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Clifton, New Jersey

Clifton, New Jersey, is a bustling city in Passaic County and a key suburb of New York City. It is known for its strategic location crisscrossed by major highways. As of the 2020 census, it’s the state’s 13th-most-populous city, with a population near 89,000. This city, incorporated in 1917 from Acquackanonk Township, spans five ZIP codes, 07011 to 07015, and has been recognized as one of the best places to live in the U.S.

The city’s appeal lies in its suburban tranquility and urban convenience, making it attractive for families and professionals. Clifton’s growth and status as a commercial hub for North Jersey contribute to its vibrant community and diverse amenities.

Clifton offers a unique blend of living experiences, from its commercial centers attracting businesses and shoppers to quiet neighborhoods ideal for peaceful living. Its proximity to New York City, combined with local charm, makes Clifton desirable for those seeking a balance between city and suburban life.

Things To Do in Clifton, NJ

From bustling shopping centers and museums to peaceful parks, there’s a slice of Clifton for shoppers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Dive into the top indoor and outdoor attractions that position Clifton as a must-visit locale.

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Features numerous stores & a 16 screen movie theater, restaurants & a bank. 

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Art Museum with sculpture gardens

Restaurants: Top Rated Best Places to Eat

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Features a wide menu of Thai staples & lunch specials.

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Serves Cuban Salata, Red Lentil Soup, Cold Appetizers and Traditional Turkish dishes.

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Serves traditional dishes, shakes & cocktails in a tropical-themed setting.

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Italian food served in a modern, minimalist setting with a full bar and a lengthy wine list

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Family-friendly Mexican restaurant serving tequilas and margaritas..

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Classic & creative Greek fare with a casual Mediterranean vibe. 

Clifton Neighborhoods: Best Places to Live

Montclair Heights

Montclair Heights is known for its affluent residential areas and proximity to Montclair State University. This picturesque locale boasts a mix of spacious McMansions and Tudors nestled amidst green spaces, offering a serene living environment with the convenience of nearby urban amenities. Its elevated position affords residents stunning views of the surrounding areas, making it a coveted spot for families seeking a peaceful environment and professionals seeking a convenient location.

Albion Place

Albion Place is a cozy and welcoming neighborhood that offers a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Albion Place is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and has tree-lined streets with charming bungalows and lush greenery. Its proximity to 

Athenia 

Athenia offers a vibrant mix of residential charm and convenient access to local amenities. Steeped in history, Athenia was once known as Centreville and Cloverack before its official naming in 1883. Today, it presents an appealing blend of suburban living with urban advantages.

Allwood

Allwood is a dynamic neighborhood known for its walkable streets and vibrant atmosphere. Residents enjoy a blend of residential areas and convenient access to the Allwood Road shopping district, featuring a mix of local shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Delawanna

Delawanna, a neighborhood in Clifton, NJ, is strategically located for convenience. Residents enjoy exceptional access to transportation, including a train station for easy commutes to New York City. This area offers diverse housing options, primarily single-family homes and small apartment buildings, catering to various preferences and lifestyles. Delawanna is most famous for Rutt’s Hut, a legendary hot dog institution that draws visitors across the region.

History of Clifton

Clifton, New Jersey, celebrated its centennial in April 2017, marking a rich history dating back to 1679 when the Lenape Native Americans first traded land along the Passaic River to Hans Fredrick. The city’s name, Clifton, was inspired by the striking cliffs of Garret Mountain, a natural landmark that still defines the western skyline of today’s town. Originally an agricultural heartland, Clifton played a pivotal role in America’s early animal importation, housing the U.S. Animal Quarantine Station from 1903 until its relocation to Stewart International Airport in the late 1970s. This facility was crucial for ensuring that animals entering the U.S. were disease-free, a testament to Clifton’s importance in national agricultural history.

Transitioning from its agricultural roots, Clifton has evolved into a suburban community that connects to its past by preserving three small working farms amidst its modern landscape. Ploch’s Farm, a family-owned operation since 1867, continues to sell seasonal fruits and vegetables, embodying the spirit of Clifton’s agricultural heritage. The City Green Farm Eco Center, an initiative that started in 2011, focuses on urban farming and education and has been operating on land preserved since 2005. Richfield Farms, another family-run entity since 1917, has withstood redevelopment pressures, offering a glimpse into Clifton’s farming legacy while serving the community with fresh, organic produce.

Today, these farms provide Clifton residents with fresh, local produce (fruits, vegetables, flowers, etc.) and serve as living reminders of the city’s rich history and its seamless blend of past and present. Clifton’s story is one of transformation, from its early days as a hub for new arrivals to its current status as a suburban enclave with deep agricultural root

Transit: Clifton's Transportation Network

Clifton’s road network is maintained by a combination of local, county, and state agencies. Major highways include Route 3, Route 21, Route 19, U.S. Route 46, and the Garden State Parkway, offering easy access to neighboring towns and New York City.

N.J. Transit trains stop at the Clifton and Delawanna stations for public transportation, connecting residents to destinations like Suffern, Hoboken Terminal, and Newark. N.J.

Transit buses also serve Clifton, with routes like the 190, 191, 192, and 195 providing express service to New York City. Local routes connect residents to various points within Clifton and neighboring areas. While DeCamp Bus Lines previously offered commuter service to Manhattan, those routes were discontinued in April 2023.

City Geography

Clifton, nestled in the heart of New Jersey, covers a cozy 11.43 square miles, with a small portion (about 1.37%) being water. The Passaic River graces Clifton’s northeastern edge, adding a touch of natural beauty and a clear boundary. Weasel Brook, a tributary, also contributes to the city’s scenic charm.

The city is a patchwork of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own character. Albion Place, near Garret Mountain Reservation, offers residential tranquility with charming bungalows. Bustling Allwood, along State Route 3, features restaurants and shops, exemplifying Clifton’s blend of urban and suburban vibes. Clifton’s multicultural tapestry is evident in Botany Village, where European roots now intertwine with a vibrant Hispanic/Latino community. 

Lakeview’s Arabic and Hispanic/Latino residents enrich the city’s cultural landscape. Main Mall is the city’s downtown heart, while Montclair Heights boasts established neighborhoods close to Montclair State University.

Clifton’s strategic location is underscored by its accessibility. While a bit farther than a stone’s throw, Manhattan is approximately 20 miles west, making it a viable commuter option. Major highways like Route 3, Route 46, and the Garden State Parkway weave through and around the city, connecting it to neighboring towns and counties. This network of roads and two local train stations solidify Clifton’s role as a pivotal crossroads in New Jersey. It offers residents the tranquility of suburban life with the convenience of easy access to urban centers.

Explore the Charm of Clifton, NJ

As you delve into the vibrant life of Clifton, NJ, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a rich tapestry of experiences. From the serene beauty of its parks to the bustling streets filled with unique shops and eateries, Clifton offers a blend of urban energy and suburban tranquility. Experience the welcoming community spirit and explore the myriad activities that make this New Jersey suburb a must-visit destination.

Your adventure in Clifton is sure to be filled with memorable moments that will draw you back time and again. Start your journey to Clifton today, and let this dynamic city show you what New Jersey offers.