With a rich, artsy culture, 8,000 shade trees throughout its many parks, and a convenient stop on the Midtown Direct train line, South Orange, New Jersey has it all. With just over 16,000 residents, the township is smaller than neighboring Maplewood. Historic and beautiful, South Orange is distinguished by its gaslights and varied architecture. Residents live in Tudors, Colonials, cottages, ranches, and modern homes, which dot the tree-lined streets. 

If you are looking for a northern New Jersey town with a manageable commute to New York City and the best of suburban living and schools, South Orange may be for you. Here are 5 reasons prospective homebuyers should consider a move to South Orange, NJ:

1. South Orange offers outdoor activities year-round

South Orange, New Jersey, is a nature lover’s oasis. Visitors are often pleasantly surprised to find an abundance of parks, greenery, and outdoor fun. On a sunny day, residents can be seen enjoying the South Orange parks and flying kites, playing horseshoes, using the soccer fields, jogging, or watching their children enjoy the playgrounds. Winter doesn’t keep South Orange residents indoors either. Cold weather activities include ice skating on Duck Pond or sledding on Floods Hill at the corner of North Ridgewood Road and Mead Street. Bordering South Orange is South Mountain Reservation with its stunning views, 25-foot Hemlock Falls, and 2,047 acres of land. 

2. Commuters have easy access to New York City from South Orange

South Orange is a commuter haven with a convenient stop on the Midtown Direct train line. The train line gets to Penn Station in approximately 40 minutes, and a drive to the City with light traffic takes about the same amount of time. Another commuting option to New York City is via the Gladstone Branch line, which provides service to Hoboken where people can transfer to the PATH or Light Rail. At Hoboken, commuters can also hop the Waterway and take the ferry to the City. The close proximity to New York City means South Orange residents have access to the best New York has to offer–restaurants, shows, and nightlife–while enjoying a small town and backyard when they get home.

3. South Orange is historic and charming

One of the most notable characteristics of South Orange is its charm. Streets with gaslights, abundant shade trees, and richly-varied architecture all give the township its distinct character. The downtown is walkable, and there is an eclectic array of restaurants. Many of the houses date from the late 1800s to 1930s. There are numerous historic buildings listed on the State and National Historic Registers including the South Orange Village Hall, Old Stone House, and the South Orange Fire House. The beautiful Orange Lawn Tennis Club founded back in 1880, hosts world-class tennis events to this day. 

4. There are excellent schools in South Orange

South Orange is a great place to raise kids, and similar to many towns in northern New Jersey has excellent schools. There are several primary schools in South Orange for children in different grade ranges including an Annex for K-1, Marshall Elementary School for K-2, South Mountain Elementary for K-5, an Early Childhood Center for preschool, and South Orange Middle School. The high school, Columbia High School, matriculates students from both South Orange and Maplewood and was ranked the #8 school district in Essex County by niche.com. South Orange also happens to be a college town and home to Seton Hall University, a private Catholic university named to U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Best Colleges List.

5. South Orange is home to the arts

South Orange attracts many local artists and has a trendy vibe. If you enjoy the visual arts, there are beautiful galleries like the Pierro Gallery and the Walsh Gallery. If your preference is the stage, the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) has wonderful cultural programming year-round. The summertime brings outdoor movies, spontaneous piano playing and artistically-painted pianos for Playin’ Around South Orange (#SOPianos), and South Orange Summer Nights (#SOSummerNights) concerts.

Are you interested in learning more about South Orange, New Jersey? I would love to assist you. Email victoria@victoriacarter.com or call (973) 220-3050, and I would be happy to take you on a town tour and show you available homes. 

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