Atlantic Highlands has a wonderful downtown with shops and restaurants plus a municipal harbor that is popular among boaters, fisherman and other water lovers. The NYC ferry departs from here. Architecturally, Atlantic Highlands is wonderful with lots of Victorian homes and many more recently built homes.
Highlands is smaller, closer to the ocean and also rich in historical details, most obviously with the Twin Lights lighthouse which sits high on the hill overlooking the ocean. From here you can see Sandy Hook, the Shrewsbury River, Raritan Bay, NY Harbor and Manhattan and Long Island. A clamming town that is still called home by local fisherman, Highlands also offers a great deal of condo living, many with spectacular views. Highlands is also home to some of the finest dining in all of NJ (check out Zagat.com for Bay Ave Trattoria, Doris & Ed's and more). Dock & dine, waterviews, varied cuisines (e.g. Cuban, Seafood, Italian, American, Jamaican, and more!)... there's a lot to love about the restaurant options here! In addition, the NYC ferry departs from Highlands. A great added feature is Hartshorne Woods which offers 700 acres of woodland trails and is very popular for biking, hiking, jogging and walking... one of the favorite spots for mountain bikers in the northeast.
The two towns have their own elementary schools and share the middle/high school. The high school was recently recipient of the governor's award for achievement.
I would say most people are interested in the area because it offers something a bit more unique, a little less suburban... I've lived in Highlands for 8 years now and love it. The proximity to the beach and Sandy Hook, walking to the local restaurants, enjoying Hartshorne Woods' trails, and having the convenience of the NYC ferry... it's a great place to be.
If you're thinking of moving here I'm happy to give you the "nickel tour"... a quick overview of all the area has to offer.
There are 39 single family homes offered for sale in Highlands offered at prices beginning at less than 200K and up to almost 3M. The median price point is in mid 3's. Additionally, there is a mobile home park in Highlands with a few mobile homes for sale. There are 33 condos for sale offered in Highlands throughout several different condo and townhome complexes. Offering prices range from the mid 100's to the mid 700's with the median price point in the high 200's.
Both are shore towns, and people from out of the area often think they are areas of the same town. Each has it's own schools, municipal office, police force, etc. Both town also have ferry service, making both an excellent choice for NYC ferry commuters. Atlantic Highlands has a small, but vibrant downtown. Highlands has a cluster of eateries on the water and along a few main streets. The towns share a middle and high school. Each has their own elementary school.
You can review the school report cards by the State of NJ, here:
Be sure to look at Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, and Henry Hudson Regional (grades 7-12)
You can also learn about schools at
Check here for ferry schedules and rates
Both towns are near Sandy Hook offering beaches, trails, bike paths, birdwatching, bay activities, and more. http://www.sandy-hook.com/
Both towns provide easy access to other shore towns from Sea Bright to Long Branch and further south. Clusters of activities can be found at Pier Village in Long Branch, a vibrant downtown in Red Bank, and numerous activities throughout the area.
Near to both towns is Hartshorne woods with miles of trails for casual walkers and hiking enthusiasts. It consists of over 700 acres. http://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/parks/hartshorne.asp
Marinas with recreational and fishing boats are abundant in both towns.
Private equestrian activities are offered nearby.
It's a great place to live, play, and work.
I can send you a complete commuity printout for both communities via email in PDF format. This is not available as a link, but I will be happy to email it to you. It runs about 30+ pageseach and includes a variety of info on each municipality.
Let me know if we can help futher.
Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group