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The Best Small Towns in New Jersey

By Amy Wood in New Jersey Home Living

12

February
7 hours ago

Has it been too long since you’ve ventured out of Central New Jersey? If you’re itching to take a road trip, these small New Jersey towns offer the perfect antidote to cabin fever.

Millville

Industrious immigrants opened the nation’s first glass factory in this small town in the 1700s. Today, glass artists use time-honored techniques to create one-of-a-kind art pieces that fill local galleries and stores. In fact, a visit to the Glasstown Arts District is likely to be a highlight of your trip to Millville. It’s an excellent destination for a weekend getaway or a day trip during a visit to one of the nearby beaches.

During the warmer months, the Maurice River area is a popular place to fish, hike, boat and kayak. You’ll find the usual selection of chain hotels in the area. Sea Isle City, Ocean City and Strathmere, located about 45 minutes away, offer more upscale hotel choices and vacation rentals.

Salem

Salem’s the place to visit if you’re a history buff. The town, located in Southeastern New Jersey near the Delaware River, was the first English-speaking settlement in New Jersey and retains many historical buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. While you’re in town, stop by the Salem County Historical Society for a self-guided tour brochure. After your tour, visit a few antique stores and galleries, or stop for a snack at Jewel’s Café or Pat’s Pizza and Bistro.

Barrett’s Plantation House in nearby Mannington offers a convenient home base for your visit. Your stay includes breakfast and evening cocktails and snacks. The House’s two guest suites feature period antiques and reproduction furniture, in addition to plenty of modern amenities.

Andover

Home to fewer than 1,000 people, Andover definitely qualifies as a small town. A collection of antique, gift and clothing stores draw shoppers to Main Street. Scranberry Coop at the southern end of town is home to more than 170 vendors selling antiques and vintage and collectible items.

While you’re in Sussex County, you’ll want to make time to play a few rounds of golf at Crystal Springs Resort (depending on the weather), ski at Mountain Creek Resort, or zipline at Tre Escape Aerial Adventure Park.

Crossed Keys Inn, located in the center of the business district, provides comfortable, updated rooms, a continental breakfast and a full-service restaurant.

Avon-by-the-Sea

If boardwalk attractions and crowded beaches aren’t your idea of a good time, you’ll want to check out Avon-by-the-Sea. The tiny town, located between Belmar and Bradley Beach, is just about an hour from Central New Jersey. You won’t find any high-rise hotels or condo buildings in Avon-by-the-Sea, or the crowds that usually come with them.

Day trippers are just as welcome as long-term visitors. The town offers guarded beaches, two public restrooms and reasonably priced beach tags ($9 per day for guests 12 and older). Restaurants and a selection of beach, souvenir and gift shops are just a few blocks from the beach. Although summer is obviously the most popular season, visitors will find plenty of things to do in the area in the spring too.

Avon Manor and Cottages, one of several bed and breakfasts in Avon-by-the-Sea, offers comfortable hotel rooms and cottage and house rentals. Amenities include free WiFi, complimentary breakfast, country club golf, a putting green, 600-thread count sheets, and complimentary beach badges, towels, chairs and bikes.

Morristown

Just a short drive up I-287, Morristown is an interesting place to visit for an afternoon or a weekend. Although the town has certainly changed since George Washington made it his winter headquarters, it hasn’t forgotten its roots. Morristown National Historical Park gives visitors a glimpse of the conditions Washington’s troops endure during the record-cold winter of 1780.

A collection of stores and restaurants line the streets around the picturesque 200-year-old Green in the middle of town. In fact, with so many dining choices, you may find it hard to pick the perfect spot for lunch or dinner. Root Steakhouse, the Committed Pig, Grasshopper on the Green, The Famished Frog and the Morristown Diner are conveniently located in the downtown area.

Would you like to spend more than a few hours in town? The elegant Madison Hotel offers luxurious accommodations for weekend stays.  Presidential suites feature king beds, sitting areas, flat panel TVs and nightly turndown service.

Are you looking for a new town to call home?  We build a number of different areas that could be just perfect for you! Contact us right away if you’re interested in becoming a Country Classics homeowner.

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Amy Wood

Vice President of Operations at Country Classics

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