New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the United States. We’re also the only state where every county is classified as “urban” based on census designations. Still, there are places you can go while looking for peace and quiet. These New Jersey neighborhoods offer the utmost serenity. While some also offer a variety of activities, they’re among the best spots to get away from it all. Please note that the towns are listed from north to south.
1. Walpack Township
Known by some as "The Town That Time Forgot," Walpack was mostly abandoned in the 1960s to make way for a dam that was never built. There are still about two dozen residents and a museum in the historic Rosenkrans House that welcomes curious visitors. There is little do do here but immerse yourself in nature (the town is located in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area) or dine at the charming Walpack Inn.
This town in the Ramapo Mountains may be a bit more urban than other spots on the list, but it's so much more secluded than the rest of Bergen County. One of the safest communities in the state, you'll find over 5,000 acres of parkland to enjoy here.
Enjoy a laid-back lifestyle on the lake in Sparta, which offers a number of charming waterfront communities. The views are so scenic and serene, you'll forget you're just an hour from New York City.
This town on the Delaware River is adjacent to some of the best rapids in the state. It is home to a historic cemetery housing Civil War soldiers, a small museum and Four Sisters Winery. The town also has more certified historic Victorian homes than any other town in New Jersey. Visit during September for the annual Victorian Days festival.
This beautiful borough is often featured in film and television; it played a major role in the CBS soap opera, Guiding Light. There is a unique lime kiln in the center of town, and the United States Equestrian Team is headquartered here.
Home to Washington Crossing State Park, the heart of the village sits on a bluff overlooking the Delaware. You'll find beautiful hiking trails and a visitor's center with Revolutionary War artifacts.
This Monmouth County shore town is home to around 500 residents and a popular beach club. While the town is mostly residential, you're just minutes away from bustling Asbury Park and a short drive from Long Branch.
Though it is certainly peaceful, you'll find a charming downtown area with historic buildings and several thrift shops. The Old Mill is one of the town's most notable features.
A census designated place within the Township of Florence, Roebling is home to the Roebling Museum. John A. Roebling & Sons mined the steel for and built the Brooklyn and Golden Gate Bridges, among other notable structures.
10. Manchester Township
Peace and quiet in a town of over 40,000? Just hear me out. According to FBI crime data, it's incredibly safe for its size, and the town is also home to an abundance of natural areas. You'll find the Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, Manchester Wildlife Management Area, Whiting Wildlife Management Area and Crystal Lake. Another incredible place to find some serenity? Pine Lake Park. You'll find a stunning man-made lake with its own island.
11. Medford Lakes
The motto of this community-oriented town is, "Medford Lakes-in-the-pines, the year-round summer playground." With 22 lakes, the borough has nearly as much water as it does land. Another fun fact? Over 10% of the town's homes are log cabins.
12. Harvey Cedars
This sleepy island oasis has under 500 year-round residents. There are just a few shops in town but you'll find easy access to both bay and ocean beaches. Even though the population increases during summer months, there's a laid back atmosphere separating it from nearby shore towns.
Minutes from Atlantic City, this island town is nothing like its neighbor. The northern part of the island is home to a portion of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, a popular bird watching destination.
14. Sea Breeze
Once a thriving town with ferry service to Philadelphia, Sea Breeze is mostly abandoned. It offers one of the most secluded beaches in the state and several summer homes but little else. There are just a handful of roads in this unincorporated community, and they are mostly unpaved.
15. Cape May Point
While Cape May is one of my favorite shore towns, it has a ton going on in the summer. For a more relaxed experience, head to Cape May Point. There are only a handful of shops, but you will find the Cape May Light and some scenic natural areas.
There are so many sleepy towns in our bustling state, so this list is by no means all encompassing. What others would you add to the list? For more charming neighborhoods in New Jersey, check out