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Becoming a Local: What to Expect when Living in Monmouth County, NJ

There’s nothing like living in Monmouth County, NJ with its scenic coastal towns and windswept beaches. If you’ve been contemplating a move to any of its townships or boroughs, here’s what you need to know about the Monmouth lifestyle and real estate market to finally make that decision.

Monmouth County, NJ


Known as a premier fishing and boating destination on the Atlantic coast, Monmouth County is home to several waterways, including majestic rivers that flow from Raritan Bayshore and feed into Raritan and Lower New York bays. Its abundant waters are teeming with trout and striped bass while its beaches and boardwalks offer countless opportunities for recreation.

Located on the northern edge of the Jersey Shore, Monmouth is the northernmost county in East-Central New Jersey. The area is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Sandy Hook and Raritan Bays to the north. Freehold Borough serves as the county seat while Middletown is its largest city. 

Monmouth County lies approximately 30 to 50 miles south of New York City and is considered part of the New York metropolitan area. Many workers living in Monmouth County, NJ take the train to Penn Station, the bus on RT-9, or the ferry from the Atlantic Highlands and Belford terminals on a regular basis. Other residents drive their cars along one of the many bridges or tunnels that cross the Hudson River.

Encompassing a little over 665 square miles, Monmouth County has mostly flat and low-lying coastal and inland terrain with a few hilly areas in Holmdel and Middletown townships, as well as the Highlands and Atlantic Highlands boroughs. 

Home to a thriving population of 643,615 as of the 2020 census, Monmouth is New Jersey’s fifth-most populous county. It is bordered by Middlesex County to the northwest, Mercer County to the west, Ocean County to the south, and Burlington County to the southwest.

Getting in and around Monmouth County, NJ

NJ Transit buses carry hundreds of passengers to the northern portion of New Jersey and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan on a daily basis. There are also more than 300 bus lines that go to Philadelphia. 

Residents also have convenient access to the NJ Transit Rail Operations’ North Jersey Coast Line with regular trips to Penn Station in NYC. The rail line passes through Middlesex County, all the way to Matawan in Monmouth County with 14 stations connecting NYC to many coastal towns.

U.S. Route 9 extends for 20 miles across the county, starting from Lakewood in Ocean County and stretching to Old Bridge Township in Middlesex County. State routes (SR) 18, 33, 33 Business, 34, 35, 36, 66, 70, 71, 79, and 138 also pass through Monmouth County.

Interstate 195 is a limited-access road and the only interstate highway that cuts through the county. Meanwhile, the Garden State Parkway’s Monmouth Service Area can be found at Milepost 100.

Climate and weather

Most of Monmouth County has a humid subtropical climate while some of its inland areas have a hot-summer humid continental climate. Overall, the county gets 48 inches of rain, 25 inches of snow, and more than 200 days of sunshine on average each year. May, June, and September are usually the best months for outdoor activities. 

Monmouth Beach gets warm, humid, and wet summers with cold, windy, and snowy winters. The weather is partly cloudy year-round. The best time to visit Monmouth Beach for outdoor activities is typically mid-June to late September.

A brief history of Monmouth County, NJ

Founded in 1683, Monmouth County was one of the four original counties of the Province of East Jersey. It was divided into the townships of Middletown, Freehold, and Shrewsbury in 1693 while the first county government was established in 1714. The area was inhabited by Lenape Native Americans before the arrival of Quaker families from Long Island, as well as a group of Scottish and Dutch settlers who set down roots in Freehold Township. 

There are many stories revolving around the origins of the county’s name. Various sources claim that it gets its name either from Monmouthshire in Wales, the Rhode Island Monmouth Society, and James Scott, First Duke of Monmouth, who was well-connected with East Jersey leaders.

An overview of Monmouth County’s real estate market

Monmouth County has a diverse housing market with custom-built homes and modern condos and townhomes. Waterfront and equestrian properties are among the most coveted in the area. These estate-style properties are situated on sprawling lots spanning acres and come with remarkable amenities like spacious observation decks, private docks, mature landscaping, and sparkling fountains. Other special amenities include home theaters, gourmet kitchens, and outdoor pools with wet bars. 

Few places epitomize coastal living in Monmouth County, NJ quite like Asbury Park, which features a pristine shoreline and beachfront boardwalk with shops, cafes, and arcades. Meanwhile, buyers in search of fine architecture should look into Freehold, which harbors stately Colonials, as well as several historic sites. Marlboro, for its part, offers large properties with plenty of outdoor space, while Manalapan is an affluent area with an excellent selection of luxury real estate options. 

According to recent market data from Long & Foster, the median home sales price in Monmouth County was $585,000 in January 2023, up by 9% or $46,000 from the same time last year. The median sales price was also 3% higher compared to December 2022. The median days on the market was 15 and most buyers can expect to pay 100% of the asking price for the average home. However, these figures aren’t reflective of the luxury market, where homes can easily command millions of dollars.

Towns and cities in Monmouth County, NJ

Monmouth County is made up of 53 towns and cities, each with its own distinct flavor and identity:

  • Asbury Park City
  • Long Branch City
  • Loch Arbour Village
  • Avon-by-the-Sea Borough
  • Atlantic Highlands Borough
  • Allentown Borough
  • Allenhurst Borough
  • Bradley Beach Borough
  • Brielle Borough
  • Belmar Borough
  • Deal Borough
  • Englishtown Borough
  • Eatontown Borough
  • Freehold Borough
  • Fair Haven Borough
  • Farmingdale Borough
  • Highlands Borough
  • Interlaken Borough
  • Keyport Borough
  • Keansburg Borough
  • Lake Como Borough
  • Little Silver Borough
  • Neptune City Borough
  • Matawan Borough
  • Monmouth Beach Borough
  • Manasquan Borough
  • Oceanport Borough
  • Roosevelt Borough
  • Rumson Borough
  • Red Bank Borough
  • Sea Girt Borough
  • Sea Bright Borough
  • Spring Lake Borough
  • Shrewsbury Borough
  • Spring Lake Heights Borough
  • Union Beach Borough
  • Tinton Falls Borough
  • West Long Branch Borough
  • Aberdeen Twp.
  • Colts Neck Twp.
  • Freehold Twp.
  • Upper Freehold Twp.
  • Hazlet Twp.
  • Howell Twp.
  • Holmdel Twp.
  • Manalapan Twp.
  • Middletown Twp.
  • Marlboro Twp.
  • Millstone Twp.
  • Neptune Twp.
  • Wall Twp.
  • Ocean Twp.
  • Shrewsbury Twp.

Get in touch with Team Black Star for more information on the best neighborhoods and gated communities in Monmouth County, NJ.


girl jumping in the park

Gateway National Recreation Area

This vast nature park offers nearly 27,000 acres of beaches, sand dunes, salt marshes, woodlands, and forests despite its relative proximity to highly urbanized towns and cities. Highlights include the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, which counts ospreys, hawks, egrets, and various other birds, reptiles, and amphibians among its seasonal and year-round residents; Floyd Bennett Field, NYC’s first municipal airport; Fort Wadsworth, one of the country’s oldest military installations; and the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in the U.S. 

Popular activities include hiking, cycling, archery, bird watching, camping, swimming, and boating. Winter sports like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are available along its many multi-use paths and vast natural areas. 

Deep Cut Gardens

This outdoor attraction boasts 54 acres of exquisite gardens, cascading pools, and ponds. Highlights include the Horticultural Center, Display Greenhouse, Bonsai Display, Pergola, Lily Pond, Japanese-Themed Garden, and more. Guests can join gardening classes and group tours to see vivid orchids, water lilies, bog plants, weeping hemlocks, oaks, maples, and spruce canopies on the well-tended grounds.    


Known as “The Gateway to Jersey Shore,” the county offers approximately 50 miles of pristine shoreline. The Monmouth County Park System has three beachfront areas: Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, a 38-acre beachfront park with a playground, skatepark, snack bar, sheltered picnic areas, decks, boardwalks, volleyball areas, and designated surfing spots; Bayshore Waterfront Park, which features a mile-long beach, fishing pier, and the historic Seabrook-Wilson House set amid sand dunes, salt marshes, and tidal creeks; and Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, a 55-acre, leashed-dog-friendly park with swimming and fishing access. 

Fishing spots

Monmouth County has numerous ponds, creeks, rivers, lakes, bays, and fishing piers where anglers can cast their line and catch fish while admiring views of the surroundings. Popular fishing spots include the Manasquan Reservoir, a 770-acre body of water with large and smallmouth bass; Turkey Swamp Park, which features a 17-acre lake with bluegill, bass, and catfish; Big Brook Park, which has a stream and archaeological sites with fossils; and Crosswicks Creek Park, which offers shad fishing and canoeing along a seven-mile creek.   

All anglers aged 16 and up are required to register with the New Jersey Saltwater Angler Registry to fish in Monmouth County and the rest of the state. Visit the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) website for more information on free registration.


Freehold Raceway Mall

This regional shopping center is anchored by JCPenny, Macy’s, and Primark. It features major retailers like Bath & Body Works, Champs Sports, Foot Locker, Sephora, and Ulta, as well as chain restaurants like Brio Italian Grille and The Cheesecake Factory.

Manalapan Commons

This 25-acre strip mall features major retailers like PetSmart, Best Buy, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Monmouth Mall

This mall carries major retailers like Macy’s, Bath & Body Works, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers, along with fast casual restaurants like Fresh Bowl, Master Wok, and Shake Shack. It also features an AMC Theater and Knockerball & More, an 18,000-square-foot indoor entertainment area. 

Townbrook Commons

Located along a busy retail corridor, this mall has Kohl’s, Sephora, Famous Footwear, Panera Bread, and Stop & Shop.


friends drinking beer

Downtown Freehold 

This vibrant commercial area is lined with cafes, bars, breweries, and restaurants for a night out. It also hosts various events such as the County Seat Jazz & Blues Street Fest, Thursday’s ROCK! Summer Concert Series, Irish Week, Flavor of Freehold, Family Movie Night, and more.

Nightclubs, music lounges, pubs, and taverns 

Monmouth County is home to numerous establishments that offer craft beer, specialty cocktails, bar chow, live music, DJ sets, and other fun events after dark.


Monmouth Museum 

This museum is home to one of the largest collections of 18th and 19th-century “sewing birds” – sewing clamps that were once considered a luxury item – in North America. Spanning 15,000 square feet, the museum hosts rotating exhibits at the Nilson and Main galleries, as well as interactive displays and educational areas at the Becker and Wonder wings. Just outside, you’ll find the Meyer Art & Nature Area – an outdoor art area and nature classroom that features a butterfly garden, as well as picnic and bird-watching areas. 

NJ Fire Museum & Fallen Firefighters Memorial 

This museum pays tribute to New Jersey’s firefighters and sheds light on local firefighter history from the 1700s to the 1900s. Its displays include photos, books, and antique and vintage fire equipment and memorabilia, including a restored 1935 American LaFrance Red Bank Truck and 1953 Ward LaFrance Pumper. 

Monmouth County Historical Association

MCHA has a vast collection of more than 35,000 pieces of paintings, portrait miniatures, sculptures, ceramics, stoneware, antiques, and World war II memorabilia. Its research library has one of New Jersey’s largest collections of published and unpublished local materials, including more than a thousand manuscripts. 

Hankinson-Moreau-Covenhoven House 

This historic farmhouse with detailed paneling, painted woodwork, and glazed cupboard doors was built sometime between 1752 and 1753. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and currently serves as a museum. Inside, you’ll find many furnishings that reflect a 1790 inventory from the Covenhoven estate. 

Jewish Heritage Museum 

The museum hosts permanent and rotating exhibits, programs, and publications that celebrate and explore New Jersey’s Jewish heritage. Its programs include film screenings, film festivals, live musical performances, and artists’ talks and lectures. 

Silverball Retro Arcade 

Also known as the Silverball Museum Arcade, this museum is dedicated to New Jersey’s love affair with pinball and video games. Housed in a boardwalk arcade, the museum has 1930s pinball machines, backglass art, and an estimated 600 arcade games on rotation.



There are 45 public school districts and 219 public schools serving more than 90,000 students across Monmouth County, NJ. There are also higher education institutions within the county, including:

View the full list of schools in New Jersey here and the full list of Pre-K-8 private schools in Monmouth County, NJ here.


Residents have access to quality healthcare and other related services at these medical facilities:

Moving companies

Buyers relocating to Monmouth County can choose from a wide range of reputable moving companies. Before hiring a moving company, it’s important to make sure that they’re licensed, bonded, and insured. They should also provide an estimate of the costs of the move.

Property taxes

The Monmouth County Board of Taxation is in charge of the assessment of property taxes and ensures that all homeowners pay their fair share of taxes. Visit their website for more information. 


Experience living in Monmouth County, NJ when you work with Team Black Star. Contact them at 732.688.3819 or send them an email   to get started. With over $500 million in sales since 2019, they are one of the top real estate teams in the entire state in terms of both volume and transactions. 

Led by founder and CEO Aleksandr Pritsker, the #1 Realtor in the Monmouth and Ocean Counties MLS among all brokerages for two years running, the team helps buyers, sellers, and investors secure the best deals and grow equity in real estate.  

Specializing in the communities of Marlboro, Manalapan, and Freehold, the team works 24/7, providing access to handymen and moving companies and assisting clients with township certifications, legal advice, and mortgage brokers. Call them today to set up a consultation.

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