Compared with other Essex County commuter communities, the Township of Maplewood might prove to be the most dynamic and cultured of them all. It even draws comparisons to Brooklyn—a hip, trendy enclave with a creative streak of its own. And at less than four square miles, Maplewood packs a mighty punch into this small footprint.
First, the trip in and out of New York is an easy one—30 minutes by car, 40 minutes by train. Newark Airport is only 15 minutes from the heart of town. Two spirited commercial districts, including an endearingly quaint downtown, infuse the area with a small-town charm that’s hard to find in many major city suburbs.
Colonial homes rule the day in Maplewood. The low threshold for ownership adds to the township's attractiveness to transplants and new families. Well-maintained three and four-bedroom homes go for $600,000 (if you don't mind adding some TLC, the asking price is closer to $400,000). For those who want more room and luxury, anything above Ridgewood Road will more than meet those needs with a price tag north of $1 million.
What to Love
- Close-knit, small-town atmosphere in a stellar location close to the city.
- Sidewalk neighborhoods, tree-lined streets, and an abundance of park space.
- Adorable downtown district with great dining and unique boutique shopping.
People & Lifestyle
The comparisons to Brooklyn are not unfounded. Individuals and families come to Maplewood from across the metropolitan area seeking diversity and a close kinship amongst their neighbors. It's a lifestyle not readily found in the suburbs, but offered in abundance in Maplewood. The combination of accessible housing and direct train line into New York only adds to the allure.
Dining, Shopping & Entertainment
Two commercial areas serve Maplewood. The first along Springfield Avenue features an assortment of quick eats and services, but the real showstopper is a few minutes north.
A contender for best downtown in the state, Maplewood's central business district was once known as Jefferson Village—the central hub around which several family farms operated in the town's earliest days.
Now, it's home to an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants that draws visitors from all around suburban New Jersey—and many more from across the river. Arturo's Osteria & Pizzeria
, Restaurant Lorena's
, and The Able Baker
are dining and dessert go-tos.
Retail highlights include the award-winning, independent bookseller Words Bookstore
. Just down the street is City Workshop Men's Supply Co
. Maplewood Mercantile
sells an eclectic collection of sustainable housewares, home goods, and vintage clothing in an ultra-trendy setting.
Things to Do
The cultural scene in Maplewood is central to the community's identity. Festivals and fairs are common and artistic spirit is widely celebrated. The Burgdorff Center
for the Performing Arts is a popular spot for intimate live performances and art-based classes.
Annual events that always draw a crowd include the summer kickoff Mayfest Street Fair
along Springfield Avenue and the Downtown Maplewoodstock Music and Arts Festival
every July. The year-end Dickens Village
occurs every Saturday in December, celebrating the spirit of Christmas with live entertainment, carriage rides, carolers, and children's activities.
For those interested in venturing out amongst nature, Maplewood's contingent of parks is very much on point. Just south of Maplewood's downtown is Memorial Park
, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Next door is the Maplewood Country Club
. For an even grander adventure, a large portion of the 2,000-acre South Mountain Reservation
occupies Maplewood's northernmost region.
Maplewood is home to a number of excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include: