The 10 Best Commuter Towns in New Jersey

Considering leaving the Big Apple? New Jersey is an obvious choice for many reasons: great schools, better cost of living and more space (just to name a few). Of course, there are a bunch of great places to live in the Garden State. But if you’re still shuffling back and forth to New York City for work, it certainly narrows down your options a bit. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best commuter towns in New Jersey. Happy house hunting!


best commuter towns in new jersey hoboken
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1. Hoboken, Nj

Commute time to/from Midtown: 20 minutes

Hoboken could easily be mistaken for the sixth borough. That’s a huge part of the attractiveness for the young professionals, families and post-collegiate set that call it home. Situated right across the Hudson River from the Big Apple, the birthplace of Frank Sinatra boasts skyline views and tons of gorgeous green spaces such as Pier A Park. Hoboken also earns points for its many restaurants and bars. And, of course, the convenience of the PATH train can’t be overstated. For all these reasons, home prices have soared over the past few years. But you still get more for your money than in Manhattan.

best commuter towns in new jersey montclair

2. Montclair, Nj

Commute time to/from Midtown: 30 minutes

Reformed urbanites flock to Montclair for its stately houses, restaurants, shops and a thriving arts scene—basically, what some have called a “Carroll Gardens-esque vibe.” Oh, and did we mention that Montclair High School served as a filming location for Mean Girls? All that adds up to an in-demand place to live. On that note, the median home price in Montclair is $799,000. So, yeah, buying a domicile in this sought-after Essex County town will set you back a pretty penny. But can you really put a price on the suburban dream? Apparently yes and it’s in the high six figures.

best commuter towns in new jersey ridgewood

3. Ridgewood, Nj

Commute time to/from Midtown: 40 minutes

Quiet, residential and family-friendly, Ridgewood oozes suburban appeal. With excellent public schools, a high safety rating, nature areas, playgrounds, dog parks and a wonderful sense of community, this tight-knit Bergen County town is a terrific place to raise kids (and pets). It also has some of the highest home prices of any locale on our list. Obviously, it’s a trade-off, because spending that extra money does buy you all the aforementioned perks. Plus, as the saying goes, “a good neighbor increases the value of your property.” That’s very much the case in Ridgewood.

best commuter towns in new jersey weehawken
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4. Weehawken, Nj

Commute time to/from Midtown: 15 minutes

If you haven’t heard of Weehawken, it was the site of the infamous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. These days, there’s a lot to love about this tiny township in Hudson County. Contemporary waterfront condos along the Hudson River waterfront give you that city-living vibe—and gorgeous views—while still offering far more reasonable rent and purchase prices than the Big Apple. Another big thing for potential buyers is the ability to hop on the ferry (we dare you to imagine a more scenic commute) or jump a NJ Transit bus.

best commuter towns in new jersey madison

5. Madison, Nj

Commute time to/from Midtown: 50 minutes

New Jersey Monthly puts out an annual top towns survey and in 2019, Madison nabbed the coveted top spot. Two years later and we don’t see any signs that this darling Morris County borough has lost even an ounce of its shine—quite the contrary, in fact. The great schools, low crime rates and rising home values are just some of the drawcards. The walkable downtown area delights with its restaurants, cafes, boutiques, galleries and, of course, The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre. Commuters like that it’s an easy drive to NYC but if you prefer the train the Morristown Line gets you to Penn Station in approximately 50 minutes.

best commuter towns in new jersey short hills
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6. Short Hills, Nj

Commute time to/from Midtown: 35 minutes

Ever heard of the Short Hills Mall? It’s basically a shoppers paradise with 140 specialty retailers, including designer outposts like Chanel, Gucci and Hermès. Clearly, we’re not telling you to settle down somewhere simply for the stores (though it’s a huge selling point of this community in Essex County). Short Hills is also a really safe place to live with walkable residential neighborhoods, award-winning schools and a vibrant downtown. And you can expect a quick 35-minute commute into the city for professional (or pleasurable) purposes. Perhaps that’s why celebs and finance bigshots choose to call zip code 07078 home.

best commuter towns in new jersey tenafly
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7. Tenafly, Nj

Commute time to/from Midtown: 30 minutes

Located just minutes from the George Washington Bridge, Tenafly is widely considered a suburb of New York City. This popular and prosperous Bergen County borough delivers blue ribbon-rated public schools, groomed parks, hiking trails and expansive houses (in other words, mansions). To that end, the median home value is $829,600. With a population of 14,632, Tenafly doesn’t feel too small. It’s packed with restaurants, cafes and shops. So that helps stave off the suburban boredom so many city dwellers fear. You also have easy access to all the excitement of Manhattan.

best commuter towns in new jersey summit
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8. Summit, Nj

Commute time to/from Midtown: 40 minutes

Summit piques the interest of those looking to relocate from the city. The rationale? Well, for starters, this desirable town in Union County has an excellent public transit system, top-ranked schools, plus tons of shops, restaurants and yes, even nightlife. This gives Summit the cosmopolitan feel that so many ex-urbanites often miss when taking up residence in the burbs. The fact that commuters can travel to NYC via two different NJ Transit train lines is obviously a huge benefit (and relief) for commuters, as you never want anything to derail that morning voyage into the office.

best commuter towns in new jersey teaneck
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9. Teaneck, Nj

Commute time to/from Midtown: 30 minutes

Another Bergen County community worth considering, Teaneck is a wonderful historic town that offers superb schools, tasty restaurants and a 46-acre art-park-meets-nature-preserve known as the Teaneck Creek Conservancy. Plus, it’s just 35 minutes from Midtown. (The 168 NJ Transit bus goes from Teaneck directly into Port Authority. Driving over the George Washington Bridge or through the Lincoln Tunnel into Manhattan takes about the same amount of time.) So, yeah, it’ll probably be an adjustment to acclimate to suburban life, but it’s not like you’re living out in the sticks.

best commuter towns in new jersey glen ridge
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10. Glen Ridge, Nj

Commute time to/from Midtown: 30 minutes

If you want that small-town lifestyle in a place that’s surrounded by nature, we highly recommend putting in a bid on a pad in Glen Ridge. Sandwiched between Montclair and Bloomfield, this tiny town woes outdoor lovers. Fragrant cherry blossoms, crystal-clear lakes and bridges adorn Branch Brook Park while hiking trails crisscross Eagle Rock Reservation. Glen Ridge is also home to friendly locals, historic houses, the Thomas Edison National Historical Park and a train station. To that end, the promise of an expedient commute into Manhattan makes the move out to the burbs an even easier decision.

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Lindsay Cohn

Freelance PureWow Editor

Lindsay Cohn is a travel writer and serial trip planner who has visited 46 countries across six continents (and counting). When not globetrotting, she’s most likely either doing...
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