I love Montclair. Years ago there was a marketing campaign called More in Montclair. I always thought it hit the nail on the head. This community pulses with a great energy from the diversity of the people, architecture, arts, schools, churches, businesses and everyone’s favorite conversation – the over 100 restaurants! I describe Montclair as an urban suburb.

With four different commercial hubs, six train stations plus bus service to New York running the length of the town, it is a very easy transition to relocate here from the city. Exciting and challenging, the Montclair Public School system, with its groundbreaking magnet schools, routinely send graduating seniors to Ivy League and top-tier colleges. In addition to the public schools, there are also a number of private and parochial schools in town. Montclair’s many parks, plus its lovely tree-lined streets, provide the green spaces that relocating urbanites are often seeking. Concerts and art shows are regularly scheduled in the parks during warm weather months. The Farmers’ Market offers fresh Garden State produce plus field flowers, honey, cheese, bread and much more. It opens in June and is selling pumpkins in October.

If you want to take advantage of all that Montclair has to offer but want a quieter spot to retreat to there are a variety of lovely communities surrounding it. Glen Ridge is an easy choice with similar architectural styles but just 6,000 residents along their tree-lined streets, lit with gas lamps from the turn of the last century.¬† A top-ranked school system, plus the natural beauty of the town, continues to keep Glen Ridge’s properties in hot demand.

Also on Montclair’s eastern border is the town of Bloomfield with Brookdale Park being the heartbeat of the town. Bloomfield College, close to their downtown, includes the well-regarded Westminster Arts Center and a newly-revitalized¬†center now includes new condo and apartment buildings, hip restaurants and many seasonal events. For beautiful historic homes at affordable prices look to the “Green.”

To the west with gorgeous sunset views are the sweet towns of Verona, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells and the Caldwells. Lower taxes, close-knit communities, and parks galore characterize these smaller, quieter options.

West Orange to the south of Montclair has the best St. Patrick’s Day parade in the state. It was also the home of Thomas Edison and his house is still located in the scenic, private Llewellyn Park, the first gated community in the United States. West Orange also boasts the best variety of townhome developments for an easier lifestyle choice.

There is something for everyone is West Essex County. Urban and suburban – we have it all!

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