Classic red brick facade and street in downtown Westfield, New Jersey. Image credit michusa via Shutterstock

The Best Small Towns in New Jersey for a Weekend Retreat

Famously called the "Garden State," New Jersey is at the forefront of agricultural production in the United States. With its beautiful beaches, landscapes, and natural environment, it is also a popular destination for weekend retreats.

Although it ranks as the 11th most populated state in the US, its picturesque nature is a beauty to behold. New Jersey is also home to small quaint towns that receive thousands of visitors yearly who come to enjoy the comfort and tranquility of these towns.

Every town in this state has a historic landmark, stunning waterfront, or unique feel that sets it apart from the rest and makes visitors want to stay longer. Find some of the best towns to enjoy a weekend retreat, either alone or with family and friends.


View of the historic Cooper Grist Mill in Chester, New Jersey.
Historic Cooper Grist Mill in Chester, New Jersey.

If you are looking to make a getaway for the weekend, the ideal town to consider is Chester, New Jersey. This picturesque town is in the heart of Morris County and is steeped in history and natural beauty. Black River Park and Hacklebarney State Park are great places to plan and enjoy outdoor activities. Cooper Gristmill is a historic landmark in Chester that showcases the town's rich history.

While exploring and enjoying the entertainment the town has to offer, enjoy comfortable accommodation and food at the PH Steakhouse and the Neighbour House Bed and Breakfast.

Spring Lake

A crowd of sunbathers and swimmers enjoy a warm beach day in Spring Lake New Jersey.
A crowd of sunbathers and swimmers enjoy a warm beach day in Spring Lake New Jersey. Image credit Andrew F. Kazmierski via

Spring Lake is a beautiful beach town in New Jersey where you can take a breather and enjoy the great company of your friends, family, and welcoming residents. This charming town is situated on the Jersey Shore and is known for its stunning beaches, victorian architecture, and vibrant downtown area.

Interestingly, Spring Lake was a popular resort town in the late 19th century and is now home to the historic Spring Lake Hotel. What sets Spring Lake apart is its pristine beaches, which is evident in popular sites of attraction such as Spring Lake Beach and Belmar Beach, 7 minutes away, where you can enjoy the cool sea breeze and scenic views.

Five minutes from the town is Sea Girt Lighthouse, a local history museum that history buffs are sure to enjoy, while sports fans can visit the Spring Lake Bath and Tennis Club.


The City Center in Frenchtown, New Jersey.
The City Center in Frenchtown, New Jersey. Image credit via

Frenchtown is a quirky town situated on the Delaware River. It is famous for its art scene and historic architecture. The historic Frenchtown Railroad Station attests to the town's history, and visitors are wowed by the passionate spirit of the community.

A walk on the Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Bridge delivers an impressive look at the overlapping landscape. Tickle your taste buds at the Arties Bar and Grill. The outdoor environment is like no other, as you can visit sites such as Frenchtown Park. Merge Gallery and ArtYard, which houses incredible art collections, leave a lasting impression on visitors. The National Hotel offers comfort and luxury to visitors, completing the entire weekend experience.


Outdoor dining in Westfield, New Jersey
Outdoor dining in Westfield, New Jersey.

Located in southwest Manhattan and home to the oldest continuously operating YMCA in the country and the historic Westfield Presbyterian Church, Westfield is an idyllic town with a rich history and many opportunities for outdoor adventures.

The town's biggest selling points are its outdoor attractions, such as the beautiful Mindowaskin Park. The Westfield Historical Society and Miller-Cory House Museum are attractions for history lovers, and you may like to peek into the town's rich timeline of events that have made it a renowned state.

Meet with locals and enjoy more history lessons at the Westfield Summer Concert Series held between June and August. The town's hospitality is evident in the reception at the Westfield Inn.


View of a vintage street clock at Van Neste Square in downtown Ridgewood, New Jersey.
Vintage street clock at Van Neste Square in downtown Ridgewood, New Jersey. Image credit quiggyt4 via

If you are looking for a trendy and eclectic weekend retreat, look no further than Ridgewood.

The Ridgewood Train Station is an important town landmark. The beautiful Graydon Park and nearby Saddle River County Park are recreational centers where you can play, relax, and interact with others.

Color Me Mine and Steel Wheel Tavern are great places to go in the neighborhood for painting lessons and lunch. To finish your retreat with a touch of comfort, stay at Fair Motel, 13 minutes away.


Waterfront homes in Avalon, New Jersey.
Waterfront homes in Avalon, New Jersey.

Take time off and enjoy a much-needed vacation at the beautiful beach town of Avalon. This charming town is situated on Seven Mile Island and is known for its stunning beaches and scenic outdoor environment.

Avalon was founded in 1887 and is home to the historic Avalon Life Saving Station, a popular place in town. The town's famed outdoors is due to its numerous beaches, like Avalon Beach. The Avalon History Center offers visitors a glimpse of the town and the events that led to its development. This modest and tranquil town provides warmth and comfort to visitors, and its accommodation is one to experience at the Beachcomber Resort.

Cape May

Specialty boutiques, eateries, and shops in Cape May, New Jersey.
Specialty boutiques, eateries, and shops in Cape May, New Jersey. Image credit JWCohen via

Known as one of the oldest vacation destinations in the United States, Cape May is a picturesque town at the southern tip of the Jersey Shore. For photographers, artists, and families, it is a holiday destination where comfort can be embraced at any time of the year.

Cape May is home to the oldest lighthouse in New Jersey, the Cape May lighthouse. Cape May Beach and its Bird Observatory are idyllic outdoor areas. You may love to explore the natural environment and take pictures. The Harriet Tubman Museum is also located in this neighborhood.

The town's history and pleasant environment make the experience worthwhile, and the Grand Hotel adds a splash of luxury.

Bay Head

Bay Head Beach, New Jersey
Bay Head Beach, New Jersey.

Bay Head is one of the best small towns in New Jersey because of its serenity and breathtaking views. It is a picture-perfect town, and its family-friendly atmosphere makes it ideal for a weekend getaway.

It is home to the famed Bay Head Beach, so visitors to this town are in for a treat. If you are interested in Yoga and wellness, Bay Head Beach Yoga and Integrative Healing and Wellness are fantastic locales to check out. You may also like to shop for needlework accessories at Bay Head Needlepoint. Apart from the stunning beaches and historical places, Bay Head also boasts great accommodation. Grenville Hotel and Restaurant is an excellent option.

Have you ever wanted to enjoy a weekend away from home with no stress, just you and nature? You should definitely check out New Jersey. With its small towns and incredibly outstanding landscapes, you can enjoy your alone time or much-needed family time.

Witness the power of nature to help you relax. Each town, with its vibe, historical appeal, and stunning natural scenery, offers enjoyment and relaxation to everyone, regardless of profession or interests. With good accommodation and the hospitality of the locals, you will have an experience of a lifetime.

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