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Day Trip: Newton

Rich with history and nestled in the state’s Northern Skylands, the Sussex County seat has a bustling downtown with a good-old-days vibe.

Posted May 8, 2009 by Jessica Kitchin

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Newton New Jersey.
The Newton Green.
Photo by Jessica Kitchin Murphy Photography, Inc.

Newton downtown
Newton downtown.
Photo by Jessica Kitchin Murphy Photography, Inc.

Newton, dotted with Victorian homes and surrounded by bucolic landscapes, is a quaint place to visit on a leisurely day.

Center of Attention: The Newton Green is a grassy square in the middle of the town’s traffic center. The spacious, white gazebo is the perfect place to relax, read a book, or enjoy a picnic lunch. A historical marker tells of the Green’s history (it was used as the courthouse yard, for political meetings, corporal punishment, militia training, public entertainment, and as a common pasture), and a 90-ton granite Civil War monument dates back to 1895.

Closer to Fine (Arts): Browse photography and art exhibits at one of the town’s galleries, such as Gallery By the Green (103 Spring Street; 973-300-1768; gallerybythegreen.com), the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council (133 Spring Street; 973-383-0027; scahc.org), or Traill Works Studio and Art Gallery, which also offers private art lessons and classes (135 Spring Street; 973-383-1307; traillworks.com).

Shopper’s Friend: There’s no shortage of cute mom-and-pop shops along Spring Street. The Springboard Shoppes at Newton, for example, is a launching pad for new retailers in a shared-business environment, with stores such as Mother Moon Baby Boutique and Laura Lynns, a gift, card, jewelry, and flower shop (145 Spring Street; springboardretailshops.com). Flowers in the Attic is a popular stop for gifts and home-decor items (161 Spring Street; 973-579-9500; flowersintheatticonline.com), and Charm is packed with antiques, fine furniture, and cute accents (216 Spring Street; 973- 300-0311).

Chow Time: Dining options are Cheddar Alley (157 Spring Sreet; 973-940-3172) and the Zagat’s-rated Andre’s Restaurant and Wine Boutique (188 Spring Street; 973-300-4192; andresrestaurant.com). In between, there’s Narin Thai Fusion (11 Main Street; 973-383-9948; narinthainj.com), the Blue Iris Cafe (129 Spring Street; 973-300-5466), and the County Seat (62 Water Street; 973-383-0235).

Catch a Show: An old-school two-screen theater has the latest blockbusters, just a few steps away from the shopping and dining action.  It’s only $7 for a ticket at any time, and moviegoers enjoy pre-show organ music on Friday nights (234 Spring Street; 973-579-9993).

Fore Fun:
The Rolling Greens Golf Academy, on the outskirts of town, has miniature golf for the kids, a pro shop, practice green, and eighteen holes of golf year-round. It’s a relatively short and flat course, and less hung-up on golf formalities than most courses around the state. (251 Route 206; 973-300-4653; rollinggreensgolf.com).

Click here to read more Day Trip articles.


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