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

Red Mill Museum Village

By William Uhl 

A symbol of early American industry, Clinton’s iconic Red Mill still sits aside the Raritan River. Since its construction two centuries ago, the mill’s sleepy water wheel has worked with cloth, minerals, food, and electricity. Now, the mill is home to an array of galleries. Some house historical reproductions, some display pieces from international artists, and others hold fragments of local Clinton history. more

Blairsden, Women’s Association of Morristown Medical Center—Mansion in May Designer Showhouse 2014. Photography courtesy of Turpin Real Estate, Inc

By Ilene Dube

In the decades following the Civil War, the United States experienced a period of tremendous economic growth. The railroad industry, mining, and finance gave new wealth to those who built them. Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Mellon, J.P Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Henry Flagler, and others—the robber barons—built the core of the American industrial economy, as well as the nonprofit sector through their generous philanthropy, on the backs of the working class. more

Photo Credit: Wightman Farms in Morristown, NJ (www.wightmanfarms.com)

Friday, September 29

Pick-your-own apples at Hillview Farms in Gilette, producing 53-acres of locally grown goodness for almost 150 years. Also featuring locally-grown natural raw honey in the Farm Store.

Transport yourself to the Pacific Northwest by visiting the “Sea Lion Sound Exhibit” at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange. The exhibit has views from underwater in a lower level area, at water level under a “sea-side” dock structure and above water at the beach area (ongoing). more

Photo Credit: Asbury Park Distilling Co.

Craft Distilleries are Booming in New Jersey 

By Laurie Pellichero

From Jersey City to Cape May, craft distilleries have been quickly popping up and producing local spirits throughout the state. While craft beers and breweries have grown quite ubiquitous in New Jersey, it’s been in just the past few years that these small batch distilleries, which now number 16 and counting, have been able to produce and promote their wares.

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The eastbound main span will soon connect to the Westchester approach. (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)

By Ilene Dube

The Brooklyn Bridge, an engineering marvel of its era, is considered a work of art, one that has inspired other artists from Georgia O’Keeffe to Red Grooms. As the replacement for New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge nears completion,
observers can see that it, too, is soaring with beauty and grace.
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All About Downtown Street Fair, Jersey City

The leaves will soon be falling, the air is crisp…it’s time for fall festivals!

By Laurie Pellichero

Mark your calendar for these upcoming New Jersey events:

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Museum of Early Trades & Crafts 

By William Uhl 

Since the founding of the American colonies, Chatham and Madison have been key historic locations from the Revolutionary War. Chatham was even named after a member of British Parliament who advocated for colonist rights, while the later-formed Madison was named after founding father, Constitution writer, and fourth president James Madison. Since then, Madison and Chatham have stayed connected to their roots both in the arts and soul. more

Be transported to another era. 

By Erika Moritz 

The Olde Mill Inn, located in Basking Ridge, N.J., is a preferred choice among other Central New Jersey hotels. Although the Inn is now known for its unique spaces for weddings and events, its beautifully landscaped gardens, and modern guest amenities, it also played a role in New Jersey history. more

Photo Credit: @bestfieldnj

Friday, August 4

9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Art Exhibit Hidden Under the Sea by Poramit Thantapalit at the Bergen County Administration Building in Hackensack, NJ.

8 p.m.: West Side Story presented by The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC in Englewood, NJ.

8:30 to 11 p.m.: Summer Movies in the Park presents the Lego Batman Movie at the Van Saun Country Park in Paramus, NJ. more

The Vegetable Garden: The 1,000-foot-long garden terrace served as both a source of food and an experimental laboratory at Monticello.

The Founding Fathers Paved The Way For A Green America

By Ilene Dube

Gardening, it has been said, is one thing we can discuss while setting aside partisan politics—even when it involves the gardening practices of our nation’s political leaders. As garden historian Marta McDowell puts it, “Whether gardeners lean right or left, blue or red, we are united by a love of green-growing things and the land in which they grow.” more

By Doug Wallack

I turned off Route 206 and wound my way southeast toward Chatsworth, in the heart of cranberry country. Within a few miles, the farmland—acre upon acre of wheat and corn—was swallowed up by thick forest. A few miles further, the maples, oaks, and sassafras trees that form so much of the state’s deciduous canopy yielded almost entirely to pitch pines and shortleaf pines. The road became an evergreen-lined alley stretching out into the flat distance, where heat waves shimmered above the asphalt — looking for all the world as though the Atlantic had crept some twenty miles inland of its usual home along the Jersey Shore. The drive continued this way for some time, punctuated by the the occasional bog, until I arrived — almost without warning — in the middle of Chatsworth. more