The Borough of Highland Park is just 1.8 miles square and boasts a population of just 13,999, according to the 2000 census. It is centrally located in Middlesex County between New Brunswick and Edison Township along the Raritan River. Small as it is, Highland Park fits a number of definitions of quality of life. In fact, for many residents, the borough's compactness is itself a big asset.
While Highland Park is the kind of town you can get your arms around, it is also rich in cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity and lifestyle opportunities. In the 2000 census, 13.6% of the town's population described themselves as Asian, 8.2% as Hispanic or Latino, 7.9% as black or African American, 3.6% as being of some other race, 2.6% as being of two or more races, and 0.1% as Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Remarkably, our schoolchildren speak more than 50 languages.
The many faces of Highland Park include a bustling downtown business district--through which State Highway 27, known locally as Raritan Avenue, passes--and tranquil, tree-lined neighborhoods. Homes range from charmingly modest to manorial, and are rich in architectural interest and historical significance. Highland Park is the kind of place where you can run all your errands--grocery shopping, banking, dry cleaning, gift-shopping, or a visit to the florist or the drugstore--and then treat yourself to an ice cream sundae at one of the oldest original soda fountains in the state or relax in one of our fine dining establishments, which run the gamut of international cuisine, from Mexican to Korean to Turkish to Kosher Chinese.
Popular with Rutgers University faculty and students and employees of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, Highland Park also provides easy access to mass transit for residents employed in business centers like Newark, Trenton, New York and Philadelphia. For many commuters, weekdays start with a short walk to neighboring New Brunswick to catch an express bus or train.
Into boating, fishing or jogging? A chain of parks and natural areas hugs the Raritan River along the perimeter of Highland Park as a loosely connected Highland Park greenway. On the south side of town, there is the 90-acre Donaldson Park, a destination for many because of its boat-launching ramp; on the north side, the 473-acre Johnson Park, which Highland Park shares with Piscataway Township.
Highland Park also distinguishes itself with a first-class school system, perennially ranked among the best anywhere in America.
For spiritual nourishment, you will find more than a dozen churches, synagogues and other religious institutions in Highland Park. Finally, the town is just minutes from world-class performing and visual arts venues, state-of-the-art sports facilities (e.g., the scenic 42,000-seat Rutgers University Stadium and affordable public golf courses), libraries, and scientific research and medical institutions. For more about Highland Park, click here, or visit one of the many links on this site to demographic and historical information.
Whatever yardstick you use, you'll find that Highland Park measures up as a great place to live, play or do business.