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The Best Neighborhoods to Live in New Jersey when Commuting to NYC

by | Mar 22, 2022

If living close to NYC is imperative to your lifestyle, New Jersey offers plenty of notable neighborhoods, some with Manhattan commutes lasting 15 minutes or less. Oozing with charm and steeped in history and nature, New Jersey is Manhattan’s quieter, calmer, and more affordable counterpart. Keep on reading to learn about the best neighborhoods to live in New Jersey when commuting into NYC. 


Running parallel to New York’s west side neighborhoods, Chelsea and the West Village, Hoboken is a former industrial port beside the Hudson River, equipped with stunning architectural character, natural beauty, and skyline views. The main thoroughfare, Washington Street, is a thriving block full of local shops, restaurants, and bars. Downtown Hoboken consists mostly of walk-up apartments and multi-family homes, while Uptown Hoboken is a mix of newer rental buildings, condos, and brownstones. Due to its proximity to the train station, ferry, and tunnel, Hoboken is a wonderful option for those seeking a regular commute into Manhattan. 

  • Median Sales Price: $800,000
  • Median Rental Price: $3,000 

Hoboken Commute to NYC: 

  • PATH Train: For $2.75 Hoboken residents can hop on the PATH train and arrive in NYC in under 15 minutes (it’s just one stop). Once on Manhattan’s west side, there’s easy access to the 1, 2, 3, F, M, and L trains. 
  • Ferry: Although pricier than the train, the ferry offers a far more pleasant, scenic commute into NYC. For a one-way fare of $9, the ferry runs on average every 20 minutes and will take you from Hoboken to various destinations along Manhattan’s west side, including Pier 11/ Wall Street, and Midtown/ West 39th Street, in under 20 mins. Check their schedule here
  • Bus: The 126 bus goes to/from Port Authority via the Lincoln Tunnel and takes about 25 minutes.  
  • Car: Hoboken is close to both the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels. With a car, the commute into Midtown Manhattan can be done in 25 minutes, depending upon traffic. 

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Nestled directly across the Hudson River from Midtown Manhattan, Weehawken is a scenic, quaint township that sits largely atop a steep rock cliff called the Palisades. Bordered by Hoboken to the south, Union City to the west, and West New York to the north, Weehawken is uniquely defined by its rugged topography and sweeping river vistas which are largely protected by the zoning laws that prohibit the construction of high rise buildings that could obstruct views.  Traversing through the neighborhood is Boulevard East, a scenic thoroughfare lined with trap rock quarries and cliffs. Along the boulevard, you’ll find an eclectic mix of 20th-century homes, contemporary waterfront condos, and stunning parks. A largely residential neighborhood, Weehawken offers the perfect mix of places to shop, eat, and drink while enjoying the beauty of nature. 

  • Median Sales Price: $885,000
  • Median Rental Price: $2,300

Weehawken Commute to NYC: 

  • Bus: Several busses run to/from Manhattan’s Port Authority Bus Terminal. The trip across the river is quick, often taking no longer than 10 minutes.
  • Ferry: For a one-way fare of $9, the ferry runs on average every 20 minutes. There are two ferry stops in Weehawken – Lincoln Harbor and Port Imperial – that provide access to various locations on Manhattan’s west side including Midtown Manhattan, Pier 11, and Battery Park City. For more details, view the schedule here
  • Car: Weehawken intersects directly with the Lincoln Tunnel. Given this proximity, the commute into Midtown Manhattan can take 10 minutes,  depending on traffic.

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Journal Square 

Hugging the West side of Jersey City lies Journal Square, an ever-evolving neighborhood that is part residential town, part business district, and part transportation hub. Named after the Jersey Journal newspaper whose headquarters were stationed there until 2013, Journal Square has a dense urban feel, with plenty of high-rise buildings plus a bustling summer farmers market. The city also provides easy access to bus and train stations servicing Penn Station, the World Trade Center, and Newark. Recent and recurring redevelopments in the area have led to diversity in the city’s architecture and cuisine. Residents describe their neighborhood as quaint, community-oriented, and convenient. 

  • Median Sales Price: $415,000
  • Median Rental Price: $2,000

Journal Square Commute to NYC: 

  • PATH Train: For $2.75 residents can take the PATH train at Journal Square and arrive in NYC in under 20 minutes.  
  • Bus: Running every 20 minutes, to/from Port Authority, the bus will take anywhere from 35 – 50 minutes.
  • Car: The commute into Midtown Manhattan via car can take as little as 15 minutes. 

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Downtown Jersey City 

At first glance, Downtown Jersey City is a clean, modern, urban center with luxury amenities and towering buildings. Upon closer inspection, a quaint, historic city filled with charm and diverse architecture reveals itself. Immerse yourself with beautiful pre-war brownstones, tree-lined streets, art galleries, museums, and the greenery of Van Vorst Park and Hamilton Park. The neighborhood also houses several historic districts, including Paulus Hook, located on the Hudson River waterfront which offers locals an assortment of eateries, cafes, galleries, and shops. The neighborhood’s prime waterfront location, situated directly across the river from New York’s Financial District and Battery Park City, makes for an accessible, quick commute via ferry or train.   

  • Median Sales Price: $850,000
  • Median Rental Price: $2,950 

Downtown Jersey City Commute to NYC: 

  • PATH Train: For $2.75 Jersey City residents can take the PATH train at Grove Street or Exchange Place. 
  • Ferry: For a one-way fare of $9, the ferry runs on average every 20 minutes. From Paulus Hook, the ferry will take you to various locations on Manhattan’s Westside including Midtown/ West 39th Street, Battery Park City, and Pier 11 Wall Street. Check out their schedule here
  • Car: Downtown Jersey City is minutes away from the Holland Tunnel. With a car, the commute into Manhattan can take as little as 10 minutes. 

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Taking the crown as the most populated city in New Jersey and also one of the oldest, Newark is a large, buzzing town that houses a delightful mix of urban and suburban neighborhoods. Full of diversity, scenic landscapes, and incredible amenities, the city is bordered by the Passaic River to the east, urban neighborhoods to the south, residential suburbs to the west, and an industrial area – home to the headquarters of several leading companies – to the north. Located at the mouth of the Passaic River, Newark’s waterfront location has transformed the city into a bustling transportation hub. The Newark-Elizabeth Port and Newark Liberty International Airport are some of the busiest in the U.S., and the plentiful roads, highways, and interstates make it easy to travel to and from the city. 

  • Newark Median Sales Price: $450,000
  • Newark Median Rental Price: $2,000 

Newark Commute to NYC: 

  • Train or PATH: Take the NJ transit train to/from Penn Station. The trip takes a minimum of 20 minutes. Newark also provides PATH train service to Manhattan, Jersey City, and Hoboken. 
  • Car: Driving to and from Newark from Midtown Manhattan will take 30 minutes without traffic. 

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Secaucus is a large commuter town located to the west of The Heights, Weehawken, and West New York. Bordered to the south by an Indigenous rock cliff called Snake Hill and to the north by intricate marshland and the Hackensack River, Secaucus boasts a diverse mix of nature and city, urban and suburban. The town is also well known for its welcoming vibe, plentiful green space, community-based recreational activities, and outlet shopping. 

  • Secaucus Median Sales Price: $500,000
  • Secaucus Median Rental Price: $2,600 

Secaucus Commute to NYC: 

  • PATH train: Secaucus Junction is located in the center of town. Riding the PATH to Penn Station train can take on average 30 minutes.  Fares cost $2.75. 
  • Train: The NJ transit train to/from Penn Station to Secaucus Junction takes just 10 minutes. 
  • Car: Secaucus offers seamless access to both the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels via car depending on what part of town you reside in. Commuting into Midtown Manhattan will take on average 30 minutes, depending on traffic.  

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Union City 

Nestled directly to the west of Weehawken, running parallel to New York’s Upper West Side, Union City is a large hilltop suburb shaped by its rich history of immigration. In the early 1900s, Union City earned its nickname “the embroidery capital of the world” (a nickname it still holds to this day) due to the numerous factories and warehouses producing European-style lace. Union City is densely populated, equipped mostly with multi-family homes plus a mix of newer and older apartment buildings, the odd one with a winning view of the Hudson. Along its pedestrian-friendly streets is a wonderful mix of bars, shops, restaurants, and parks. 

  • Union City Median Sales Price: $499,900
  • Union City Median Rental Price: $2,500

Union City Commute to NYC: 

  • Bus: Bus service can take you to/from Port Authority in just 15 mins. 
  • Car:  Proximity to the Lincoln Tunnel makes for a quick car commute to and from Union City. The average trip will take 20 minutes, depending on traffic.  

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North Bergen 

Hugging the west side of Union City lies North Bergen, a hilly township with a diverse topography inclusive of steep rock cliffs, wetlands, and waterfront plateaus. This unique landscape (North Bergen is second in hills only to San Francisco!) makes for spectacular nature trails and views, encouraging residents to get out into nature. The main commercial district – the longest commercial avenue in the state – runs along Bergenline Avenue, offering a plethora of shops, eateries, cafes, and bars. Aside from offering a range of delectable cuisine and brand name shops, it also serves as a route for local parades, including the annual Memorial Day Parade and Cuban Day Parade. The town is friendly and community-oriented and delightfully captures the essence of small-town charm meets big city. 

  • North Bergen Median Sales Price: $650,000
  • North Bergen Median Rental Price: $2,500

North Bergen Commute to NYC: 

  • Bus: Buses to and from Port Authority will take on average 30 minutes. 
  • Car:  Proximity to the Lincoln Tunnel makes driving easy with the average trip to Midtown Manhattan taking 25 minutes, depending on traffic.  

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If you are ready to take the next step in your New Jersey real estate journey, get in touch by emailing hello@theagencyre.com. Let’s get you home.

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