The Neighborhoods (click here to see the map)
Visitors to Montclair often comment on the charm of its neighborhoods and tree-lined streets. If you like to walk and hike, there are plenty of parks and hills, since the town is situated on the First Mountain of the Watchung Mountains. The first railroad was built in Montclair in 1856, and today commuters and visitors can choose from seven railway stations on the Montclair-Boonton Line, which goes between New York City / Hoboken and Hackettstown.
To explore Montclair by car, start at Valley Rd. a main thoroughfare, anchored by Montclair State University on the north end. A few blocks south of the university is the Upper Montclair Business District, a cozy cluster of Tudor-style shops, restaurants and a movie theater that fan out from the corner of Valley Rd. and Bellevue Ave.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Anderson Park, across from the train station, hosts a juried fine arts & crafts festival every September.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The world-renowned Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, at 474 Upper Mountain Ave., blooms in mid-May to early June. Free to the public.
Continue south on Valley Rd. to Watchung Ave. Turn left to enter Watchung Plaza Business District, and look for the gazebo on the green near the train station. Take your pick of numerous small boutiques and eateries, and have a leisurely browse at Watchung Booksellers, one of the best independent bookstores in the US.
Heading south on Valley Rd, youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll pass Edgemont Park, known for its pond, fountains, and World War I memorial, an obelisk sculpture of Winged Victory. Stop for homemade Italian specialties at the restaurants and delis in Frog Hollow.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The Tudor-style landmark is TierneyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Tavern operating since 1934.
Turn right on Van Vleck St. and enter the Van Vleck House and Gardens, 5.8 acres that provide an excellent example of the large homes built in Montclair in the late 1800s. A highlight is the mansionÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s magnificent wisteria that blooms around MotherÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Day.
Continue down Valley Rd., and turn left onto Walnut Street. Park near the Walnut St. Station, home to Montclair FarmerÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Market, every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.,Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â June to Nov.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The Walnut Street Business District packs a lot into a couple of blocks: a premiere jazz club, an elegant art gallery, a premier supper club, two artisan bakeries, an Irish pub, and other popular restaurants and shops. To walk off your meal, thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s seasonal ice skating and hockey at the Clary Anderson Arena.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
Return to Valley Road, turn left and proceed south to Bloomfield Ave. to Montclair Center Business District. Up the avenue to the west, take in the latest exhibition at the Montclair Art Museum, and then browse the menus of the nearby storefront restaurants. Further down Bloomfield Ave. to the east, explore independent retailers, restaurants and outdoor cafes on Church St, S. Fullerton and further down Bloomfield Ave.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Take in an art house film, a music concert, or indulge in global gastronomy at one of dozens of eateries.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
To reach the South End Business District, go east on Bloomfield Ave. and turn right at Elm Street. Follow Elm as it turns into Orange Road.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Among its neighborhood features is a traditional local hardware store, a thriving shopping district and three beautiful parks, Nishuane, Canterbury and Glenfield, the site of a parade and street fair sponsored by the African American Cultural Association in June.