What makes a community a great place to live? The answer varies, of course, as every person is different. Some people want top-rated schools, while others want parks, easy access to a larger metropolitan area or public transportation. In northern New Jersey, there are many delightful communities offering everything from scenic rolling hills and lakes to bustling town centers with delicious food and wonderful shops. But, our towns have a few surprises too! Here are 5 fabulous activities that make these New Jersey Towns unique.

Loantaka Brook Reservation

Spread across Morris, Chatham, and Harding, the beautiful Loantaka Brook Reservation encompasses 744 miles of parkland. With four distinct sections, nearby residents use its 8 miles of trails for biking, walking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. This beautiful park is not only picturesque and conducive to the casual stroll, but also has numerous athletic facilities including softball fields, a soccer field and playgrounds. There are picnic tables for family outings as well as grills for cooking.

The Mall at Short Hills

With over 150 stores, the Mall at Short Hills is known throughout the tri-state area. Its stunning collection of elegant stores offers a 5th Avenue experience indoors. The Mall also has an excellent selection of restaurants such as Legal Sea Foods, The Cheesecake Factory, Papa • Razzi and Joe’s American Bar & Grill. Shoppers from New York and Connecticut make their way to the Mall for a day out on the weekends. It is truly a fun destination and a well-known landmark in northern New Jersey.

 Thomas Edison’s Laboratory Complex

Thomas Edison laboratory in West Orange NJIn West Orange, NJ, Thomas Edison’s laboratory and Glenmont, the Edison estate, are designated as a National Historical Park. Visitors can see a huge collection of archives, artifacts and plants from the original estate. Although he is best known for inventing the light bulb, Thomas Edison also invented the phonograph and nickel-iron batteries. His enormous laboratory and estate are well-worth a visit, and historic treasures for our country.

 Reeves-Reed Arboretum

Nestled in Summit, NJ, the Reeves-Reed Arboretum is known for its idyllic daffodil and rose gardens as well as numerous winding trails that traverse across the grounds. The old estate house and land are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Arboretum hosts unique events year round, such as the Maple Sugaring Fest, Art in the Garden and Cookies and Cocoa with Santa. There are hands-on educational classes as well as Discovery Saturdays, geared specifically towards families. Whether you want to just stroll the grounds or take an educational class, the Reeves-Reed Arboretum offers a relaxing reprieve from a hectic day.


Each summer for the past 11 years, the town of Maplewood, NJ has hosted MaplewoodStock, a popular music and arts festival. There is always a great line up of bands which play over the course of two days. Vendors sell arts, crafts and clothing. Families enjoy bouncy rides for the kids and a host of activities such as face-painting and crafts. It is a summer festival not to be missed, and a fun community event for residents of Maplewood and its surrounding towns.

Does the character and community events of our New Jersey towns intrigue you? If you are considering a move, or just want to know more, contact victoria@victoriacarter.com or phone: (973) 220-3050.



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