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.

The Newton Green.
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).

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