Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Terry Bradshaw, called Hamilton Square a "hidden gem" on his program "Profiles with Terry Bradshaw."
Hamilton Square is a historical village that is actually a census designated place. Located in the middle of New Jersey, Hamilton Square is only about an hour from New York City, the Jersey Shore and Philadelphia, so it's not like it doesn't have plenty of fine friends. Of course there's more to Hamilton Square than its neighbors. This is a place of festivals. The town sees several a year, including the Azalea Festival, SeptemberFest, Community Day and Fall Harvest, among others. Holiday celebrations are big business here, so get in the spirit or get out of the way. "Hammy Square" is considered one of the country's best small cities, probably because of all the amenities, from parks to eateries to recreational centers. Whatever you want, they've got it.
Moving to Ham Square
First off, renters can start celebrating. It's good practice for all the festivals after all. But the real reason to celebrate is that there are more renters in this area than owners, so the rental options in Hamilton Square are going to be stupendous. That means detached houses, 1 bedroom apartments, and condos for rent are all represented, so rest assured you can find your special place. That said, vacancy rates are middling, so you may want to invest a couple months or more doing your apartment search before finding the right fit. It's a small population, so new buildings aren't going up regularly. If you find the ideal home, make sure you have a security deposit, ID, credit history and cashier's check ready to go. Every spot will be different, but it's better to be prepared. One sweet bonus: all utilities paid are a common offering. Make sure you take the time to hunt this precious option down. About a quarter of properties offer this, and it's worth seeking out.
There are no standard neighborhoods in Hamilton Square, as it's too small. But there are some notable differences between one area and another that you should pay attention to. Here's a quick breakdown.
Above Nottingham: Nottingham is the main thoroughfare for Hamilton Square (and the original name of the town). It includes Sayen House and Gardens, lots of big backyards and, on the west side, easy access to I-295.
Below Nottingham: There are more commercial options below Nottingham Way, with eateries, coffee shops, parks and other hotspots more plentiful here. There are also more apartment rentals and, again on the west side, easy access to I-295.
To See and Do
Ever get bored, run out of things to do, or question the point of it all? You won't ever do that here. Besides being relatively adjacent to some of the best locations in America, including the Big Apple, City of Brotherly Love and Jersey Shore, Hamilton Square has an embarrassment of riches for fans of the great outdoors. Yeah, it's a small town, so the quintessential offerings of a big city aren't found downtown. There's no Louis Vuitton shop on Main Street, but the charm and quirk of the historical downtown are many times better. Local businesses have charming purveyors with unique products found nowhere else, and the food isn't all chain restaurants that you've had a thousand times.
Do you like fresh air? How about fishing, canoeing, hiking or biking. Are you into that? New Jersey has plenty of open space to go find adventure. The Delaware River runs nearby, and the amount of green trees and growing things in the square itself is downright inspirational.
Getting around Hamilton Square, like the rest of the tri-state area, is full of options. Sure, there's lots of traffic in the cities, but Hamilton Square is surprisingly quiet. Plus, you don't even have to use your car for everything. Though the WalkScore isn't impressing anyone at 55, there are public transit options. PATH stations are located in two spots, and they both head into Manhattan. There are also shuttles to the PATH stations if you can't make it by foot or car, and there are always ferries, buses and taxis to get you to the NY Port Authority and everywhere else. In the meantime, it can't hurt to have a vehicle handy, but it's nice to know you don't have to rely on it wholly.
Parks, cobblestone streets, all the major necessities and plenty of charm, how could anyone say no to Hamilton Square? Sure, it's kind of buried in Hamilton Township and confused with Trenton, but that's what makes it a "hidden gem." Stake your claim in this area and have access to America's best cities, all from the comfort of small town U.S.A.