The township of Cranford, NJ is a unique blend of the old and the new. A residential, from city to community with every facility for modern living, it retains its traditional atmosphere of tranquil village life while providing a welcome respite for thousands of daily city commuters.
Cranford is an upscale from city to community which maintains a “down to earth” vibe and offers an appealing combination of great schools, low crime, short commute to NYC, and tranquil village vibe, with walkable streets, mom and pop shops, and historic landmarks. Township residents and visitors, young and old, can enjoy the many programs at Community Center, Public Library, parks, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools or canoeing on the river. These are just some of the reasons Cranford is routinely rated in the Top 50 Best Places to Live in NJ and to raise a family.
Union County NJ
Cranford is home to more than 24,000 people who enjoy its many parks, recreational facilities, shopping areas and outstanding schools. Strategically located in the heart of Union County, the Township is served by the NJ Transit bus and Raritan Valley train line making it desirable for outbound and inbound commuters. Because of its size, there is a strong sense of community that is welcoming to newcomers and with many local events throughout the year, it is easy to get to know the town and meet the people. The Cranford Newcomers Club will introduce you to other newcomers and neighbors with organized activities and events like coffee breaks and play groups. Cranford also has several online Facebook moms groups that are a helpful resource for all things Cranford.
Cranford NJ Commute Times
Schools in Cranford NJ
For the Kids
The Cranford Community Center offers many activities and classes for the whole family. Cranford residents can enjoy two town pool facilities at special rates, including Orange Ave Pool and Centennial Pool (Centennial houses both an outdoor and an indoor pool as well as workout facilities). There are several nearby private pool clubs, including Nomahegan Swim and Tennis Club, and Cranford Swim and Tennis Club. The Cranford library supports the local community by offering many free activities for all ages, from after-school programs to music classes for pre-school aged children. Throughout the year there are wonderful community events and parades for people of all ages to participate and enjoy, such as the Downtown Scarecrow Stroll in the fall, and Trolley Ride with Santa in December.
AMENITIES & RECREATION
Families have many options for recreation in this family-oriented town. Cranford offers many municipal parks and clubs for residents. In addition to several private clubs in the area, nearby Galloping Hill Golf Course boasts an 18-hole championship golf course, and fine dining and events facilties. Nearby Hyatt Hills golf course boasts a 9-hole golf course, miniature golfing, and onsite casual dining restaurant. If you are looking for a nature retreat, explore the nearby Watchung Reservation’s 2000+-acre preserve, including 6 miles of hiking trails, and the Trailside Nature and Science Center.
Food & Drink
Cranford NJ & Surrounding Area
Top 10 Restaurants
$$ . Greek
$ . Coffee & Tea
$ . Sandwiches
$$ . Japanese
$$ . Italian
$$ . Cuban
$$ . Mexican
$$ . Juice Bars & Smoothies
$$ . Food Trucks
For a little retail therapy, visit Augusta Mae Boutique and Consignment, Amber Feather, and Anthem style + gift for the latest on-trend women’s wear and accessories. Milk Money is a fantastic children’s consignment boutique offering brand name children’s wear at deeply discounted prices. Periwinkle’s and Simply offers home décor and accessories. The Artist Framer offers original art and will happily frame any artwork. Hilltop Bicycles offers bicycles and accessories for the whole family.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
In the evening, Cranford offers a plethora of amazing dining options. Kilkenny’s, Bar Americana, River and Rail Cantina, and Thirsty Turtle offer a lively vibe while Tablespoon Café and Pairings offer fine dining and a more traditional evening out. On hot summer days, it’s always fun to walk to town for homemade ice cream at Vanilla Bean Creamery or rolled ice cream at A La Mode. On select summer nights, Downtown Cranford offers such family friendly events as the town cookout, Lego night, Yoga in the streets, Piano in the Plaza. Or sit outside and enjoy a cup of coffee from Track 5 coffee and perhaps some baked goods from Cake Artist Café or Breadsmith.
Incorporated as a township in 1871, Cranford is 4.8 square miles of wonderful neighborhoods and historic homes along the Rahway River, some dating back to the late 1800s. The township’s name is said to derive from the Crane family, who built a mill in 1720 along the Rahway River. Historic sites in the township are overseen by the Cranford Historic Preservation Advisory Board. In 2018, the “Sunny Acres” neighborhood was officially designated as Cranford’s first local historic district.
Cranford recently welcomed its very first brewery, Yale Terrace Brewery, which opened its doors in 2018. It serves homemade brew straight from the tap, and also offers flights for tasting. The Cranford movie theater is a town landmark and its iconic billboard has been featured in many local artist renderings. The art community is very strong in Cranford and local business The Artist Framer hosts participation and appreciation