If you are visiting the Garden State, make sure you do not miss out on these scenic towns! These destinations are perfect if you’re looking for a calm getaway and less-known attractions in the state. From beaches to ski slopes, these hidden New Jersey towns are perfect for a hike, vacation, or road trip.
Less than an hour-long drive from New York City, the small town is perfect for picnics. Families visit Taylor Park to enjoy their calm atmosphere and Taylor Pond. Although it is best known for shopping boutiques and luxurious stores, the town also boasts Gero Park's greenery and pool. Millburn’s Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary attract wildlife fanatics from all around. The Paper Mill Playhouse, a performing arts theatre, has earned the town its title of being home to "New Jersey’s State Theatre."
The small and adorable town of Lambertville is also ideal if you are looking for a scenic destination nestled along the Delaware River. Not only is the Howell Living History Farm enriching for scholars, but its historic and cultural significance has been associated with its beautiful landscape and plains. The herb garden in the Holcombe-Jimison Farmstead Museum has made the town popular amongst artists and scholars. However, what stands out the most in the riverside town is Wildlife Centre Friends, an animal hospital open to tourists. The center also has a reservation to protect endangered animals and rehabilitate them before their release.
Known for its greenery and scenic hike trails, Morristown is a hub for nature lovers with options such as the Frelinghuysen Arboretum and Morristown’s National Historic Park. The town is less than an hour's drive away from New York City and is home to 20,000 residents. If you are looking forward to hiking, Loantaka Brook Reservation is the place to go! The unique plantation and biodiversity in its swamps have made it a popular destination for adventurers and nature fanatics, and more importantly, a great place to relax and enjoy the sunset.
Glenwood is a secluded town with under 3,000 residents. Infamous for its ski resort, Mountain Creek Resort, Glenwood in Vernon township is the best place to watch the leaves turn red. The ski slopes attract New Jerseyans from all around, earning the town a stellar reputation for its resorts, lodgings, and white slopes. However, that is not all. Glenwood is beautiful all year round, with hiking trails such as Stairway to Heaven. If you can't stop by the town, make sure you drive through Hawks Nest Highway in nearby New York, a rocky route with unique vegetation and wildlife.
Home to Princeton’s very own tigers, the college town has earned a great reputation not only amongst academics but also nature enthusiasts. Rowers and kayakers flock to Rosedale Lake, the town's most beautiful mature destination and home to the Ivy League schools' annual rowing tournaments. The lake's most beautiful feature is the greenery on its borders, making it a perfect place to fish and watch the sunset! Nassau Street is the best place to dine and spend the night as well.
Almost an hour and a half drive south of New York City, Spring Lake is an excellent getaway from the bustling city, with only 3,000 inhabitants. Known amongst New Jerseyans as "the Jewel of the Jersey Shore," it is popular for its pristine beaches and fine dining. However, the hidden jewel is also home to many farms, such as the Arrow Acres Alpaca farm. Make sure you add cycling to your to-do list when you're in Spring Lake! The scenic town has an electric bike rental for nature fanatics so they can glide by some of the most beautiful lakes in the state, such as Lake Como.
Only populated by 2,000 people, Allentown stands out for its historic architecture, like the Old Mill. Allentown borders Mercer County and has proved to be an attractive destination amongst the relatively larger towns nearby, mostly due to the appeal of its amusement water park, Six Flags Great Adventure. Sites not to miss include Heritage Park and the Horse Park of New Jersey.
What better place is there to watch the leaves turn red than Bernardsville? Only about 10 miles away from Morristown, Bernardsville has a population of approximately 8,000 people, making it one of the smaller towns in the area and a perfect place if you're looking for calm, secluded, and scenic areas. The marvelous forests have made the town a hidden gem for hikers who walk the trails of the South Mountain reservation and dive into the beauty of Hemlock Falls. The many parks and reservations, such as the Sherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary and the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, have made the town an attraction for animal enthusiasts.
The Kittatinny Ridge borders the small town of Montague on one side, with the mighty Delaware River on the other. This scenic town sits next to the Pennsylvania border, about 60 miles from Newark. Nearby High Point State Park is the highest point in the state and home to High Point Monument, which overlooks Lake Marcia. From the highest point on the ridge, you can see the water pass through the thick vegetation and greenery, a view much worth the hike. Shallow fog gathers in the valley around sunset, making the scene a mesmerizing beauty. Not far away, Stokes State Forest and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area also offer endless opportunities for exploring the outdoors.
The secluded town in Warren County in western New Jersey is home to around 15,000 people. East of Delaware's Water Gap and across the border from Easton, Pennsylvania, the town is a great spot to observe the migration of birds. The rare cliff terrain is home to endangered species such as Peregrine Falcons. Also, the NJ transit I-78 train runs through Phillipsburg, a worthy trip that passes through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
A town best known for its fall festivities, Chester’s beautiful Chubb Park has been a longstanding attraction with scenic views. The town, close to the Jersey City area, comes alive during the fall, with apple-picking events held annually at the Alstede Farms. But if you can’t catch the beautiful town during the fall, you can visit it in the spring to enjoy its flowery meadows and gorgeous sunsets in the Highlands Ridge Park.
Clinton’s main attraction, Hunterdon Art Museum, has made it a landmark in Hunterdon County. The Red Mill Museum Village is an ideal place to visit during the fall, not just for the rich history it holds but also for the gorgeous views from the museum's iconic porch. Visitors stop by the secluded spot to see the Raritan River and its green riverbank.
From historic towns to secluded beaches and rocky mountains, you can have it all while you travel through these towns. Whether you’re looking for an educational trip for your kids, an action-packed hike, or a laid-back beach trip, these scenic towns can help you find what you’re looking for!