New Jersey, the third state, was first settled in 1660. Through the years, our state has played a vital role the United States’ development, from the American Revolution to the industrial and technological development of our nation. Today, vistors can explore a variety of sites dating from our earliest colonial days and even before, to museums celebrating modern innovators like Thomas Edison.
We invite you to take a trip to learn about New Jersey’s fascinating past.
The Cooper Mill in Chester offers visitors the chance to watch the massive water wheel power shafts and gears that turn 2,000-pound mill stones as the master miller explains the history of the mill and the vibrant community once called Milltown. Adjacent to the Mill are several miles of hiking trails.
The Hunterdon County Courthouse in Flemington is the site of the famous “Trial of the Century,” where the kidnapper of Charles Lindbergh’s son stood trial. A small museum in the courthouse is worth a visit during a trip to Flemington.
The James Wilson Marshall House in Lambertville is a nice stop during a day in town. The Lambertville Historical Society offers tours of the boyhood home of the man who discovered gold in California on weekends.
The Edison National Historic Site, located a 50-minute drive away in West Orange, lets visitors explore the laboratory where Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and the phonograph, among many other innovations. Then, visit the 29-room mansion where he lived with his wife and children until 1931.
George Washington spent two winters camped with the Continental Army in Jockey Hollow, which is now part of Morristown National Historic Park. Explore the Ford Mansion, where Washington himself stayed, the visitor center, and outdoor examples of troop quarters. Then, break for lunch at one of the many fine dining options in downtown Morristown.
The New Jersey Astronomical Association has its headquarters just five minutes from the Inn in Voorhees State Park at the Paul H. Robinson Observatory. The Observatory houses a 26-inch telescope which is open during the evenings on weekends and for special events.
The Hunterdon Museum of Art presents exhibitions of contemporary art and design in a nineteenth century stone mill that is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Enjoy the ambiance of earlier days when you visit the Red Mill Museum Village, the most photographed spot in New Jersey. Situated on 10 tranquil green acres next to Clinton’s waterfall, the museum is just steps across the antique iron bridge from Main Street boutiques, coffee houses and restaurants. The Museum is open to the public from early April to mid-October.
Treat yourself to a wine tasting in an 1805 barn or a tour of Alba Vineyard, located about 30 minutes from the Inn. They also host a variety of musical events on their expansive property, as well as the Musconetcong Gallery featuring local artists.
Unionville Vineyards is located in the heart of scenic Hunterdon county, about 45 minutes from the Inn. Wines produced by Unionville Vineyards are considered by many to the best east of the Mississippi, and have won over 500 medals since their first vintage in 1992.
Califon, three minutes from the Inn, is a Victorian-style enclave where the houses are marked with the names of the builders and their dates of establishment rather than with street numbers. Take a stroll through the historic downtown for some boutique galleries and unique shops.
Historic Chester offers a wide variety of shops for your shopping pleasure… antiques, crafts, artwork, jewelry, toys and gifts of all sorts are sure to be found in Chester. Check the link above for seasonal craft shows and other events.
High Bridge is quintessential small-town America with lovely Victorian homes and a pedestrian friendly downtown. Visit the open air farmer’s market each Saturday morning from late June to early October.
Clinton is nestled in the hills of Hunterdon County, nine miles from the Inn. A charming historic shopping area, cherry tree lined streets and a river meandering through it makes Clinton a picture perfect hamlet.
Flemington, a 45-minute drive from the Inn, has something for everyone — antiques, shopping, dining, designer outlets, history, art galleries and more. Free summer music concerts, classic car shows, movie nights, and other special events add a special treat, while the many restaurants give provide a variety and choice of cuisines.
Lambertville, a historic community on the banks of the Delaware River, is a charming day trip about an hour’s drive from the Raritan Inn. Dotted with numerous shops, art galleries and restaurants, it also offers the more outdoorsy visitor a walk through the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park along the river’s edge.
Balloon Festivals: (27 miles from the Raritan Inn)
If you have never experienced the thrill of watching a bevy of colorful hot air balloons majestically rise from green pasture to blue sky, you can’t imagine what you’re missing. And if you’re inclined to adventure, you can buy a ticket, hop on board and join the fun close-up.
Northlandz is an indoor train display with up to 100 trains running daily, and 8 miles of track, with displays of 35′ mountains and 40 foot bridges. Also displays a 94-room LaPeep Dollhouse with indoor swimming pool, ballroom and 2-story library.
Our guests who are looking for something a little out of the ordinary can check out the list of extraordinary sites on WeirdNJ.com. If you are in the mood for a spooky cemetary or bizarre roadside attraction, Weird NJ will send you off the beaten path.
Not sure how to fill a few free hours? Here are a few suggestions to local cultural events that might pique your interest…