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

Money's Homeowner Toolkit

Whether you're happy in your forever home, or looking for greener pastures, here are the tools we recommend for all homeowners.

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Sign up to receive the latest updates and smartest advice from the editors of Money

SUBSCRIBE