New Jersey: Often overshadowed by its neighboring state and partially gaining its reputation thanks to reality shows like Jersey Shore and Real Housewives of Jersey. It doesn’t get that much love but as someone who has recently called the Garden State her newest home, I can assure you that’s it’s nothing like what those shows depict (nor are all the people that gratuitous).
Located right in North Jersey is a town called Montclair, which is popular for families and young people alike. Because of its suburbia feel and college town vibes (Montclair State University is located right in the center of town), it is a good area for all ages. One of the town’s main attractions each year is the Montclair Film Festival that takes place at the start of the summer. Oh, and here’s a fun fact for you: Stephen Colbert is from and currently a resident of Montclair.
Restaurants/Bars to Check Out:
If there’s one thing New Jersey is known for, it’s that it has some good local diners and you can add Raymond’s to that list. With its selection of yummy brunch items, the restaurant’s speciality of delicious French toast for $10, which you must get if you come here. It’s worth every penny. Take my word for it. Your stomach will thank me.
Looking for some authentic and delicious Cuban cuisine? This is the place to go. It’s menu has everything from tapas to sandwiches and a large selection of Sangria drinks. If you’re a seafood fan like me, then try my pick: the Island Shrimp Congo. It’s not hard to miss this turquoise colored building while walking the streets of downtown Montclair.
Trend Coffee & Tea House
Right across from Cuban Pete’s is this hip tea and coffee shop that is popular with the college crowd and young people in town. With paintings from local artists hanging on the walls and live music, this place also has a variety of pasteries along with its coffee and tea selection.
Spots to Visit:
Montclair Book Center
Located on the intersection of Bloomfield Ave. and, this independent bookseller may look small on the outside but inside you’ll find a treasure of used and new books that encompasses two floors and sells for a good price. There is also a CD and vinyl records store right next to it called Steve’s, if you want to pop on over after grabbing yourself some good books.
Van Vleck House & Gardens
Popular during the spring and early summer when the flowers are in full bloom, this garden estates are a beautiful sight if you’re looking for a date spot or just a relaxing walk on a nice day.
Montclair is also an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city as well as a up and coming town with a lot of local businesses and restaurants so if you’re a commuter, newlywed couple or a young family, Montclair might be a place for you to visit and eventually call your home.