The Best Places to Live in NJ Close to NYC: Gold Coast Cities & Neighborhoods Reviewed

The PropertyClub Team
May 6th 2020
Our guide to the New Jersey Gold Coast will give you the rundown on the best places to live on the NJ Hudson River waterfront. Residents enjoy being close to NYC, a short commute, and attractive real estate prices.

What is the NJ Gold Coast?

The Gold Coast consists of the New Jersey cities that sit alongside the Hudson River, across from Manhattan. These towns are an attractive place to live due to their proximity to NYC and their more affordable prices. Best of all, it’s often said that Gold Coast residents enjoy the best views in the world, as they enjoy incredible vistas of the Manhattan skyline. Traditionally, the most popular Gold Coast NJ cities were Hoboken, Jersey City, Weehawken, Edgewater, and Fort Lee. Still, growing demand from renters and buyers has spurred new development in Union City, North Bergen, West New York, Fairview, Cliffside Park, and Bayonne. 

Overall, while living in the Big Apple is the ultimate dream for many, NYC is notoriously expensive, and finding a place on the NJ Gold Coast can be a great alternative. If you work in New York City and want to live nearby, be sure to check out these great Gold Coast cities and neighborhoods.  

The Best New Jersey Gold Coast Cities & Neighborhoods to Live In

Paulus Hook, Jersey City

Located near the Hudson River Waterfront in Downtown Jersey City, Paulus Hook is a small, historic neighborhood that will charm you with its 19th-century brownstones, picturesque streets, and family-friendly vibe. Paulus Hook is also one of the best places in NJ for those who want to be close to NYC. Residents can quickly get to the city by ferry or via the path train, which stops at the Grove Street and Exchange Place stations, which are both minutes from Paulus Hook. The commute time to the World Trade Center is less than 10 minutes while getting to 33rd Street/Herald Square is about 25-30 minutes. Another perk of living here is that you’ll enjoy incredible views of NYC from the Jersey City Esplanade, Morris Canal Park, and Liberty State Park, which are all nearby. Perhaps the only drawback of living in Paulus Hook is that it’s one of the most expensive neighborhoods on the NJ Gold Coast. 

Hoboken

Hoboken, NJ, is another place to live in for those who want to be close to NYC. It’s long had a reputation as the most fun city on the Gold Coast, resulting in high prices and a college-town vibe as the city attracts many young professions. Overall, there’s more to do in Hoboken than Downtown Jersey City & Paulus Hook, so if you’re looking for a lively place to live, Hoboken is a great choice. You’ll have access to more nightlife, restaurants, and bars, but that does come at a cost. Hoboken is louder and rowdier than Downtown JC and Paulus Hook, and if you’re looking for a luxury apartment that’s close to the path, you should expect to pay more in Hoboken. In terms of commute, Downtown Hoboken is very close to NYC, offering path train and ferry service from Hoboken Station. The commute time to Lower Manhattan is less than 10 minutes and about 20-25 minutes to Herald Square. If you live in Uptown Hoboken, however, your best bet will be the bus to Port Authority, which also originates at Hoboken Station and stops throughout the city on its way to NYC. All-in-all you’re looking at under a 30-minute commute.  

Bayonne

The southern-most city on NJ’s Gold Coast is Bayonne. It’s also one of the newest cities in the area to experience an influx of new residents, as it offers less in the way of public transportation. That’s changed in recent years as the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail was expanded to Bayonne in 2011. A new ferry service from Bayonne to Manhattan is also expected to open in the fall of 2020. This means that commuting from Bayonne to Downtown Manhattan takes about 30-40 minutes or about 50 minutes to Midtown. 

What makes Bayonne a great place to live in is the attractive real estate prices, which are some of the lowest you’ll find anywhere on the New Jersey Gold Coast, its family-friendly atmosphere, and the many wonderful parks in the city. Best of all, Bayonne is a very safe area and has also been experiencing a development boom. Numerous residential buildings are under construction, and many new businesses have opened their doors in the city, including Costco. 

More Great Places to Live in NJ that are Close to NYC

Weehawken Waterfront and Port Imperial

Weehawken is located just north of Hoboken, and is another great Gold Coast City, especially if you’re in the market for luxury living and stunning views of NYC. The areas around Port Imperial Boulevard and Lincoln Harbor have experienced a ton of residential development in recent years, so you’ll find plenty of luxury apartments available. A Whole Foods Market also recently opened in Weehawken. Compared to Hoboken and Downtown Jersey City, there’s less to do in Weehawken, but prices are generally a bit lower. Additionally, the commute to Midtown/Port Authority is faster, though, albeit via bus, while if you work in Downtown Manhattan you’ll find that you’ll have a much longer commute. 

Fort Lee

If you’re interested in a more suburban place to live that’s close to NYC, Fort Lee, NJ, is likely your best option. Fort Lee is certainly the most family-friendly place to live on the Gold Coast and is known for being a very safe area with good schools. That being said, the commute from Fort Lee to New York City will be longer and more expensive. The typical commute by bus from Fort Lee to Port Authority takes between 45-60 minutes. 

Other Jersey City Neighborhoods

Jersey City is simply massive, with numerous Downtown JC neighborhoods worth mentioning besides Paulus Hook, in addition to other up-and-coming neighborhoods. Here’s a quick rundown:

Newport- Newport offers lots of luxury apartments on the Hudson River waterfront, but tends to be a less exciting commuter neighborhood with little in the way of nightlife. 

Hamilton Park & The Village- These parts of Jersey City used to offer some of the best deals in Downtown Jersey City, but as demand has risen, prices have jumped and started to catch up to those in Paulus Hook, Newport, and more prime areas closer to Grove Street and Exchange Place. 

The Heights- JC Heights is an up-and-coming area that offers far more affordable housing than Downtown JC in a safe, residential area. The main drawbacks are that the commute to NYC is longer, and prices have risen quite dramatically in recent years.