Revolutionary Meets Modern in Morristown
Yes, George Washington slept here. But Morristown's appeal extends well beyond its Revolutionary roots. Its walkable downtown, anchored by the charming Morristown Green, entices visitors to shop at Century 21 Department Store, dine at trendy restaurants and attend big-name concerts and theatrical performances. Stage your own Morristown sleepover soon with these tips from New Jersey Travel & Tourism.
Start your Morristown sojourn at America’s very first national historical park. Morristown National Historical Park is home to General George Washington’s headquarters, where his army encamped over two critical winters during the Revolutionary War. Among sites to explore are the Ford Museum, an 18th-century farm and reconstructed soldier huts, which accommodated the troops during one of the coldest winters on record. The park also features about 27 miles of designated, marked hiking trails. For more hiking and fantastic trout fishing, take a half-hour drive to nearby Hacklebarney State Park in Long Valley.
Whether you’re a patron of comedy, classics or concerts, you’ll find a performance to suit your taste at Morristown’s Mayo Performing Arts Center. Once the crown jewel of Walter Reade’s chain of New Jersey movie theaters, the 1937 venue was rescued by civic-minded volunteers and transformed into a sophisticated arts venue, earning the distinction of Outstanding Historic Theatre by the League of Historic American Theatres in 2016.
Upcoming performances range from Ballet Folklorico de Mexico (November 17) and Canadian Brass Holiday Concert (November 26) to Elf The Musical (November 18) and Monty Python’s Spamalot (December 2). Get tickets now for the Mayo’s seasonal favorite: New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (December 14-27). Just a few miles outside Morristown in Madison, enjoy more live theater at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, which is mounting the hilarious classic Charley’s Aunt from October 24-November 18.
For another historic perspective, visit the Morris Museum, one of New Jersey’s oldest cultural institutions. Step into a stately Georgian-style mansion to view exhibits and attend arts, science, history and theater programs. Don’t miss the rare, quirky collection of historic mechanical musical instruments and automata (mechanical figures). You can see them in action at daily demos Tuesdays-Sundays at 2 p.m. The Morris also features the Bickford Theatre, presenting films, theatrical productions and jazz concerts throughout the year.
A Glimpse Into the Past
Experience another chapter in Morristown’s past at Historic Speedwell, a preserved ironworks and estate that showcases the early years of the Industrial Revolution. Or see what farm life was like 100 years ago at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm. You’re welcome to pitch in on the daily chores, too! For a more leisurely outing, stroll the 127-acre Frelinghuysen Arboretum. Enjoy late-Victorian splendor in New Jersey’s largest horticultural park, which displays a stunning collection of exotic and native plants in formal and informal gardens. Admission is free. And just a few miles outside Morristown, discover one of the most significant landmarks of the arts & crafts movement, The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms.
Pair historic hopping with thoroughly modern dining and a relaxing overnight stay. TripAdvisor reviewer favorites include the farm-to-table fare at South+Pine American Eatery and Urban Table, as well delectable comfort food at The Committed Pig. Continuing the food theme, book the “Start Your Day Sunny Side Up” package and enjoy a hearty breakfast for two at the Westin Governor Morris. The deal is valid through December 31.
For an overview of Morristown attractions and other fresh ideas, 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.