To get away from the narrow sidewalks oozing with people and the oppressive concrete towers ever-present in the city that never sleeps, hit the gardens of Morristown, New Jersey. A mere 45-minute drive or train ride away from New York City, Morristown offers hundreds and hundreds of acres of greenery and fresh air in a cozy small town setting. With a history deeply entrenched in the American Revolution, and one time six-month host to General (and later President) George Washington, there’s tons of historical landmarks to discover in Morristown. So take a break, a day or a weekend, and bring comfy shoes, because nobody’s going to recognize those Jimmy Choos when the heel’s dug up in the soil.
Restored to match the historical accuracies of General George Washington’s stay at the Ford Mansion between 1779 and 1780 in the midst of the American Revolution, this larger than life Georgian-style mansion is one of the oldest house museums in the United States. The museum building is a Colonial Revival building was built in the 1930s to display historic collections and artifacts from the 18th century.
The Frelinghuysen Arboretum is a horticultural goldmine on a 127-acre botanical fantasy world. With woodlands, meadows, gardens, hiking trails and a Colonial Revival mansion, the Frelinghuysen Arboretum is a jewel of Morristown, guarded by community members and an educational partner of nearby schools. Beyond its beautiful abundance of meticulously groomed flowers, it’s a learning center offering special tours, horticultural activities and a library of botanical literature. So take a tour, or go hiking, or check out their tented events – there’s tons to do at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, but the best thing to do might just be to take a long, slow wander around the gardens.
The Morris Museum has been educating its visitors about cultural phenomena through the ages, natural and physical sciences and understanding of the visual and performing arts since 1913 – some of its exhibits have held up over the past century. Featuring exhibits about topics ranging from Ragtime music in the early 20th century to upscale couture through the past 200 years with cocktail dresses, ball gowns and evening gowns. Included in the latter’s collection is a gown worn to Lincoln’s Inaugural Ball.
These guys know how to do seafood. Specializing in New American Cuisine, sushi and with a seafood raw bar, the Blue Morel Restaurant and Wine Bar was named as one of the "Top 10 New Restaurants in the United States." Offering original yet comforting dishes such as beef tartare accented with mustard, crème fraîche, fried shallots, egg yolk and salt and vinegar fingerling chips and creative desserts like key lime crème chiboust, made with blood orange sorbet, caramelized grapefruit and cilantro, this upscale casual eatery is sure to delight every taste bud.
The Madison Hotel is a quaint, classic hotel which dates back to the 1930s and offers good old-fashioned hospitality with modern amenities like a fitness room and pool. A major venue for big weddings for its gorgeous, sunlit greenhouse conservatory, the Madison is happy to suit any group event or just traveling families. Their ribhouse, Rod’s Steak and Seafood Grille, a regular winner of best wine list in the Wine Spectator and best steak in New Jersey Monthly Magazine, is not to be missed.