8 of the Most Walkable New Jersey Suburbs

Jan 5, 2023

Check out our list of towns in New Jersey that boast incredible pedestrian-friendly communities with stroll-worthy downtowns. 

Worried about leaving the walkability of the city behind? These suburbs might surprise you. Here, you’ll find incredible communities designed with pedestrians in mind, making it easy to get from the train to shops and parks, no car required.    

               

#1. Cranford, NJ

Downtown Cranford developed around the town’s train station and there are tons of restaurants and shops within walking distance. If you’re traveling to the city, you can grab breakfast at Track 5 Coffee or Cranford’s Best Bagel & Deli before walking to your platform. And good news for commuters – it only takes around 45 minutes to get to New York’s Penn Station from town.

With well-maintained sidewalks and an 84 walk score, it’s easy to spend a night out downtown without a car. It’s a short stroll between the Cranford Theater and some top-notch restaurants and bars like Ani Ramen and The Cranford Hotel.

#2. Montclair, NJ

Bloomfield Avenue is one of the most walkable parts of Montclair. You can get to Whole Foods, Cyclebar and the cozy Trend Coffee & Tea House all by strolling along the wide sidewalks on this main street. You’ll also pass plenty of other shops and restaurants that may catch your eye.

Montclair’s Walnut Street Station helps commuters get into Manhattan in under 40 minutes and is in another pedestrian-friendly part of town. The Walnut Street area has an 82 walk score and features an excellent brewery, coffee shop and Irish pub that can all be reached on foot. Nami Nori, a hot new sushi place with locations in NYC and Brooklyn, recently opened in Montclair and is located right on Bloomfield Ave.

#3. Maplewood, NJ

Head to the heart of Maplewood to enjoy everything this walkable downtown has to offer. Excellent restaurants and independent shops are clustered along Maplewood Avenue, which also happens to be close to the Maplewood train station. Wander along the sidewalks and you’ll pass St. James’s Gate Publick House, Words Bookstore, Arturo’s (a local fav for pizza!), Village Ice Cream Parlour and many other local favorites. If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, be sure to check out award-winning Restaurant Lorena’s.

Keep an eye on the town’s calendar for events like the annual Dickens Village, Summer Streets and the Maplewoodstock Music & Art Festival that are put on downtown.

#4. Princeton, NJ

The beautiful university campus isn’t the only walkable part of Princeton. Take a stroll through Palmer Square and you’ll find name-brand retail like Lululemon and Madewell, alongside top-notch restaurants and cafes that you can easily visit on foot. The Bent Spoon and Winberie’s Restaurant & Bar are just two of the most popular spots in this pedestrian-friendly area.

It’s possible to get to Manhattan by public transportation which means you don’t even need to have a car to commute. 

#5. Red Bank, NJ

Red Bank is not only charming but it’s also very easy to navigate. Downtown features numerous restaurants, two theaters, a library, great boutiques and a riverside park all within walking distance. Toast is a favorite for weekend brunch and you can easily stroll from there to 26 West on the Navesink or Pearl Restaurant and Lounge at the Oyster Point Hotel, both of which are located right on the water. And if you have some extra time, squeeze in some shopping at one of Red Bank’s local boutiques. We love Lucki Clover and Garmany.

Commuters can get to Manhattan from the Red Bank Station in around 90 minutes. From the station, you can walk to Triumph Brewing Company or one of the restaurants in the Galleria mall.

#6. Ridgewood, NJ

Downtown Ridgewood earned a 95 walk score thanks to its downtown restaurant scene, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks all over town, and their accessible train station. Along one of your suburban walks, you may pass a Whole Foods, the library, as well as a few cafes, restaurants and bars to fuel your stroll like White Maple Cafe, Ridgewood Coffee Company, and Park West Tavern.

Van Neste Square Memorial Park sits in the heart of downtown and is the town’s holiday events hub. There’s also a movie theater, ice cream shop and multiple boutiques just a few steps from the park.

#7. Summit, NJ

This North Jersey suburb features a walkable downtown centered around the train station. During the summer months, commuters can hop off the train and head to the Summit Village Green for a post-work stroll or outdoor concert. There are plenty of bars and eateries, like the upscale Roots Steakhouse, Summit House and Due 360, which are just a short walk from the station. Boxwood Coffee Roasters is a popular coffee shop that the locals adore. 

Stroll along Springfield Ave when you need some retail therapy. West Elm, Paper Source, Fleet Feet and some excellent boutiques line the street’s wide sidewalks.

#8. Westfield, NJ

Downtown Westfield offers almost everything you need within walking distance. There’s a train station for commuters plus a sidewalk that leads to Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop. Tons of national brands like Athleta, William Sonoma and Banana Republic are clustered downtown. And you won’t have to hop in the car when you want a bite to eat. Fiamma Wood Fired Pizza, Inspiration Roll, Ferraro’s and more are all accessible by foot.

Check out the events calendar if you move to town. Between the annual jazz festival, 5K race and holiday activities there’s always something to look forward to in the walkable downtown.

Ready to get out and explore the suburbs? Let’s chat! We’ll help you map out your next town tour with plenty of spots to discover on foot.

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