New Jersey, also known as the Garden State, is the perfect combination of bustling cities, beachfront resorts, and picturesque small towns. There are also the most stunning white sandy beaches with the clearest ocean waters to enjoy in the summer. With beautiful greenery, historical architecture, and unique attractions, the small towns of New Jersey are the perfect way to experience a slower pace of life.
This charming seaside town is known not only for its stunning beaches but also for its Victorian architecture. Located at the southern tip of New Jersey, Cape May is the perfect getaway for couples and families. Visitors can explore the many historic homes, some of which date back to the 1700s. Cape May also has stunning beaches for relaxing and is a popular spot for birdwatchers.
Nestled along the banks of the Delaware River, Lambertville has a treasure trove of antique shops and unique boutiques. In fact, the town is known as the "Antiques Capital of New Jersey," so it's a great place for a weekend away. The picturesque town also offers plenty of outdoor activities, such as canoeing or cycling along the river or the Raritan Canal. The town's nineteenth-century train station is often used as the backdrop for weddings and other special occasions.
Red Bank has a thriving arts scene with live music, galleries, and theater at the center of the action. Once you've ogled the art at Detour Gallery or immersed yourself in a live concert at the Count Basie Center for the Arts, you can enjoy a meal at one of Red Bank's many restaurants. There's something for everyone, including casual dining options or gourmet cuisine.
This quaint seaside town is the best place for a coastal vacation. Stroll along the boardwalk or take a dip in the ocean before sitting back to relax on the white sand. Spring Lake also has a charming downtown area brimming with boutiques, galleries, and historic bed and breakfasts. If you're in the area in December, be sure to attend the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
One of Asbury Park's main attractions is the boardwalk. This popular destination is the perfect place for people-watching or taking a stroll to enjoy the ocean views. This vibrant seaside resort town is also home to the Silverball Museum Arcade and the abandoned Asbury Park casino, both of which are great for a day filled with nostalgia. Another unique attraction is the Ocean Grove Tent City, which has existed as a temporary vacation residence since 1870.
The first thing many people think about in Princeton is its prestigious university. Visitors can enjoy a tour of the beautiful campus and explore the galleries and museums nestled within. Surrounding the town is an abundance of lush greenery and scenic parks, making it a popular place for nature lovers. During the fall, the leaves turn to a stunning array of red and orange shades that attract leaf-peepers from across the country every year.
Ocean City is one of the best small towns for family fun, with a lively boardwalk with a famous 3-mile wooden walkway, amusements, rides, and mini-golf. There's lots to do for all ages; visitors can enjoy experimental treats like fried Oreos, take a ride at Gillian's Wonderland Pier, or experience a local concert at the music pier. After a long day of fun, sit back and enjoy the stunning ocean views or try your hand at parasailing.
Haddonfield has a rich architectural history spanning the Colonial, Federal, and Victorian eras. Visitors can explore the historic homes and buildings or visit the Indian King Tavern Museum, which offers a glimpse into colonial life. The town also has a great downtown area, where you can enjoy an evening meal and a pint of locally brewed beer at the King's Road Brewing Company.
Bernardsville is a stunning small town in Somerset County, New Jersey. Visitors can explore the outdoors at the Cross Estate Gardens before enjoying a stroll through the shopping and restaurant district. The town is home to the Somerset Hills Country Club for those interested in a round of golf or simply enjoying the views of the countryside.
Morristown played an integral role in the Revolutionary War. Home to Jockey Hollow—the winter encampment for George Washington's troops—visitors can learn all about eighteenth-century army life here. There's also the Morris Museum, which combines art, science, and cultural exhibits, making it the perfect choice for a rainy day. In the summer, guests can enjoy the several parks and nature reserves surrounding the town and take part in hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities.
Smithville is a charming small town in Galloway Township that's home to a whole number of activities, such as live music, festivals, and even a haunted ghost walk. Visitors can explore the historic Smithville Inn to enjoy fine dining and live entertainment at this picturesque location. The town also boasts several nature trails and waterways, making it a great escape for outdoorsy types.
Clinton is a great destination for shopping, dining, and hiking. The town is home to the Red Mill Museum Village, which is the perfect day out for young families, as visitors can explore the region's rich industrial and agricultural history through interactive displays. Further afield, there is the Battle of Bound Brook and the Battle of Monmouth war sites from the Revolutionary War.
Ridgewood is filled with loads of historical landmarks, such as the Old Paramus Reformed Church and Graydon Pool. If you plan your visit at the right time of year, you'll get to experience one of the town's many festivals and events. Some highlights include the Ridgewood Art Institute's Annual Outdoor Art Show, the Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival, and the Ridgewood Fourth of July Celebration.
French Town on the Delaware River is home to ArtYard, a nonprofit that works with local and international artists to organize exhibitions and educational programs within the town and beyond. Frenchtown is the perfect place for artsy folk, and you'll find lots of unique treasures nestled amongst the vintage shops and flea markets. For those looking for something a little more outdoorsy, the town is situated near the Raritan Canal State Park.
Westfield is easy to visit by train from New York but feels worlds away from the big city. Westfield is recognized as one of the safest cities to live in, making it the perfect getaway for young families. For evening entertainment, the Prospect Wine Bar and Bistro combines the Manhattan-style jazz scene with small-town affordability and hosts live music five nights a week.