New Jersey has so many charming small towns, some of which stand out for their scenic beauty. Enjoy several at once with this picturesque road trip through the Garden State. You’ll find indoor and outdoor activities, shops and restaurants along the way – there’s something for everyone.
Your trip spans 151 magnificently beautiful miles and about 3 hours and 41 minutes of drive time.
Of course, all the scenic stops along the way will add to the length of the trip. Spend as much or as little time in each town as you'd like. You can find directions
Andover - Population: 592
This beautiful little town is home to Allamuchy Mountain State Park (pictured here) and you'll definitely want to do some hiking when you visit. Trails start at under a mile, so even beginners can tackle them. This is also a great spot for antiquing with shops like Scranberry Coop, Grey Barn Antiques and Morning Glory Thrift & Gift. If you're hungry, stop at the Andover Diner for Breakfast - you'll love the retro vibe and potato pancakes.
Belvidere - Population: 2,681
This little Victorian town sits on the Delaware and Pequest Rivers and is home to some wonderful architecture. Visit one of the many waterfront parks, see a show at the Country Gate Playhouse (offering 4 shows per year) or stop at Uncle Buck's Diner for a delicious lunch.
Frenchtown - Population: 1,372
Another Delaware River town, this charming little neighborhood sometimes gets overlooked. They've got a wonderful downtown area along Bridge Street with shops, galleries and restaurants. Don't miss the Book Garden, River Gypsy, Lovin' Oven or Designs for Tranquility while you're in town. Visit in September (Labor Day Weekend) for Riverfest and the River Moon Film Festival.
Lambertville - Population: 3,906
This Delaware River town is well-known for its art and antique scenes. You'll find portions of Holcombe Island and the scenic Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park here along with numerous shops and restaurants including Caffe Galleria, Lambertville House, Lambertville Station Inn (amazing views!), Brian's, The People's Store Antiques Center, Hamilton's Grill Room, Bons Reves decor, Smith & Scott boutique and Anton at the Swan.
Medford Lakes - Population: 4,136
The motto of this community-oriented town is, "Medford Lakes-in-the-pines, the year-round summer playground." With 22 lakes, the borough has nearly as much water as it does land. Another fun fact? Over 10% of the town's homes are log cabins. While the beaches are private, you can enjoy the waterfront during the Canoe Carnival (held in August). A tradition since 1931, enjoy beautifully decorated boats and floats along Lower Aetna Lake. A very residential community, enjoy shopping and dining in neighboring Medford (also a gem) or stop in to P.J. Whelihan's Pub for some mouthwatering wings. The local chain offers live music on select weekends and Wednesday night trivia.
Shamong - Population: 6,490
This Pinelands town is home to part of the beautiful Wharton State Forest, including Atsion Lake and Atsion Village. While this is the perfect town to enjoy nature, it also offers a wonderful winery (Valenzano Winery) for relaxation and libations. Try the Jersey Devil Honey Wine; described as "sweet but sinister," it is made with locally sourced honey with notes of apple, oak, vanilla and spice. They also offer the most amazing events here including the Sinfully Sweet & Foodie Festival (March 18th & 19th) and Thursday Night Dinners (every Thursday) with exquisite food and wine pairings.
Smithville - Population: 7,290
This unincorporated township in Galloway will transport you to the past. You'll find the most charming shops here, perfect for collectors and unique gifts. Some favorites include This Place Rocks (rocks, crystals, natural gifts), A Tour Of Italy (Italian imports) and Herban Legend (fair trade & eco-friendly clothing and accessories). You can also paddle boat on the pond, play vintage games or enjoy one of the town's many events. Upcoming festivities include a British Automobile Show on April 22nd, a Renaissance Faire on May 6th and 7th and Mayfest on May 22nd with crafters, food vendors and more.
Bring a friend, bring a camera and get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime. If you’re looking for a road trip that focuses more on sweets than scenery, check out this
New Jersey Donut Trail.