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Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Newark

NewarkNew Jersey’s most populous city—was founded in 1666 by Puritan settlers. Newark transformed into an industrial powerhouse at the turn of the twentieth century, and today, the Brick City is an emerging tech market in the midst of an urban renaissance. The 26-square-mile city has a vast number of walkable neighborhoods lined with historic landmarks, art galleries, and restaurants. These are Newark’s three most walkable neighborhoods.

Downtown Newark

Ironbound Business Improvement DistrictDowntown Newark photo courtesy of Ken Lund

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As the city’s central business, retail, and cultural district, Downtown Newark offers the most for residents and visitors. Much of the neighborhood is within walking distance of Newark Penn Station, a major transportation hub that connects Newark to New York City.

The Prudential Center, the indoor arena built in 2007, is in the immediate area of the train station, and nearby, a small restaurant row caters to the afterwork crowd, concertgoers, and sports fans. The arena district meets up with Four Corners Historic District, a vital 85-acre redevelopment zone.

The intersection of Broad and Market Streets—once the busiest intersection in the United States and Newark’s traditional commercial center—is the location of Newark’s tallest buildings. Many of these high rises, such as Eleven 80, have architectural significance and have been recently converted into luxury rentals.

Military Park—an 8-acre triangular park—links Four Corners to Newark’s premiere arts venue, New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The park is a welcoming and lively public gathering spot, featuring free programming, a carousel, and an outdoor burger bar during the summer. Just blocks away, the Newark Museum and the Newark Public Library sit at the edge of Washington Park.

Halsey Street, which runs parallel to Broad Street and connects into Washington Park, is quickly becoming Downtown Newark’s next foodie hotspot. Since the restoration of Hahne & Co’s flagship, Halsey Street has welcomed international franchises and ventures from celebrity chefs.

The Ironbound District

Ironbound Business Improvement DistrictIronbound District in Newark photo courtesy of Paul Sableman

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The Ironbound District—named for the railroads that once surrounded the area—is just steps east of Downtown Newark. The 4-square-mile neighborhood is known for its vibrant Spanish and Portuguese-speaking community. It’s estimated that two out of three of the Ironbound’s 50,000 residents were born outside of the United States. Because of the tireless dedication of the immigrant community, the Ironbound didn’t experience the same economic hardship as Newark’s other neighborhoods. This is noticeable along Ferry Street, the Ironbound’s commercial epicenter, where it nearly impossible to spot a vacant storefront.

Visitors can easily spend a day meandering between popular restaurants, bars, stores, and art galleries. At any of the Ironbound’s nearly 200 restaurants, there are boundless opportunities to try authentic Portuguese, Spanish, and Brazilian cuisine.

The Ironbound also connects to Riverbank Park, which is currently being renovated and expanded. Once complete, Riverbank Park will stretch 30.5 acres along the Passaic River waterfront, from the Ironbound to Downtown Newark. The Ironbound is one of the hottest real estate markets in New Jersey, and its popularity is benefiting smaller neighborhoods such as South Ironbound and North Ironbound.

Forest Hill

Ironbound Business Improvement DistrictForest Hill house photo courtesy of Dinopup

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Located in Newark’s North Ward, Forest Hill is a suburban oasis within the Brick City. The neighborhood was first developed by the city’s industrial leaders between 1880 and 1925. Nearly 1,200 stunning pre-World War II mansions and estates define the picturesque historic neighborhood. The mansions are a feast of architecture styles, ranging from Georgian and Tudor to Neo-Classical and Beaux-Arts.

Forest Hill borders Branch Brook Park, the first county park in the United States and the largest public park in Newark. The 360-acre park features pathways, historic bridges, water features, and the beautiful Ballantine Gate. At the edge of the park sits Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, a gothic revival masterpiece that’s the fifth largest cathedral in the country. Forest Hill is just minutes from Downtown Newark via the Light Rail. Homebuyers can find one of its massive mansions for $300,000. Similarly sized homes in nearby, highly desirable suburbs like Montclair can reach more than $1 million.

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