Tiny New Jersey may live in the shadow of New York City, but it definitely holds its own as a wonderful travel destination. Filled with waterfront towns, beautiful sights, and lush nature, New Jersey is a must-visit state! The best way to see New Jersey is through its small towns. Be sure to visit these top ten New Jersey small towns during your tour of the state!
Beautiful Cape May is right at the very southern point of Cape May Peninsula. Come to this dreamy town, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean and the sun shines on the warm sand all summer! This is one of America’s original vacation resort communities, and it’s certainly one of the most beautiful. You can stay at a historic seaside resort, or even rent a Victorian house! Spend your time at the beach, or try out the old-fashioned amusement park on the boardwalk.
Like so many other towns built during the river-trade era of the 19th Century, Lambertville was established as a factory town near a waterway. Until the 1970s, it produced much of New Jersey’s factory-made goods. Once the factories closed down, Lambertville became a quiet place. It soon filled up with artists and dreamers, who created today’s local culture. Come to see the artwork, enjoy the river walk, and see the historic beauty of this small town.
Beautiful Chester is a patchwork of estates and Victorian homes. The stately architecture of the town lends a timeless air to the feel of Chester, and the small-town atmosphere gives it a welcoming charm. At around 8,000 residents, this is actually one of the larger small towns on our list. However, it is still a friendly and beautiful place to visit! Relax in the many public parks and take some time to explore the surrounding wilderness.
This historic town is one of the oldest in New Jersey! It was established on the banks of the Cooper River in the 1800s, and some of its original homesteads still stand. You can visit the 200-year-old Collings-Knight Homestead, the 18th Century stokes-Lee Mansion, or the historic Thanckara House to get a feel for Collingswood’s past. Modern Collingswood offers plenty of up-to-date fun, as well, including family fun attractions like trampoline parks, playgrounds, and nature areas!
This small New Jersey town of 3,000 residents has more than its share of beautiful sights and Instagrammable views! The most picturesque area of town is the location of two old mills that rest of opposite sides of the river. The 19th Century Red Mill is surrounded by a historic village. On the opposite bank is the old Stone Mill, which now houses the Hunterdon Art Museum for Contemporary Craft and Design. This collision of the historic and contemporary perfectly describes Clinton! It’s close enough to New York City to be influenced by cutting-edge trends, but it still looks like the sleepy little village it once was.
Tiny Allentown is one of the most beautiful small towns in New Jersey! The rural countryside is a lovely backdrop for the historic homes that make up much of the town. When you visit, you can take life slow and enjoy an experience of old-fashioned New England. Take time to explore Assunpink Wildlife Management Area, where you’ll be sure to see a large variety of animals and plants. You can also wander through historic sections or take a hiking trip through the trees.
The first building in Cranbury was constructed all the way back in 1698! However, this little town didn’t make it on the map until the Revolutionary War, when it was a headquarters for Alexander Hamilton. George Washington himself visited the town and held his headquarters here, and it became a special place to him. In fact, he himself ordered maps of the town to be drawn during his presidency. If you visit today, you’ll be able to see why Washington loved this place. The region’s many parks and nature areas highlight the natural beauty of Cranbury.
If you love the quiet life and the beach, then you can’t miss an opportunity to visit the lovely New Jersey town. This beautiful town served as a resort communtiy for wealthy New Yorkers during the turn of the century. During its zenith, the town was filled with lovely Victorian vacation cottages and parasol-toting ladies. Although many of these homes have long since disappeared along with their inhabitants, you can still visit some today. Head to Martin Maloney Cottage to admire the era’s architecture and gardening styles.
This was one of the many ferry towns built along the Delaware River during the 18th and 19th Centuries. The town was named for some of its early landholders, who were French-speaking Swiss immigrants. As the steam age evolved from water-based transport to rail-based transport, Frenchtown kept up with the times. With the disappearance of steam as a means of transport, Frenchtown began to slowly shrink. Today, it is a small and lovely town with much to appreciate! The Delaware may not be necessary for travel, but it’s a wonderful destination. Enjoy Delaware Canal State Park’s beautiful walking path or spend a day at the nearby recreation area.
Red Bank is a gorgeous place to spend a weekend in the great outdoors! There are several local parks here, including the grassy Bodman Park, wooded Leon Smock 80 Acre Park, Wolf Hill Recreation Area, and the waterfront Riverside Gardens Park. Get outside to enjoy the ocean or the countryside!