5 Best Places to Live in New Jersey

October 17th, 2022

5 Best Places to Live in New Jersey

Best Places to Live in New Jersey

If you are considering moving to New Jersey, you must live in one of these five best New Jersey cities!

New Jersey is a beautiful place to live. Whether you want to live near the beach with stunningly clear waters, in a big city full of bars, restaurants, and sporting events, or in the suburbs where it is quiet, and you know your neighbors, there is a perfect place for you.

Known for its beaches with entertaining boardwalks, casinos where you can take your chances on a big win....or loss, and untouched nature areas that showcase the state's landscape, New Jersey could be your new home.

New Jersey skyline at dawn and boardwalk

Located right over the water from Manhattan, NY, with a population of 8.885million people New Jersey has lots of big cities with a dense urban feel, while other areas are quieter and have a small-town feel.

Although the cost of living is still high compared to the rest of the country, living in New Jersey provides you more space for your money with easy transportation to other large cities and areas with plenty of exciting or relaxing things to enjoy close by.

Check out the top five best places to live in New Jersey below to read more about what area fits you best, and let us help you to decide what part of New Jersey you want to call your new home!

Check out these top places to live in New Jersey!

Jersey City

Liberty State Park on a beautiful sunny day in New Jersey

Located in northeastern New Jersey, Jersy City boasts stunning panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and is a short 40-minute commute into New York City. New Jersey has a mix of brand-new developments and quaint small towns resembling Brooklyn, NY, with tree-lined streets and brownstone buildings.

With a population of 301,419, Jersey City is the second-largest city in the state and is known for its diverse population and even mix of crazy city life paired with quaint coffee shops and parks.

The population of Jersey City is a mix of families and young professionals looking for an easy commute to Manhattan or wanting easy access to everything the city has to offer. Surprisingly, the city is also very walkable with its waterfront walkway, green spaces, and long streets, making it a great place to live for those who do not want to own a car.

With easy access to so many exciting things, Jersey City is a fantastic place to live; check out some local favorites below to see where to visit first!

Local Favorites:

  • Liberty State Park - With gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty, this is the state's most well-known park. Walk along the waterfront or enjoy the green oasis filled with paved paths, outdoor performance areas, and fields of grass and trees.
  • Empty Sky Memorial - This 911 memorial is dedicated to the innocent New Jersey lives lost in the tragic event that was 9/11. The park holds two twin walls with victims' names engraved into them, making it a sad sight to see but one to remember.
  • Newport Centre - Commonly known as the Newport Mall, this stunning indoor shopping center has three levels of shops, eateries, and businesses to explore.
  • Liberty Science Center - An important interactive science museum and learning center with the largest planetarium in the western hemisphere! Great for the whole family to explore and learn about our complex world.


In the northeast part of New Jersey and across the river from midtown Manhattan, Ridgewood is the highest-rated city in New Jersey. With an extremely high median home value of around $899k, this is considered the most expensive area to live in the state by far, but you get what you are paying for.

Ridgewood has some of the highest-rated schooling, outdoor activities, jobs, nightlife, and health and fitness scores for its population. Living in Ridgewood gives you a suburban feel with easy access to large cities such as Manhattan or Jersey City but the convenience of living in a quiet, family-friendly area. Great for families, there are many restaurants, coffee shops, and upscale shopping downtown and in surrounding regions.

Not only is Ridgewood known for its downtown and recreational areas, but there are also some stunning parks full of wildlife and golf courses to enjoy the outdoors with. Ridgewood country club holds three golf courses and the U.S Amateur Championship in 2022, maintaining an excellent reputation with golfers all around the country, and is a great place to test your game.

The park systems, such as Saddle River Country Park, are great ways to spend some time outdoors in Ridgewood, NJ. Bikers, runners, and families come to enjoy the paths shaded by trees, dog parks, lakes, and more.

Ridgewood is a top destination to live in New Jersey; check out some local favorites below and consider making this city your new home!

Local Favorites:

  • James Rose Center - A non-profit landscape research and study foundation that holds lectures, classes, events, and open hours to explore and learn about architectural design.
  • Saddle River Country Park - This vast 596-acre park holds five separate park areas. Running through the park is a 6-mile paved trail for runners, bicyclists, and walkers to enjoy as well as a pond, dog park, fields, campgrounds, a zoo, golf course, playgrounds, and more to enjoy.
  • Stable Art Gallery - This art gallery hosts local art shows and showcases local artists' work. Observe some beautiful work in this unique building!
  • Steel Wheel Tavern - Everyone loves a good tavern inside a 19th-century building! This lively local bar has a large patio with live music 7-days a week, a locally sourced food menu, and an extensive craft beer, cocktail, and wine menu.


This charming city in New Jersey is located in the northern part of the state and is known for its beautiful downtown area. With a population of 29,690, many young professionals and families live in this gorgeous area, happy to call it home.

Westfield is not a cheap area, with median home values of around $885k. It has an A+ living score and is conveniently located 16 miles southwest of Manhattan, making it an easy commute for those wanting a more suburban lifestyle but working in New York City. Families enjoy this city with top-rated schooling, family-friendly activities, and parks just miles from their homes.

Downtown Westfield is a vibrant place, full of shops, restaurants, markets, cultural events, and excellent landscaping of trees and parks. Many who live here spend the weekends enjoying whatever the city has planned in its downtown streets, such as running races, festivals, farmers markets, live music, and more.

Find out what you want to explore in this beautiful city by reading the list below!

Echo Lake State Park in New Jersey with blue water and blue sky

Local Favorites:

  • Echo Lake Park - A great outdoor space for any outdoor lover! The views from this park don't get better, from the lake's clear waters to views of rugged rocky mountains in the distance. The park holds a ton of space and areas for recreational sports and open fields for a picnic or a place to lay out in the sun. Individuals can also enjoy the many hiking trails around the scenic lake inside the park, where families can swim or float. Rock climbers also venture here to climb the large rock formation from the earth above the water.
  • Yestercades - Go back in time with this colossal arcade! Full of games to play ranging from brand new to vintage, take your chances at games you used to love to play or ones you never have.
  • Lions Roar Brewing - A pleasant neighborhood brewery designed to serve fresh, craft beers that make you escape your worries for a while.
  • Tamaques Park - This park features 18 picnic areas, two basketball courts, eight tennis courts, three pickleball courts, shuffleboard courts, six playing fields, a pond, a jogging path, and public restrooms.


Many students, young professionals, and families live in this suburban town, known for its Ivy League school, Princeton University, with historical buildings and a Gothic-style chapel. Princeton has a beautiful mix of art galleries, museums, historical buildings, and clean parks for many visitors and individuals in the area.

The median home value in Princeton is about $740k, with a current population of 31,161 ranging from students and visitors throughout the year. During school, students litter the streets and downtown area to study or enjoy local parks and museums, while the summers are quaint and quiet. Living in Princeton also offers easy access to Philadelphia and New York City through public transportation or highway systems for those needing an easy commute to these two larger cities.

Princeton is known as a college town, rated as one of the best in the country. But, instead of rowdy bars and dirty streets, students are incorporated into the local community. The area around the university is very walkable, with restaurants, coffee shops, and parks available.

This town is a great place to live if you want to be surrounded by the inspirational environment of living near campus with towering buildings surrounded by gardens and parks with colorful fall leaves or spring flowers. Public schools here are also highly-rated, and families can enjoy the safety of this low-crime area with kid-friendly activities.

Check out the list of local favorites in Princeton below!

Princeton University in New Jersey on a sunny day

Local Favorites:

  • Princeton University Art Museum - Designed to inspire visitors and students of Princeton University, this art museum contains works from all over the world from various artists.
  • Princeton Battlefield State Park - The location of one of the most aggressive battles of the American Revolution, The Battle of Princeton; this park tells the history of what the grounds once saw.
  • Morven Museum and Garden - A National Historic Landmark and once the home of Richard Stockton (an influential individual who signed the Declaration of Independence), this 18th-century home is a landmark to be seen. The goal of this landmark is to preserve America's history, and the museum holds regular exhibitions, educational programs, and special events. Enjoy the vibrant garden and learn about the influential history that Princeton has.
  • Nassau Hall - The oldest building on Princeton's campus, built in 1756 and restored twice after fires. People come from all over to see this historic building that once served as the United States Capitol Building and was where the news of the peace treaty with Great Britain was received.

Newark, New Jersey skyline at dawn


This city is known for its Newark Liberty International Airport and New Jersey Performing Arts Center. As the largest city in New Jersey with a population of 281,917, Newark provides a dense urban feel for those living here.

Located on the west side of New Jersey and only 8 miles west of lower Manhattan Island, this is a convenient commuter city for those wanting to travel into New York at times but not pay the crazy New York rent.

Known to be the state's largest metropolis, Newark is the cultural center of New Jersey, with countless art galleries, performances, museums, and entertainment options. You can also escape the city at times and enjoy beautiful parks and green spaces such as Branch Brook Park, covered in cherry trees during the season, and pathways and lakes to enjoy.

Check out this list of local favorites below to learn more about what Newark offers!

Local Favorites:

  • Newark Museum - The state's largest museum with collections and exhibits of American, decorative, contemporary, Asian, African, and Ancient arts.
  • Riverfront Park - This waterfront park is the only public green space in Newark along the waterfront. It contains multiple athletic fields, two playgrounds, and a grassy field to enjoy the outdoors and the view over the water.
  • New Jersey Performing Arts Center - Located in the heart of downtown, this performing arts center is the largest in the country and hosts many world-class concerts, festivals, events, and more.
  • Prudential Center - A multi-purpose indoor arena and home to the New Jersey Devils Hockey team and the men's basketball team of Seton Hall University.

Best Cities in New Jersey-Final Thoughts

New Jersey is a beautiful place to live, with sandy beaches, entertainment for the whole family, nationally known golf courses, easy transportation to other cities and within the state, preserved natural areas, and much more! With so many highly-rated towns to choose from, you can easily find the perfect fit for you and your lifestyle.

If you or anyone else you may know is interested in homes for sale in New Jersey, make sure to contact us here to be connected with one of our Realty Specialists! We are here to help and are ready to answer any questions you may have about the home-buying process.

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.