Clinton is a picturesque town of cherry tree-lined streets and quaint buildings, hidden in the hills of Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and easily accessible from both New York and Philadelphia, it offers a secluded escape from the bustle of city life.
The south branch of the Raritan River runs through the center of town, and facing each other on either bank are two old mills dating from the early nineteenth century. The most eye-catching is the Red Mill, which has been turned into a museum evoking village life 150 years ago. Opposite it is a stone mill housing the Hunterdon Art Museum, with changing exhibitions that draw people from all over New Jersey. A little further afield, you can sail on the Spruce Run Reservoir or hike up mountains and through glacial valleys.
The Red Mill Museum Village is a vivid evocation of a former America, now largely consigned to the past. Within its confines is the striking red mill itself, perched on the edge of the Raritan river which fueled its activity from 1810 to 1928. Alongside the mill itself is a dynamite shed, which stored the explosives used to blast limestone from the surrounding cliffs. There is also a tenant house with representations of an old post office and general store, as well as a one-room schoolhouse. The Mill itself has several floors exhibiting a wide array of historical artifacts.
With a waterfall to its right and the Raritan river flowing by, this art museum is a visual pleasure before you've even stepped within its thick rock walls. Located in a beautiful old stone mill, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions of contemporary art and design, carefully selected by a curatorial team which is passionate about both regional and national art.
The Spruce Run Recreation Center is built around a 1,290-acre reservoir, which provides opportunities for a range of leisure activities. Walking and camping are both popular around the shores of the forest fringed reservoir. On the water itself, sailing and other water sports take place. The area is also a popular spot for both anglers and birdwatchers.
In 1743 a tavern was established in Clinton, and after many subsequent transformations it continues to serve food and drink today. The Clinton House has a varied menu of upscale American comfort foods, like Beef Wellington (filet mignon wrapped in phyllo dough with chicken liver pâté served with a bordelaise sauce) and an extra thick pork chop stuffed with apple stuffing, alongside specialty hand mixed classic cocktails and a healthy wine list.
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The Riverside Victorian Inn, established in 1882 and included in the national Historic Registry, works hard to create an ambience that matches its name. The rooms and corridors blend historic ambiance with modern utilities: Victorian furnishings, family heirlooms, candles and other trinkets are strewn through halls and public areas while the rooms are updated with TVs, VCRs, air conditioning and telephones. It is conveniently situated a block from the center of Clinton.