Madison is characterized by the cultural and academic influences of local universities, and a colorful local history. Located about 26 miles west of Manhattan, its picturesque downtown has over 50 buildings listed on the state and national registers of historic places.
Contributing to Madison's appeal is the fact that it's a livable, friendly and walkable community. Most downtown buildings offer retail space at the street level with residential units above. Many residents walk to shops, houses of worship, schools, parks and public transportation. Also downtown is a New Jersey Transit train station to NYC.
Drew University's tree-lined campus is in Madison, while the Madison-Florham Park Campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University, as well as the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, are adjacent to town. A portion of Fairleigh Dickinson University is located on the former Madison estate of Florence Vanderbilt and Hamilton Twombly.
Known for its lively cultural offerings, Madison is home to the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Playwrights Theater of New Jersey and the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts.