The Ultimate Vision of the Suburbs
In the past 30 years, much of Maplewood, New Jersey has remained the same. In addition to a downtown art gallery and local bagel shop, there is an old-fashioned luncheonette where you will find neighbors sitting and enjoying each other’s company while talking about the latest events. Located within a four-mile radius, Maplewood is the ultimate vision of the suburbs. Walk the tranquil streets and you will see parks and sidewalks lined with Tudor and Colonial-style homes enveloped in tall trees. There is also a downtown area that is affectionately known by residents as “the village.” Here you will find quaint shops that are family owned and dedicated to the residents of Maplewood. Even the supermarket in the downtown area – Kings – creates the atmosphere of a country store rather than a supermarket chain.
Surrounded by natural beauty, Maplewood lives and breathes the small-town atmosphere. The town meets the South Mountain Reservation which is a recreation preserve that encompasses 2,020 acres. Residents take advantage of numerous hiking trails, picnic grounds for family outings, six beautiful parks as well as an award-winning outdoor pool.
In October 2014, Maplewood was featured in a New York Times article, Maplewood N.J.: If Brooklyn Were a Suburb
With an overall A+ rating in Niche, Maplewood is a family-friendly community in northern New Jersey:
Maplewood residents share a highly-rated school district with neighboring South Orange. The combined school district consists of six elementary schools, two middle schools and Columbia High School. In total, almost 7200 students are enrolled in the district schools in grades ranging from Pre-K to grade 12. The faculty-to-student ratio is 1 to 10.6, slightly better than the state average.
The district curriculum is varied and includes the core subjects as well as art, music, health, physical education, enrichment classes, media, and reading. Columbia High School's Athletic Program received the 2014 NJSIAA ShopRite Cup for Best Athletic Program Award, and just some examples of the district sports programs include tennis, volleyball, fencing, track and field, basketball and baseball.
At the high school level, in addition to many advanced placement (AP) options, Columbia High School offers vocational and college prep courses. Approximately 90% of high school students plan to attend college, and 55% of the high school students participate in AP exams.
Commuting To and From Maplewood
Only 18 miles from Manhattan, Maplewood residents who travel to the big city for employment usually do so by train. The train ride is approximately 30 to 40 minutes during the busiest hours of the day, including rush hour, and commuters go to New York Penn Station. An important aspect of commuting to New York City from Maplewood is that Maplewood has a stop on the Midtown Direct train line route. There is also convenient commuter parking by the station and a Jitney bus service to shuttle residents to the train station.
Maplewood offers easy access to major highways such as Route 124 and Interstate 78 for those commuters who prefer to drive. There is also bus service into Manhattan, and another convenience for busy professionals is nearby Newark International Airport, which is just 9 1/2 miles away and offers both domestic and international flights.
Parks & Recreation
Residents have the best of both worlds in Maplewood, New Jersey. When they aren't enjoying the bustling downtown "village", there are an array of family-friendly parks and recreation options. Borden Park, DeHart Park and Maplecrest Park offer multi-purpose fields, picnic areas, skating parks and tennis courts. Throughout the year, the township hosts a variety of events such as Walks in the Parks, Art in the Park and Downtown After Sundown music at the different venues. Each summer, the highly-anticipated two-day Maplewoodstock music, art and food festival delights residents of all ages.
A great advantage of living in Maplewood is having access to the South Mountain Reservation. Part of the Essex County park system, the 2112 acre nature preserve rambles through parts of Maplewood, Millburn, and West Orange and borders South Orange. It includes the South Mountain Recreation Complex offering an array of activities for the entire family such as the Turtle Back Zoo, the Treetop Adventure Course, the Codey Arena, paddle boating, miniature golf and McCloone’s Boathouse Restaurant. There is also a Revolutionary War historic site dating back to the 1700s and an outdoor sculpture park.
Maplewood Village has a wonderful variety of restaurants including the popular Arturo's Osteria and Pizzeria, which attracts crowds that patiently wait outside for a table in the warm summer months. There is French cuisine, European fare, brunch options and, of course, ice cream and coffee shops. In addition to Arturo’s, two popular French restaurants in Maplewood are Zagat-rated: Restaurant Lorena’s and Verjus.
Walking distance from Maplewood Village is the historic Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts which houses a 100-seat theater and community room. Residents and non-residents can rent the space for private events, classes or performances surrounded by the stunning architecture of this 1925 landmark.
The residents of Maplewood have wonderful fairs and events to enjoy throughout the year. For example in May, there is the Maplewood Street Fair and Craft Show with 200+ vendors. In summer months, a popular farmer’s market which has been around for over two decades offers fresh fruits, vegetables, prepared foods and sweets. In July, the entire town looks forward to Maplewoodstock, a two-day music and art festival with food vendors, bouncy rides, face painting, and a beer garden offering craft beers and wine.