What makes a great town? Speaking just for myself I like when a town can have that residential suburban feeling but with a very walkable, thriving downtown area.

I grew up in a town like this. Rahway was a diverse town with mostly single-family homes and a downtown made up of Irving Street and Main Street. As a kid you’ll feel any walkable downtown is exciting, as if you’re in the Big City or something. Today Rahway is much better after revitalization.

I bring this up because another New Jersey town not too far from where I grew up has the same suburban feel, plenty of single-family homes, with a gorgeous, walkable downtown, and it was just named by Money as one of the 50 Best Places to Live for 2024.

The town is Metuchen.

Downtowns, fairs, festivals

This is huge for Metuchen as just five years ago the town of 15,000 had a lot of empty storefronts according to nj.com. Then they went through their own revitalization process and it’s truly paying off.

Only In Your State picked them for the perfect day trip destination last year. Also last year it was a winner of a Great American Main Street Award.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Money chose it as one of the best towns in America based on things like its “quaint and quiet family-friendly environment” and it being a “walker’s paradise where residents can run errands without a car.”

The borough has a direct train line into New York City. Metuchen also has terrific schools. They are a highly rated district ranking in the top 50 in the state. Businesses there are thriving, with places like Pastry Lu, a “cozy bakery and cafe where patrons can linger with a book and cup of coffee.”

Or Brainy Brewery serving small-batch craft beer. Money also mentions their Middlesex Greenway (Metuchen is in Middlesex County) which is a three-and-a-half-mile walking path.

Hispanic Couple Taking Dog For Walk In Countryside

If you’re looking for a great place to live or just visit on a weekend you won’t go wrong with Metuchen.

Want other New Jersey towns named wonderful places to live? Here’s a list of ten more picked by Travel and Leisure.

These NJ towns are among the best, most sought-after places to live statewide

According to Travel & Leisure, they are the 10 best places to live in New Jersey based on data from local real estate experts.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

LOOK: Best counties to raise a family in New Jersey

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to raise a family in New Jersey.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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

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