Montclair, NJ

What We Love About Montclair

  • Suburban lifestyle with the amenities and cosmopolitan ambience of a city
  • Top-notch restaurants and cultural attractions
  • Home to Montclair State University
  • Picturesque, green, historic neighborhoods
  • Large parks and access to hiking areas
  • Six NJ Transit train stations providing easy access to NYC

Montclair is located in Essex County, New Jersey.

Montclair is part of The Gateway Region of NJ and is only a short car ride from New York City at just 40 minutes.

The Gateway Region is home to major stadiums for soccer, football and hockey. Some of the most expensive and luxurious real estate in New Jersey can be found here along the Hudson River having incredible views of New York City and the Statue of Liberty. The Gateway Region also houses major transportation routes via water, air, road and rail, as well as being home to several major industries that play a vital role in the state's economy. Transportation hubs include Port Newark–Elizabeth Marine Terminal, Newark International Airport, The New Jersey Turnpike, Route I-80 (which runs all the way to San Francisco) and also major local, regional and national freight and passenger train lines. Many jobs are available here in healthcare, hospitality, transportation, warehousing, government, finance, insurance, wholesale trade, retail, technology and science, petrochemical and other manufacturing. These and other industries keep the economy strong in The Gateway Region. Being the closest NJ region to New York City means The Gateway Region includes a lot of the more densely populated towns, such as Jersey City, Patterson, Hoboken and Newark and, of course, the shortest commute times.

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Quick Facts

Montclair is located in Essex County, New Jersey – Gateway Region

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Quick facts about Montclair:

COMMUTE TIME (Hour:Minutes) ⓘ

These times are based on info from New Jersey Transit and Google Maps. Shortest times are given. Use our map above to calculate more accurate commute times to any address.


Car ride to NYC.


Train service to NYC.


Bus service to NYC.


People per square mile gives you an idea of how much breathing room a town has. NYC has around 27,000 while a well equipped walkable town might have around 5,000. Smaller towns with more single family homes and large yards usually have under 1,000. Click on more info below to see where we get our data. 


Population estimate, July 1, 2019


Square miles


People per square mile


Median cost to rent or own is basically the average cost of renting or owning per month in any given town. It’s not exact. Median values include the most expensive dwellings and the cheapest dwellings all averaged together, but with some weight added to higher concentrations in the data set. Just gives you some basic basis of comparison between towns. Click on more info below to see where we get our data.


Median gross rent, 2014-2018


Median selected monthly owner costs – with a mortgage, 2014-2018


Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2014-2018


Approximate tax on $100K of home value. Ex: If you pay $500K for a house, multiply the number in the left column by 5 to get an idea of what you will have to pay each year in property taxes.


Property taxes per $100,000 in home value.


Gives you the ability to quickly see how much of a town has graduated from high school or higher ed. Click on more info below to see where we get our data.


High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2014-2018


Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2014-2018


Gives you an idea of how much people make in this town compared to other towns you look at. Click on more info below to see where we get our data.


Median household income (in 2018 dollars), 2014-2018


Gives you an idea of how old your neighbors might be. Click on more info below to see where we get our data.


Persons under 18 years


Persons 65 years and over



School Scores – click on schools please

Walking and Biking Score – any score over 50 is good​

The Full Story of Montclair, NJ

What is it like living in Montclair, NJ?

Montclair has long been at the top of the list of NYC suburbs for those seeking an active, cosmopolitan, diverse community. It has several thriving, very walkable commercial areas, including a main shopping district with the variety and bustle of a small city. At the same time, its very varied housing stock consists primarily of single-family homes on tree-lined streets, with ample parks and natural areas nearby. Montclair is also a regional center for the arts, with a major art museum and several important music venues.

That’s Montclair in a nutshell!

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With no shopping malls or major highway strips, Montclair’s ample shopping (and strolling) opportunities center around several very different shopping areas, all containing distinctive local businesses with a sprinkling of national chains. Busy Bloomfield Avenue is the main street of Montclair Town Center, the biggest commercial district. Directly adjacent Church Street, with its limited traffic and wide sidewalks, has distinctive restaurants and shops. This central district is home to the Montclair Book Center (one of the largest used bookstores in the region), a multiplex movie theater, several art galleries, and one of NJ’s largest concentrations of fine restaurants (covering every price range).

About two miles north on Valley Road around Bellevue Avenue is the Upper Montclair Village shopping area, catering to the most affluent neighborhoods. While this charming, walkable district has chain stores such as Williams Sonoma and The Gap, it consists primarily of local businesses. And halfway between these two districts is the smaller but very picturesque Watchung Plaza, anchored by a small village green and featuring outdoor cafes and a bookstore.

Montclair is also notable for a major NJ State University campus (Montclair State). This large campus sits on the town’s northern boundary, on a high plateau with impressive views.



Montclair has an excellent school district, with a magnet system, developed to promote diversity: each school has a specialty, and families can apply to schools of most interest.

The elementary schools are Watchung (425 students, K-5), Bradford (436 students, K-5), Hillside (577 students, grades 3-5), Bullock ( 448 students, K-5), Edgemont (280 students, K-5), Northeast (412 students, K-5), and Nishuane (417 students, K-2). Middle schools (grades 6-8) are Buzz Aldrin (667 students), Renaissance (257 students), and Glenfield (675 students).  Montclair High School has  2,081 students. The town is also home to Montclair Kimberley Academy, a well-regarded pre-K to 12th grade private school. 


Parks and Recreation

Montclair contains about 175 acres of parks and recreation facilities, ranging from large recreation areas for active sports to green spaces for hiking and nature appreciation. Two large municipal parks containing swimming pools are Mountainside Park (33 acres) and Nishuane Park (18 acres). In Upper Montclair, Mountainside also has tennis courts, ballfields, and the well-known Presby Memorial Iris Garden. At the south end of town, Nishuane also has tennis courts and ballfields. The 121-acre Brookdale Park, run by Essex County and divided between Montclair and Bloomfield, also has many ballfields and tennis courts as well as running and walking paths, lawns and gardens.

The ridge running along the west side of Montclair also offers some large undeveloped County parks for hiking and experiencing nature. At the southern end of the ridge, primarily lying within West Orange, is the 408-acre Eagle Rock Reservation. To the north sits the 157-acre Mills Reservation, mostly within adjacent Cedar Grove.


Dining and Nightlife

Montclair is often described as one of the restaurant capitals of NJ. Dining options, mostly clustered in Montclair Center, range from cutting-edge gourmet to very modest cheap eateries.  Two high-end restaurants, both among NJ Monthly’s statewide top 30, are Fascino (Italian) and Turtle and the Wolf (Contemporary American). Highly regarded ethnic options include Laboratorio Kitchen, Ani Ramen, Tacoria, Samba Montclair, Mesob Ethiopian, and Mishmish Cafe (Middle Eastern). The Corner is a popular spot for breakfast and brunch.  Applegate Farm, a local institution, is a 100-year-old ice cream stand in Upper Montclair that was once part of a large farm.  

Just Jake’s is a sports bar and restaurant, popular with a young crowd, that features live music.  Tierney’s Tavern is a classic Irish pub with an upper level for live music and comedy, serving popular burgers and other pub food.


Arts and Culture

Montclair is a mecca for the arts, attracting  people from many adjacent towns. On Bloomfield Avenue next to downtown, the Montclair Art Museum—with an impressive permanent collection and important travelling shows—is one of the best-respected art museums in NJ.   Another major arts institution is the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University.  This 500-seat theater is one of NJ’s major venues for innovative dance, music, and theater.

The Wellmont Theater downtown is a 2000-seat concert venue in a 100-year-old converted movie theater. Run by Live Nation (America’s largest concert producer), the theater hosts major rock bands. The nonprofit-run Outpost In the Burbs, operating out of a downtown church, offers one of the metropolitan area’s best assortments of Americana and contemporary folk concerts.

Billed as the NYC area’s largest jazz festival, The Montclair Jazz Festival each summer is a free concert at Nishuane Park, featuring world-renowned jazz artists. This festival is sponsored by Jazz House Kids, a nonprofit music school run by esteemed bassist (and Montclair resident) Christian McBride and his wife, singer Melissa Walker. Another local celebrity, Stephen Colbert, frequently hosts events for nonprofit Montclair Film group (whose board is chaired by his wife Evelyn McGee-Colbert). In addition to presenting a year-round film program, highlighted by the Montclair Film Festival, the group offers many classes. Another nonprofit, Studio Montclair, offers many visual arts classes as well as opportunities for local artists to show their work in local galleries.


Housing Stock

Montclair is dominated by single-family homes, ranging from mansions to very modest dwellings, but there are also dozens of apartment buildings, mainly in and around Town Center.

Recently the Town Center area has seen the development of several large apartment complexes.  The ten-year-old Montclair Residences at Bay Street Station has 163 rental units with a variety of amenities. In the heart of downtown, the Siena has 101 condo apartments. One of Montclair’s most ambitious developments is Valley and Bloom, opened in 2016. Its two six-story buildings combine retail, office space, and 258 rental units. Other relatively new rental buildings include The Vestry and Bellclair at Montclair. Smaller apartment buildings have been part of the Montclair landscape for many decades. Many of these are three- and four-story brick buildings, at least 70 years old, on residential streets adjacent to Bloomfield Avenue. They include Montclair Arms, St. Lukes Place Apts, and 14 and 16 Forest Street.  Montclair also has a number of garden apartment complexes, such as Commonwealth Gardens and Upper Montclair Gardens.


The Commute

NJ Transit’s Morris-Boonton train line runs for over four miles—roughly south to north—through Montclair, with six stations providing many residents with an option to walk or bike to the train. From south to north, these stations are Bay Street, Walnut Street, Watchung Plaza, Upper Montclair, Mountain Avenue, and Montclair Heights.

Train service on weekdays direct to Penn Station NYC is available from all of these stations, roughly on an hourly basis, with more trains during rush hour. Travel times vary from as little as 36 minutes from Bay Street ($7.25 one-way, monthly pass $201)  to as little as 50 minutes from Montclair Heights ($7.75 one-way, monthly pass $227). On weekends, trains only run from Bay Street to NYC, on a limited schedule (about every two hours). Weekend public transit to NYC is primarily by bus. One way fares vary from $7.25 for Bay Street  to $7.75 for Montclair Heights.  

Bus Service is available from Bloomfield Avenue in central Montclair to NYC Port Authority. Trip time is a bit over an hour and requires a transfer in Wayne. Driving time from Montclair to midtown Manhattan takes at least 45 minutes, depending on traffic.


Montclair has a wide variety of neighborhoods, from old working class areas to very affluent sections. Adjacent to Montclair Center are several historic neighborhoods, including the Pine Street Historic District (north of Bloomfield Avenue), an intact working-class neighborhood of vernacular-style frame residences built in the 1880s, as well as small early-20th-century masonry apartment buildings. Just south of Bloomfield Avenue is the Estates Section, with large historic homes, many of them Victorian in style.  

Along the ridge in the northeast section of Montclair (roughly spanning the Upper Montclair and Montclair Heights neighborhoods) is one of north NJ’s most impressive collections of large, historic mansions set on very large lots. Descending the ridge in these neighborhoods you’ll find medium to large, picturesque, mostly pre-WW II houses on tree-lined streets. Some of these houses face Anderson or Edgemont Parks, which function as large green commons. More modest, closely spaced single-family houses can be found in several sections, including the southern part of Montclair near Nishuane Park, sometimes referred to as South End Village.