Chester Makes Cover of NJ Monthly Magazine .."Small Towns.. We Love"
Chart rank: 115 High school rank 2018: 7, Population: 1,665
Median home price: $580,000
WHY WE LIKE IT: The 1.6-square-mile borough has maintained its small-town charm while developing its appeal as a day-trip destination. The local business association’s shopping and dining guide has more than 70 listings. Visitors and locals stroll the red-brick sidewalks and shop for trendy clothes, home furnishings, crafts, collectibles and antiques. Most of the businesses are housed in restored historic buildings along Main Street (routes 24 and 513). The most impressive is the Publick House Tavern and Inn, a large, all-brick structure dating to 1810. Modest, older homes fill the side streets off Main Street. As you drive farther from downtown, the homes are newer and the lots bigger. Spring and fall craft fairs and numerous other festivals add to the sense of community.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS: Sally Lunn’s Tea Shoppe serves dainty sandwiches, British specialties, baked goods and pots of tea amid shelves of bric-a-brac in this Victorian-inspired space just off Main Street. Fans of sweet stuff find satisfaction at the old-fashioned Taylor’s Ice Cream Parlor and the Black River Candy Shoppe.
FUN FACT: Chester Borough is completely surrounded by the much larger, more rural Chester Township. The two split in 1930 in a dispute over funding for a sewer system for the more densely populated downtown.—KS