2024 Best Places to Live in New Jersey

by Staff

Do you want to live in New Jersey? We don’t blame you. A CNBC study rated New Jersey as the third-best location to live in the whole of the US – that’s pretty impressive if you ask us. You’ve got incredible places to eat, live, work, and the lifestyle is amazing. 


The house prices and rent aren’t too bad (it depends on where you look), and the lifestyle is great. You’ll always have something to do and new people to meet.


But if New Jersey is the third-best place to live in the US, which parts of New Jersey should you live in? 

Read on to find out.

Jersey City

We have to start with Jersey City – it’s one of the most desirable places to live in New Jersey and consistently ranks within the top three locations. City life isn’t for everyone, but Jersey City life might just be. 


With the dynamic skyline views of Manhattan and a waterfront that buzzes with life, it’s a place where modernity meets leisure. You could do anything here and be happy. 


Whether it’s the historic charm of Paulus Hook or the contemporary desire of Newport, Jersey City offers a range of living experiences. The median home price is around $589,891 (not bad if you compare it to the rest of the locations), and the average rent price is $3,577 (crazy compared to other areas)


And then you have to consider additional prices – things like water and electric bills and the cost of Wi-Fi (unless they are included in the rent), and things like renters insurance. Renters insurance in New Jersey will keep you covered from a range of (unfortunately) common risks like damage from burst pipes, liability – say, if someone gets injured in your home – and loss of use. A broad range of ‘worst case scenarios’ are covered by a good renters insurance policy – enough that the cost of your monthly premiums is as worth paying as the cost of your WiFi.


The city’s waterfront, particularly in areas like Newport, has breathtaking views and a range of dining and leisure options. Head to the vibrant restaurant scene in areas like Grove Street. You can indulge in everything from gourmet burgers at Left Bank Burger Bar to authentic Italian dishes at Razza Pizza Artigianale. For art enthusiasts, the Mana Contemporary is a must-visit, offering an immersive art experience. 


Princeton, you must have heard of the university, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a town steeped in historical beauty and brimming with cultural richness. Residents enjoy a mix of quaint boutiques, gourmet restaurants, and lush green spaces. The town’s real estate reflects its desirability. It offers everything from luxury condos to serene woodland homes. Average house prices are $928K, and rental is $2,911. Renters insurance and additional costs also aren’t too bad here.


The town’s dining scene is incredible. You’ve got the Agricola Eatery offering farm-to-table dining (not for everyone if you’re not a meat eater) and the Bent Spoon serving artisanal ice cream. Nassau Street has shops, galleries, and eateries. They’re perfect for a leisurely day out. For a night of entertainment, the McCarter Theatre is always a good time.


Montclair strikes a perfect balance between suburban tranquility and urban flair. It’s known for its diverse architecture, excellent schools, and lively arts scene. The town’s numerous parks, cultural institutions, and incredible dining scene make it a desirable place to live. 


Despite its proximity to NYC, Montclair maintains a distinct identity. Housing options are good, with a median home value of $974,979, and the average rental cost is $2,201. It’s expensive, for some, but worth it.


The Montclair Art Museum and the Wellmont Theater are central to the town’s cultural life. The art exhibitions and live performances here aren’t one to miss. 


Culinary enthusiasts will appreciate the diverse dining options. You’ve got the tantalizing upscale Fascino for Italian cuisine and the more casual Montclair Bread Company for artisanal baked goods. The town’s bar scene has the cozy Egan & Sons and the lively Montclair Brewery.


Ridgewood and Ho-Ho-Kus epitomize upscale suburban living. They have top-tier public schools, picturesque downtown areas, and a strong community spirit. These towns offer a serene environment that you almost can’t beat. There’s easy access to NYC – ideal for families and professionals. The average house price was $817K in Jan 2024, and the average rental cost is $1,750. It’s not the most expensive place we’ve listed. 


Van Dyk Park is also a popular area for family outings and community events. In Ho-Ho-Kus, the historic Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern provides a dining experience in a quaint setting – perfect for those relaxed weekend evenings when you want to dress up nicely and eat good food.


So, how do you fancy living in New Jersey? In our opinion, obviously, it’s one of the best places to live. It has vibrant communities and incredible neighborhoods ready for you to explore. The question is, of all the places we’ve listed, which area would you most like to live in?

About the Author/s

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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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