West Orange’s central location means many residents commute into both Newark and New York City for work. West Orange is an inner-ring suburb of Newark and Manhattan is just 12 miles to the east. The community has plenty to offer in its own right including shopping and dining at Essex Green Town Center, outdoor recreation at South Mountain Reservation, and attractions including Thomas Edison National Historical Park and Turtle Back Zoo.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
West Orange is one of Essex County’s main retail destinations. Essex Green Town Center
features more than 20 retailers and restaurants including brands such as Cold Stone Creamery, GNC, Macy’s Backstage, PetCo, ShopRite, and TGI Fridays. Essex Green Town Center also has an AMC Dine-In
movie theater where you can order restaurant-quality meals, premium wines, craft beers, and specialty cocktails directly to your seat whilst enjoying all the latest releases.
Overlooking Orange Reservoir in the 2,110-acre South Mountain Reservation, McLoone’s Boathouse
is a waterfront eatery pairing American cooking and raw bar items with an extensive choice of beers, wines, and cocktails. Many more dining choices can be found clustered around Main Street in the heart of West Orange. Star Coffee Shop & Deli
offers an extensive choice of tasty breakfast plates with lots of vegetarian options. Jersey Mike’s Subs
is West Orange’s best spot for signature New Jersey jumbo subs. The bread for every sub is freshly baked on-site and filled with delicious meats, cheese, and toppings. There are also scrumptious cookies and brownies available for dessert.
Things to Do
Thomas Edison lived and worked in West Orange while creating many of his significant inventions. During the Edison West Orange laboratories’ 40 years of operation, it produced revolutionary new technologies for motion picture and sound recordings. The Thomas Edison National Historical Park
preserves Edison’s home and laboratory as they were upon first being built in the 1880s. Visitors tour the interior of Edison’s beautiful Queen Anne-style mansion and interact with some of his many inventions inside the laboratory. The South Mountain Reservation
is another major West Orange attraction with trails winding through a nature reserve and many fun attractions located alongside the Orange Reservoir in the South Mountain Recreation Complex
. Turtle Back Zoo exhibits around 1,400 animals from every continent except Antarctica. Popular exhibits include gibbons, red pandas, gray wolves, sea lions, cougars, jaguars, leopards, crocodiles, giraffes, hyenas, lions, and an aviary with hundreds of birds. Other attractions at South Mountain Recreation Complex include a treetop adventure course, a mini-golf course, a waterfront playground, and opportunities for paddle boating and fishing on the reservoir.
The city celebrates the Fourth of July with a Food Truck Festival
at West Orange High School followed by a fireworks display. West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade
is another major annual event that passes Thomas Edison National Historical Park on its route to Our Lady of Lourdes Church.
West Orange Public Schools operates all public schools in West Orange.
- Redwood Elementary School, Public, K-5.
- West Orange High School, Public, 9-12.
- Lincoln Technical Institute, Private, Post-Secondary Vocational Education.