Strollable and Family-Friendly
Chatham is dotted with Colonials, ranches, and split-level homes. In the most recent niche.com Best Places to Live category, Chatham was rated #4 in Best Suburbs to Live in New Jersey. Conveniently located on the Midtown Direct line, the town is a commuter’s haven and very popular for people who work in New York City. There is easy access to trains, buses, and major highways. Whether you are looking for a single-family home or an apartment, you can find it in Chatham.
In 2015, the New York Times featured Chatham in its Living In section, In Chatham, N.J., a Strollable Downtown and Good Schools.
With an overall A+ rating in Niche, Chatham is a family-friendly community which ranks as one of the best places to live in Morris County:
Since 1986, Chatham has shared its school district with Chatham Township and the school district is known as School District of the Chathams. In the most recent US News & World Report High School Rankings Report, Chatham high school was ranked both nationally and within the state of New Jersey. Rated as the #7 high school in the state and #189 nationally, the high school also received a gold medal distinction for their performance in state-required tests and the students' college preparedness. Another accolade, Chatham High School was ranked #134 nationally in the category of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Schools. An impressive 77% of students participate in Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
Approximately 4200 students are enrolled in the School District of the Chathams and take classes from Pre-K through to high school. The district has an extensive athletic program that includes sailing, field hockey, track, wrestling, and swimming, as just a few examples. An active athletic boosters club for the high school also helps to raise funds and organize activities.
Commuting To and From Chatham
Chatham has a convenient stop on the Midtown Direct train line. Residents can take the Morristown Line and be in New York City in less than 45 minutes. As well, Chatham commuters can take the Gladstone Branch line to Hoboken. From there, they can pick up a PATH train or even a NY Waterway ferry to 39th Street in Midtown Manhattan. Railroad Plaza is one block from Main Street and there are commuter parking options available as well.
For bus service to New York City, Chatham residents often use the Lakeland line which they can pick up in Summit. Driving to work is another alternative as similar to other towns on the Midtown Direct, Chatham is located within easy driving access to major roadways such as I-78, Route 24 and the Garden State Parkway.
For more specific information on commuting from Chatham, New Jersey, see our Commuting page.
Parks & Recreation
In the 2022 niche.com survey, there's a reason why Chatham was ranked #16, Best Suburbs to Live in New Jersey, and #7, Best Suburbs to Raise a Family in New Jersey. The town has beautiful parks and recreation areas, including a playground, ball fields and municipal pool which sit in Memorial Park just behind the Library of the Chathams. A unique and expansive play area in Chatham known as Castle Park, Shunpike Field has large castle-like climbing structures, swings, and winding slides of all shapes and sizes. Residents come from neighboring towns just to enjoy the park. Another recreation area in the heart of the township, Garden Park, has public tennis courts available to residents.
One interesting aspect of Chatham is that it has an extensive trail system that dates back to the Revolutionary War, and the trails are a wonderful way to explore the parks and town. Explore Chatham has detailed information on their website, and the trails traverse many of the parks throughout the town. Kelley's Pond, for example, which sits behind Milton Avenue School, has a mapped trail around it and hosts the town's annual fishing derby. Shephard Kollack Trail is another trail which meanders past the famous Jacob Morrell House where George Washington once stayed and the George T. Parrot House on Main Street. The Chatham Middle School Trail is another popular trail which takes walkers by the Chatham Community Garden and the Bruen House, once used as a place to cook for George Washington's troops, on King's Road.
Chatham has several restaurants with world-class cuisine and enviable reputations. One of the most well-known is Restaurant Serenade whose chef, James Baird, was the first New Jersey chef awarded the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence. Just across the street, Scalini Fedeli is known both for its food and the beautiful interior as it was once an old farmhouse dating back over 250 years. Another favorite of the locals is the Twin Elephant Brewing Company with a variety of handcrafted ales and lagers.
For those that like theater, Chatham has its own playhouse downtown which is home to the Chatham Community Players. The performance group has been distinguished with numerous New Jersey Association of Community Theaters (NJACT) Perry Awards for excellence in acting, scenic design, lighting, and sound. And if you prefer sports, there is an extensive township recreation program jointly sponsored by Chatham Borough and Chatham Township. A Joint Advisory Committee meets several times per year to ensure there is an array of programming options. From traveling basketball to cheerleading, summer camps, lacrosse and special needs programs, there is something for everyone.