26. Cherry Hill, N.J.

161409_BPL_Top50_26CherryHill
Mira / Alamy Stock Photo DC1215 Silver Diner restaurant, chain, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA
AT A GLANCE
Population 72,055
Median Home Price $217,250
Property Tax $7,724
Unemployment rate 5.6%
Commute time 26 minutes

Living in Cherry Hill, N.J. sometimes means picking sides. There’s the high school rivalry (the cougars in the East High School vs. the lions of West). There are mall rivals (Cherry Hill vs. King of Prussia). And then there’s the big kahuna of rivals: South Jersey vs. North Jersey. (Weird historical note: several South Jersey counties actually voted to secede from North Jersey in 1980.)

But there’s one thing that Cherry Hill residents agree on: their township is a fantastic place to live and raise a family. The schools are in the top 10% of the New Jersey communities on our Best Places list, while the median home price in 2016 was $217,000, an unusual combination of affordability and quality. The crime rate is also notably low; Cherry Hill ranks in the top 5% of the towns on our list in terms of overall safety.

Cherry Hill feels very much like a suburb—in fact, one if its chief attributes is that it’s only 10 miles from Philadelphia and about 30 miles to Trenton. But there’s still plenty of open space, starting with the two-mile stretch of Chapel Avenue studded with the township’s namesake flowering vegetation. There are also more than 50 parks, not including the canine-friendly section of Cooper River Park called “Pooch Park.” Looking for authentic cherry pie in Cherry Hill? Springdale Farms is a local treasure, home to an off-the-hook bakery and pick-your-own field of strawberries, pumpkins, and other produce grown at this working farm.

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