By Taylor Smith 

Step back in time to Medieval Europe while remaining in Manhattan? Yes, it’s possible. Just plan a trip to The Met Cloisters in Washington Heights’ Fort Tryon Park. North of the Bronx, The Cloisters is perched on a very high overlooking the neighborhood of Inwood and offering sweeping views of New Jersey’s Palisades, specifically the cliffs of Fort Lee and Englewood.  more

By Taylor Smith 

The official opening of the Jersey Shore’s new luxury boutique hotel, Asbury Ocean Club, is slated for summer 2019. Set in fun-loving Asbury Park, the 54-key oceanfront property will offer impressive amenities including an ocean-view pool and deck; 24-hour concierge and a beach bellperson for each guest; floor-to-ceiling windows in the guest rooms, which also feature expansive terraces with views of the Atlantic Ocean; a pampering spa; and state-of-the-art Technogym-equipped fitness center.  more

Photo Credit: @smorgasburg

By Taylor Smith 

Spring is upon us, which means more sunshine, longer days, flowers blooming, and the desire to get out and explore! The North Jersey area offers a roster full of spring happenings, from foodie adventures to shopping opportunities and the celebration of nature. Here are a few to check out. Time to mark your calendar! more

By Taylor Smith 

Camps are not just for kids. For runners, a host of options are available across the country. Here are a few to check out…

Craftsbury Running Camps, Vermont 

https://www.craftsbury.com/running/running-camps/running-camps-home/

Based out of a cross-country ski center where Olympians train, Craftsbury Running Camps offers one workout few other camps do: biathlon practice. Daily running workouts are complemented by guided strength training, swimming, and mountain biking. 

Did all that running work up an appetite? The campus dining hall is committed to making sure 50 percent of its ingredients are local.  more

Green spaces to wander and roam during the warmer months

By Taylor Smith 

D&R Canal

Frenchtown along the Delaware River

The Delaware & Raritan Canal stretches more than 77 miles along the Delaware and Raritan Rivers.The park crosses Middlesex, Mercer, Burlington, Somerset, and Hunterdon counties within New Jersey. It is one of the state’s most popular avenues for kayaking, canoeing, running, walking, bicycling, and fishing. It is also a valuable wildlife corridor with recent bird surveys revealing more than 160 species of birds, almost 90 of which nest within its borders. The upper portion of the canal includes stops in charming Frenchtown, Stockton, and Lambertville, which are great weekend destinations for the arts, dining, and shopping.  more

By Taylor Smith

During decades of economic decline, Asbury Park was mostly known as the place where musical icon Bruce Springsteen got his start at The Stone Pony nightclub in the mid-1970s. However, since 2000, Asbury has seen a dramatic revitalization and influx of new residents from urban centers like New York City. In fact, modern-day Asbury has been affectionately dubbed “Brooklyn on the Beach” for its large population of artists, musicians, foodies, and creatives. Real estate projects, like the new Asbury Ocean Club, and new restaurants dominate the historic boardwalk, and day trippers flock to the seaside town year-round.

Over 39 bars, several blocks of art galleries, antique shops, restaurants (from traditional Italian to vegan), and an art house cinema lure visitors from the nearby NJ Transit depot. The tradition of live musical acts is still alive and well at venues like The Stone Pony, Wonder Bar, and the vintage bowling alley-music hall Asbury Lanes. Food trucks serving ceviche, empanadas, and Johnny’s Pork Roll gather north of the Convention Center at North Eats. The seasonal Market at Fifth Avenue features independent artisans and designers selling everything from woven leather jewelry to locally-made sunglasses.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Located in Northern New Jersey’s Morris County, Morristown has been called “the military capital of the American Revolution” for its strategic role in the war for independence from Great Britain. According to British records, the first permanent settlement of Morristown occurred in 1715.  more

Dennis Pike Photography

Say “I do” in style 

By Taylor Smith 

Tucked into the mountains of Sparta in Northwestern New Jersey, Rock Island Lake Club is a wedding venue to remember. With the potential to personalize nearly everything, this is not your traditional banquet facility. more

At only 2.4 square miles, the borough of Chatham, New Jersey, is highly walkable and suggestive of a less-hurried time

By Taylor Smith 

The quality of Chatham’s public school district, which serves both the borough and Chatham Township, both in Morris County, is frequently mentioned by new residents and real estate agents as a draw to the area.  more

By Taylor Smith

The Monmouth Museum (http://monmouthmuseum.org) in Lincroft, N.J., has announced that its board of trustees has appointed Donna R. Kessinger of Atlantic Highlands to be the Museum’s next executive director.

Kessinger comes to the Museum from ChaShaMa, International Center of Photography, and MoMA PS1, bringing with her a connection to the artist community that thrives along the New York and New Jersey corridor. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art from Kent State University, and a Masters in Arts Administration from the University of Kentucky. Kessinger has produced several independent curatorial projects in New York and New Jersey since 1999, including those at the Guggenheim Museum and the emerging artists residency programs and related exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. more

Urban Conveniences in a Small-Town Setting 

By Taylor Smith 

Located in Northern New Jersey’s Union County, Westfield has earned increasing attention in recent years, not only for its convenient public transportation to Manhattan, but also as a place that many New York City transplants call home.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Looking for a holiday getaway? Makeup mogul Bobbi Brown and her husband, entrepreneur Steven Plofker, have opened a stately and fashionable 32-room inn in the New York City suburb of Montclair. A 35-minute train ride from Midtown Manhattan, The George is the perfect weekend destination for tri-state area residents. more

Ford Mansion, winter (Courtesy of MNHP)

Historical and Cultural Sites in Morristown and Morris County

by Laurie Pellichero | photos courtesy of the MCTB

Located about 25 miles west of New York City, Morris County and its county seat, Morristown, are home to many venues that helped shape American history and culture. Here are just a few to visit…

Morristown has been called the “Military Capital of the American Revolution” because of its strategic role in the war for independence from Great Britain. It hosted General George Washington and the Continental Army during two New Jersey winter encampments, in 1777 and 1779-80, when Washington plotted the colonies’ rebellion against England. According to Morristourism.org, during these two winters the army rested, repaired its artillery, and restocked its munitions. Local iron mines, furnaces, and forges fabricated guns and musket balls for the Army. The soldiers were drilled and the generals planned their spring campaigns. Historians feel that the Continental Army benefited greatly from its two winter stays in Morristown, where the safety of the surrounding mountains provided a haven from the British for the Army to strengthen itself. And it was rich in natural resources like water and forests, and came with a patriotic population that helped feed and provide clothing for the Army.

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Find Your Way Home to Cooperstown, New York 

By Taylor Smith | Photos Courtesy of Destination Marketing Corporation of Otsego County

Cooperstown is a village that lies in the central region of New York. It was founded by William Cooper alongside Otsego Lake, which serves as the source of the Susquehanna River. The name “Otsego” derives from a Mohawk or Oneida word meaning “place of rock,” referring to the large boulder near the lake’s outlet, known today as Council Rock.

Cooperstown is the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts, especially during the fall and winter months. With numerous indoor and outdoor attractions, visitors can spend their days exploring the great outdoors and their evenings cozied up inside a brewery.

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The Brick Academy 

By Taylor Smith 

Six impressive properties will be on view in Basking Ridge and Bernardsville for The Somerset Hills Holiday House Tour on Sunday, December 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Brick Academy, an 1809 historic landmark, will serve as the hospitality center. The Brick Academy is a Federal-style architectural structure located in the center of Basking Ridge in Bernards Township. Since 1809, The Brick Academy has served as a boys’ private preparatory school, a public school, a meeting hall for different fraternal and benevolent organizations, and the Bernards Township municipal building. more

By Taylor Smith 

Feature image courtesy of: Elizabeth Anne Designs

Expecting the entire family this Thanksgiving and looking for a convenient and delicious solution to your conundrum? Dine out at anyone of these New Jersey restaurants and be delighted by the tastes, flavors, and atmosphere around you. The majority of the restaurants feature a pre-set price, and reservations are required. Many of the restaurants also specialize in locally grown flavors and influences (some distinctly Italian). So hurry — don’t delay in finalizing your plans for the big day! more

By Taylor Smith

Photos courtesy of The Rubin Museum of Art

Looking for a cultural day trip? Fall is a great time to visit The Rubin Museum of Art, located at 150 West 17th Street in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. With an emphasis on cross-cultural connections, the Rubin showcases the art, ideas, and culture of the Himalayas, India, and neighboring regions. Special exhibitions celebrate art forms that range from ancient to contemporary.  more

View of New Brunswick across the Raritan River, Shutterstock.com. | By William Uhl

Nestled by the Raritan River in New Brunswick, Rutgers University is home to a diverse range of history and traditions. An intercollegiate rivalry with Princeton University, a real-life armored and mounted Scarlet Knight, and a romantic ritual connected to the legendary Passion Puddle are all classic traditions — and so is eating a Fat Sandwich, a sub roll packed with enough French fries, chicken fingers, and mozzarella sticks to earn the name. That mix of thoughtfulness and playfulness is everywhere in New Brunswick, and you can find plenty of both in just a day’s travel. more

The USGA Museum as seen at the USGA Headquarters, Golf House on Thursday April 13, 2006 in Far Hills, NJ. (Copyright USGA)

The USGA Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History

By Bill Alden | Photographs Courtesy of the USGA Museum

The famed architect John Russell Pope designed some of the iconic structures in Washington, D.C., including the Jefferson Memorial, the National Archives, and the West Building of the National Gallery of Art. more

Photos Courtesy of Butler’s of Far Hills, Inc. Photography by Laura Moss

Vacation homes are a boon to New Jersey’s economy and beyond

By Wendy Greenberg

Second homes represent a lifestyle change, an investment, and sometimes several years of exploring myriad locations. But often, the second home becomes as beloved as the first home, and many times the homeowners don’t want to go home. They ARE home.

As Spring Lake realtor Cindy Napp says, “Life is short. Buy the beach house.”  more

Photo Courtesy of Poconowhitewater.com

By Taylor Smith

Five times larger than New York’s Central Park, Lehigh Gorge State Park in northeastern Pennsylvania is a 4,548-acre wilderness just 90 minutes from Philadelphia and two hours from New York City. The region is home to the Northeast’s most accessible and convenient whitewater rafting, family style rafting, hiking, and rail trail biking. This summer, encourage your kids to put down their screens and instead experience an action-packed Whitewater Dam Release weekend, biking, or hiking in the great outdoors.  more

Photo Courtesy of Newark Museum

Activities Close to Home

By Laurie Pellichero

While some people may have vacations planned for the mountains, shore, big cities, islands, and more this summer, there are plenty of fun, entertaining, and family-friendly places to visit right around the area. Here are a few to check out:

NEWARK MUSEUM

Founded in 1909, the Newark Museum is New Jersey’s largest museum. It holds fine collections of American art, decorative arts, contemporary art, and works from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the ancient world. Its varied collections of American art include works by Hiram Powers, Thomas Cole, John Singer Sargent, Albert Bierstadt, Frederick Church, Childe Hassam, Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Joseph Stella, Tony Smith, and Frank Stella. more

By Laurie Pellichero | Photographs Courtesy of New Jersey National Golf Club

Nestled in the lush meadows of the Watchung Mountains, New Jersey National Golf Club in Basking Ridge is a premier private golf club featuring 18 holes of championship golf and the highly-rated Red Oak Grille restaurant. It is a special place to play, entertain, and relax in a family-friendly atmosphere. It also serves as the perfect venue to host corporate and charity golf events on Mondays only. more

A wedding in front of The Nine Muses by Carlos Dorrien at Grounds For Sculpture (Courtesy of Grounds For Sculpture).

Unique Wedding Venues for Your Special Day

By Laurie Pellichero

When it comes to choosing the perfect wedding venue, one size definitely does not fit all. Fortunately, whether you want an intimate ceremony at a vineyard, farm, or the shore, or a large-scale celebration in an elegant ballroom, New Jersey is home to many unique spots that are sure to provide just the right fit for your special day. more

Not ready for the suburbs, not ready to leave Manhattan

By Taylor Smith

Located in bustling Hudson County, New Jersey, Hoboken has become a much sought-after place for young people and families to live and visit, offering all the amenities and excitement of the Manhattan lifestyle, but with a small-town, neighborhood feel oozing with post-war charm, ethnic diversity, Italian delis, and the famous Carlo’s Bake Shop.  more

From Vision to Reality at Design Studio of Somerville

Whether you are updating a single room, decorating an entire home, or simply looking for unique gifts and stylish accessories, Design Studio of Somerville (DSOS) is your full-service design firm and retail boutique destination. The 3,000-square-foot design showroom and luxury home shop are filled with a well curated, eclectic mix of décor and furniture, bringing a jolt of high energy style to the center of Somerville.  more

Girls’ Day & Night Out in Downtown Westfield will take place May 10, 2018, from 11am to 9pm.

Shop for Mother’s Day, party with your girlfriends, pamper yourself with promotions, and relax with complimentary refreshments and entertainment as you stroll among the retailers and restaurants in stylish Downtown Westfield, NJ.  more

By Wendy Plump 

Photography Courtesy of Nomadic Expeditions

In a dramatic re-interpretation of the notion “If you build it, they will come,” New Jersey resident and contractor Jalsa Urubshurow built a base for his adventure expedition company in Mongolia. He chose the South Gobi Province on the edge of the Gobi Desert—where the Altai Mountains rim the horizon—and put up forty Ger, the traditional felt yurts of Mongolia’s indigenous nomadic tribes. He designed the main lodge in the style of an ancient temple. He quarried local stone and installed local staffers – herders, guides, cooks – because he wanted authenticity in a world greatly in need of it, and, if truth be told, because he demanded the most breathtaking gateway for those visiting his beloved Mongolia, the home of his Kalmyk ancestors. more

Gingerbread Wonderland and Craft Show, Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Jack Frost is in the air, and the “most wonderful time of the year” is about to begin…

Mark your calendar for these festive New Jersey events that celebrate the season:

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By William Uhl

The Millburn/Short Hills area may be best known for the Mall at Short Hills, and for good reason—it’s just as much a mall as it is a monument to prosperity. Pearl-white hallways are lined end-to-end-to-end with an endless assortment of stores and restaurants. Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton are minutes away from J.Crew, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Gap. Food shops like Godiva, Teavana, and Forty Carrots and specialty stores like Tesla, Brookstone, and Bose pepper the halls with vibrant displays. When shopping turns tiring, attractions like the in-house photographic art gallery YellowKorner and the restaurant Legal Sea Foods provide a relaxing rest. Overnight guests even have a selection of nearby luxury hotels at which to stay. more