Founded in the mid-1800s as a model “country town,” NJ’s citified suburb with vintage homes and cultural institutions is beloved for its artistic bent, commitment to diversity and endless ways to have fun. Kick off your day with one of Montclair Bread Company’s doughnuts (try the tres leches) and a caffeine fix from Bluestone Coffee, a fave of resident Steven Colbert.
Meander through the Van Vleck Home & Gardens gorgeous landscaped grounds, then feast your eyes on the “rainbow on the hill” aka 14,000 flowers that bloom each spring at the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens. Or, play ‘I spy a raptor’ at the Montclair Hawk Lookout in Mills Reservation, a birder’s delight.
Grab lunch at Jack’s Seafood Shack which is across the street from the Montclair Art Museum. Devour a dreamy double lobster roll then explore the celebrated museum’s exceptional American art collection (tip: buy tickets in advance—they sell out).
From there, head downtown to Montclair Center, a 10+ block stretch along Bloomfield Ave showcasing everything from swanky restaurants to unique boutiques. Book an appointment to view Cool Cat Music Company’s specialty guitars and more. Giftbar’s shelves are stocked with covetable and quirky items for the person who has everything. The whimsical Parcel bursts with precious papery picks—the garlands are especially darling.
Raymonds is a retro-style, three meal favorite with updated comfort classics and kiddie faves with a twist. For something a bit more posh, settle into the pub Egan & Sons for refined Irish eats, better bar bites, and an award-winning beer list—well-deserved after a long day.