There’s a lot to love about New Jersey, but one of the things that makes us truly special is our small towns. Though we may be the most densely populated state in the nation, we’re overflowing with small town charm. Each of the tiny towns featured below is completely unique and absolutely worth a visit.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Mount Arlington, Morris County
Home to about 5,000 residents, this is one of the larger towns on our list. Once a thriving resort community, the borough is located along the southern shore of Lake Hopatcong. Until 1983, many flocked to Bertrand Island, a neighborhood amusement park with a world class carousel and roller coaster. Adjacent to county parks and state wildlife areas, Mount Arlington is surrounded by natural beauty. It also offers great restaurants like Pub 199 and Davy's Dogs.
2. Mullica Hill, Gloucester County
Mullica Hill is a census-designated place located within Harrison Township; it has a population of around 4,000. You'll find many historic homes in this town, built just after the Civil War. There's a lot to do in this little town including visit Heritage Vineyards for winery tours and tastings, stroll the charming downtown area or stop by the Amish Market with authentic furniture, soaps, baked goods and more.
3. Roebling, Burlington County
Part of the Roebling-Florence CDP, Roebling has a population of around 4,000. Located along the Delaware River, residents love to relax and enjoy live music at Dr. Lou's Place. Another local favorite also brings in tourists - the Roebling Museum, pictured. It is centered around the Roebling Steel Mill and its unique history, having provided the steel for structures including the Brooklyn and Golden Gate Bridges, the Empire State Building and the Washington Monument. The company also produced wire for the original Slinky. A great way to spend a day, I'd definitely recommend a visit.
4. Wharton, Morris County
With about 6,500 residents, this borough may not be big - but it is big on community. Parks are plentiful and there's a thriving Main Street, home to popular restaurant, Los Criollos. Another asset? Picatinny Arsenal. Though the arsenal spans several towns, you'll take Route 15 in Wharton to access it. The military research and manufacturing facility is best known for developing the Picatinny rail (a firearm bracket that provides a mounting platform), as well as being the army's center of expertise for small arms cartridge ammunition. The 6,500-acre compound is like no other in the world.
5. Harvey Cedars, Ocean County
This tiny shore town has a year-round population of just around 500 residents, though that number swells in the summer to upwards of 10,000. A quiet town with both ocean and bay access, there are only a handful of businesses here. Visit Harvey Cedars Shellfish for local seafood and Oasis Grille for mouthwatering burgers, subs and sandwiches.
6. Woodland, Burlington County
Woodland sits on around 96 square miles of land and lakes but has a population of just around 1,800 residents; this makes it the smallest town in terms of population per square mile in New Jersey. In the heart of the pinelands, you'll find several state parks here including Bass River North and Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. Visitors also flock here for the annual Cranberry Festival, held each October.
7. Pittstown, Hunterdon County
This historic little community south of Clinton is home to about 5,000 residents. There are several notable sites here including the Pittstown Barn, with "So, this is Pittstown" and "R U Lost" painted on the side. No, we're not lost - we love Pittstown. You'll find Beneduce Vineyards here along with Sky Manor Airport (complete with a cafe and helicopter, airplane and balloon rides).
8. Englishtown, Monmouth County
This borough of around 2,000 residents has a lot to offer. You'll find the Englishtown Auction, one of the state's best flea markets, and Raceway Park, an outdoor track hosting races and events like monster truck shows.
9. Long Valley, Morris County
An unincorporated community within Washington Township, Long Valley is home to around 2,000 residents. Originally named German Valley, it was renamed in response to anti-German sentiment during World War I. It's practically impossible not to fall in love with Long Valley's beautiful parks (Schooley's Mountain Park), farms (Ort Farms, pictured), creameries (Valley Shepard Creamery, offering cheese making classes) and restaurants. Long Valley's Restaurant Village includes 8 beautiful acres of incredible indoor and outdoor dining options like the Long Valley Pub & Brewery and La Rienda Latin Cafe.
10. Loch Arbour, Monmouth County
This town takes up just around 1/10 of a square mile on Deal Lake, across from Asbury Park. The population sits around 200 and the neighborhood is mostly residential. You'll also find a small oceanfront beach and several businesses including McGillicuddy's Tap House. Right on the water, it features outdoor dining, a tiki bar and live entertainment on select nights.
11. Shiloh, Cumberland County
This square mile borough has a population of around 500 residents. Founded in 1705, settlers flocked from Rhode Island in search of freedom from religious persecution. A small residential town with only a few businesses, the service center pictured no longer exists. Though life is very laid back here, residents are just minutes away from bustling Bridgeton, shopping, dining and the free Cohanzick Zoo.
12. Franklin, Sussex County
The "Fluorescent Mineral Capital of the World," Franklin is home to around 5,000 residents. The town sits on a rich bed of ore with over 150 minerals, many fluorescent; 25 of these minerals are found nowhere else in the world. It seems very fitting that the town has a Mineral Museum, complete with mine replica and a wide range of geological, mineralogical, archaeological, and historical exhibits. Open weekends only in March and daily from April to November, it's definitely worth a visit. You'll also find many shops along Route 23 including the beloved Sit n' Chat Diner and Cool Cow Ice Cream and Crepes.