Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Contemplating finally moving back to Jersey, coming up on 6 years since I left for the DC area. My wife and I are tired of Virginia- we own a place as close into DC as financially, possible, right on the metro line, but it's a sterile kind of area. Nothing within walking distance, total car culture (though I do have the perk of being able to bike to work.)

Now we're talking about heading back north, possibly the Philly area or somewhere in NJ, where our local quality-of-life is a little higher. She'll be keeping her job, and going down to DC 2 or 3x per month for meetings, while I'll be job hunting (financial planning, commercial real estate, hotel/residential property, etc.) I'm hoping to not have to commute into Manhattan again, so proximity to some areas of business would be helpful. Ideally we are looking for a town where we can somewhat affordably live within a mile or two of the town center. Ideally would have a number of bars and restarants, be fairly walkable/bikeable.

I'm from the Somerset County area and towns I can think of offhand may be priced out of our reach and/or too close to my parents (Morristown, Summit, Bernardsville...)

Thinking more along the lines of Red Bank, Middletown,...???

Any advice is helpful, hope this isn't too far off topic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
Cranford & Somerville come to mind. Both with nice downtowns & real estate is a little more resonable than the three you mentioned. Red Bank is also nice but I have no idea about the housing market there, plus the riding is better up north.

Kirt
 

·
Start slow and taper off
Joined
·
790 Posts
My opinion is NJ is at the top of the list of car-culture states.

Don't get me wrong, there are some great places to live, some great places to ride, but I have a hard time thinking of anywhere in this state that has a great little downtown with culture AND riding.

This statement of yours, "Ideally we are looking for a town where we can somewhat affordably live within a mile or two of the town center. Ideally would have a number of bars and restarants, be fairly walkable/bikeable." is one of the primary reasons I'm looking to move out of the state, because I want the same kind of thing and are not finding it. Its like Bontragers statement about bikes...light weight, cheap, strong, pick two, because you can't get all three. Same with your statement, affordable, close to riding, culture (meaning downtown-type area in this instance). Pick two (if you're lucky!).

Philly is a much more likely candidate, as well as some places in NY state (Peekskill with Blue Mountain immediately comes to mind, with a burgeoning art scene, relatively easy train ride to manhattan, and housing that could still be deemed affordable).

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
388 Posts
call me crazy

call me crazy, but I loved living in new brunswick. there is a great bike scene, fun nightlife whether you are on Easton Ave for the college crowd or George St for the more professional crowd. It is centrally located to rt1, 130 or the tpke as well as the train. It is 30 minutes to NYC and about an hour to Philly. There are cheaper places to live, but it is a lot cheaper than some of the towns around there. My address was Somerset, but I lived just out Easton Ave, and I used to bike to the train for my commute. I had trails within riding distance.
Good luck!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
316 Posts
I agree w/ eclark; NB is centrally located to most rides, the scene there is cool as well. The only problem I had when I lived there was having to explain to the locals why I did not like to be robbed while I was home. You might want a big dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
In northern NJ, Westwood, Ridgewood (if you can afford it), Somerville, Closter, the Brunswicks. Not sure about the Phili area but there's gotta be at least a couple within commuting distance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
I'm from the south jersey area,and there are a few places around that meet that description...Haddonfield,Westmont,Colingswood.They would be the more resonably priced places.Then there is Moorestown,MtLaurel.A little bit more pricey,but they all have a little center of town feel with many places to shop,dine,walk etc..Haddonfield also has a nice "business" district with nice stores,speciality shops(a good bike shop)resturants,etc.All within walking distance of the speedline and about a 20 min car ride to Phila,about an hour to NYC.Hope this helps a little.
 

·
shut up and pedal
Joined
·
281 Posts
Freehold
Close to the shore or philly. Mtb offers hartshorne or allaire and many small home parks nearby. C-rock is just 45 minute drive or if you feel froggy ringwood is 1:15 drive. Your drive times may vary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
May I suggest Highland Park. Right across the river from New Brunswick, so you can take advanatage of call the city and university have to offer, plus you get a small town community, low crime rates, and a great school system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
When you find this mystical town, please let us know!

Seriously though, Somerville comes to mind because it is affordable and has some good restaurants, a couple of bars, a decent bike shop on main street, central to area biking and there is a lot of corporate and commercial business in the surroundings.

More pricey is Montclair area where I went to HS...the "Upper Montclair" downtown area is very nice with great restaurants and bars. Easy commute by bus or train to Manhattan, therefore more expensive. Probably more affordable in surrounding towns...Bloomfield or Verona or Cedar Grove.

I live in the Clinton area...doesn't sound like what you want at all. There is a quaint main street that is 2 blocks long with a couple of restaurants and coffee shops, but that's pretty much it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
neveride said:
Philly is a much more likely candidate, as well as some places in NY state (Peekskill with Blue Mountain immediately comes to mind, with a burgeoning art scene, relatively easy train ride to manhattan, and housing that could still be deemed affordable). Good luck!
By the way, Neveride is right on about most of this -- especially NY State being more appealing all the time. I'm sure the people up there feel it's getting suburbanized and gentrified and whatever else, but I travel up there each year -- Woodstock, New Paltz, Cold Spring, etc -- and there's simply a very cool vibe going on that most of NJ (outside of Montclair, the Brunswicks and maybe Maplewood and Boonton) lacks. More ground-level, more creative, less harried and less fancy. Though I wouldn't go so far as to say the commute from most of those towns to Manhattan is decent -- 2 hours each way is unacceptable in my book (My current 75-90 min city commute is already wearing thin). I guess it depends on where you make yer money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thx for all the replies- may have to check out Somerville again next time I am up that way. I always equated it with Somerville circle and big box retailers on 202/206. I have cousins in Somerset/NB/Franklin so that's on my radar. Hadn't thought much about the northern parts of NJ just yet- this is gonna be a long, slow, research project and we're going to jump once we've sussed everything out and are (hopefully) positive we've made the right choice. Will update when I can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
NJ-XC-Justin - Seeing you are talking about places in NY - have you come across the Ringwood area at all? There are a number of towns/lake front property areas that have very reasonable real estate but i often wondered if there is any restaurant/bar/downtown scene at all. I've come across a few places there that surprised me and the commute to the city is within reasons. So any idea? anyone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I can think of a few great places. Have you thought about PA. You can look at the Stoudsburg area. You have I80 traveling to work, although traffic sucks. That is anywhere in NJ. For riding their is a great place called glenpark. Some of the best trails around. Allumuchy is within reason. Also Milford PA. It is a very nice town, reminds me a lot of VT type towns. Their you have plenty of riding. There is the new Mcdade trail. It will run from close to the stroudsburg area to Milford when complete. Something like 38 miles along the Delaware. Delaware Water gap NRA surounds the town and it is across from NJ where you can ride Stokes and High Point. Cheaper to live than in NJ. If you want to stay in NJ you can look at Hacketstown. Allumuchy is close by as well as I80. Rated one of the top 50 towns or something in the US. You can look at the Vernon valley area. You have Mt creek and Wawayanda SP. High Point is not far from their as well. It is a nice little resort town still growing. I personaly would stay clear from Bergen, Morris, somerset, Passaic counties. Sussex and Warren county is the place to be.
 

·
Future Rainbow Jersey
Joined
·
449 Posts
New Brunswick, as others have said. Since graduating Rutgers, my wife and I have yet to live in a place with quite as much going on within a short walk or bike ride away. Princeton is also very nice, but very spendy. Somerville is incredibly underrated. Great downtown, great restaurants, Tour of Somerville, and a short distance to Chimney Rock, Sourlands, and about 30 minutes to Round Valley. I'm in Montgomery which is closer to Princeton and a short distance to Somerville (and NB for that matter). Nice place, pretty good riding close by, but no downtown in the township proper (unless you count tiny Rocky Hill), though I'm close to a bunch of downtowns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
vtalum2001 said:
NJ-XC-Justin - Seeing you are talking about places in NY - have you come across the Ringwood area at all? There are a number of towns/lake front property areas that have very reasonable real estate but i often wondered if there is any restaurant/bar/downtown scene at all. I've come across a few places there that surprised me and the commute to the city is within reasons. So any idea? anyone?
I ride Ringwood most weekends, though I've never stopped and hung out there outside the park. I've known a few people that moved there but I doubt there is "downtown" to speak of. Probably just random stores.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top