Bridgewater, New Jersey
If you’re on the hunt for a great place to raise a family near New York City, this New Jersey suburb might be it. Just an hour from NYC and slightly more to Philadelphia, it offers easy access to big-city amenities — minus the big-city prices. Homes in Bridgewater go for around $390,000 — well below New Jersey’s $554,000 median (and far below NYC’s $734,000-and up).
Plus, schools in the area are top-notch. Students in Bridgewater schools perform 18% better than state averages on math testing and 20% better on reading tests.
Teeming with parks, playgrounds, and family-friendly restaurants, the city’s small-town feel sets it apart from others in the region. Take in a weekend baseball game thanks to Bridgewater’s own TD Bank Ballpark (home of the Somerset Patriots) and follow it up with bison burgers at mom-and-pop-run favorite Top o’ the Hill Tavern. — Aly J. Yale