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South Amboy, NJ

South Amboy quietly hides away along the Raritan Bay coastline in tranquil Middlesex County gaining its name as “The Gateway to the Shore”. This lovely river town hugs the gentle slopes where the bay meets the winding waters of the Raritan River. 

South Amboy has preserved a timeless community spirit and relaxing small-town pace perfect for those who enjoy the water and serenity.


The latest census figures reflect a slight dip in the number of population. The estimates from the United States Census Bureau reveal that 9,330 people now call the city their home as of 2022 – just under the 9,411 count during the last 2020 data.

Racial Makeup

South Amboy’s population is marked by diversity. Its racial makeup mirrors how colorful the culture is in this city. 

Based on the American Community Survey data, the racial percentage of the South Amboy population is as follows:

Black or African American9.51%
Other race8.07%
Two or more races5.86%

Other key demographic data about the city of South Amboy are:

  • The average household size is 2.41.
  • The median age is 41.7 years.
  • The median household income is $81,742.
  • The per capita income is $43,000 to $47,000 per year.
  • 96.6% of residents are U.S. citizens.
  • The median property value is $321,800.
  • The homeownership rate is 53.3%
  • Most people drove alone to work.
  • Average commute time: 30.9 minutes
  • The vehicle ownership is 2 cars per household on average.
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South Amboy’s history dates back to the 1600s when pioneers from Europe settled the area. Dutch and English people crossed the Atlantic and established a small hamlet that would later develop into a central New Jersey town.

The town’s first residents christened their new home New Perth, in honor of a Scottish nobleman named James Drummond, Earl of Perth, who held the land grant. By 1685, the settlement had grown and incorporated as a township to which the residents later voted to change the name to South Amboy, reflecting its location across the bay from Perth Amboy.

For generations, South Amboy thrived as a transportation hub nestled along the Raritan River and Upper New York Bay. But the town’s strategic position has not come without cost.

In 1918, a deadly explosion tore through an ammunition plant, followed by another burst of tragedy in 1950 when a munitions transfer caused a disastrous detonation. The aftermath of both tragedies lingers in the memories of South Amboy residents to this day. The wounds, both visible and invisible, cut deep.

In recent years, South Amboy has renewed its spirit to revitalize its future. Locals have rolled up their sleeves to lovingly restore historic buildings and businesses lining Main Street, reclaiming a sense of community pride. 

Today, a spirit of renewal pervades South Amboy as residents old and new work together to build on over 300 years of history. They aim to honor the sacrifices of the past while crafting a hopeful future full of possibilities for this resilient community.


Though South Amboy does not host any major hospitals within city limits, there exists a range of other clinics and nearby medical facilities to serve the town’s population. Residents have convenient access to clinics, physician offices, and urgent care centers right in South Amboy. These include:

These provide walk-in treatment for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Additionally, numerous private practices and offices offer specialized medical services including family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics.

The town’s strategic location in Middlesex County and proximity to larger municipalities like New Brunswick, alongside easy accessibility to New York City hospitals and Jersey Shore medical centers, further expand health options for locals. Among the nearest hospitals that can cater to South Amboy residents include:

These hospitals provide inpatient and outpatient services like emergency care, imaging, labs, and surgical procedures.


The South Amboy School District provides for the educational needs of the city of South Amboy. The public school halls come alive each day with the energy and enthusiasm of nearly 1,200 students.

From the youngest pre-kindergarteners just setting out on their educational journeys to high school seniors nearing graduation, the South Amboy School District strives to meet the needs of every student and help nurture their growth.

South Amboy Elementary School sits at the heart of the community, educating little ones from age five through sixth grade. Meanwhile, South Amboy Middle/High School guides teenagers through their formative middle and high school years.

With around 15 students for every teacher, class sizes remain small – a benefit treasured by both educators and families.  Engaged parents and a supportive community volunteer regularly, fundraise tirelessly, and ensure students have every resource they need to thrive.

Transportation in South Amboy, NJ

Residents of South Amboy City have several public and private transportation options available to them.

Type of TransportationDescription
Commuter RailNJ Transit operates the South Amboy train station located on Mason Street, providing commuter rail service along the North Jersey Coast Line. Trains from South Amboy run frequently to major destinations across northern New Jersey.
Local BusNJ Transit additionally operates two transport routes – the 815 and 817 – that help South Amboy and connect the town to different areas. The transport ways grant extra public transportation for journeying and roaming within the place.
Private TransportationThere are lots of non-public transportation corporations based in South Amboy, such as taxi and vehicle service corporations and also limousine services. These preferences render on-demand transportation for nearby trips.
Transportation Assistance ProgramsBeyond the public transit and non-public vehicle services, there may be extra transportation plans accessible to help South Amboy residents who necessitate transportation assistance. Different corporations and public service programs could grant transportation assistance to those with special needs.
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Points of Interest

South Amboy has several points of interest within and nearby that offer recreational, cultural, and dining experiences for locals and visitors alike. Check them out below:

  • Raritan Bay Waterfront Park is situated along the sparkling Raritan Bay waters. Visitors soak in the simple pleasures of soaking up scenic views, casting fishing lines, strolling wooded trails, and picnicking with loved ones.
  • Blue Moon South Amboy is a warm and vintage bar that is considered an old-fashioned gem where locals, young and old, gather each day to unwind over a drink and a hearty meal.
  • The historic Monaghan House has been around since the 18th century and now operates as a cultural center and museum. It showcases the rich history of South Amboy.
  • South Amboy Arena Rollermagic is a fun and popular roller skating rink that hosts public skating sessions, birthday parties, and private events for families and friends.
  • Hole in the Wall Restaurant and Bar offers a casual atmosphere along with a variety of food and drink options. This is a local favorite!
  • Double Dyme Tavern, located just a few miles away in Perth Amboy, is another restaurant and bar that is popular among South Amboy residents for its food, drinks, and entertainment.
  • Diekers Farm, about 6 miles from South Amboy in Helmetta, offers seasonal attractions and activities such as pumpkin picking and hayrides that residents enjoy visiting.
  • Masterpiece Mixers art studio in nearby Metuchen offers painting classes and private events, providing another cultural and recreational option for South Amboy residents.

Final Thoughts

For those seeking a refreshing retreat or a more affordable home close to larger cities, South Amboy has much to offer. Its easy access to New York City, shore destinations, and regional rail network provide convenient options for commuters, while the scenic waterfront, historic atmosphere, and friendly community create an appealing place to call home.

For visitors and new residents alike, the “Gateway to the Shore” moniker rings true – South Amboy serves as a stepping stone to natural beauty and revitalizing environments while fostering a sense of belonging for those who choose to put down roots.