WEST ESSEX AREA, NJ — The Borough of Caldwell has been named among the 10 communities in the state to be considered an “Underrated Small Town Worth Visiting” by “Only In Your State,” a website launched by a team of travel writers who highlight the “hidden gems, little known attractions and natural wonders” of all 50 states.
In the Underrated Small Towns article, the writer states that the 10 New Jersey communities that were selected are all “popular day-trip destinations” in addition to being “great places to live.” Caldwell was named No. 5 behind Mount Tabor (No.1), Mount Holly (No. 2), Boonton (No. 3) and Bordentown (No. 4).
About Caldwell, the writer states that the borough is best known for being the birthplace of President Grover Cleveland, but also has “everything you need for a day of fun,” including “shopping, dining, a small cinema and picturesque park.” She specifically encourages readers to visit the Grover Cleveland, Dough Artisan Pizzeria, Nori Sushi and Cloverleaf Tavern.
“As much as I don’t like to feel bound by the ratings game, I was happy to see that Caldwell is getting noticed,” Mayor John Kelley said of the being named on this particular list. “I think if you spoke to any Caldwell resident, they would place Caldwell on the very top. We have families who proudly have called Caldwell their home for generations; we have young people who move to the city and then come back to Caldwell to bring up their children; and we have people who move here for our walkable downtown, which is seeing a revival.
“We have wonderful schools, great neighborhoods, historic landmarks, a movie theater, a diverse array of restaurants, a university and—if I may say so —some of the best pizza in New Jersey. So, perhaps we’re underrated, I just think the word is out that Caldwell is one of the best communities in New Jersey.”
Neighboring towns to Caldwell also received statewide recognition this summer after receiving high ratings on New Jersey Monthly’s bi-annual list of “Best Places to Live in New Jersey.”
The Township of Fairfield received the No. 12 ranking, while the Borough Roseland was listed as No. 14 after neither municipality cracked the top 100 when the list was last publicized in 2017.
“Being ranked so highly statewide and second in Essex County is a testament to good government and great community involvement,” said Roseland Mayor James Spango.
Fairfield Mayor James Gasparini did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
According to the publication, objective data, such as real estate information and school rankings, as well as subjective factors, such as aesthetics and community groups were used in the rankings. Only towns with populations over 1,500 were considered.
Additionally, Essex Fells was listed as No. 33 and Caldwell was listed at No. 38.