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The 10 most exciting places in New Jersey? Research and rankings provide an answer

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The Hoboken waterfront.
The Hoboken waterfront. - ()

Hoboken or Jersey City? Or maybe Atlantic City? Maybe it's Morristown or New Brunswick. Or Red Bank — or anywhere down the Shore. What's the most exciting place to be in New Jersey? It used to matter who you asked — but now, following some somewhat scientific research into the question — there's an answer.

Movoto, a real estate blog that researches such things around the country, took on New Jersey to come up with the most exciting city in the state. Here’s how they did it.

First, they ranked cities by population, only keeping the top 50.

Then the judged them on the following criteria:

  • Nightlife per capita (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.)
  • Live music venues per capita
  • Active life options per capita (parks, outdoor activities, etc.)
  • Arts and entertainment per capita (movie theaters, festivals, galleries, theaters, etc.)
  • Fast food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better)
  • Percentage of restaurants that are not fast food (the higher the better)
  • Percentage of young residents ages 18 to 34 (the higher the better)
  • Population density (the higher the better)

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So which town won? Here’s the Top Ten:

10. Jersey City (Hudson)

Noted for its young population; roughly a third of residents are between 18 and 34)

9. Union City (Hudson)

Ranked No. 1 in population density, but more than that, the ‘Havana on the Hudson’ is a melting pot of cultures.

8. Clifton (Passaic)

Ranked high in nightlife and music — and high for good restaurants and few fast-food joings.

7. Hackensack (Bergen)

Ranked high for young population, nightlife, active life options and arts.

6. New Brunswick (Middlesex)

No. 4 in nightlife and No. 6 in music, plus a diverse population brings this place to life.

5. Trenton (Mercer)

Arts, youth, nightlife and music all fared well here. Not to mention the history.

4. Atlantic City (Atlantic)

You’d guess it was No. 1 for nightlife and music venues, but it’s No. 1 for arts, too.

3. Long Branch (Monmouth)

Have to have a Shore town here so why not the one that ranks in the top ten for nightlife, youth, active life and arts.

2. Palisades Park (Bergen)

We were surprised, too. Then we found out it’s great for nightlife and population density.

1. Hoboken (Hudson)

There is the nightlife and the music. And not much fast food. But most of all, there’s youth. Roughly half the population is between 18 and 34.


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Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com.

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