Check Out New Jersey’s Best Suburbs That Offer City-Like Amenities

by Staff

Living in New Jersey means being near some of the world’s busiest, most bustling urban hotspots, with a virtually endless supply of professional, cultural and entertainment offerings. However, the tempo of a big city can be overwhelming sometimes, so it’s no wonder that many of us prefer to live in a nice suburb that provides some peace and quiet. Fortunately, in New Jersey, you can find tranquil suburbs that also offer city-like amenities, allowing you to enjoy the best of the two worlds. 

StorageCafe, a nationwide self storage marketplace, analyzed 45 of the most popular suburbs in the state with a population between 10K and 100K to pinpoint the ones that offer the perfect blend between suburban and urban perks. Indicators such as demographics, housing options, healthcare and education-related infrastructure, the local business environment, and access to retail, restaurants, and self storage services were used to rank the suburbs. So, if your goal is to live peacefully while still enjoying city-like amenities, here are your top 10 best New Jersey bets:

1. Franklin Lakes

Some of the best selling points for Franklin Lakes include a thriving business environment with almost 33 registered businesses per 1,000 residents, as well as the highest median household income among the suburbs analyzed. The top-notch education system makes this suburb an excellent choice for families, with the child-friendly qualities enhanced further by the numerous opportunities for outdoor fun, including parks, lakes, and natural reserves.

More than that, residents enjoy access to amenities and services comparable to those you would get in an urban environment. There are about 3.3 retail stores and almost two restaurants per 1,000 residents. Other types of amenities, such as self storage services, are accessible in Franklin Lakes as well, with 2.5 square feet of storage space available per capita, helping residents while they’re moving, remodeling or simply maximizing their space at home.

2. Fair Lawn

Located a mere 12 miles northwest of New York City, Fair Lawn is a peaceful haven with almost 600 square feet of park space per capita. But the fun doesn’t end there: you also get to go shopping or dine out, as the suburb has plenty of stores and restaurants. About 20% of the local housing stock consists of multifamily units, helping ease in newcomers. Health-related services are accessible in Fair Lawn as well, with about five healthcare and social assistance facilities per 1,000 residents. More than that, Fair Lawn has a lively, friendly vibe, with numerous festivals, cultural events and other activities throughout the year.

3. Westwood

With quaint streets but a bustling and charming downtown area, Westwood truly reconciles the idea of a peaceful suburb with the perks of city-like amenities. Housing is pretty diverse in Westwood as well, with almost 40% of the inventory consisting of apartments, while the local economy is flourishing. There are almost 35 businesses registered per 1,000 residents, and the median household income hovers around a respectable $137 annually. The suburb has varied shopping and dining out venues, while also being one of the safest in the state.

4. Fort Lee

Boasting gorgeous views of Manhattan from across the Hudson River, Fort Lee gives its residents many choices in living spaces, services and amenities. About 80% of the local housing stock consists of apartments, which adds to the urban vibe of the place and makes moving here more accessible. The shopping and dining scenes are quite diverse, with about 3.5 stores and the same number of restaurants per 1,000 people. Well-connected to its surroundings, the suburb makes living without a car possible – over 40% of the residents go about their daily business without using a vehicle. 

5. Ridgefield

From tree lined streets to apartment complexes, Ridgefield has something for everyone, as its housing inventory is equally divided between single-family and multifamily units. The local entrepreneurial spirit is highlighted by the 47 businesses registered per 1,000 residents, ensuring that the residents have access to a variety of jobs. However, there’s a lot more to do in Ridgefield than working, with the suburb offering seven retail stores and almost three restaurants per 1,000 residents. The local healthcare and education systems are also performing well, turning Ridgefield into an excellent choice for all categories of residents, from retirees to families with children.

6. Hackensack

This dynamic suburb is one of the oldest settlements in New Jersey and was once covered with farms – but, nowadays, it offers just the right environment for those looking for a suburban life, but with city-like amenities. Only about a fifth of the homes in the area are single-family, and the rest are apartments. Hackensack is also the third most active in terms of home construction among the 45 suburbs that were ranked. On top of diverse housing options, getting a bite to eat or your shopping done is easy to accomplish locally. Moreover, Hackensack is the second-best suburb in this top when it comes to healthcare and social services.

7. Red Bank

This dense suburb is the best one for lifestyle amenities, with six retail stores and four restaurants for every 1,000 locals. The housing stock, divided almost equally between single-family homes and apartments, is welcoming to newcomers, while the almost 58 businesses registered per 1,000 residents are indicative of a thriving local economy. More than that, Red Bank offers a pleasant lifestyle in general, with a vibrant arts and culture scene, easy access to outdoor activities, and a feasible commute to the city.

8. Woodbridge

Parks, retail stores, restaurants and many other lifestyle amenities, plus a short commute to Manhattan – Woodbridge truly has it all. Housing options are suitable for all types of newcomers, from young professionals to families with children, due to the balanced share of single-family homes and apartments. If you want to indulge in retail therapy, Woodbridge, with over nine retail stores for every 1,000 residents, allows you to do so. 

9. Tinton Falls

Boasting diverse housing options and one of the best performing education systems among the suburbs considered for this ranking, Tinton Falls is an excellent choice for young families. This is further amplified by the numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation, including a whopping 2,840 square feet of park space per capita, featuring hiking trails, playgrounds, sports fields and more. 

10. Secaucus

Rounding up the top 10 of the best New Jersey suburbs for city-like living is Secaucus, which excels when it comes to economic prowess, boasting no less than 46 businesses per 1,000 residents and an impressive household income of over $125K. On top of that, Secaucus offers good public transportation, with almost half of the residents choosing not to use a car for their daily commute. Its city-like profile is further confirmed by its growing population and the great access to shopping, dining out, and entertainment venues.

In New Jersey’s suburbs, city-like perks are closer than you think. Lively downtowns, lifestyle amenities, access to jobs and good education – these areas offer just the right mix of urban vibes and suburban calm. With easy access to big cities and cool local spots, they’re perfect for those seeking a laid-back lifestyle with a touch of excitement.

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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