Awesome NJ Downtowns

Looking for a bustling town?

Every two years NJ Monthy Magazine presents the who’s who of New Jersey places to live. Below are the top north New Jersey towns that made their 2016 ‘favorites’ list.  To make it on this list the towns or cities were deemed to have fantasic main streets with great dining scenes, nightlife and other cultural happenings.


This tiny city packs in a ton of excitement and things to do. overlooking the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline the Washington Street boasts wide sidewalks, tons of bars and restaurants and other shops.  Two blocks east is the Hudson River Waterfront Park and Walkway.

A massive open green area where many locals sunbathe in the summer, with a tree area for those who prefer the shade. Leave the park and stroll up the walkway north along the Hudson River. No matter what time of day or what the weather is, the NYC skyline is a sight to see. The park is is also the venue for free movies, art exhibitions and other cultural attractions.

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Jersey City

The historic sought after downtown of Jersey City is made up of three ‘neighborhoods’ known as Hamilton Park, Harsimus Cove and Van Vorst Park. Most of the buildings in this are are low rise units and close to the Grove Street PATH station or some other form of public transportation that will take you to Downtown or Midtown Manhattan. Hamilton Park and Van Vorst Park boast two Victorian era parks, and those homes that do not border a park are often on quite streets with yes…trees.

If you are looking for happening bars and restaurants, you will find over 300 serving this small area. A bit further from these shops you will find the main Public Library as well as the Jersey City Museum. Some of the best touted restaurants in this area include Mathews, Cellar 335 and Latham House. Every year you will also find a variety of cultural festivals and fairs.  And every year, the ‘All About Downtown Street Fair’ showcases dozens of local vendors, artists and chefs throughout the streets .

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Nestled in Essex County, this gem of a town packs a big who-lop in a small space.  With fantastic restaurants like Arturo’s – which offers delicious Italian, the fine dining of Lorena’s and  Irish/American fare at St James Gate there is always a true and tried night out option. Along with restaurants you will find several antique shops and accessory stores. Looking for something to do after dinner, check out the retro bulb lined movie theater. On your way to work, you will love the train station and free commuter lot.

The town also offers many annual sidewalk sales and arts and craft fairs. Every winter the Ricalton Square is transformed into a mini Dickens Village. Looking for music, Maplewood has you covered at the annual MaplewoodStock. Two days of food, music and fun.

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Recognized by not only NJ Monthly Magazine, this bustling downtown was also named of of three 2015 winners of the National Main Street Centers ‘Great American Main Street Award’.

This walkable 10 block scene is home to arts, shopping and many restaurants. Known as a BYOB haven, you will find fantastic restaurants like Scala Del Nonna, Prime 151 and Costanera. There are many places to shop from large chains such as Urban Outfitters to smaller boutique shops. When you are done shopping stop in at the arts center or the Art Museum.

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Every “Jersian” is familiar with this infamous downtown. The Morristown Green is unique for its historic Revolutionary War landmarks and temporary weigh station of Washington’s troops as they marched to the south. Steps away you will find bars such as the Iron Bar, Famished Frog or the Laundromat Speakeasy (yes there is a secret door!). Restaurants would include Roots, Jockey Hollow, The Committed Pig, South + Pine and Olive Lucy;s.

Also popular is the MAYO PAC. Home to regular plays, music events and comedians this Arts center offers city shows at New Jersey prices.

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Described as ‘everything you need on one small area’, where else would you find a place called Town & County Apothecary! The Ridgewood downtown is home to upscale restaurants yet also has plenty of options for young families and teens alike. Destination places to eat would include the Village Green Restaurant, From Scratch (a Mediterranean and Italian specialty eatery), Egidio and Raymond’s.

Holidays in the Village include a famous tree lighting complete with the RHS marching band and Carolers.

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