Top 3 Reasons Maplewood NJ Residents Love Where They Live

Maplewood NJ was recently named one of the 24 “coolest suburbs in America” in 2019. There’s no doubt that Maplewood has a “cool kid” reputation even among residents of surrounding towns and it has a local reputation for being a “little Brooklyn.” So what is it about Maplewood that makes it cool enough to be recognized as one of only 24 in the country? Local experts have a few of their own ideas!


We crowd-sourced a local Facebook group to see what actual Maplewood residents think is “cool” about their town and this was the most-mentioned attribute (in this highly unscientific survey 😉). Just a few examples: the North Jersey Pride Fest, hosted in Maplewood’s Memorial Park, is currently in its 9th year; the very active “green” community has enabled not one but two outdoor preschools to thrive in the nearby South Mountain Reservation; and the community-wide march and “light the night” tradition every Martin Luther King Jr Day grows in numbers every year.

The outpouring of community support for ALOMO books (launching soon by local mompreneur who wanted her children to have an easier time finding characters who looked like them in books) is more evidence of Maplewood’s spirit.  ALOMO stands for “A Library of My Own” and is dedicated to curating books featuring multi-cultural characters and creating immersive literary experiences for children of all backgrounds so all children can “find themselves in a book!” 



On almost any day or night of the week, you’ll find yourself in great company in downtown Maplewood. Maplewood is stacked with great restaurants (Dan Richer, chef and owner at Arturo’s Osteria & Pizzeria, has been nominated for multiple James Beard Awards), awesome bakeries (try a scone from The Able Baker), and amazing small businesses.

Maplewood residents make a real effort to keep their downtown dynamic by supporting these small businesses and encouraging efforts like the SOMA General Store Cooperative, an online shop for small businesses and local makers (see below for more on Maplewood makers!) that hosts pop-up shops and events and helps keep downtown Maplewood competitive with online giants.

A great Farmers Market in the summer, street fairs, and music festivals round out Maplewood’s downtown vitality. 



Makers abound in Maplewood! So many creatives make their homes in Maplewood – actors, authors, publishers, woodworkers, fine artists, chefs, fiber artists, many of which are NYC transplants and still professionally working in their art.

Maplewood is full of boutiquey shops, small theaters, fun artsy events, and they manage to do all of this without an even slightly pretentious exterior. Oh! Canary immediately comes to mind with their children’s art classes and camps for artists as young as 18 months old, their weekend workshops where parents and kids can make paper mache monsters together with the help of a professional working artist, and their evening events for adults like the pinata making party to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, complete with margaritas and perfect for a unique date night! 

These are just a few of the things that we think make Maplewood one of the “cool kids” but you can’t get a complete sense of Maplewood’s unique vibe until you experience it for yourself.

With its inclusive spirit, it’s not hard to start feeling like a local in Maplewood immediately.  To begin your journey & to learn more about Maplewood, schedule your FREE Suburban Success Call with founder Jennifer.