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Living in Northern NJ

Living in Northern NJ

Living in Northern NJ

Northern New Jersey Real Estate Market

The real estate market in Northern New Jersey, which includes Bergen County, Essex County, Passaic County, Morris County, and Sussex County, has seen an increase in demand due to its proximity to New York City, thriving culture, excellent schools, and diverse range of properties. The area offers a variety of homes for sale, including single-family homes, townhomes, and condos, with architectural styles ranging from colonial to modern and contemporary.

The median price of homes for sale in Northern New Jersey varies by county but is generally higher than the national average of $325k. Homes in this region are typically on the market for an average of 25 days, but in some highly sought-after neighborhoods, homes can sell within a week or less.

Notable Towns in Northern NJ

Bergen County

Essex County

Morris County

Passaic County

Sussex County

  • Sparta
  • Vernon
  • Newton
  • Hamburg
  • Wantage

Neighborhoods in Northern New Jersey

Homebuyers in Northern New Jersey are presented with a variety of different neighborhoods to choose from across the five counties. Here are some highlights from each county:

Bergen County

  • Central Region – Includes Elmwood Park, Fair Lawn, Garfield, Hackensack, Lodi, Maywood, Paramus, River Edge, Rochelle Park, and Saddle Brook.
  • Southeast Region – Includes Bogota, Cliffside Park, Edgewater, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fairview, Fort Lee, Leonia, Palisades Park, Ridgefield, and Ridgefield Park.
  • Northwest Region – Includes Allendale, Franklin Lakes, Glen Rock, Ho-Ho-Kus, Mahwah, Midland Park, Oakland, Ramsey, Ridgewood, Saddle River, Upper Saddle River, Waldwick, and Wyckoff.


Essex County

  • Montclair – Known for its arts scene, diverse dining options, and beautiful parks.
  • Maplewood – A family-friendly town with a strong sense of community and excellent schools.
  • Livingston – Boasts a variety of recreational facilities, shopping centers, and top-rated schools.

Passaic County

  • Wayne – Offers a range of housing options, from modest homes to luxury estates, and features numerous parks and recreational facilities.
  • Clifton – Known for its diverse population and variety of shopping and dining options.
  • West Milford – Offers a more rural lifestyle with ample outdoor recreational opportunities.

Morris County

  • Morristown – Rich in history, with a vibrant downtown area and excellent schools.
  • Madison – A picturesque town with a strong sense of community and top-rated schools.
  • Denville – Known as the “Hub of Morris County” for its central location and easy access to transportation.

Sussex County

  • Sparta – Offers a mix of suburban living and rural landscapes, with excellent schools and numerous recreational opportunities.
  • Vernon – Known for its ski resorts, golf courses, and beautiful lakes.
  • Newton – The county seat, featuring a historic downtown area with shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Real Estate in Northern New Jersey

Northern New Jersey’s real estate market is diverse, offering a mix of charming suburban neighborhoods, bustling urban centers, and picturesque rural communities across Bergen, Sussex, Morris, Essex, and Passaic counties. The region appeals to a wide range of buyers and renters, from families seeking top-rated schools and ample recreational amenities, to young professionals in search of a convenient commute to New York City or local business hubs.

Bergen County

Bergen County boasts some of the most desirable communities in Northern New Jersey, with a mix of affluent towns, such as Alpine and Franklin Lakes, and more affordable areas like Hackensack and Teaneck. The county is known for its excellent school districts, diverse shopping and dining options, and easy access to both New York City and the region’s major highways.

Sussex County

Sussex County offers a more rural atmosphere, with a focus on outdoor recreation and natural beauty. The real estate market in this county features a variety of single-family homes, townhomes, and condos at more affordable prices compared to Bergen County. Popular towns include Sparta, Vernon, and Newton, which offer a mix of residential, commercial, and agricultural properties.

Morris County

Morris County is known for its charming suburban towns, top-rated schools, and thriving local economy. The real estate market here offers a mix of historic homes, newer construction, and luxury properties, with towns like Morristown, Madison, and Chatham being particularly popular among buyers and renters. The county’s location along major highways and train lines makes it an attractive option for those commuting to New York City or other nearby employment centers.

Essex County

Essex County’s real estate market is diverse, ranging from upscale towns like Montclair, Livingston, and Millburn to more affordable urban centers like Newark and East Orange. The county offers a variety of housing options, from historic homes and luxury properties to modern condos and apartments, catering to a wide range of buyers and renters. Essex County is well-connected to New York City via public transportation, making it a popular choice for commuters.

Passaic County

Passaic County is home to a mix of urban, suburban, and rural communities, offering a range of real estate options at various price points. Clifton, Wayne, and West Milford are popular towns in the county, featuring a mix of single-family homes, townhomes, and apartments. Passaic County’s diverse communities and relatively affordable real estate make it an appealing option for those looking to buy or rent in Northern New Jersey.

The Northern New Jersey real estate market offers something for everyone, from families and young professionals to retirees and investors. With its diverse communities, excellent schools, recreational amenities, and convenient transportation options, the region remains a sought-after destination for homebuyers and renters alike.

Healthcare in Northern New Jersey

Northern New Jersey boasts a robust healthcare system with numerous top-rated hospitals and medical centers. Residents of these counties have access to comprehensive medical care, from primary care to specialized treatments. Some of the notable healthcare facilities in the region include:

  • Hackensack University Medical Center (Bergen County) – A leading academic medical center, Hackensack University Medical Center is known for its advanced research and innovative treatments. The hospital is consistently ranked among the top in the nation for various specialties, including cancer care, cardiology, and orthopedics.
  • Newton Medical Center (Sussex County) – Located in Newton, this acute care hospital is a part of Atlantic Health System and offers high-quality healthcare services to the residents of Sussex County. The hospital provides a wide range of services, including emergency care, diagnostic imaging, and rehabilitation services.
  • Morristown Medical Center (Morris County) – A nationally recognized hospital, Morristown Medical Center is a part of Atlantic Health System and offers state-of-the-art medical services in various specialties, such as cardiology, oncology, and orthopedics. The hospital has received numerous accolades for its exceptional patient care and safety.
  • Saint Barnabas Medical Center (Essex County) – Located in Livingston, Saint Barnabas Medical Center is a part of RWJBarnabas Health and provides comprehensive healthcare services to residents of Essex County. The hospital is renowned for its specialized programs, including pediatric care, cancer treatment, and heart and vascular services.
  • St. Joseph’s University Medical Center (Passaic County) – Based in Paterson, St. Joseph’s University Medical Center is a leading regional medical center providing a wide array of medical services to Passaic County residents. The hospital is particularly well-known for its emergency and trauma care, as well as its cancer treatment and cardiac services.

These hospitals and medical centers, along with various other healthcare facilities, ensure that residents in Bergen, Sussex, Morris, Essex, and Passaic counties have access to high-quality medical care. The region’s strong healthcare infrastructure is a testament to its commitment to promoting the health and well-being of its residents.

Transportation in Northern New Jersey

Northern New Jersey offers residents and visitors a well-connected and efficient transportation network. The region boasts an extensive road system, public transit options, and proximity to major airports, making commuting and traveling convenient.

Road Network

The region is served by several major highways and roads, including Interstates 80, 95, 280, and 287, as well as the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike. These roads provide easy access to other parts of New Jersey and neighboring states like New York and Pennsylvania.

Public Transit

The New Jersey Transit system operates numerous bus and rail services throughout the five counties and beyond, connecting residents to various destinations within the state and New York City. Commuter rail lines, such as the Main/Bergen-Port Jervis Line, Montclair-Boonton Line, Morris & Essex Line, and the Pascack Valley Line, offer convenient service to and from these counties. In addition, several private bus lines, including Coach USA and DeCamp Bus Lines, provide service within the region.

Air Travel

Northern New Jersey residents have convenient access to several major airports, including Newark Liberty International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and LaGuardia Airport, which are all within a relatively short drive from most areas in the region. Teterboro Airport, located within Bergen County, primarily serves private and charter flights.

By offering a wide array of transportation options, Northern New Jersey ensures that residents of Bergen, Sussex, Morris, Essex, and Passaic counties can easily commute to work, school, and leisure activities, as well as connect with other parts of the state and country. This comprehensive transportation network contributes to the region’s overall quality of life and economic vitality.

Education in Northern New Jersey

Northern New Jersey offers a diverse range of educational opportunities for students of all ages and interests. With a variety of high-quality public, private, and magnet schools, as well as colleges and universities, the region is committed to fostering academic excellence and providing students with the tools they need for success.

Public Schools

The five counties in Northern New Jersey are home to numerous public school districts, each with its own unique strengths and resources. Some of the top-rated districts in the area include Ridgewood Public Schools, Montclair Public Schools, and Millburn Township Schools. These districts are known for their high-quality education and wide range of extracurricular activities.

Private Schools

The region also offers several prestigious private schools, such as Newark Academy in Livingston, Gill St. Bernard’s School in Gladstone, and the Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood. These institutions provide a rigorous curriculum and diverse opportunities for students to engage in sports, music, and clubs.

Magnet Schools

Northern New Jersey is home to some exceptional magnet schools, including Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, which offers specialized programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), as well as visual and performing arts. Other notable magnet schools in the region include Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne and Essex County’s West Caldwell Tech.

Colleges and Universities

The region boasts several outstanding colleges and universities that cater to a wide range of academic interests and career goals. Some notable institutions include:

  • Ramapo College in Mahwah, a public liberal arts college known for its beautiful campus and strong sense of community.
  • Montclair State University in Montclair, a public research university offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University, a private university with campuses in Teaneck and Florham Park, providing a diverse range of fields, including business, education, and health sciences.
  • Drew University in Madison, a private liberal arts university known for its strong programs in the humanities and social sciences.
  • William Paterson University in Wayne, a public university offering a wide array of majors and minors, as well as opportunities for students to participate in clubs and activities.

Community Colleges

Northern New Jersey is also home to several community colleges, such as Bergen Community College in Paramus, Sussex County Community College in Newton, and County College of Morris in Randolph. These institutions offer associate degree programs, certificate programs, and opportunities for continuing education in a variety of fields.

Overall, Northern New Jersey’s commitment to education is reflected in the numerous high-quality schools, colleges, and universities available to students in Bergen, Sussex, Morris, Essex, and Passaic counties. This dedication to academic excellence helps to ensure a bright future for the region and its residents.

Outdoor Activities in Northern New Jersey

Northern New Jersey offers a plethora of outdoor activities for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and those simply looking for a scenic escape. With its diverse landscape, the region provides opportunities for hiking, cycling, fishing, skiing, and more, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Hiking and Biking

Northern New Jersey is home to several state parks, forests, and nature reserves, offering an array of trails for hikers and cyclists to explore. Popular destinations include:

  • Ramapo Mountain State Forest in Bergen and Passaic counties, featuring miles of hiking and biking trails, picturesque vistas, and a beautiful waterfall.
  • High Point State Park in Sussex County, which boasts the highest peak in New Jersey and offers panoramic views of three states.
  • Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Morris County, a haven for hikers and birdwatchers with its diverse ecosystem and wildlife.
  • South Mountain Reservation in Essex County, a 2,110-acre nature reserve with miles of trails, waterfalls, and a scenic overlook of the New York City skyline.

Parks and Nature Preserves

  • Palisades Interstate Park in Bergen County stretches along the Hudson River, offering breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and fishing spots.
  • High Point State Park in Sussex County is home to the highest peak in New Jersey, offering panoramic views, scenic trails, and various recreational activities such as swimming, fishing, and camping.
  • Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Morris County is a haven for birdwatching, wildlife photography, and hiking through diverse habitats, including marshlands and forests.
  • South Mountain Reservation in Essex County features a vast network of trails, picturesque waterfalls, picnic areas, and the popular Turtle Back Zoo.
  • Ringwood State Park in Passaic County boasts lush gardens, historic estates, hiking trails, and a vast network of mountain biking paths.

Water Activities

The region’s numerous lakes, rivers, and reservoirs provide ample opportunities for fishing, boating, and kayaking. Some popular spots include:

  • Lake Hopatcong in Sussex and Morris counties, the largest freshwater lake in New Jersey, offering boat rentals, fishing spots, and lakeside dining.
  • Split Rock Reservoir in Morris County, a serene location for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.
  • Wanaque Reservoir in Passaic County, a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts.

Winter Sports

Northern New Jersey’s hilly terrain and proximity to mountain ranges make it an ideal location for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. Resorts and facilities in the region include:

  • Mountain Creek in Sussex County, featuring ski slopes for all skill levels, snow tubing, and a terrain park for snowboarders.
  • Campgaw Mountain in Bergen County, offering skiing, snowboarding, and tubing facilities, making it a family-friendly destination for winter fun.


The region boasts several well-maintained golf courses for players of all skill levels. Notable courses include:

  • Crystal Springs Resort in Sussex County, home to seven championship golf courses with varying levels of difficulty.
  • Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth, Essex County, a challenging public course with picturesque views.

In addition to these activities, Northern New Jersey’s diverse landscape offers opportunities for horseback riding, rock climbing, and birdwatching, ensuring that outdoor enthusiasts will never run out of exciting adventures to embark on. With its wealth of natural beauty and recreational options, the region comprising Bergen, Sussex, Morris, Essex, and Passaic counties truly has something for everyone.

Shopping and Dining in Northern New Jersey

Northern New Jersey offers a diverse array of shopping and dining options for visitors and residents alike. From upscale malls and charming downtown areas to an eclectic mix of cuisines, the region caters to various tastes and preferences.


Northern New Jersey is home to a range of shopping destinations, from luxury malls to unique downtown shopping districts. Notable shopping locations include:

  • Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, Bergen County, one of the largest malls in the region, featuring over 300 stores, including luxury brands, department stores, and popular retail chains.
  • The Mall at Short Hills in Millburn, Essex County, an upscale shopping center featuring high-end retailers, designer boutiques, and fine dining establishments.
  • Downtown Morristown in Morris County, a vibrant shopping district with a mix of small boutiques, art galleries, and specialty stores.
  • The Shoppes at Lafayette in Sussex County, offering an array of local shops, artisans, and eateries in a quaint, village-like setting.
  • Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, Passaic County, featuring a variety of popular retailers, department stores, and dining options.


Northern New Jersey boasts a rich culinary scene, offering diverse cuisines from around the world, as well as local farm-to-table fare. Popular dining destinations include:

  • Montclair in Essex County, known for its vibrant dining scene, featuring a variety of restaurants serving Italian, Mediterranean, Thai, and other global cuisines.
  • Ridgewood in Bergen County, a bustling downtown area filled with trendy eateries, upscale dining establishments, and cozy cafes.
  • Chester in Morris County, offering a charming atmosphere with several farm-to-table restaurants, gastropubs, and casual dining options.
  • Sparta in Sussex County, home to a variety of dining options, from casual eateries and cafes to upscale restaurants, showcasing diverse culinary influences.
  • Clifton in Passaic County, known for its diverse culinary offerings, featuring an array of ethnic cuisines, including Middle Eastern, Indian, Latin American, and more.

In addition to these dining and shopping options, Northern New Jersey is home to various farmers’ markets, food festivals, and culinary events, showcasing the region’s rich agricultural heritage and diverse food culture. With its wide range of shopping and dining experiences, the region comprising Bergen, Sussex, Morris, Essex, and Passaic counties is sure to satisfy the tastes of locals and visitors alike.

Sports and Athletic Facilities in Northern New Jersey

Northern New Jersey is home to a diverse range of sports and athletic facilities. From community sports centers and ice-skating rinks to state-of-the-art stadiums and indoor sports complexes, the region offers numerous opportunities for athletes and sports enthusiasts alike.

Community Sports Centers and Parks

  • Saddle River County Park in Bergen County features multiple sports fields, including baseball and softball diamonds, soccer fields, and basketball and tennis courts, along with a playground and a scenic path for jogging and walking.
  • Mennen Sports Arena in Morris County offers year-round ice-skating, hockey, and figure skating programs, as well as a roller rink during the summer months.
  • Branch Brook Park in Essex County is home to multiple sports facilities, including baseball fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, and a roller-skating rink, as well as a scenic walking and jogging path.
  • Wayne PAL in Passaic County offers various sports programs for youth, including basketball, baseball, football, and soccer, and houses several sports fields and courts.

Indoor Sports Complexes

  • Superdome Sports in Bergen County is a state-of-the-art indoor sports facility, offering programs and leagues for various sports, including soccer, lacrosse, baseball, and softball, along with a sports performance training center.
  • The Fields Sports Complex in Sussex County features indoor turf fields and basketball courts, catering to soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, basketball, and other sports, with a focus on youth leagues and clinics.
  • Sports Academy in Morris County is a multi-sport training facility, offering programs and camps for basketball, volleyball, soccer, and other sports, as well as fitness classes and personal training.

Stadiums and Arenas

  • MetLife Stadium, located in Bergen County, is the home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets, hosting football games, concerts, and other major events throughout the year.
  • Prudential Center in Essex County is home to the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and the Seton Hall Pirates men’s basketball team, as well as hosting concerts and family shows.
  • Yogi Berra Stadium in Montclair, Essex County, is home to the New Jersey Jackals, a professional independent baseball team, and also hosts various high school and collegiate baseball games.

With its extensive selection of sports and athletic facilities, Northern New Jersey caters to sports enthusiasts and athletes of all ages and skill levels.

Nightlife in Northern New Jersey

Northern New Jersey offers a vibrant nightlife scene, with a variety of options to suit different tastes and preferences. Spanning across Bergen, Sussex, Morris, Essex, and Passaic counties, the region boasts bars, clubs, lounges, and live music venues for a memorable night out.

Bars and Pubs

  • The Dog and Cask in Bergen County is a popular gastropub, offering a wide selection of craft beers and a menu of delicious pub fare. The cozy atmosphere and regular live music events make it a favorite among locals.
  • Krogh’s Restaurant & Brew Pub in Sussex County is a historic pub, featuring its own line of craft beers and a menu of classic pub dishes. The pub frequently hosts live music performances and trivia nights.
  • The Office Tavern Grill in Morris County is a modern American gastropub, offering a diverse selection of beers and cocktails, along with a menu of elevated pub cuisine. With multiple locations, this chain is a local favorite for after-work drinks and socializing.
  • The Shannon Rose Irish Pub, with locations in Essex and Passaic counties, offers an authentic Irish pub experience, complete with a wide selection of beers, traditional Irish fare, and live music and entertainment.

Clubs and Lounges

  • Mister East in Bergen County is a stylish nightclub featuring a spacious dance floor, multiple bars, and a VIP lounge. The venue regularly hosts guest DJs and themed nights, ensuring a lively atmosphere.
  • Iron Bar in Morris County offers a versatile nightlife experience, featuring a sports bar, a dance club, and a lounge area. With regular live music and DJ events, it attracts a diverse crowd looking to dance the night away.
  • Just Jake’s in Essex County is a lively bar and club, offering live music, dancing, and themed events. Its outdoor patio area is perfect for warm summer nights, while the indoor space provides a cozy atmosphere during the colder months.
  • Blu Alehouse in Passaic County is a combination sports bar, restaurant, and nightclub. With an extensive beer selection, multiple flat-screen TVs for sports viewing, and a spacious dance floor, it caters to a variety of nightlife preferences.

Live Music Venues

  • Mexicali Live in Bergen County is a popular live music venue and restaurant, hosting a variety of local and national acts across different music genres, from rock and blues to jazz and indie.
  • The Stanhope House in Sussex County is a historic live music venue, featuring a diverse lineup of bands and musicians, as well as comedy shows and open mic nights.
  • The Wellmont Theater in Essex County is a historic venue that hosts concerts, comedy shows, and other live performances, showcasing both local talent and internationally renowned acts.
  • The Debonair Music Hall in Passaic County is a versatile live music venue, offering a range of musical acts, from local bands to touring artists, as well as comedy shows and other events.

With its array of bars, clubs, and live music venues, Northern New Jersey’s nightlife scene, spanning Bergen, Sussex, Morris, Essex, and Passaic counties, offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a low-key evening or a night of dancing and entertainment.

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