There’s Much Ado (and Lots to Do) in Morristown, New Jersey
Morristown is known as the home of the nation’s first historical park, where General George Washington and his troops spent one of the coldest winters on record. But history aside, there’s so much more to do in Morristown. Here’s a seasonal update from New Jersey Travel & Tourism.
Describe the Vibe
Morristown owns its nickname “the military capital of the American Revolution,” but this sophisticated city in Morris County is also a cultural and dining hotspot. You won’t want to miss savoring its eclectic restaurant scene, live performances and naturally scenic surroundings.
Of course, topping the list of must-see attractions is Morristown National Historical Park, where you’ll find General George Washington’s headquarters at Ford Mansion and the troops’ encampment site at Jockey Hollow. Other nearby historic attractions include Acorn Hall, Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, Historic Speedwell and the Morris Museum. Tour a Victorian Italianate mansion and its gardens, experience century-old farm life, see where the telegraph was first demonstrated successfully and enjoy an eclectic collection that ranges from dinosaurs to model trains. Tip: Don’t miss the impressive exhibit of mechanical and music automata at the Morris Museum, which is a Smithsonian affiliate museum.
Now & Later
View the enchanting progression from spring’s flowering cherries to summer roses in bloom at Morristown’s hidden treasure: Frelinghuysen Arboretum. Celebrate National Public Gardens Day on May 17 with a free tour. Then come back with the kids on June 28 for the 14th Annual Fairy Day and build a home for visiting wee folk!
Another Morristown institution you can enjoy both now and later is the Mayo Performing Arts Center. This spring, catch beloved comedian Tracy Morgan (April 24), award-winning Audra McDonald (May 1) and the ultimate Beatle’s tribute band, the Fab Four (June 20). Rock out with summer headliners like The Hollies (July 24), Dion (July 30) and Boz Scaggs (August 19). Of course, you can hide away any time at The Laundromat, Morristown’s own speakeasy. This hangout offers creative cocktails and live music every Wednesday through Saturday.
Fresh Air Fun
Birders will adore nearby Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. This vast swath of land, which was once earmarked to be an airport of all things, is home to 244 species of birds, plus fox, deer, muskrat, turtles and wildflowers. A good place to get your bearings is the Wildlife Observation Center, which features one-and-a-half miles of boardwalk. Explore more on eight miles of trails and, if you’re feeling adventurous, trek 3,660 acres of additional trails. Tip: It’s called Great Swamp for a reason—waterproof hiking shoes are a good idea!
Flavors du Jour
It’s easy to see why Morristown ranks as one of New Jersey’s top dining destinations. So many tasty options! For more casual eating, try the banh mi sandwich at Saigon Subs & Café, special rolls like Shrek and Godzilla at Laku Sushi or the raved-about cheesesteak at Colonial Grill, a food truck conveniently located on the Morristown Green. Other popular choices include the bistro fare at South+Pine American Eatery and pub grub and craft beer at Stirling Tavern. Tip: Looking for an outrageous take on comfort food? Head to The Committed Pig and order the Burgernut—a cheeseburger served on a glazed donut!
There’s much ado this summer from the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Tickets for their outdoor production of Shakespeare’s comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, are free for anyone 18 and under and only $30 for theatergoers 30 and under with the newly revamped “30 under 30” program. (You can also take a friend of any age for $30 with this offer. No kidding!) Much Ado premieres July 1 at the grass-and-stone Greek Theatre located at College of Saint Elizabeth in Florham Park, just five miles from Morristown. Bring a picnic to enjoy on the large lawn surrounding the amphitheater before the performance. For more budget-wise fun, don’t miss the 10th annual Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival on Saturday, August 15 on the historic downtown green. This free event is held rain or shine.
Plan an outing or stay over in Morristown soon. For more ideas and accommodations, go to visitnj.org, where you can also download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism.