Best Towns for Day Trips


Behold, the hidden treasure that is Sparta, New Jersey. With beautiful Lake Mohawk at its center and lush foliage enveloping the winding streets, Sparta is a place where your troubles can melt away. There are spots for hiking, swimming, boating, playing and relaxing in this oasis for new and growing families.

Whether you’re looking to go for a peaceful stroll or take a dip in the lake, the boardwalk is a perfect spot for families and friends to gather on a sunny day. The strip is lined with restaurants, offers a beautiful view of the entire lake and comes to an end at a small bridge that opens up to a playground so the kids can run wild. The Lake Mohawk Marina also offers boat and kayak rentals for an outing on the water and the Lake Mohawk Country Club hosts many events throughout the year, many of which are open to the whole community. 

The Sparta Glen Park, located right off the beginning of Glen Road, is a beautiful and scenic area for hiking, picnicking and walking. There are multiple paths, some more difficult than others, over rocky terrain surrounded by plants of all species (watch out for poison ivy!). See birds and squirrels dashing between the trees, or even a porcupine once in a while.

The Van Kirk Homestead Museum is the only historical landmark in Sparta that has been preserved for over 200 years. The site enlisted the help of many volunteers including local Girl Scout troops to create the museum that opened its doors in 2014. It offers a glance into the past through its period rooms and seasonally changing exhibition gallery that showcases the history of farming, industry and mining in Sparta. 

Enjoy some very cool boutique stores like Waggmore Pet Boutique & Bakery that specializes in gourmet treats for your furbaby, as well as home decor and pet necessities to the nines. Sparta Vintage Jewelry pops up the first Saturday of every month, (except during July and August) at the Sparta Avenue Stage. Beciga has, in a short time, become one of Sparta’s staple boutiques, offering the latest in stylish clothing and accessories with a hometown shopping vibe. The Rogue Cherry is a more alternative option, with more eccentric clothing and accessories. 

Sparta has some of the best places to grab a bite in the surrounding area. Cloveberry is the sweetest spot to grab a scone, a cup of gourmet coffee or an artisan sandwich for lunch. Greene’s Beans is a longtime staple and has some of the best coffee drinks and atmosphere in town. Krogh’s is the local pub, offering craft beers and traditional bar food such as nachos, Bavarian soft pretzels and wings that are comparable to a high-end restaurant. St. Moritz is for those who prefer a less casual atmosphere, and offers delicious food and beverage options for the fancier set. Casa Mia is the go-to spot for pizza and other traditional Italian dishes. Sushi Ya and Asian Island are incredible spots to get sushi, teriyaki or tempura.  Perfect places for breakfast include the Lake House Cafe for a sit-down meal or Augie’s bagels for munching on the go.