9 great ‘main streets’ in New Jersey you should visit
So many cities in New Jersey have them. You know, that cute little street that’s the main thoroughfare— the “heart” of the downtown. That’s a “Main Street.” They’re not necessarily named “Main Street,” but you know 'em if you see 'em. We’re all partial to ours our own. While we all think our “Main Streets” are the best in the state, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t check out some of the others.
From different small businesses to bakeries and more, there is something unique about each and every Main Street. Looking to discover a new one? Here are some of Jersey’s best:
Lambertville: Union Street
Right across the bridge from New Hope, Lambertville is a super charming town. Union Street is full of beautiful Victorian houses and is an antique lover’s dream. Union Street is also known for the restaurant, Under The Moon, which is said to have some of the best tapas around.
Montclair: Bloomfield Avenue
Love discovering cute cafes and little boutiques? Bloomfield Avenue has a ton to choose from. This is a great town to explore with friends and enjoy live music along with some of the best donuts you’ll ever have at Montclair Bread Company.
Haddonfield: Kings Highway
Downtown Haddonfield is one of the best areas in New Jersey. Start your day off with some yoga and then stroll the street for art galleries and beautiful flower shops. Make sure to check out The Candy Buffet while you’re there too.
Newton: Spring Street
Spring Street is the perfect place to spend your Friday night as the entertainment options are endless. You can check out The Newton Fire Museum as well as the Skylands Performing Arts Center which has many seasonal plays coming up.
Hoboken: Washington Street
This is the perfect place to come if you want to feel like you’re in NYC without actually being there. Washington Street is ranked one of the top 10 streets in America for its lively nightlife, amazing food, and close-knit community. This is a great place to check out if you want to change up your next night out.
Red Bank: Broad Street
Broad Street has the advantage, like some other really cool main streets, of attracting old people, young people, hipster types and conservatives, those with money to burn and those who are struggling. It’s heavy in fine dining, but also heavy in arts and culture. And it’s authentic. It wasn’t “created,” like some main streets to attract a hipster clientele. It just has a vibe that draws people organically. Red Bank, in general, is filled with beautiful Victorian homes and classic Shore Colonials and Broad Street reflects the same architectural charm. And at holiday time, Broad Street in Red Bank is something to see.
Long Branch: Brighton Avenue
Long Branch’s Brighton Avenue in the West End section is understated. He doesn’t go out of his way to attract people from other towns which is what makes it such a gem. It really belongs to Long Branch. It hasn’t gone out of its way to gentrify, which is what I love. So much of it remains the way it looked in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Yet, it’s maintained enough to keep it fresh. It’s a type of Main Street that has everything from the family-owned pharmacy (literally called Family Pharmacy, obvs), to chic bar-restaurants, the requisite vegan places and a beautiful family park. But what sets Brighton Avenue apart from the others? Walk a couple of blocks. You’ll hit the boardwalk and the beach.
Princeton: Nassau Street
Right across from Princeton University, Nassau Street is a quaint yet exciting place to visit. Many of the buildings are a century old and are home to beautiful restaurants, boutiques and bookstores. This is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat and a coffee.
Chester: Main Street
Main Street in Chester is quite the hidden gem. This street is filled with unique antique shops and cafes that have some of the most welcoming employees I've ever met. Enjoy a coffee at Maria's Café while you listen to live music, and end the day with a giant scoop of Ice Cream at Taylor's.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco's own.