If you’ve ever been to the state of New Jersey, you probably know that North Jersey and South Jersey are basically two different states in one.
While North Jersey is closer to New York City and has an overall higher cost of living, South Jersey takes ownership of Philadelphia along with many of the beaches lining the coast.
Whether you’re new to the state or just need a new house, there are plenty of excellent towns and cities on the south side of NJ. So we went ahead and ranked the seven best places to live in South Jersey to give you a jump start on your search.
These areas have nice houses, tons of activities for families, and are never more than an hour away from the beach, so take a look and see if you can find your next home on this list.
- Haddon Heights offers affordable housing, with average costs coming to about $260,000.
- Marlton has an extremely low violent crime rate at just 9/100 with a wide range of home selections.
- In Moorestown, you can find a historic charm that sits just 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia.
- Cherry Hill has a very high-class vibe and offers one of the most popular malls in NJ, with 90 stores.
- Haddonfield is a charming and historical town with beautiful homes, plenty of walking, and gorgeous fall foliage.
1. Cherry Hill
Many realtors rank cherry Hill as the best township in New Jersey. It seems to have it all: low crime, high-quality schools, and affordable housing.
- Walkability: 43/100
- Crime Rate: 12.4/100
- School District: 9/10
There are tons of family activities, restaurants, stores, and more in Cherry Hill as far as things to do. However, one of the most prominent features of this township is the Cherry Hill Mall. This mall, which has been open for 60 years, features 90 stores, including a movie theater.
It’s a clean, bustling area with both high-end and discount options and tons of space.
Along with the mall, you can find the Garden State Discovery Museum, a fun brewery, and tons of ton-notch eating locations.
It even has some rather friendly hotels if you ever feel like going for a visit!
On a scale of 1 to 100, 100 being the highest rate, Cherry Hill comes in at about a 12 for violent crime, which is well below the US average. While the township does experience more property crime, it’s good to know that they remain on the low end for infractions like murder, rape, robbery, and assault.
Possibly the greatest point of pride in Cherry Hill is its school district. The district serves almost 11,000 students and is known for its highly competitive athletics. But, beyond sports, students can excel in AP classes and tons of clubs and activities.
The school district does an excellent job of keeping their buildings looking new, nice, and inviting with well-maintained grounds.
One of the downsides to the structure of Cherry Hill is its low walkability score. While it’s certainly a nice, appealing area with lots to do, most errands and activities require a car. You can bike in some parts, and there are plenty of parks and playgrounds, but car travel is ideal.
The majority of the township is made up of single-family detached homes averaging near $300,000 – though they do boast some nice apartment complexes. Overall, a middle-class family could be very happy with this well-known South Jersey staple.
Many would describe Collingswood as a hidden gem in the South Jersey area. While not quite as large as Cherry Hill, it does have an impressive population of close to 14,000.
- Walkability: 83/100
- Crime Rate: 12.7/100
- School District: 8/10
The borough of Collingswood is an active, close-knit community that emphasizes events, celebrations, and togetherness. Therefore, a trip through this area will likely include some sort of town events or activity bursting with people.
About 50,000 travel to Collingswood every year for their famous May Fair festival.
The Collingswood school district is undoubtedly one of the top in South Jersey. Their area includes six public schools and one private school, all of which spend about $17,000 per student – that’s well above the US average.
Along with a good education system comes lots of nature. Collingswood ranks high on the walkability charts, offering many parks, sports facilities, biking paths, and gardens. There are tons of local sports teams to enjoy and playgrounds for kids to use.
In addition to that, you can find a lot of shopping right in the same area. Much of these activities are within walking distance of each other and can combine for a fun family day.
The cost of living in Collingswood sits at about the US average – not too high that it’s only for the rich and not so low that the quality of living suffers. The median home cost is right around $250,000 for 2+ bedroom homes, making it ideal for families of the lower to the upper-middle-class range.
Shopping, good food, and affordable homes make Collingswood a good choice, but what makes it truly remarkable is its love of the arts. From the community center and the theater to music stores and craft festivals, this town is perfect for anyone who enjoys all things creative.
Moorestown has a bit of a reputation as an excellent place to live. In 2005, it was named the best place to live in the whole country – and that’s a title to live up to!
- Walkability: 46/100
- Crime Rate: 10.1/100
- School District: 9.5/10
This history town seems to have a little bit of everything, from great schools, plenty of space, and all the best suburban staples. The town itself sits just about 30 minutes from Philadelphia, making it ideal for the suburban family who craves a bit of city life now and then.
Families who seek out Moorestown do so for its excellent school district. Its schools have earned numerous awards from the US Department of Education and include both public and private institutions.
The schools offer a nice balance of education, sports, and the arts. Their sports teams consistently do well, while some of the theater programs have also earned several accolades.
However, one of the downsides to this beautiful place to live is its affordability. Its overall cost of living is well above the US average and even NJ’s average, but most notable is the cost of housing. The average home in Moorestown is priced at over $750,000.
Additionally, while Moorestown has plenty of activities like restaurants, parks, scenery, and small-town charm, any outing would require a car. So, walkability doesn’t rank too high on the list, either.
But, the town offers so much historic charm, especially when shopping down Main Street, that lets you get away from city noise and enjoy a quiet day. And if you don’t feel like being outdoors, you can always visit the popular Moorestown Mall.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly area, Cinnaminson is a good option. With an involved community and local government, you can expect a warm welcome in your new neighborhood.
- Walkability: 31/100
- Crime Rate: 10.3/100
- School District: 8/10
Cinnaminson offers opportunities to a diverse range of families. They have a good selection of both condos and townhomes along with single-family homes with prices ranging from $100,000 to over $500,000.
In fact, according to New Jersey Monthly, Cinnaminson is one of the best places you can live in New Jersey as a whole.
While the US average violent crime rate is 22.7, Cinnaminson sits at just 10.3, making it one of the safer places to live in South Jersey.
The other downside to Cinnaminson is that it’s not a very walkable area. The necessities are all typically out of walking distance, and the area just doesn’t have much in the way of exploring and hanging out.
However, Cinnaminson has a great school district with four public schools and three private schools. On average, they spend about $18,000 per student – a number that far exceeds the US average. Cinnaminson High School has also spent some time on NJ Monthly’s Top High School list.
Cinnaminson is known to be a family-friendly area. You’re likely to find a lot of family-owned businesses and neighbors who actually like each other. Their local government is very active and supports a happy, thriving community.
The township of Marlton is a staple of Burlington County, South Jersey. This city has a population of about 10,000 people and covers about 3 square miles.
- Walkability: 73/100
- Crime Rate: 9/100
- School District: 7.5/10
On a scale of 1 to 100, Marlton ranks at just a 9 for violent crime. That’s an incredibly low score, considering the township’s 10,000+ popular, making it a safe place to live. With a wide range of houses, families of various incomes can afford to live in this area. Houses range anywhere from under $100,000 and go up to around $800,000, so there’s something for everyone.
One of the highlights of Marlton is its farmer’s market. The market runs from May to October and offers fresh produce from local farmers. It’s a big hit for the locals!
Marlton is also an extremely walkable location. Its safety, coupled with its size, allows residents to even run errands on foot, and it is recognized as the 11th most walkable neighborhood in Camden County. Though there is plenty of public transportation, you might consider taking your bike on a nice day.
Despite its average size, Marlton is packed with 16 different schools: 10 public and six private. There are plenty of education options, and the schools spend more per student than the US average.
With parks, easy city access, and over 15 local sports activities for children and families, Marlton is an excellent family location with plenty to do and little to worry about.
Haddonfield is one of the oldest towns in South Jersey. Having been settled in the early 1700s, it’s bursting with history and old-time charm – with all the modern-day upgrades you need.
- Walkability: 72/100
- Crime Rate: 9.5/100
- School District: 8/10
Haddonfield is a beautiful, safe, and historic town that offers lots of family fun, shopping, and scenery. Not only are the streets full of gorgeous, historic houses, but it’s filled with impressive sycamore trees that add just the right touch.
Haddonfield is an excellent town for those who like to spend the day strolling down the streets, shopping, and eating. It has a great walkability score, mostly due to its main roads filled with all kinds of small shops – and just wait until you see it at Christmastime!
Though this town is great on its own, it’s only a 10-minute drive from the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philadelphia. The PATCO high-speed train has a stop right in the middle of town and can take you to Center City.
Along with shopping, residents enjoy plenty of outdoor spaces such as Pennypacker Park. Haddonfield is also known as the site of the very first nearly complete dinosaur discovery, the Hadrosaurus.
With 14 schools, both public and private, and a decent spending budget that surpasses the national average, you can count on Haddonfield for its quality education and great student-to-counselor ratios.
While crime is low, costs are decently high. The overall cost of living is just above the national average, and the median cost of a single-family home is around $550,000. Upper-middle-class families can make this town quite the home for a long time.
7. Haddon Heights
Haddon Heights is a small yet charming town in South Jersey with just around 7,500 – about half as many residents as Haddonfield.
- Walkability: 64/100
- Crime Rate: 8.3/100
- School District: 7.5/10
Though a smaller town, Haddon Heights has a lot to offer its residents. It’s known for its historical background, much like its neighboring town Haddonfield, but those who live there believe it has more personality and charm.
Haddon Heights includes five elementary schools and one high school – all of which are walkable for most of the students who attend. Much of the town has high walkability with plenty of shops, stores, and well-maintained parks.
While the White Horse Pike is convenient for car travel, Station Avenue serves as a central activity and walking attraction. There are tons to do on this popular main street for a day of fun.
One of the things we love most about Haddon Heights is its affordability. In South Jersey, it can be tough to find a nice area with low crime and great schools at an affordable cost.
But Haddon Heights’ overall cost of living is on par with the country’s average. Even their housing is affordable, with the median price hitting about $260,000. All other expenses, such as groceries, healthcare, and transportation, are either average or below average, which is excellent news.
Related: Pros and Cons of Living in Manhattan
Read on for some quick answers to frequently asked questions about living in South Jersey.
Where do the wealthy live in South Jersey?
If you’re wondering where the wealthy live, you’re probably also wondering: What is the most expensive place to live in South Jersey?
Some of the richest towns in South Jersey are on our list, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Moorestown, and Marlton. However, other wealthy areas include Linwood, Chesterfield, Harrison Township, and Point Pleasant.
Where is the best place to live in South Jersey with low taxes?
The cities with the lowest taxes in South Jersey are Camden, Audubon Park Borough, Woodbine Borough, and Dennis Township. All of these cities have taxes below $3,000.
What is the safest city in South Jersey?
One of the safest cities in South Jersey is Gloucester City. IT has a low citizen-to-office ratio and a low number of violent crimes compared to its population.
On our list, one of the safest areas is Haddon Heights.
What city has the best schools in South Jersey?
Many of the schools on our list rank within the best schools in South Jersey, including Haddonfield, Cherry Hill, Moorestown, Collingwood, and Haddon Heights.
What is the most affordable city to live in South Jersey?
According to NJ.com, Clayton is the most affordable city to live in South Jersey. Other affordable areas include Gloucester City and Audubon.
What are the bad areas of South Jersey?
Some of the worst areas in South Jersey are Lindenwold, Camden, Bridgeton, Vineland, and Long Branch due to poor economics, unemployment, and crime rates.
Finding a new home can be hard to do. Even when you’ve narrowed it down to the general area you like, such as South Jersey, it can be difficult to find the perfect township for your family.
If you liked what you have read today, we want to hear about it! Visit our comment section below and tell us what you think. Or, let us know if we missed any of the hidden gem towns located in South Jersey.
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