Senior couple enjoying nature view on a bench

Why Basking Ridge Is The Best Place to Retire In New Jersey

If you consult lists like U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 Best Places to Retire in the U.S., you’ll notice those perennially sunshiney states – not New Jersey – tend to top the list.

But New Jersey towns like Basking Ridge in Bernards Township are quietly gaining attention on other lists, such as Niche’s 2018 “Best Places to Live,” getting the nod for No.1 place to live in Somerset County and the 14th best in New Jersey. An unincorporated part of Bernard Township, Basking Ridge earned high grades for its low crime and solid safety record, superb public schools, ample nightlife, and family-friendly environment.

Come to think of it, high safety and low crime, a family-friendly atmosphere, and great nightlife are big draws for people looking for places to retire too. 

Add to that list of considerations Basking Ridge’s small-town charm, impressive selection of senior living communities boasting their own welcoming setting, and proximity to both the Jersey Shore  and New York City. Once you look at all the factors, you might wonder why U.S. New & World Report hasn’t added Basking Ridge as the best place to retire in New Jersey, let alone the entire U.S.

Why retire in a small town like Basking Ridge, New Jersey?

If you want the best place to retire in New Jersey, look no  further than Basking Ridge.

Location: Basking Ridge has  retained its small-town charm and character, even though it’s less than an hour’s drive from New York City. It’s also close to the Watchung Mountains, known for their numerous vistas of the New York and New Jersey skylines, as well as their hiking trails through the wooded hills.

Transportation: Basking Ridge is conveniently located close to routes 287 and 78. New Jersey Transit’s Gladstone Branch runs through Basking Ridge, with two stations residents can use to get to New York City and Hoboken Terminal. Lakeland Bus Lines provides service to and from Manhattan during peak commuting hours.

Small-town charm: About 26,000 people live in Basking Ridge, which is small enough to know your neighbors but large enough to attract major employers like Verizon Wireless, Lyons VA Medical Center, and Avaya. Basking Ridge’s town center is full of shops and offices housed in 18th- and 19th-century buildings. Neighborhoods surrounding the center are home to Basking Ridge’s more historic homes. The town also offers many outdoor amenities you won’t easily find in a big city, from public gardens to wildlife sanctuaries.

History: Basking Ridge, settled during colonial times, got its name in the early 1700s allegedly because woodland animals climbed a ridge to bask in the sun. There are numerous Revolutionary War sites in and around town. During the war, General George Washington used the protection of the Watchung Mountains to erect encampments; Morristown National Historical Park commemorates the sites. Also, an estimated 35 soldiers from the war are buried in the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church cemetery, itself on the National Register of Historic Places.

Green spaces galore: For encompassing only 13 square miles, there are several parks within the city limits. Four are county parks: Lord Stirling Park, Rebel Hill, Southard, and Harry Dunham. The fifth is Pleasant Valley Park, which contains the town pool and miles of woodchip trails. There’s also the 276-acre Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, part of which is in Basking Ridge, and the Cross Estate Gardens, a beautiful example of an English country garden on the grounds of an early 20th century estate.

Better quality of life: Smaller towns like Basking Ridge offer lots of benefits to retirees, such as friendlier neighbors, lighter traffic congestion, better walkability, even improved air quality due to reduced pollution. One European study even suggested a link between cardiovascular problems and road traffic noise and air pollution (both common in big cities). Simply put, small towns are often less stressful than sprawling cities. 

The bottom line on Basking Ridge

If you’ve started your search for the best place to retire in New Jersey, your needs and wants list probably includes more than our partial list of reasons above. 

Think of what you want as part of an active and engaged retirement, ask yourself the hard questions, and do all your homework:

  • Where would you meet other older adults like yourself for fellowship and social opportunities? 
  • What if you wanted more time to do what you want to do, and let go of the cooking, cleaning and home maintenance? 
  • Does the city you’re looking at have a quality senior living community where you could see yourself living?
  •  If so, is it a Life Plan Community that offers you independent living, along with a continuum of care if you ever need it?

Discover Fellowship Senior Living in Basking Ridge

Now that you know more about Basking Ridge, this might be the best time to learn more about our Life Plan Community. Fellowship Senior Living feels like a quintessential small-town retirement community, with a close-knit community of neighbors, a variety of services and amenities, five-star dining, and a wellness program that’s both multidimensional and proactive. 

Contact us to learn more, and discover the advantages to choosing a Life Plan Community like ours.