Verona

“Small-town charm just outside the city”

Are you nostalgic for a simpler time? When kids played kickball in the street, neighbors hosted barbecues, and e veryone gathered around the dinner table? Well if you think these small-town charms only exist in Norman Rockwell paintings, think again. They’re waiting for you in Verona.

Ranked among NJ Family Magazine’s “Best Towns,” Verona is perfect for people who want easy access to the city but prefer a quieter place to call home. T his tight-knit community offers a variety of homes on leafy, meticulously maintained streets. You can choose from Victorians, Colonials, condos, or new construction; whatever fits your taste and budget.

But it’s not just the price point that makes Verona priceless. With 54-acres of lush, open space, picturesque Verona Park is the town’s biggest attraction. Its 13-acre lake is a serene spot for paddle boating and fishing and its surrounding path, dotted with weeping willows, attracts walkers, joggers, and bikers. There are also tennis and bocce courts, a hillside for sledding, and a brand new playground set to open in Spring 2018.

Beyond the park, more opportunities for family fun blossom and change with the seasons. The town swim club offers a place to beat the heat with its Olympic-sized pool and winding waterslides. Summertime also brings the Memorial Day Parade, “Movies Under the Stars,” and a lively outdoor concert series. In springtime, the Art Festival blooms in Verona Park and the Environmental Commission hosts its Green Fair. In the fall, cheer on the Verona Hillbilly football team under the “Friday night lights” and in December check out the Winter Fair in the Square.

Verona’s old-fashioned appeal continues down Bloomfield Avenue, the town’s homespun shopping district. Of course there’s the typical mom-and-pop hardware stores, barbershops, and bakeries but there’s also high-end retail at Nellie & Bean Mercantile and Vintage Alley, a designer thrift store that sells one-of-a kind treasures. Verona’s Bloomfield Ave restaurant scene is booming with fab eateries -PositiviTea for vegan fare, Frank Anthony’s for Jersey-Italian home cooking, and

Zaferon Grill for Mediterranean-Persian fusion. Not to mention Ariane Kitchen & Bar owned by Ariane Duarte, one of New Jersey’s highest-profile chefs who “Beat Bobby Flay” on the popular Food Network show. Just try to get a reservation on a weekend!

The Verona school district is highly rated. With just over 2,000 students, there is an enviably low student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1, allowing teachers to give students more individual attention. The high school is academically competitive and offers a rich arts program, and a plethora of extracurricular activities including Girls Learn International, which raises funds for a school in Cambodia.

There are five buses that run express to NYC’s Port Authority on weekday mornings and the trip only takes 45 minutes.

So if you’re looking for a sense of community and a place to slow down while the world around you speeds up, make the move to Verona.