Caribbean editor Gay Nagle Myers stuck close to home on this
trip and discovered that New Jersey has far more than beaches,
tomatoes and oil storage tanks. Here is her report.
PRINCETON, N.J. -- From my base at the Hyatt Regency in
Princeton, an hour's drive south of Newark Airport, I spent three
days exploring a New Jersey most visitors never see.
The trip, easy to arrange with a car rental, a map and small inns
that pay commissions, is perfect for clients for whom vineyards,
historical farms and back roads have appeal.
Here are some highlights:Howell Living History Farm, Titusville. I got hopelessly lost
in the farm's three-acre corn maze in August. Only by following two
10-year- old boys did I finally reach the finish line.
The maze, designed by the Amazing Maize Maze Co., runs through
October, at which time visitors help pick the corn in the maze.
The farm is open from February through November and warmly
welcomes close to 50,000 visitors a year.
"We want to give people an idea of a working farm 100 years ago,"
said Gary Houghton, farm manager.
"Visitors get involved here. They can thresh wheat, pump water,
harvest ice in winter, collect eggs in the hen house, husk corn,
ride a wagon and split rails for fences."
Upcoming festivals include the Fall Fest on Oct. 2 and 3 and a
Halloween celebration on Oct. 30 and 31.
Other living history farms in New Jersey include Foster Fields
in Morristown and Longstreet Farm in Holmdel.At Foster Fields, visitors assume the names and roles of farm
workers. I became Roberta Lyons, day laborer -- not far from my
20th century title, I thought.
Chris Knox, a volunteer coordinator, said Foster Fields has been
a working farm since the 1700s. The main house, built in 1854, was
opened to the public in 1989 and attracts up to 25,000 visitors a
year.In historical Lambertville on the New Jersey side of the
Delaware River, I visited the eight-room Chimney Hill Bed &
Breakfast, a circa 1820 stone manor home on eight acres.
This was a lunch stop, not an overnight rest stop, but I vowed
to return. The four-poster bed looked so comfy. Rates start at $105
per room, per night, double.Whistle Stop Nursery Farm in nearby Ringoes is a year-round
pick-your-own farm where events and seasonal veggies have equal
appeal. Eggplant, squash and pumpkins are the fall lineup of crops,
followed by cut-your-own Christmas tree.From pumpkin vines to grapevines, I drove down the road to
Unionville Vineyards whose 30 acres of grapes produce 8,000 gallons
of wine a year.
Vineyard manager Darren Hesington said that Unionville's nine
wines, most of them white, are carried in 100 liquor stores in New
Jersey and in several restaurants.
New Jersey's 15 wineries welcome visitors for tours, tastings,
special events and even for help with the harvest. Six wineries,
including Unionville, are within an hour's drive of one another.
It's wise to appoint a designated driver in advance of the trip --
those tastings usually involve more than just a sip.
Many visitors combine a day's outing to the vineyards with
visits to antique stores, restaurants and bed-and-breakfast inns in
the small towns along the Delaware River.Milford, right across the river from Upper Black Eddy, Pa., is
such a town. We tucked into the Ship Inn for a late lunch, in a
100-year-old narrow building that started life as a bakery and then
an ice cream parlor with a speakeasy in the rear during Prohibition
The Ship Inn became New Jersey's first brew pub in 1995 and is
one of only 12 U.S. pubs listed in "Great Britain's Good Pub
The pub's offerings reflected the British origins of the Hall
family, its current owners: roast beef and Yorkshire pudding,
dripping with gravy, fish 'n' chips and steak and kidney pie with
stout.For more info:
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Listings of New Jersey's accommodations,
attractions and events are available in a yearly planner from the
Department of Commerce at (800) 537-7397; Web: www.state.nj.us/travel.
Following are contacts for the above story:
The Ship Inn
Phone: (800) NJ1 ALES
Howell Living History Farm
Phone: (609) 737-3299
Chimney Hill Bed & Breakfast
Phone: (609) 397-1516
Whistle Stop Nursery & Farm
Phone: (908) 788-8552
Hyatt Regency Princeton
Phone: (609) 987-1234
Phone: (908) 788-0400
New Jersey Wineline
Phone: (800) 524-0043