Best Towns for Day Trips

RED BANK RIVERCENTER

This Monmouth County town was named after the red soil banks of the Navesink River where it stands. It’s loved for its plentiful shopping, outstanding eateries and artsy, urban charm.

Most New Jerseyans know the famed Count Basie Center for the Arts as the legendary spot opened in 1926—it’s part of the National Register of Historic Places and everyone from Tony Bennett to Bruce Springsteen and Count Basie have performed there. It’s now home to many concerts, touring shows and musicals.

If your kids love Minecraft and Fortnite, show them the retro video games that came before at Yestercades which boasts Pong, Pac-Man, pinball and more. Make sure to stop by Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. New Jersey native Kevin Smith owns the brightly-colored comic book shop filled with toys and comics and memorabilia from his movies like Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy. And pay a visit to Jack’s Music Shoppe for unique gems, records and instruments.

LEEZA HERNANDEZ

Check out JBJ Soul Kitchen—this innovative farm-to-table restaurant is a non-profit spot opened by local Jon Bon Jovi. The rock star opened this fine dining spot where a pricey meal is affordable for everyone. Those that have the means are encouraged to pay a suggested donation and others can volunteer hours for their dinner. And if you donate, your money goes to help provide meals to others who aren’t able to chip in.

Plan a stop at The Cheese Cave—this artisan shop specializes in a wide variety of cheese and has sandwiches and charcuterie platters that show off their fromage in the best ways.

The Molly Pitcher Inn is a stately hotel situated right on the waterfront and marina, perfect for a special anniversary or a weekend getaway. Even if you don’t stay the night, book a meal in the dining room, with seafood dishes, oysters and panoramic views of the Navesink River.

See What Our Readers Are Saying