Many people see Fanwood as a more affordable alternative to next-door neighbor, Westfield. It has an interesting assortment of houses, a downtown and a railroad station. The mix of housing helps to give Fanwood its charm. On the North side of town and around the center, are the larger Victorians and colonials from the turn of the 20th Century when Fanwood was founded. Elsewhere you will find the 1930s Arts-and-Crafts style homes, 1940s and 50s capes and 1960s split-levels and ranches. If you are looking for town houses or new construction, there is not much available. The town was fully built out in the 1960 and township building setback rulings have discouraged the knockdowns that lead to the rebuilding activity that other towns have been experiencing. Recently, in downtown several three and four story mixed use properties have been built with shops below and more than 100 rental apartments above. Prices range from approximately $200,000 to $900,000, but the $400,000 to $600,000 price range makes the town especially appealing.
Commuting from Fanwood
If you're looking for a small, quaint town with the train station right in the middle, Fanwood might be the town for you! New Jersey Transit trains run the Raritan Valley line from Fanwood to Newark, with connections to Penn Station New York or the PATH train to Lower Manhattan. Five new direct trains run to and from Manhattan each weekday in the off-peak hours. The direct train takes about 55 minutes, while the trains switching in Newark take about 70 minutes. Fanwood Township is very active in pushing for even more direct trains. New Jersey Transit also provides a bus service (# 113) that goes from Fanwood to the Port Authority in New York City and takes about an hour. The Fanwood Train Station is a delight. Built in 1874, this Victorian station is the oldest in Union County. The station was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 17, 1980.
There is a waiting list for parking. The current cost of a 2015 Parking Permit is $360 for Fanwood Residents.
Try One of Fanwood's Local Jems
Fanwood is definitely not a hub for foodies! If you are looking for good restaurants, most people travel to nearby Westfield. However, Fanwood does claim one or two local gems. Mara's Cafe & Bakery is always busy and has good food in a pleasant atmosphere. Ginger Sushi is a hidden gem - a modest restaurant with very fresh fish. Otherwise, there are good local Pizza and Bistro type restaurants.
Parks and Rec. at Fanwood
Fanwood has a busy Township Recreation Department.LaGrande Park offers an extensive summer recreation program with everything from golf lessons to art classes. They offer many programs among which are the Annual Easter Egg Hunt held in Forest Road Park. There is also a Summer Tweens & Teens and Travel Camp, Spring Programs for Children, Summer Children's camps and a variety of other events. Throughout the summer and fall, many Fanwood neighborhoods hold block parties and the entire town celebrates "Fanny Wood Day" in September. For winter fun, LaGrande Parks' tennis courts are turned into an ice-skating rink. Indoors, the town library and the arts center in the Carriage House beside Borough Hall offer lectures, poetry readings and musical coffee houses. Fanwood is definitely a family-oriented town that you and your children will enjoy, and there's even a Newcomers Club that will help make you feel welcome!