Located in Somerset County, Bernardsville Borough is bordered by Mendham, Harding, Peapack-Gladstone, Bedminster and Basking Ridge/Bernards Township. Bernardsville's bustling downtown district winds along Route 202 and offers shops, services, boutiques, a movie theater, two supermarkets, several restaurants and a New Jersey Transit train station for service to New York.
The railroad line built through Bernardsville in 1872 played an important role in the borough's expansion and development. In the years following the Civil War, wealthy New Yorkers discovered the area, initially as summer visitors and later settling in as year 'round residents of the Bernardsville Mountain Colony. The railroad line transformed Bernardsville from a rural village to a world-class destination for prominent bankers, merchants and industry leaders who built lavish mansions and estates using European craftsmen, first-rate materials and innovative architectural designs. By the 1890s, residents of the Bernardsville Mountain were known for their extravagant lifestyles. Polo matches, private racetracks, opulent balls and elaborate horse-drawn carriages arriving at the railroad station added to the mountain colony's allure. The town grew as European artisans, gardeners and servants settled in the village to work at some of the grand estates. In the 1920s the illustrious mountain colony was hit hard in by the Depression, and in subsequent years, many of the large estates were sold or subdivided. However, today it is once again a highly desirable section of the borough, where many new and historic mansions dot the landscape.
Public school students in kindergarten through grade 12 attend schools in the Somerset Hills Regional School District, which also serves students from Far Hills and Peapack-Gladstone. Each of the three schools in the district are located in Bernardsville: Marion T. Bedwell Elementary School (kindergarten-grade 4), Bernardsville Middle School (grades 5 - 8) and Bernards High School. According to their website, Bernards High School is ranked in the top 1/2 percent of high schools in the country. Noteworthy alumni include Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep and rock musician John Geils Jr. of the J. Geils Band. Private schools in the borough include the School of St. Elizabeth, a Catholic school for students from pre-kindergarten to grade 8 and the Palmer School, and early education facility for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students.
New Jersey Transit's Bernardsville train station is part of the Gladstone Branch of the Morristown Line. It offers connecting service to New York's Penn Station, Newark or Hoboken Terminal. Lakeland Bus provides commuter service to midtown Manhattan's Port Authority.
Olcott Square in the center of the business district is within walking distance to many of the borough's in-town residences. Gracious Victorians, center hall Colonials, bungalows, Cape Cods, and a variety of other charming architectural styles are set back from the streets along sidewalks, just minutes from shops and the train station. The Bernardsville Mountain takes up a majority of the borough's land area, where large estate-caliber homes typically sit on lot sizes of five acres or more. Many of these luxury homes have sweeping views of the Somerset Hills from elevated vantage points.
There are several parks in the borough, the largest is the 30-acre Polo Grounds directly behind the Marion T. Bedwell Elementary School and Bernardsville Middle School. The park has a football and soccer field, two softball diamonds and one baseball diamond. Adjacent to the Polo Grounds is the Olympic-size municipal pool.
Local highways include Routes 202, 206; short distance to Interstates 287, and 78.
New Jersey Transit service to Manhattan, Newark or Hoboken from Bernardsville Station, local bus service to New York's Port Authority.
Historical mansions, antique farmhouses, Colonials, early and mid-20th century homes, cottages, manor homes, luxury dwellings, Victorians, estate properties, villas, equestrian farms, and a wide range of other architectural styles.