I lived in Lakewood, New Jersey for ten years in my teens to my early twenties, and it was a wonderful place to live. Lakewood is a small town in Ocean County in Central New Jersey, less than an hour from New York City and only a few minutes from all the attractions of the Jersey Shore. Situated with easy access to the Garden State Parkway as well as Routes 35 and 9, Lakewood provides easy access to the rest of the state.
Lakewood is a tight-knit community with all the sights and sounds of a beach community. Equally distant between the boardwalks of Point Pleasant and Sandy Hook, nightlife is less than ten minutes away. Also down the road is the famous and historical city of Asbury Park, where countless famous musicians began their careers, and many more continue to do so to this day. Eateries in the Lakewood area are diverse and unmatched--between the famous New Jersey diners and the local Jewish and Italian cuisines of the area, there is certainly something for everyone in Lakewood.
Although the city of Lakewood itself is generally rather quiet, the summer can bring many tourists to the surrounding areas--resulting in even more congestion than is typical for New Jersey. However, this tourism also has the benefit of creating a thriving economy for Lakewood and the surrounding areas. As with any densely populated area there are some undesirable urbanized communities in the surrounding areas. The benefits of living in Lakewood is its sense of community, where neighbors constantly watch out for each other and emergency services are never more than a stones throw away. Moderately priced for New Jersey, Lakewood is a wonderful place to live and grow up.