Most famous for its boardwalk beaches and Atlantic City casinos, New Jersey may surprise you with its quaint seaside towns and cozy atmosphere. The state boasts 130 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline, but it houses more than just beaches in terms of natural beauty, featuring an endless array of parks and natural wonders. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities for recreation, relaxation, and unique attractions that delve into the state's history and culture. Whatever it may be, New Jersey's coziest small towns offer adventure beyond the realms of imagination.
An ideal destination for a three-day getaway, Cape May is a seaside resort town situated at the tip of New Jersey’s Cape May Peninsula. Visitors may tour popular historic homes from the Victorian Era, such as the Emlen Physick Estate, which is now a museum. Outdoor adventure awaits as well, as tourists marvel at the views of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay from the Cape May Lighthouse, explore the family-friendly beaches, or visit the Cape May Bird Observatory. There are also plenty of gardens and parks for a leisurely stroll, such as Cape May Point State Park, Fishermen’s Memorial Park, and The Sperlak Gallery & Sculpture Gardens.
With a plethora of beachfront hotels and luxury B&Bs, popular places to stay include The Harrison, Wilbraham Mansion, and The Mason Cottage.
Lambertville is one of the most scenic New Jersey towns, positioned along the banks of the Delaware River. Federal townhouses and historic homes paint the town's streets in history, featuring beautiful architecture such as that of the 1816 James Wilson Marshall House Museum or the 19th-century train depot which houses Lambertville Station. The town also brands itself “The Antiques Capital of New Jersey,” home to hidden treasures such as the Golden Nugget Antique Flea Market. For those in search of a little outdoor relaxation, the Howell Living History Farm is the place to be. On overnight visits, consider spots such as Lambertville House or Lambertville Station Restaurant and Inn.
Asbury Park is the perfect family destination in New Jersey, home to a historic downtown and plenty of events and festivals. Having hosted some of the greats like Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, and The Rolling Stones, the Paramount Theatre is a great location to catch an incredibly memorable show. Popular annual events include the Asbury Park Restaurant Tour, Fourth of July Fireworks, AsburyFest, and the Asbury Park Zombie Walk. Do not miss the beauty or excitement of Asbury Park Boardwalk itself, home to year-round live music, vibrant nightlife, and gorgeous hand-painted murals.
The Asbury Hotel is a great place to stay and experience the town's history all at once as it is a restored Victorian Era hotel. On the other hand, Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel offers a luxurious experience on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
Morristown is one of the cutest small towns in New Jersey, though it also holds a significant spot in history, having been the winter encampment for General George Washington. With a storied past, Morristown National Historical Park houses sites of the Revolutionary War, such as Fort Nonsense and the New Jersey Brigade Area. While the town draws in history buffs, it also invites art lovers, featuring spots such as the Mayo Performing Arts Center, Bickford Theatre, and the Morris Museum. Fosterfields Living Historical Farm offers plenty of excitement, where visitors may travel back in time, feeding chicken and husking corn, traversing around the 1854 Gothic Revival house and farm.
One of the most charming towns in New Jersey, Avalon sits on Seven Mile Beach, home to Avalon and Stone Harbor. The destination is ideal for anyone with an interest in water sports ranging from kayaking to paddle boarding and fishing. Watching a sunrise or sunset on the glimmering water is a must for any visitor, as is a trip to the downtown core, jam-packed with unique eateries such as Crespella Gourmet Creperie, Avalon Coffee, and Capt'n Chuckys. Golfing is another popular pastime during the day, while the evening offers a bustling nightlife with plenty of bars from which to choose, such as Avalon Brew Pub.
Bay Head is one of New Jersey's prettiest towns, overflowing with distinctive colorful buildings, many of which date back to 1880, including Grenville Hotel. The town is also chock full of unique museums for visitors to discover the town's history, including the Vintage Automobile Museum of New Jersey, the New Jersey Museum of Boating, and Loveland Homestead, a 19th-century house. While wandering the charming downtown, some of the best spots to grab a bite to eat include Dune Grass Cafe, Mueller's Bakery, and Theresa's South. For a unique and memorable stay, visit The Bentley Inn B&B, home to 21 rooms all with their own color and design scheme and just a block from the beach.
Glen Rock is the ideal destination for seniors because of its laid-back atmosphere, but it is inviting to guests of all ages! It offers plenty in terms of outdoor adventure, with top spots including the Thielke Arboretum, the Glen Rock Duck Pond, and the Glen Rock Duck Pond. Historical buildings from the 1920s and 1930s line the town's streets, perfect for an afternoon stroll spent admiring the unique architecture. For those looking to explore expansive trails, Saddle River County Park is the place to be, while the Roller Hockey Rink is a great place to spend the day with the whole family.
Enjoy a Trip to New Jersey!
Though it is home to some exciting attractions such as the Jersey Shore, New Jersey maintains a quaint and welcoming atmosphere in some of its coziest small towns. Discover pure relaxation on the beaches of Bay Head, marvel at the historic Speedwell Dam in Morristown, or wander the Delaware Canal Trail in Lambertville. Whatever visitors may be in search of, New Jersey offers it all, with charming places to stay, storied histories, and unique sights.