In a world dominated by big retail giants and the convenience of online shopping, the charm of strolling through mom-and-pop shops on a cozy Main Street has become a rarity.

Nevertheless, every state still has a few of these unique treasures. And we here in NJ have so many.

Cheapism recently came up a list of the finest downtown shopping districts across the country, all located in towns with populations of fewer than 90,000 residents, and many of them are even smaller, having populations of only a few hundred.


Front Street sign in Keyport via Google Maps
Front Street sign in Keyport via Google Maps

Hidden-treasure main street in New Jersey

New Jersey proudly presents its own gem. The standout on the Cheapism list for NJ is Keyport's Front Street.

This hidden treasure boasts an eclectic mix of businesses, including a traditional Irish pub that exudes warmth, a quaint espresso shop that has an artistic flair, a local fishery that sources the freshest catches, and a pizzeria so good that it's legendary.

What makes Keyport special?

But what truly sets it apart are the breathtaking views of New York's iconic bridges. You can practically wave hello to Staten Island, it's just a stone's throw away from the bustling streets of the Big Apple.

To make it even more inviting, they frequently host outdoor concerts, lively festivals, and movie nights along the serene shores of the Raritan Bay.

There was a time not too long ago when Keyport was one of the last places you would think to visit. But Keyport is experiencing a true renaissance.

Google Earth
Google Earth

Real estate prices are coming up, old ones rehabbed and the town has once again regained its charm. Maybe it’s time for you to visit the charming Front Street in Keyport.

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Stacker used the Federal Highway Administration's 2020 Highway Statistics report to rank states by the fatalities per billion miles traveled. 

Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher

The scenic backroads to Long Beach Island

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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