The historic downtown of Haddonfield, New Jersey. Image credit EQRoy via

9 Most Underrated Towns In New Jersey To Take A Trip To

Explore any of these nine ideal destinations for a perfect trip to New Jersey. Wander along the magnificent beaches and boardwalk of Ocean Grove, decorated with gorgeous modern murals, or take in the beauty of Princeton's Greek revival mansion. Afterward, explore Eagle Rock Reservation, a sprawling 400-acre site ideal for leisurely walks. New Jersey provides a destination worth exploring, offering a well-rounded experience that combines history, culture, nature, and hospitality.

Ocean Grove

Beach at Ocean Grove, New Jersey.
Overlooking Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

Established in 1869 by a group of Methodist clergymen, the cute town of Ocean Grove stands out as a popular resort town. The revitalized 19th-century Asbury Park Boardwalk now provides an oceanfront pathway adorned with vibrant modern murals. The Great Auditorium, a 129-year-old theater, hosts classical concerts, showcasing its awe-inspiring wooden interior designed to resemble an upturned ship. For a leisurely day, consider a visit to Ocean Grove Beach, positioned near The Ocean Plaza Hotel, offering rooms with wraparound porches and ocean views. Alternatively, Selah Oceanfront Bed & Breakfast, designed for rest and rejuvenation, boasts ocean views for a magnificent experience.


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

In the charming town of Chester, New Jersey, visit the Art Diner, an art studio that welcomes visitors during drop-in hours and enjoy their Splatter Room. As you hike or bike through the green space in Black River County Park, take in the delightful scenery. The Nathan Cooper Gristmill, dating back to 1826, stands as one of the few restored water-powered mills in New Jersey. Explore the unique flavors of a cider hot dog and complement it with cider donuts at Hacklebarney Farms Cider Mill. If you are considering accommodations, think about staying at the Publick House Hotel, a revamped and renovated establishment that traces its origins back to the early 1800s.


Streetscape of Park Street in downtown Montclair, New Jersey
Streetscape of Park Street in downtown Montclair, New Jersey. Image credit quiggyt4 via

Montclair, found at the base of the First Watchung Mountain, is renowned for its close connections to New York City and its vibrant arts scene, with Montclair State University serving as a central hub. The Watchung Mountains' ridge line hosts Eagle Rock Reservation, spanning over 400 acres and providing an ideal setting for leisurely walks, hikes, and exploration. The Wellmont Theatre has performing arts shows, and the Montclair Art Museum exhibits a diverse array of American and Native American art featuring paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The Robert Treat Hotel, a fixture in the Newark skyline for over a century, offers solace and comfort, providing a serene evening retreat.


Princeton, New Jersey: Shoppers and pedestrians near Tudor style building on Witherspoon Street; view includes Hamilton Jewelers.
Downtown Princeton, New Jersey. Image credit Benjamin Clapp via

Found within Princeton University's prestige, the town combines intellectual vibrancy and historical marvel. Drumthwacket, a Greek Revival mansion constructed around 1834 for Charles S. Olden, the Civil War-era Governor of New Jersey, is a testament to the area's rich history. Explore the surroundings with a leisurely two-mile stroll encompassing downtown Princeton and the University campus, unraveling the tales of landmarks such as Bainbridge House, Nassau Hall, the University Chapel, and Palmer Square. Whether fishing, canoeing, hiking, or biking along the Delaware-Raritan Canal State Park or enjoying a serene afternoon picnic at Mercer County Park, there is an array of outdoor activities. For a touch of modern sophistication and convenience, acquaint yourself with the offerings of the Nassau Inn.


Looking down the block of this quiet neighborhood during Autumn in Allentown New Jersey.
Autumn in Allentown, New Jersey. Image credit Andrew F. Kazmierski via

Allentown, New Jersey, provides a variety of exciting activities. Heritage Park offers a peaceful, relaxing setting, and visitors can make the most of the available recreational facilities. The Old Mill, a historic landmark, showcases the evolution of local trade, crafts, and the way of life in Monmouth County. It houses specialty craft shops and studios and offers farm-to-table cuisine. Equestrian enthusiasts can attend live events at the Horse Park in New Jersey. Westhaven Farm allows one to admire open-air farm wagons before finding a relaxing spot at The Americus Hotel.


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

Founded in 1867, Frenchtown stands proudly along the Delaware River and the Pennsylvania border, providing a unique destination to visit. A day of rest and relaxation awaits at Euphoria Studio, or indulge in the creative offerings of the ArtYard, a museum that brings provocative art, performance, and creative mischief to this small town by the river. The Frenchtown Park is great for a leisurely picnic or a day of hiking and biking along its trails. Roll into good times at the Frenchtown Roller Rink. A stay at the Widow McCrea House, a Victorian Bed and Breakfast, is a charming option that includes complimentary wine, adding to the appeal of this beautiful town along the river.


Located in Camden County, New Jersey, the historic town of Haddonfield, originally occupied by Lenni Lenape Native Americans, is a major paleontology site
Downtown sidewalk in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Image credit EQRoy via

Haddonfield, renowned as one of the oldest communities in the state of New Jersey, has a rich history. At King's Road Brewing Company, you can experience a tasting room that provides pints, flights, and growlers of their house-brewed beer, or William Heritage Winery, where you can enjoy tastings and a tour of the vineyard. The Indian King Tavern Museum, where the New Jersey Legislature convened in 1777 to adopt its Great Seal, allows you the option to rent a room in the inn. A night at the Haddonfield Plays & Players is great for appreciating the live performing arts.


View of the Brainerd Lake in Cranbury, New Jersey.
Brainerd Lake in Cranbury, New Jersey. Image credit EQRoy via

Cranbury, positioned in central New Jersey, holds the distinction of being one of the state's oldest towns. The town's undisturbed environment has preserved it as the best-preserved 19th-century village in Middlesex County. Visitors can appreciate its architecture and explore the city through a visit to the Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society. Having played a role in the Revolutionary War, Cranbury is home to historic sites that underscore the war's significance. These include the American Encampment Site Marker and the Site of the Dr. Hezekiah Stites House. To complete your historical experience, dine and wine at the Revolutionary War-era tavern, the Cranbury Inn, before finding accommodations at the Staybridge Suites Cranbury.


Colorful downtown stores in Clinton New Jersey.
Colorful downtown stores in Clinton, New Jersey. Image credit Andrew F. Kazmierski via

Clinton, positioned along the Raritan River, buzzes with activity. Strolling alongside the riverbanks offers a chance to appreciate the magnificent lakefront views. The Hunterdon Art Museum, housed in a historic stone mill, hosts rotating exhibitions of contemporary art, craft, and design. The Red Mill Museum Village, a remarkable institution with a commitment to preserving and interpreting the region's industrial, agricultural, and social history, is worth a visit. To unwind after a day of exploration, consider seeking comfort at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott Clinton or the Holiday Inn Clinton.

New Jersey invites you to venture on a journey by exploring any of these nine ideal destinations. Whether you're admiring architecture in Cranbury, diving into the city's history at the Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society, or savoring the scenic marvel of Clinton and the Raritan River, there's something for every traveler. With its harmonious blend of history, culture, nature, and warm hospitality, New Jersey stands as a destination truly worth the exploration of every facet it has to offer.


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