One of the great parts about living in New York City is that the city itself offers many great amenities, but there are also several amazing small towns within a short drive from the city that are worthy of exploration. From opportunities to explore the great outdoors to boutique shopping, these small towns offer great daytrip or weekend getaway opportunities. In the first of this two-part series, we explored small towns in the state of New York. In part two, we will explore small towns in nearby states that can still be easily visited in a day or a weekend.
The birthplace of P.T. Barnum of Barnum & Baily Circus, Bethel, Connecticut features a walkable downtown district boasting a state in honor of Barnum. From book stores to a ‘50s-style diner, there are plenty of shopping options and restaurant to explore in this small town.
Cape May, New Jersey
Located at the southern tip of New Jersey, Cape May is a quaint Victorian village known for its miles of beautiful beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. Cape May is also home to a vibrant, family-friendly downtown area featuring mini-golf, an arcade, shopping and treat shops. Popular attractions include the Cape May Lighthouse, the Emlen Physick Estate, the World War II Lookout Tower and whale watching cruises.
With fewer than 3,000 residents, the tiny town of Kent, Connecticut is home to the scenic 250-foot Kent Falls. Other attractions include the Seven Hearths Museum, which is a pre-Revolutionary War home that offers a look into life during the colonial era, and the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association museum dedicated to old-timey agricultural equipment.
Lambertville, New Jersey
Known as the “antiques capital of New Jersey,” Lambertville, New Jersey is home to the well-known People’s Store antique market. Lambertville s also located near to New Hope, Pennsylvania, which has been described as “a hot spot for artists and creatives.”
Maplewood, New Jersey
The suburb of Maplewood is home to the South Mountain Reservation featuring the Hemlock Falls waterfall. Meanwhile, a hike through the South Mountain Conservancy offers glimpses of “fairy houses” made of natural materials that were built into the landscape by a local woman. The neighboring village of Vauxhall is home to Melovino Meadery, which offers tours demonstrating how mead is made.
Home to the Charles W. Morgan, which is the oldest surviving whaleship in the country, Mystic, Connecticut is bustling with maritime history. The Mystic Seaport, which is the site of a recreated 19th-century seafaring village, is the town’s most popular attraction. The seaport offers exhibits on lighthouse and other maritime objects while also showing off big ships.
Princeton, New Jersey
The college town of Princeton, New Jersey offers plenty for people of all ages to do. Among the town’s attractions are the Princeton University Art Museum, the Morven Museum & Garden and the Towpath trail along Lake Carnegie.
The thriving artistic community of Ridgefield, Connecticut is home to The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Ridgefield Playhouse, the Ridgefield Theater Barn and the Keeler Tavern Museum dedicated to the Revolutionary War history of the area.