Living In West Orange
For buyers looking for an affordable suburb within a 30 minute drive to Manhattan, West Orange fits the bill. West Orange is a large town geographically and population wise. It has a very wide array of housing types, styles, price ranges and therefore it is hard to describe the town in a nutshell. From the estate section of Llewellyn Park, to 1950’s ranch homes, to small multi-families and newer luxury condo developments, the town really has something for every buyer. West Orange has a number of wonderful and unmatched amenities such as a beautiful new middle school, recently upgraded Turtle Back Zoo, new Safari Mini Golf Course, large indoor tennis facility, a convenient park and ride center, indoor ice arena and proximity to a large county park (South Mountain Reservation) and several local country clubs.
- Average Sales Price 2018: $421,286
- Average 2018 Tax Bill: $13,661
- Township of West Orange
- West Orange Public Schools
West Orange is about 30 minutes drive from New York City via Route 280. There are many public transportation alternatives for West Orange residents. Several neighborhoods have access to a jitney service that shuttles them to the South Orange or Orange train stations with Mid-Town Direct service. There is a large park and ride at the Codey Arena with bus service to the city. DeCamp bus lines provide commuter service from West Orange neighborhoods and developments to New York as well. Please click on the following link for details about commuting:
Even though West Orange does not have a train station, the town’s free jitney service connects several neighborhoods and developments to NYC train service by taking commuters to the S. Orange or Orange stations. There are 5 shuttle routes. For details on the West Orange, NJ jitney click here:
The West Orange Public Schools
The West Orange Public School District is made up of 11 schools: seven elementary schools (K-5), one central six (6), two middle schools (7-8), and one high school (9-12). The diversity and individualized education of the 7,000+ student body is a great strength to the district and contributes to the success of each student. The maintenance of class size has led to one of the lowest teacher-to-student ratios in the state.
The seven elementary schools are:
- Gregory Elementary
- Hazel Elementary
- Mount Pleasant Elementary
- Pleasantdale Elementary
- Redwood Elementary
- St. Cloud Elementary
- Washington Elementary
The elementary schools provide a learning environment that “enhances the intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of the whole child.” Students are encouraged to develop self-confidence and independence as learners, in a safe, nurturing educational environment.
The Thomas A. Edison School is the central six middle school. Here, children are immersed in real-life situations to help them relate to what they are learning. The two other middle schools are:
- Liberty Middle School
- Roosevelt Middle School
The complete development of the student is fostered through core content areas of math, language arts, science and social studies, with related arts courses as well. Students are also encouraged to participate in after-school activities. During their middle school years, students develop critical thinking skills needed to become independent learners.
The West Orange High School “challenges and encourages students to strive for excellence through rigorous and comprehensive programs, to become active members of their community, and to emerge as lifelong learners.”
Private and Parochial Schools Near West Orange: There are many excellent private and parochial schools in the area. Some of those options are:
- The Far Brook School
- Golda Och Academy
- Kent Place School
- Montclair Kimberly Academy
- The Morristown Beard School
- Newark Academy
- Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child
- Oratory Prep
- The Peck School
- The Pingry School
- Saint Peter’s Prep
- Saint Rose of Lima School
- Seton Hall Prep
Preschools Near West Orange: There are also many excellent preschool options in the area. A few of the many options are:
- Congregation AABJ&D Nursery School
- First Mountain Preschool
- Golda Och Academy Preschool
- JCC Metro West Preschool
- Little Explorers Early Learning Academy
- Playhouse Preschool
- Tutor Time
- Valley Settlement House
For a more extensive list and a little information about each preschool, read my blog post on Choosing a Preschool or Daycare Center in the Maplewood/South Orange Area.
Check out some of these places and websites to get a feel for West Orange’s unique vibe
- AMC Dine-In Essex Green 9 Theater
- Chit Chat Diner
- Codey Arena
- Eagle Rock Lanes
- Edison National Historic Site
- Folklore Artisanal Tacos
- Golda Och Academy
- Highlawn Pavilion
- Llewellyn Park
- Mark & Julie’s Homemade Ice Cream
- McCloone’s Boathouse
- Schneider Hardware
- Seton Hall Prep
- Supreme Bakery
- Turtle Back Zoo
- Valley Vintage
- West Orange Chronicle
- Willow & Olivia Bakery
Unique To Town
- Thomas Edison National Historical Park is Thomas Edison’s home and laboratory called Glenmont, located in Llewellyn Park. Here, the motion picture, improved phonographs, sound recordings, silent and sound movies and the nickel-iron alkaline electric storage battery were invented.
- Turtle Back Zoo, situated on 20 acres in the South Mountain Reservation, features species from every continent except Antarctica. It also has a train ride, a carousel, a playground, a 19 hole mini golf course, and the Treetop Adventure Ropes Course.
- The Codey Arena is an ice hockey and ice skating arena that has public sessions available during weekdays and weekends.
- South Mountain Reservation is home to the Washington Rock Lookout and has 10 picnic areas, 19 miles of hiking/walking trails, 27 miles of roads for jogging, horseback riding and cross country skiing. It also has a fishing pond, waterfalls, paddle boats and a playground.
- Eagle Rock Reservation, home to the 9/11 memorial, has an amazing view of the NYC skyline, bridle paths for horseback riding, hiking trails, and a picnic area.
- Crestmont Country Club features a championship golf course designed by the famous Scottish architect Donald Ross.
- Francis A. Byrne Golf Course is a public golf course that is part of the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.
- Rock Spring Country Club has breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and an 18 hole championship golf course. This club merged with the Montclair Golf Club in 2016.
- Essex County Country Club is considered to be one of the top three golf courses in NJ and is NJ’s oldest country club.
Other Useful Links:
- NJ Transit
- NJ Department of Education School Report Card
- South Mountain Reservation
- United States Census