Often overshadowed by bigger New Jersey locales, this might be the first time you’re hearing about Metuchen. But this small commuter town (er, technically borough) has undergone some big changes — and these days, it’s giving other Jersey suburbs a run for their money.

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Downtown Metuchen

Recent additions to the borough’s award-winning Main Street — which was full of empty storefronts just a few years ago — have breathed new life into downtown Metuchen. Like Brainy Brewery, which serves small-batch craft beer, and Pastry Lu, a cozy bakery and cafe where patrons can linger with a book and cup of coffee. Middlesex Greenway, Metuchen’s 3.5-mile railroad-turned-walking path, is just a five-minute bike ride away.

Downtown Metuchen

With a population of just under 15,000, Metuchen is perhaps best described as a quaint and quiet family-friendly environment. Its highly rated public school district is among the state’s top 50, boasting excellent teachers and test scores. Unlike most areas of busy Central Jersey, Metuchen is a walker’s paradise where residents can run errands without a car. What’s more, the borough’s direct train line can take you to New York City (and every stop along the way) in just under an hour, whether you’re commuting on the daily or making a day trip to the Big Apple.