12 Top-Rated Small Towns For Amazing Vacation In New Jersey (2022)
No matter what glitters, but the true gems of any Country, State, or City are found within the small towns and Villages. New Jersey is home to 21 counties and hundreds of boroughs, towns, townships, and villages. From some of the earliest American towns (from the Revolutionary war times) to the newly formed ones, this Garden State has multiple fantastic options. And despite being lost in New York’s shadow, New Jersey still boasts several historical, artistic, and pretty small towns.
Locals from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania are blessed with multiple weekend getaway options, of which some pleasant ones are nestled within the Garden State. Even if it is the Old-fashioned New England, Allentown, naturally beautiful Cranbury, or the artistic community, Red town, options are in abundance.
12 Top-Rated Small Towns For Amazing Vacation In New Jersey
So why wait? For your next weekend exploration, pick your favorites from our list of choicest small towns in New Jersey.
Not the one in Pennsylvania, but New Jersey has its own beautiful Allentown, known for its historic significance. From its rural countryside charm to Victorian homes, historic landmarks, farms, and wineries, there’s something explorable in every corner of the town. Where museum enthusiasts can visit America on Wheels, Allentown Art Museum, and Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, history lovers can head to the Mack Trucks Historical Museum. Allentown is home to several outdoor recreational spots, including Dutch Springs Lake, Little Lehigh Park, and the Wildlands Conservancy, great for a relaxed recreation.
Branchville is an 18th-century town located in northern New Jersey. Unlike the rushed and noisy cities in New Jersey, Branchville is more of a tranquil and calming town ideal for a therapeutic disconnection from the hustle and bustle of life. You can head towards the Harmony Ridge Farm and Campgrounds and spend some days away from your regular busy life. Or, if you are feeling artistic, you can spend some time in the Lafayette Clay Works. The popular Stokes State Forest is only a 10-minute drive away from the town of Branchville and is an ideal stop for a weekend getaway.
A handsome historic town, Cranbury has been on the maps of New Jersey since the mid-1700s, all thanks to the European immigrants. It is located in the Central region of New Jersey and is notedly one of the oldest existing towns in the state. Unlike some old-style small towns, Cranbury is not sleepy, but there’s always something or the other going in and around here. This town is all about engagement and entertainment, from the annual Cranbury Day to the annual duck race and other events. History lovers can book themselves a Cranbury Historical Society walking tour and explore the beautiful downtown. If you are left with some time, do visit the Plainsboro Preserve as well.
One of the best residential towns in New Jersey, Clinton has several charms to soak and blend with. From their thriving cultural community to historic buildings and the Raritan River, everything about Clinton is picturesquely beautiful and interesting. Choose to visit the two old historic mills sitting across (opposite) the Raritan River. Or walk down the sleepy little town, stop at the Hunterdon Art Museum, shop at the cute little boutiques, and eat at the local restaurant. Whatever your plans for Clinton are, do take your camera along and capture the panoramic Instagram-worthy views.
Another oldest historic place in the chart, Collingswood, is one of the most popular small towns to visit in New Jersey. It is no more than 5 miles from Philadelphia, and so, New jersey neighbors are always up for a quick visit here. The town offers several top-rated attractions, including the historic Thanckara House, 2 century-old Collings-Knight Homestead, and Century stokes-Lee Mansion. The town is home to a trampoline park, natural areas, and other spots offering full family-packed fun. Collingswood is popular for its healthy & green lifestyle; thus, consider spending some days here for both physical and mental rejuvenation.
Popularly known as the Blueberry Capital of the World, Hammonton is a small town located in the Atlantic County of New Jersey. It is home to over 50 lush blueberry farms, which contributes to the state in producing nearly 40 million pounds of Blueberry every year. Every year in the month of June, Hammonton hosts the annual Red, White, and Blueberry Festival, welcoming several visitors from New Jersey and the neighboring states. However, Blueberry isn’t the only draw here, and one can also enjoy some fresh and delicious wines at the Tomasello Winery and the Sharrott Winery.
A top-rated small town for vacation in New Jersey, Haddonfield will make your heart happy with its charm. The town once have been home to Lenape Native Americans, followed by Europeans, and thus, you can find a lot of history here. Either visit the Indian King Tavern Museum or other local historic sites; your experience here will always become amazing. Back in the year 1858, a huge dinosaur skeleton was found in the town, and since then, it has been preached as a paleontology site which made it popular amongst natural science buffs. It is even less than 10 miles from the Pennsylvania border which makes the town a quick and exciting spot for a weekend getaway for the neighbors.
Keyport is a small borough located in the Monmouth County of New Jersey. The borough sits right beside the water, thus offers several fun and exciting activities to enjoy. From Keyport’s hidden gem, the Ideal Beach or the ever-popular Keyport Waterfront Park, there is something for visitors of all age groups and interests. To learn about the history of the town, you can visit the Keyport Garden walk or spend some time at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Centre. Not only the named attractions but the downtown region here is equally charming, and a relaxing evening walk will provide you with enough great examples for that.
The most beautiful small town to explore in New Jersey, Lambertville is undoubtedly the place that you cannot miss. The town is established on the Delaware river shores on the State line, with Pennsylvania right in the front. On the side across lies the New Hope Town, which is connected from Lambertville only via a short bridge, making it easier to explore two American States combinedly. The town of Lambertville is popularly named as New Jersey’s antique capital, and thus no surprise, you can collect some great vintage and antique pieces from here. Shops on Main and Union streets, along with the Golden Nuggets Antique Market & Gallery of Fine Art, are some great places to begin your shopping spree at.
10. Red Bank
A summer destination for art lovers, Red Bank is a borough located in Monmouth County. It sits on the southern bank of the Navesink River, and thus water enthusiast chooses it as their ultimate stop. The town is popular for its trendy stores, bistros, vibrant arts scene, restaurants, and eclectic New Jersey cuisine, which has granted it the name Greenwich Village of the Garden State. When here, you can visit the Chetkin Gallery, Two River Theater, Count Basie Theatre, and the Count Basie Center for the Arts. Or, stop to eat at the JBJ Soul Kitchen, Bistro in Red Bank, Danny’s Steakhouse, and the Monticello for some Italian food.
11. Stone Harbour
If beach and sea excite you enough, then there isn’t a better small-town option in New Jersey than the Stone Harbour. The town is nestled somewhere between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, on a 7-mile barrier island, and thus every direction here will connect you to water in some of the other exciting ways. Either choose the Seven Mile Beach for a full day of relaxation and fun or indulge your time in every water sport that you can imagine, you won’t ever get bored here. Stone harbor is also home to several indoor attractions, including Ocean Galleries, Stone Harbour Museum, and the popular Wetlands Institute.
Last but not the least, do visit Frenchtown, the gateway to Pennsylvania, when in New Jersey. Frenchtown connects New Jersey and Pennsylvania via a 150 years old large wooden bridge that still stands strong and operational. The town is full of canals and walking pathways that make it exciting to roam around. You can stay at the charming Victorian house, Widow McCrea House, and enjoy their therapeutic spa services. Or, if the timing suits, attend the popular annual festival including RiverFest in September, Bastille Weekend in honor of French roots in July, and Wine and Art weekend in May. You can also spend some time in the nearby Delaware Canal State Park, relaxing with the vibe.