Located in Passaic County and sandwiched between Paterson and Passaic, Clifton is a diverse community in close proximity to Rutherford and Garfield (Bergen County), Little Falls and West Paterson (Passaic County), and Nutley and Montclair (Essex County). Clifton is located ten miles west of New York City, surrounded by Route 3, Route 46, Route 19, Route 21 (along the Passaic River), and the Garden State Parkway.
The city has a total area of 11,397 square miles. According to the United States Census, Clifton had a total population of 85,847 in 2016 which is the state’s 11th-largest municipality. The city is so big that it has five different ZIP Codes. The median household income is $62,271 and the median family income is $77,923.
Life in Clifton, NJ
There is a lot of history in Clifton including: the Clifton Historic Botany District—the oldest neighborhood in Clifton—and the Hamilton House Museum.
The Hamilton House Museum, located on Valley Road, was once the home of the Van Wagoner and Hamilton families; its six rooms contain many historical documents dating back to America’s early days such as manuscripts, maps, deeds, and photos. The property has farm land, beautiful orchards, and wildflowers. Tours are given on Sunday afternoons.
For those who enjoy recreational activities, the Clifton Recreation Department offers many opportunities for recreation, health, and fitness for all ages, from preschoolers to senior citizens. There are 39 parks covering 210 acres of land. The city also offers educational, cultural, social, and volunteer opportunities. The Upper Montclair Country Club is located in Clifton.
In recent years, Route 3 has been developed with lots of shopping and dining, with busy malls and strips centers which include Clifton Commons (restaurants, retail, and a multi-screen AMC theatre) and the upscale Promenade Shops. There is also a Costco.
Clifton Avenue is the site of many office and professional buildings where lawyers, accountants, and medical practices are found.
Among the popular local eateries are Rutt’s Hut, a famous hot dog restaurant on Delawanna Avenue and Tick Tock Diner on Route 3.
Clifton real estate
Home buyers may choose from many styles of single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses and apartments. According to Zillow, the home prices in Clifton vary from the mid-$200,000s for a modest three-bedroom home up to $800,000 for larger, stately properties. The taxes vary on the size and location of homes with the average around $7,500. Compared to the rest of New Jersey there is a large percentage of renters in Clifton—42% versus the New Jersey average of 37%.
The Clifton Public School system serves students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. There are 17 schools within the district:
- 14 elementary schools (K-5)
- Christopher Columbus Middle School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School (6-8)
- Clifton High School (9-12) – with over 3,300 students enrolled, it is the largest single-facility high school in New Jersey. Having such a big school helps prepare kids for college and working within a diverse community.
Clifton Public Schools offers a preschool program for special needs children and state-funded, free full-day preschool for income- eligible four-year-olds. The district’s I.S.E.E. program offers summer academic enrichment classes for students in grades 1-8 in art, language arts, math, music, science and musical theater.
Classic Academy Charter School (6-8) provides an education based on the classics. Part of Montclair State University is located in Clifton (the campus is in Clifton, Montclair, and Little Falls).
There are three schools for students K-8 under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson: Saint Andrew the Apostle School, Saint Brendan Catholic School, and Saint Philip Preparatory School.
Train service to NYC is available via NJ Transit at the Clifton station (transfer at the Hoboken Terminal). There are also bus routes on the 190, 191, 192, and 195 lines to the Port Authority in New York City. Clifton also has buses to Newark and local bus routes.
Notable People and Places in Clifton:
Clifton has played a significant role in pop culture and is the hometown of many famous people. The movie Donnie Brasco was partially filmed in Clifton and many scenes from The Sopranos were filmed in places such as Valley Regency, Memorial Park, and Clifton High School. New York Yankee legends Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto owned a bowling alley here that was open until 1999.
Among the famous people who were born in Clifton or were long-time residents are:
- Jay Alford, defensive lineman and long snapper for the Super Bowl champion New York Giants
- Nina Arianda, film and theatrical actress
- Greg Bajek, a retired soccer player, coach, and team owner
- Rubin Carter, a professional boxer, and motivational speaker
- David Chase, creator of The Sopranos
- Tommy James, a famous musician, singer, songwriter, and producer
- Father Mychal F. Judge, FDNY chaplain and the first official death of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center
- Joe Lynn Turner, singer
For more information on Clifton, NJ visit: http://www.cliftonnj.org/