If you’re looking for an eclectic arts scene mixed with world cuisine and a funky downtown, Montclair is the place for you. This urban suburb is home to a unique group of writers, artists and musicians, whose presence is felt in the vibrant downtown and on the campus of Montclair State University, home of the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center, and in the theaters and arts venues around town. What’s more, the New Jersey Jackals professional minor league baseball team plays at Yogi Berra Stadium.p>
Art lovers will enjoy a walk through the Montclair Art Museum, offering a host of permanent and unique changing exhibits, concerts and films. Not visible from the street, the Avis Campbell Gardens is a 7,000-square-foot floral oasis behind the United Way Building. Since 1952, the Avis Campbell Gardens have been a place of solitude and beauty.
The walk able downtown centers on Church Street are lined with locally owned shops. Stop into Amanti Vino for delectable wines, tasting parties and private events or Ruby (27 Church St.) for chic women’s clothes and accessories. On nearby Bloomfield Avenue, Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant is a favorite for both vegans and meat lovers boasting authentic Ethiopian food.
While enjoying the town, you can’t miss the grand Victorian mansions. Several, including the Israel Crane and Nathaniel Crane Houses are available for tours as part of the Montclair Historical Society.