Mount Laurel are popular for their quality of life and amenities.
  • Shore Areas: Towns like Asbury Park and Cape May are popular for those who love the ocean and a more relaxed pace of life.
  • Rural Areas: For those who prefer a quieter, more rural lifestyle, the western and southern parts of the state offer beautiful landscapes and smaller communities.

What is the nicest town in New Jersey?

The “nicest” town in New Jersey is subjective and can vary based on individual preferences for lifestyle, amenities, and community vibe. However, many consider Princeton to be one of the nicest parts of New Jersey. Known for its prestigious university, Princeton also offers a charming downtown area, excellent public and private schools, and a variety of cultural amenities including museums and theaters. The town combines intellectual rigor with a serene, suburban setting, making it a highly desirable place to live.

Is New Jersey a healthy place to live?

New Jersey’s status as a healthy place to live can be assessed based on various health-related factors, including access to healthcare, environmental quality, lifestyle choices, and public health initiatives. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Access to Healthcare: New Jersey generally offers good access to healthcare services. It has a high density of healthcare facilities and professionals, including renowned hospitals and specialists.
  2. Environmental Quality: The state has made significant strides in improving air and water quality, although this can vary by region. New Jersey’s location along the coast also provides residents with access to outdoor recreational activities, which can contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
  3. Public Health Initiatives: New Jersey has various public health programs and initiatives aimed at improving the health and well-being of its residents. These include efforts to address chronic diseases, mental health, maternal health, and child wellness.
  4. Healthy Lifestyle Options: Many communities in New Jersey offer parks, fitness centers, and trails, encouraging active lifestyles. The state also has a diverse food scene, with access to fresh, healthy food options, including seafood and locally grown produce.

Is New Jersey a good place to raise a family?

Absolutely, New Jersey is often considered a good place to raise a family for several reasons:

  • Education: New Jersey is home to some of the top public and private schools in the country. The state’s focus on education is a big draw for families.
  • Safety: Many towns in New Jersey have low crime rates. This makes them safe places for families to live and children to play.
  • Amenities: From parks and recreational facilities to libraries and cultural centers, New Jersey offers a plethora of activities that are family-friendly.
  • Community: Many towns have a strong sense of community. Various family-oriented events, sports leagues, and activities that make it easier for families to connect.
  • Proximity to Major Cities: Being close to cities like New York and Philadelphia allows for various educational, cultural, and career opportunities.
  • Diversity: New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the U.S., offering a multicultural environment for families.
  • Healthcare: The state has excellent healthcare facilities, including some of the best children’s hospitals.
  • Work Opportunities: With a strong job market, especially in sectors like pharmaceuticals, finance, and technology, New Jersey offers plenty of career opportunities for parents.
A hidden treasure with a wide variety of living alternatives is New Jersey.
A hidden treasure with a wide variety of living alternatives is New Jersey.

What is the number one town to live in New Jersey?

Determining the “number one” town to live in New Jersey can be subjective and depends on various factors such as lifestyle, family needs, and personal preferences. However, Princeton often tops the list as one of New Jersey’s best places to live. Known for its world-renowned university, Princeton offers more than just academic excellence.

The town boasts a charming downtown area filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and gourmet restaurants. It’s also home to top-rated public and private schools, making it an excellent choice for families. The community is diverse, offering a rich cultural experience and a variety of activities and events throughout the year.

Princeton’s location is another plus, with easy access to major highways and public transportation. This makes it convenient for those who commute to New York City or Philadelphia.

While Princeton often receives high marks in various categories like education, safety, and quality of life, the “number one” town for you will ultimately depend on your individual needs and what you’re looking for in a community.

Which part of New Jersey is the richest?

The richest part of New Jersey is often considered to be Bergen County, located in the northeastern corner of the state, close to New York City. Towns like Alpine, Saddle River, and Franklin Lakes are known for their luxurious homes, high property values, and affluent residents. These areas are often populated by CEOs, celebrities, and other high-net-worth individuals.

Another wealthy area is Somerset County, particularly towns like Bernardsville and Far Hills, which are known for their large estates and affluent communities.

Morris County, with towns like Mountain Lakes and Mendham, also ranks high in terms of median household income and property values.

It’s worth noting that New Jersey as a whole is one of the wealthiest states in the U.S., with a high median household income and a significant number of residents who work in high-paying industries like finance, pharmaceuticals, and technology.

However, the “richest” area can vary depending on the metrics used, such as median household income, property values, or concentration of high-net-worth individuals.

Where is the cheapest place to live in NJ?

If affordability is a priority, you might want to consider areas like Camden, Trenton, or Paterson as some of the cheapest places to live in NJ. These top cities in New Jersey to live offer lower housing costs compared to the state average, although they may lack some of the amenities and safety features found in more affluent areas.

South Jersey, particularly towns away from the coast and closer to the Delaware border, also tends to be more affordable. Places like Vineland and Millville offer lower property values and cost of living.

In Central New Jersey, towns like New Brunswick or areas in Middlesex County can be more budget-friendly, especially for those who are renting.

It’s important to note that while these areas may be more affordable, they also come with their own set of challenges such as lower-rated schools or higher crime rates in some cases. As always, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons and consider what aspects are most important to you when choosing a place to live.

Where is the safest place to live in New Jersey?

The safest places to live in New Jersey are typically determined based on crime rates, community safety initiatives, and residents’ quality of life. While these can change over time, some areas are consistently recognized for their safety. As of last update in April 2023, here are a few of the safest places in New Jersey:

  1. River Vale: Often cited as one of the safest communities in New Jersey, River Vale is known for its low crime rates and strong community involvement.
  2. Hillsdale: This borough in Bergen County is known for its safety, excellent schools, and family-friendly environment.
  3. Kinnelon: Located in Morris County, Kinnelon is recognized for its low crime rates and high quality of life, with plenty of natural beauty and outdoor activities.
  4. Warren Township: This area offers a suburban-rural mix with a reputation for being safe and peaceful. This makes it a popular choice for families.
  5. Chatham: Both Chatham Borough and Chatham Township are known for their safety, excellent schools, and community services.
  6. Bernards Township: Including the areas of Basking Ridge, Liberty Corner, and others, Bernards Township is known for its safety, community amenities, and quality of life.
  7. New Providence: A small town with a strong sense of community, New Providence is often recognized for its safety and excellent public schools.

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Live in New Jersey                         

New Jersey, often overshadowed by its glamorous neighbor New York, is a hidden gem that offers a diverse range of living options. Whether you’re drawn to the bustling urban centers like Hoboken and Jersey City, the serene suburbs of Princeton and Upper Montclair, or the coastal charm of towns like Asbury Park, the Garden State has something for everyone.

For families, the state’s focus on education and community makes it a great place to live in New Jersey. Young professionals will find the proximity to major cities and thriving job markets appealing, while retirees can enjoy a more laid-back lifestyle in the state’s southern or shore areas.

In the end, the best place to live is highly subjective and depends on individual needs and lifestyle preferences. But one thing is certain: New Jersey offers a rich tapestry of cultures, landscapes, and opportunities that make it a state worth considering for your next home.

So, whether you’re asking where is one of the good places to live in New Jersey or looking for the most affordable or luxurious options, you’re bound to find a community that feels like home.

The top places to live in New Jersey for all
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