South Orange, a city sense with a village vibe. Quiet, tree-lined streets with charming gaslights wind through this historic community in the foothills of the Watchung Mountains just 15 miles west of New York City. All roads lead to the cosmopolitan Village Center, home to not only a vibrant assortment of unique shops and delectable restaurants, but also architecturally significant buildings including the Village Hall & Fire Department and the sleek, state-of-the-art South Orange Performing Arts Center (recently voted NJ's favorite small performing arts center). That’s not all. This town also provides easy access to South Mountain Reservation. For anyone who enjoys hiking, biking, or even a walk with your dog, this two thousand acre preserve provides an instant change from the city/suburb environment. South Orange is also home to the world-class Seton Hall University, a 155-year-old school with a 58-acre campus and approximately 10,000 students. With new restaurants and more than 300 brand new luxury apartments being built in the Village Center right now, South Orange continues to evolve as one of the most sought-after walkable downtowns in the region.
NY Times lists the town's residents’ most favorite attributes as the rich and varied architecture, the demographic diversity, and the easy commute into Manhattan. It is an incredibly active and diverse town. With many neighborhoods offering different tastes of uniques styles, such as authentic Tudor, colonial and Victorian homes, there is a niche here for everyone. Not only is this town a home to abounding history, but it also holds promise for future generations, thanks in part to its pedestrian-friendly downtown and vibrant network of parks and playgrounds. This community of around 17,000 residents includes many who have moved here from New York City, because its commuter services are superb. Two train stations make commuting to the city easy and convenient. However, there are several other transit options. NJ Transit operates two bus lines that run through South Orange. These include the 92 route which goes from South Orange train station to Branch Brook Park in Newark, and the 107 route which goes from South Orange Train Station to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. Residents also have close access to I-280, I-78, and the Garden State Parkway. However, for a fast trip into town center, the Jitney provides three routes all throughout South Orange.
The township offers a municipal swimming pool open to all residents. Because the pool in South Orange was built on land willed by a wealthy resident to the town for common use and which requires the pool to remain inexpensive, residents may purchase pool membership for a low annual fee of $35. The membership also provides full access to other community facilities and programs. South Mountain Reservation, covering 2,110 acres, is a nature reserve comprised of trails, a dog park and the attractions of the South Mountain Recreation Complex. It is located in central Essex County, New Jersey, within portions of Maplewood, Millburn and West Orange, and borders South Orange, between the first and second ridges of the Watchung Mountains. Higher points offer vistas of New York City and Jersey City skylines, Elizabeth, Union Township, and Staten Island.
Opening its doors in 2006, South Orange Performing Arts Center quickly became a regional destination for experiencing world-class music, theatre, dance, comedy, and visual art in a modern, yet intimate space. SOPAC’s stunning 3-story glass-enclosed atrium and expansive façade is the welcoming symbol that was envisioned by community leaders more than a decade ago. The 439-seat mainstage theatre and 2,170 square-foot urban-style loft are used year-round for performances, rehearsals, classes, and more. Singer-songwriters, Jazz and Blues artists, dancers, actors and other artists appreciate the boutique atmosphere that encourages conversations with audiences.
The Baird Center for the South Orange Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs is both a recreational hub as well as an arts destination for the whole family. This spacious 100 year old Tudor-esque building set in Meadowland Park houses the Administrative offices for the department, the Pierro Gallery of South Orange, The Theater on 3, the Main Room, the Side Room, the Loft Space, Arts Room, Baird Pre-School, Kinder-enrichment and Senior Services Unit offices. Outdoor facilities adjacent to The Baird Center include 8 lighted tennis courts, basketball court (lighted for night play) and 2 lighted platform tennis courts.Cameron Field which is directly across from The Baird features regulation baseball diamond (lighted for night play), community swimming pool, playground area, 7 lighted tennis courts and field sports area.
The township shares a common school system, the South Orange-Maplewood School District, with the adjacent town of Maplewood. The district has a single high school, Columbia High School, located in Maplewood (but nearly on the town border), two middle schools (grades 6–8) and six elementary schools serving grades K-5. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's nine schools had an enrollment of 6,515 students. Our Lady of Sorrows School is a K-8 parochial elementary school. Seton Hall University, founded in 1856 provides higher education to approximately 9,700 students. It contributes the college feel of South Orange, with its Division I university located along the east side of South Orange Avenue, the community's main boulevard.
To learn more about what South Orange has to offer, contact our team of community experts. We are committed to helping you find the right place to live to suit you and the quality of life you seek.