The debate about whether North Jersey is better than South Jersey is ongoing, but Somerset County defies categorization by being situated close to the middle of the state. Locals call it the “heart of New Jersey,” and here you can find working farms, charming small towns, and abundant open space, about an hour from New York City or Philadelphia. It is quite travel-friendly too, with an Amtrak station in New Brunswick and Newark International Airport nearby.
More about farms: In addition to farmers markets, landmarks like Hidden Spring Lavender Farm in Skillman make for excellent outings. The Farmstead Arts Center in Basking Ridge is a historic performing arts center, and Duke Farms in Hillsborough boasts over 1,000 acres of wildlife and beautiful landscapes. And if this isn’t enough, a peek at the county’s monthly calendar of events showcases art exhibits, fairs, baseball games, and more.
Premium medical care is abundant in Somerset County, and there are two top hospitals right in New Brunswick: Robert Wood Johnson and St. Peter’s University Hospital. This town is also home to Rutgers University, where retirees can take classes, attend intercollegiate games, and attend concerts. Golf is also a favorite pastime for residents, and the Somerset County Park Commission sponsors six public courses and hosts online tee time booking.
Following is a short list of Somerset County retirement communities that offer condos.
Somerset Run - Somerset
This Del-Webb built active adult community has 755 resale condo and single-family homes built on 246 acres about three miles from Colonial Park. Completed in 2007, this gated property offers five floor plans and marvelous amenities for its homeowners.
The condos are housed in three-story buildings that have garage parking and elevators. Units range from 1,763 to 1,781 square feet, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Stone Manor is Somerset Run’s clubhouse. It features indoor and outdoor pools, a modern fitness center with saunas and lockers, a wellness center, sports lounge, a ballroom, and an education center. Additional perks include a putting green, walking trails, bocce, shuffleboard, and tennis. This community also sponsors casino nights, classes, dances, parties, trips, and its own softball league.
There is plenty to do in the surrounding area as well, as Somerset is a short drive from downtown New Brunswick. Though it is a college town at heart, retirees head here to dine at highly-rated restaurants like Frog and Peach or Steakhouse 85. The Zimmerli Art Museum is also worth exploring, and the George Street Playhouse and the Stress Factory Comedy Club provide music, laughs, and entertainment.
Canal Walk - Somerset
Also located in the city of Somerset, Canal Walk is known for having a wide variety of home choices and resort-style amenities. Builders Premier Homes and Garden Homes both have a presence here, and upon completion this gated active adult neighborhood will have 1,200 condo, attached, and single-family homes.
There are five sections with a total of seven condo models ranging from 1,503 to 1,838 square feet, while three attached models ranging from 1,889 to 2,168 square feet. No matter the size, these homes are all well-appointed with different options and constructed with quality materials.
The Premier Club is the main clubhouse and is a big draw for homeowners. It has its own business center, demonstration kitchen, crafts room with a kiln, cafe, salon, ballroom, and activity rooms. You can also find a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, steam rooms and saunas, a wellness center, pickleball, tennis, bocce, and a putting green.
It doesn’t stop there, though - activities like Aquacise classes, the choral group, oil painting class, the singles club, bus trips and the Grandparents Club assure that everyone’s own social calendars are full to the brim.
Hearthstone at Hillsborough - Hillsborough Township
If you prefer a smaller 55+ community, Hearthstone at Hillsborough fits the bill. This Ryan Homes-built development was finished in 2013, and has 185 resale condo, attached, and single-family homes.
The condos are nestled within secured elevator buildings, and each unit is about 1,390 square feet, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The attached Villas homes are about 1,888 square feet, with three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and one-car garages.
The private clubhouse has a modern fitness room, a library, and a card room; outside, there is a sparkling pool, bocce and tennis courts. Groups get together for Mahjong, Bridge, book club, and holiday parties.
Hillsborough is on the outskirts of Colonial Park, an expansive multi-use recreational area that has trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, and Spooky Brook Golf Course. Other area landmarks include the Hillsborough Promenade shopping center and beautiful Sourland Mountain Preserve.