FANWOOD, NJ -- Fanwood has made the Sweet 16. 

New Jersey Monthly magazine has released its annual rankings of the Top Towns in NJ. This year, the publication has added a new feature called "16 Towns We Love," which includes Fanwood. 

  1. Bernardsville
  2. Boonton
  3. Brielle
  4. Caldwell
  5. Chester Borough
  6. Closter
  7. Fanwood
  8. Haddonfield
  9. Hopewell Borough
  10. Lambertville
  11. Little Silver
  12. Park Ridge
  13. Pennington
  14. Point Pleasant Beach
  15. Southampton
  16. Tewksbury

In selecting this Sweet 16, New Jersey Monthly looked at towns with a population under 12,000 and a median home price under about $800,000. Other factors included quality schools, access to public transportation, varied housing stock, cultural and recreational attractions, community sensibility, and downtown amenities.

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Readers will get to participate by choosing their favorite from the list above in a bracket-style elimination Small Town Showdown, sponsored by SoJo Spa Club. The voting starts now and the opening round of voting goes through Sept. 10. Then the field is cut in half and a new round of voting begins each Tuesday. The championship round begins September 24.

Mayor Colleen Mahr, naturally, is thrilled with the selection and is encouraging residents to vote for Fanwood. Click here to vote. 

WHY WE LIKE IT: Although only a few blocks removed from the strip malls of busy Route 22, this 1.3-square-mile town is an oasis of charm. Locally owned shops line the lively, walkable downtown.

It’s also a town that loves its traditions, like when Santa goes door-to-door delivering presents...While it is ideal for burgeoning families, the recent development of smaller apartment units near the train station indicates a desire to attract younger commuters as well. Fanwood shares a school system with neighboring Scotch Plains.

MAIN ATTRACTIONS: The town hosts various events to promote community and family fun, including a Memorial Day parade, the annual Ladies Night Out, and Summer FanJam. 

FUN FACT: The Fanwood train station is the oldest in Union County. 

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