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January 18, 2016

The best towns in South Jersey: Collingswood

Collingswood Real Estate

Content sponsored by Anne Koons - Native 020715

04-072115_Collingswood_Carroll.jpg Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

People walk along Haddon Avenue in downtown Collingswood.

South Jersey’s Collingswood is a hidden gem in the bustling Philadelphia metropolitan area. The borough boasts world-class cuisine and puts an emphasis on community events to celebrate the best of art, music and culture. Along with fun things to do, Collingswood is convenient to nearby amenities, while maintaining a peaceful atmosphere to kick back and revel in its small-town charm. If you don’t get what makes this place so special, just ask the 50,000 people who travel to Collingswood to check out the May Fair every year. But there’s more to Collingswood than just awesome festivals — here’s just a small sample of the many delicious meals and good times to be had.

Food and Fare

Part of what makes Collingswood both a great community to live in and visit is its homegrown restaurant scene and myriad rendezvous spots. The Collingswood Farmers’ Market is a front-runner in the “Buy Local” movement, and every Saturday from May to Thanksgiving, the Market offers the freshest produce available, as well as opportunities to peruse unique goods from artisanal soaps to handmade beef jerky, and swap recipes with locals. The Tortilla Press’ signature Chipotle Peanut BBQ Pulled Pork alone is worth a trip to Collingswood, as the restaurant has amassed several best restaurant awards. Also be sure to try Sagami, Nunzio’s, The Pop Shop and Sabrina’s Café, a Philly brunch favorite.

And even with all these culinary wonders, there are still more digestifs yet to come. Starting in late 2015, dry Collingswood welcomed its first microbreweries, and as Town Community Development Director Cass Duffey suggests, craft breweries “bring something new to the town.” The first microbrewery in Collingswood, Devil’s Creek Brewery, is opening its doors in just a few weeks, and it will be the first of many in an exciting new downtown scene.

Arts, Shopping and Events

Collingswood is the perfect place to pick up unique and vintage must-have items. Check out Collingswood Music to leisurely browse LPs and instruments or sign up to learn a few new chords on the bass. Music is all around, from live gigs at the Scottish Rite Theatre to seasonal jazz every first Thursday at the Collingswood Community Center, plus more vinyl digs at Inner Groove Records. The weekend scene in Collingswood is robust and offers plenty to do to while away the hours with family and friends. A visit to the Crafts and Fine Arts Festival in the summer exposes you to thousands of one-of-a-kind gifts from more than 175 different vendors, while enjoying live music and mouth-watering food tent treats. All year round, you can find funky vintage furnishings and unique decor at Dig This. Collingswood is truly a South Jersey hub for all things creative.

Transportation and Amenities

Only five miles from Philadelphia and an hour or so from the sun and fun at the Jersey Shore, Collingswood is conveniently located for endless activities. A PATCO station right downtown makes it easy to commute into Center City, and I-295 and the New Jersey Turnpike are just down the street, putting the entire Eastern Seaboard at your fingertips. With easy access to public transportation, highways and the bright lights of Philadelphia, Collingswood is a peaceful community with a great location.

Collingswood has premier access to health care with 12 hospitals in Camden County, and five of the best hospitals in the country are nearby in Philly. Likewise, the public schools are full of bright minds. One student was recently awarded the NJ Governor’s Award in the Arts, and prestigious universities are close to home just over the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Nature

Even with its metropolitan location, Collingswood offers excellent parks and opportunities to get outside. Cooper River Park runs throughout the surrounding area and flaunts bike paths, sports facilities and even a Sculpture Garden. Or check out Knight’s Park, a 70-acre neighborhood park where you can support local teams, hit the playground or enjoy a leisurely picnic in nature. Newton Lake Park similarly offers playgrounds, bike paths and a serene spot to kayak, canoe or fish.

Collingswood offers the best of nature, community entertainment and shopping, but most of all, it is a wonderful town to call home. Though a trip to Collingswood is sure to be filled with delicious meals and an appreciation for the arts, nothing quite beats calling a community of fantastic people and places home sweet home. After just a short time spent in Collingswood, you’ll soon find you never want to leave.