Home Best of Guides How to Spend a Day in Caldwell, NJ

How to Spend a Day in Caldwell, NJ

by Cristina Lombardi
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Located in a borough of Essex County, Caldwell is a small town with a close-knit, community feel. Countless shops, parks, pools, fitness, and classes make it a sought-after place to live and visit. Not to mention, it is home to some delicious restaurants and fun bars. Conveniently located next to Montclair, Caldwell is a town that should be on everyone’s list to visit. Whether visitors only have a few hours, or a full day to spend, there are plenty of fun activities for all ages to enjoy. Keep reading for a brief history of the town and to discover a few of the many fun things to do in Caldwell, NJ.


Brief History

The history of Caldwell, NJ dates back to the early 18th century when pioneers purchased acres of land (known as the Horseneck Tract) from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans. According to the Borough of Caldwell, The Horseneck Track consisted of several surrounding towns including Caldwell, West Caldwell, North Caldwell, Fairfield, Verona, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Roseland, and sections of Livingston and West Orange. Many of these towns eventually broke off as their own individual towns. When that occurred, all that remained of the original Caldwell Township was over 6,000 acres of rural farmland. Years later, two individual settlements, known as Franklin and Westville, were formed. As development increased and the population grew, the town’s rural western population and urban east often could not come to an agreement. This led to the areas of Franklin and Westville becoming their own township known as West Caldwell in 1904 — and left one mile of the original downtown Horseneck development as the borough of Caldwell. The first mayor of Caldwell was Lewis G. Lockward.

The Ivy at Chatham

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Where to Shop

Caldwell’s shopping scene is best known by locals to occur on Bloomfield Avenue. Here, shoppers will find multiple fashion boutiques, and clothing stores for any age. We rounded up just a few of our faves to check out.

Smith + Company | 343 Bloomfield Avenue


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Smith + Company has an old-fashioned feel with all the trending items the heart could desire. Whether looking for a birthday, anniversary, wedding, holiday, or housewarming gift, visitors will be sure to find something for any occasion.

On Bloom | 342 Bloomfield Avenue

on bloom caldwell

On Bloom is another favorite clothing and accessories store to visit.  This high-fashion boutique has comfortable, stylish, and trendy items that are great for gift-giving or for updating a wardrobe.

Puttin on the Ritz | 285 Bloomfield Avenue #5144

Puttin on the Ritz, is an up-scale clothing store with a large selection of fashionable and unique dress pieces and women’s clothing, all handpicked by the owner herself.

Things to Do

Caldwell hosts a variety of annual events, including the Caldwell Street Fair, a weekly farmers market, and family-friendly events during the holiday season. If you’re a sports fan, there is always a game for spectators to watch and support Caldwell High School — especially football games this fall season. Caldwell has a deep history going back to the 18th century, and some of its historical roots are still present around town. Here are our picks for some educational, active, and all-around fun things to take advantage of in the area.

West Caldwell Public Library | 30 Clinton Road

Step up your reading game at the West Caldwell Public Library. Located on the first floor of the West Caldwell Municipal Building, this town library offers over 40,000 books, 200 magazines plus a large selection of DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks. Members also can take advantage of Friday afternoon movies, concerts, presentations, book discussions, and a Summer Reading program — perfect for the kids. Membership is free to all residents, taxpayers, and employees in West Caldwell. All others are invited to purchase an annual membership.

Grover Cleveland Birthplace Historic Site | 207 Bloomfield Avenue

grover cleveland birth place and musuem

Visit the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Historic Site for some history or a learning experience with the kids. Guests will tour the exact house that the 22nd President of the United States, was born and raised in. In fact, the first floor still portrays the house as it was laid out in 1837.

Indigo Yoga | 351 Bloomfield Avenue

indigo yoga caldwell

Get active and explore the outdoors in fun and interactive ways. First, we love Indigo Yoga for its many different yoga classes including Hot Yoga and Restorative. Whether it’s Pilates, Barre, Yoga tone, shred, sculpt, HIIT, prenatal, or Areal yoga, there’s something for any fitness level.

Embodi Fitness | 373 Bloomfield Avenue

Embodi Fitness is another unique studio that offers Semi-Private Fitness Training. Visitors will be paired with a fitness trainer who will provide personalized workouts, and all necessary instruction and motivation along the way.

Grover Cleveland Park | 118 Brookside Avenue

caldwell park

For adventure seekers, Grover Cleveland Park is the place to go. This beautiful county park is perfect for walkers, bikers, and joggers alike. It contains gentle rolling hills, meadows, a pond, a baseball field, a playground, and more. The pond is available for fishing and in the winter it becomes an ice skating rink to skate or play ice hockey.

Cedar Street Pool | Cedar Street + Woodside Avenue + Westville Avenue Pool | 293 Westville Avenue

Cool off on those hot summer days at one of Caldwells’ two community pools, Cedar Street Pool or Westville Avenue Pool. Open through September 5th, both locations have an expansive swimming space with six lanes, diving boards, slides, and a kiddie pool. There are also snack bars, basketball courts, and playgrounds for kids to enjoy. Swimming lessons are offered as well for kids. Seasonal badges can be purchased at the West Caldwell Municipal Building and guest passes may be purchased by members at the pool door.

Where to Eat +  Drink

After venturing around town and working up an appetite, it’s time to eat. Caldwell has countless food establishments within its mile radius. Whether it be Italian, Japanese, Chinese, American, Mexican, or Spanish, there’s a restaurant for every craving — and we’ve compiled just a sample of some of the options to choose from.

The Caldwell Diner | 332 Bloomfield Avenue


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It doesn’t get much better than an NJ diner — and this family-run establishment is a great option for anyone visiting the area who can’t decide what type of food they are in the mood for. Its extensive menu consists of all-day diner classics — from breakfast staples to burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads, and more. There’s something for any craving and it’s guaranteed to be delicious. MG pro tip: Order the disco fries and a milkshake.

The Original Pancake House | 817 Bloomfield Avenue

Trust us, this breakfast spot alone is worth driving to Caldwell for. From their signature pancakes to eggs and bacon, to other American breakfast classics — guests cannot go wrong with any order here. Plus the atmosphere is cozy and relaxed. We can’t recommend their banana pancakes enough with whipped cream. Prepare to be indulged.

Rock’n Joe Coffee Bar | 339 Bloomfield Avenue

We have a soft spot for coffee shops and this Rock ‘n’ roll-themed coffee shop is as fun as it is delicious. Rock n roll fans will be in heaven looking at all the different music-themed decor everywhere. Guests can enjoy delicious specialty drinks, seasonal items, and a food menu of sandwiches + salads. Come to work, catch up with friends over coffee, or for a full meal.

Angeloni’s | 6 Brookside Avenue


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This Italian eatery has been a staple in the community for over 10 years. Its brick archways and interior make for a comfortable setting to dine in. Home of the famous Thinny Thin pizza, the menu includes a variety of pizza options, pasta, and other Italian classics.

Forte | 182 Bloomfield Avenue

When craving Italian classics in a casual setting, Forte is the place to go. At this family-friendly local eatery, guests can order slices to go or sit down for a more formal meal in their restaurant which is BYOB. The chicken Caesar pizza, eggplant parmigiana, or meatball subs do not disappoint.

Calandra’s Italian Village | 234 Bloomfield Avenue

calandra village

Known for its extensive bakery selection and specialty cakes, Calandra’s is a top destination for all of your Italian food cravings. Visitors will find prepared foods plus imported Italian delicacies + gelati. The village includes il Vecchio Cafe, La Taverna Lounge, plus a variety of options for private events.

Fat Fish Taco | 291 Bloomfield Avenue


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With its fresh white color scheme, this small eatery is inviting and serves authentic and innovative Mexican dishes. Available for dine-in or take-out, Popular dishes include blackened fish tacos, Baja tacos, or spicy shrimp tacos.

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Ocha Asian — Japanese Cuisine | 403 Bloomfield Avenue

If in the mood for seafood, then we suggest heading to Ocha for delicious sushi and innovative appetizers. Some of our favorites include the edamame, the shrimp, and the mixed tempura. The menu offers many different sushi rolls that are all tasty and fresh. The decor and ambiance are low-key and comfortable.

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