The Borough of Highland Park is a charming residential community in Middlesex County, New Jersey. It lies between the county seat of New Brunswick and Edison Township and has an area of less than two square miles and a population of approximately 14,000 people. It was first settled by Europeans in the seventeenth century but began to develop in the late 19th century. Highland Park High School, home of the Owls, is known for its fine academic program.
Highland Park is normally visited by crossing the Albany Street Bridge from neighboring New Brunswick. The main street through town is Raritan Avenue, also designated NJ Route 27. The nearest train station is less than a mile away in New Brunswick. Parking is plentiful along streets and in municipal lots in the shopping district. Regular bus service is provided by New Jersey Transit via the 810 bus from New Brunswick to Woodbridge Center Mall and 814 from North Brunswick to Middlesex County College.
Because of its small size, almost everything in Highland Park is within walking distance. Alternatively, personal auto or the bus are other means of transportation.
- Donaldson Park along the Raritan River makes for a great family outing with boating, bicycle riding, baseball/softball, and picnic groves among the attractions. It is reached by traveling south on either South Second or South Third Avenues. There is no admission charge.
- Johnson Park, also along the Raritan River, makes for a similar family outing with bike riding, baseball/softball, tennis, five permit-needed picnic grove and several free ones. Playgrounds are provided along with a large petting zoo and a food stand to get snacks. There is no admission charge and access is available along River Road and Cedar Lane.
- Livingston Homestead is a Greek Revival house with Colonial Revival modifications. It was built around 1843 by relatives of the Reverend John H. Livingston, the president of Queens College (now Rutgers University). The grand house is located on a quiet, tree-lined street in a residential neighborhood at 81 Harrison Avenue. Listed in the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.
- Livingston Manor Historic District is an early 20th century, planned development of houses created by Watson Whittlesey on the former farmlands around the Livingston Homestead. Bounded by River Road, Cleveland, Madison, and Lawrence Avenues, the district is listed in the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.
- The Castle, 433 River Road. At Constructed in 1926 for J. Seward Johnson and his first wife and children. The architect won a silver medal in 1928. The Castle is now headquarters of a private business.
- Academy of Art of Highland Park & Gallery, 727 Raritan Avenue, ☏ .
- GEMS Gallery, 312 Raritan Avenue, ☏ .
- B. Beamesderfer Gallery, 6 North Second Avenue, ☏ .
- Judaica Gallery bookstore, 300 Raritan Avenue, +1 732 828-7722
- Through the Moongate Artisan Gallery and Gift Store, 440 Raritan Avenue, +1 732 729-9344
- Over the Moon Toys Specialty Toy Store, 440 Raritan Avenue, +1 732 729-9344
- Pithari Taverna, 28 Woodbridge Avenue, ☏ .
- The Italian Bistro, 441 Raritan Avenue, ☏ .
- Hong Fu Chinese Cuisine, 239 Raritan Avenue, ☏ .
- Dish Cafe, 325 Raritan Avenue, ☏ .
- Pad Thai, 217 Raritan Avenue, ☏ .
- Aposto Pizzeria and Restaurant, 76 Raritan Avenue, ☏ .
- Park Deli, 80 Raritan Avenue, ☏ . 6am to 10pm. 1) With parking in the rear, this corner store has been added to the list of every Highland Park native's favorite places. Open every day from 6:00am to 10:00pm, you can pick up your Deli, Groceries, Coffee, Take-out or Eat-in. With the “Best Sandwiches In Town”, Park Deli has been given the reputation of a fantastic deli. Well known for the infamous “fat” sandwiches, and Highland Parker will argue that it outdoes the nationally known “Grease Trucks” of New Brunswick. On the corner of South Second and Raritan Ave, the corner store is seen by everybody driving through Highland Park. This makes it an ideal location and can be attributed to the success.
- Highland Pizza, 601 Raritan Avenue, ☏ . 11am to 12pm. On the corner of North 6th Ave, Highland Pizza has great “neighborhood pizza”. Being right in the center of town, there is no surprise as to why this little pizzeria is so popular. Over the past 4 years, there have been 3 new similar restaurants come into business, and all of them failed. Competing with Highland Pizza is a challenge, since it is in sight from the High School. The place is packed during lunch and after school, and it has even become somewhat of a hangout. The best part of the restaurant is the man behind the counter, Chico. He has been there since I can remember and knows just about everyone in town.
- Pad Thai, 217 Raritan Avenue, ☏ .
- Park Pub, 182 Woodbridge Avenue, ☏ .
- Polo Pub, 1165 Raritan Avenue, ☏ .
- The Fallout Shelter, 320 Raritan Avenue, ☏ . 12:00pm to 8:00pm. The only comic book and trading card store in town, The Fallout Shelter holds Friday Night Magic, Board Game Nights, and has numerous comic books. Hours are various, with the standard 12:00-8:00PM on MTh, 11:00AM to 8:00PM on W, 12:00PM - 7:00PM on F, 10:00AM - 6:00PM on S.
- Studio @ 808, 808 Raritan Ave, ☏ . 5:30am to 8:30pm. As the only “Gym” in town, there is no surprise why this place has become so popular. Throughout the day, there are people constantly coming in and out, and this individually owned workout facility has become well known in the area. With the hours of M-Th 5:30AM – 9:30PM, and F-S 5:30AM – 8PM you can get a total workout. Also available at the Studio are a wide assortment of beverages, including nutritional supplements, and shakes to be enjoyed before, during, and after your workout.
- Hyatt Regency, 2 Albany Street. New Brunswick, NJ is about 1/4 mile southwest of the borough.
- The Heldrich Hotel, 10 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, is about 1/2 mile southwest of the borough.