Do you appreciate a neighborhood filled to the brim with creativity and culture? How about having it right in the midst of an old-world, suburban enclave that escapes the cramped lifestyle of a big city? If you’ve answered “yes” to all the above, chances are Maplewood, NJ would be the perfect place for you.
Maplewood, a small township of just over 23,000 residents, is known for its balance of traditional charm and a unique liveliness that is drawing in many younger creatives and families. Access to amenities like the resident-only Maplewood Community Pool and the South Mountain Reservation, plus a beautiful range of homes to choose from, combine to make this town one of northern New Jersey’s best kept secrets.
If you’re considering a move, here are 5 things that make Maplewood, NJ so liveable and likeable:
1. Festivals and recreation options abound
For residents, Memorial Park offers a beautiful respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life. With a host of recreational offerings, the park features several multipurpose fields, designated sections for sports, picnic areas, tennis courts and an amphitheater. If you’re not a sports fan, you can stroll along serene walking paths.
Every July, the park hosts Maplewoodstock, a two-day music and arts festival featuring regional and nationally-known bands plus numerous fun, family events. Funded in large part by local food and art vendors, the big event is a great time to experience the culture of Maplewood.
2. Maplewood offers a vibrant downtown
In September 2015, Maplewood was voted the most vibrant downtown out of 16 nominated for New Jersey Monthly’s Downtown Showdown, and it’s easy to see why. The Village, as Maplewood’s downtown is affectionately known, has many of the attractions of a bigger city, but maintains a small town feel. There are boutique shops and artisan merchants plus fabulous food and a variety of restaurants.
Lining Maplewood Avenue, residents can food shop at Kings Food Market or stop by [words] Bookstore, a cozy independent bookstore acclaimed for welcoming and creating employment opportunities for developmentally-challenged young people. A few blocks down is the Village Ice Cream Parlour serving up delicious frozen treats.
3. Maplewood is a haven for art-lovers
Maplewood is serious about its art. Galleries, theaters and a plethora of programs feature opportunities for up-and-coming creatives to share their talents. The Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts features a 100-seat theater and community room. The Strollers, a nearly 100-year old theater troupe, is in residence there, and the Theater Project holds children’s workshops at the Center giving local playwrights a voice.
At the Annual Art Walk and Music Fest, residents can stroll through the Village and enjoy art shops, restaurants and live music performances. They can even view Maplewood’s own train station underpass, which features vibrant, whimsical mosaics and murals from young local artists.
4. Maplewood offers excellent schools and extracurricular activities
The towns of Maplewood and South Orange share a school district, and Columbia High School is the storied secondary-education choice for Maplewood’s high schoolers. A recipient of the Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education, the school boasts a student body with high proficiencies in language arts and math. Highly-praised extracurriculars like the robotics team, the chess club, and jazz ensemble enhance the academic curriculum. At the elementary and middle school levels, there are several great choices, including the top-rated Jefferson and Clinton Elementary Schools.
5. Commuters have easy access to New York City
For homeowners seeking to escape the pace of a big city, the Village might just fit the bill. Commuters can go from Maplewood train station on the NJ Transit Midtown Direct line into the heart of Manhattan in only 30 minutes. There’s a convenient jitney bus service for residents that services Orange Station or South Orange station, and Maplewood has numerous direct bus routes or convenient highway access to Manhattan too.
Maplewood is quite simply the best of two worlds. There’s a thriving cultural scene reminiscent of a big city plus all the creature comforts of the traditional suburb– all within easy access to New York City. If you’re beginning to imagine yourself in a new home in Maplewood, contact Victoria Carter at (973) 220-3050 or email email@example.com. I’d love to show you around!