One of the more daunting possibilities when taking the step from urban to suburban living is switching to a car-dependent lifestyle. Between shopping for the car itself, the car insurance, and the upkeep, it can be a real drawback for those who are accustomed to a highly walkable, no-car life. Luckily there are some great NYC suburbs that make this portion of the transition a little bit easier!
In these 5 NJ towns, cars are optional!
- Summit, NJ
- Westfield, NJ.
- Maplewood, NJ.
- Millburn, NJ.
- Chatham, NJ.
All these towns boast train stations in bustling downtowns surrounded by residential neighborhoods. Surrounding neighborhoods all have safe, well-maintained paths right to the center of the action. Many residents of these towns walk or bike to the train stations, stop for a coffee or quick breakfast in downtown, and then hop on a train to NYC.
In Summit (#1 on our list) the town has even partnered with Lyft to subsidize rush hour rides to the train station so commuters only pay $2 each way no matter where they are in town! Summit is also currently working on a big town renovation project that will make the town even more walkable! Inspired by the High Line in Chelsea, Summit’s coming Park Line is a pedestrian pathway that will link some of the less-walkable neighborhoods in Summit to key locations, including one of the elementary schools.
Not only are these towns walkable for commuters, but they’re also safely walkable for kids and families. If you find yourself downtown when school lets out in most of these towns, you’ll see kids walking straight from school to their homes, libraries, parks and playgrounds, local pizza and ice cream shops, or just hanging out downtown. Generous downtown sidewalks and al fresco dining spaces easily accommodate strollers and many store owners leave out bowls of water for pups who are out on the town.
On weekends, green spaces and parks in these downtowns turn into entertainment and athletic spaces. Many residents walk right from their houses to Maplewood’s Memorial Park, Millburn’s Taylor Park, and Summit’s Village Green to enjoy town-wide celebrations and activities like soccer leagues, outdoor movies, parades, festivals, and street fairs.
If you’re worried about how you’ll stay fed without a car in the suburbs, don’t be! Not only do these towns have great restaurants you can walk to, but some of them (looking at you, Westfield and Millburn) even have a grocery store that many residents walk to (and, spoiler alert, it’s Trader Joe’s in both 😉). In the summer months, you can grab your produce at their popular Farmers Markets. And if you don’t feel like hauling groceries around at all, you can opt for grocery delivery, available in all towns, no car or walking required!
Walkability & direct train lines to NYC are just a couple of the amazing community features that make these particular NJ towns stand out.
To begin your journey and learn more about Summit, Westfield, Maplewood, Millburn, or Chatham, schedule your FREE Suburban Success Call with FromCityTo.com founder Jennifer.