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For those who’ve never traveled the country roads (or even thought there were country roads!) of New Jersey, or visited the quaint towns and villages that still dot the landscape in Hunterdon County in the central part of the state and Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties to the south, there is so much to experience and see.
In Hunterdon County, small towns up and down the Delaware River are lined with historical houses, charming business districts and mesmerizing water views. Lambertville, directly on the Delaware across from New Hope, Pa., is the largest of them. This former mill town is now a busy hub for art galleries and antique shops, not to mention a great array of restaurants and some unique boutiques. Its housing stock is primarily historical.
Stockton and Frenchtown, just north on the river from Lambertville, also offer a good quality of life. Stockton has a small commercial district with a highly regarded wine store and a busy farmer’s market on weekends, plus several restaurants and a relatively small but very charming residential area. Frenchtown is a good-sized town with many shops and an array of restaurants. It’s the closest point for New York City commuters, so quite a few people opt for weekend homes in Frenchtown. Daily bus service is available from all three towns to New York.
Hunterdon County’s proximity to New York and Princeton, N.J., is just one reason it remains one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. Inland from the Delaware River, it has many areas that are still quite rural, large farm properties, equestrian properties and some true estates.
Heading south to Camden, Burlington and Gloucester counties, located just across the Delaware River and very close to Philadelphia, the land flattens out and gets a bit sandy – the Jersey shore is not all that far away! While these areas together have a population of more than 1,000,000 people, look closely and there are some very desirable areas that have long been favorite places for people to settle when they tire of city life.
Moorestown, N.J., a Burlington County town named “Best Place to Live” in 2005 by Money magazine, continues to attract new residents in large part because of its quality of life and proximity to Philadelphia. Similarly, Medford Lakes, with its somewhat woodsy, rustic feel; Haddonfield and Haddon Heights, two historical and community-oriented towns; tiny Riverton and Cherry Hill, one of the largest immediate suburbs of Philadelphia, are all top picks for people looking for proximity to Philadelphia and even Atlantic City. The River Line, a New Jersey Transit light-rail commuter train, travels between Trenton and Camden and is therefore convenient to residents of these towns. They can transfer to the PATCO high-speed line for the rest of the journey into Philadelphia.
There are many recreation options in this southern part of the state, but one of the most notable is time at the beach. There are many shore points that are just a little over an hour from these places. Each community also has system of parks and is close to several state parks where hiking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and other activities are plentiful.