Overall Rank: 27
Originally a planned community, the woodsy borough of Mountain Lakes is notable for its stucco-and-stone Arts-and-Crafts style houses—often referred to as Hapgood homes, after the developer Herbert J. Hapgood, who built almost 500 houses here. There really are lakes in Mountain Lakes—nine of them. Residents—sometimes called Lakers—enjoy a variety of recreational opportunities in the many parks, including swimming at Birchwood Lake or Island Beach on Mountain Lake. Conveniences include a train station and a few small shops on Midvale Road.
It’s no surprise that the state’s most affluent town should also have high taxes, but that doesn’t seem to have dimmed its citizens’ pride of place—as is evident in this year’s centennial celebrations.
“There’s an incredible amount of citizens involved in committees,” says borough manager Barry Lewis. “People are very civic orientated and willing to volunteer.”