VISIT SOUTH JERSEY / Rowan University’s Fossil Quarry

One town in South Jersey is being recognized by Smithsonian Magazine for being one of the best small towns in America because of its ode to ancient history.

Glassboro is on the list of the 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2024. The town, which only has a population of about 23,000, was not named by accident. German glassworker Solomon Stanger founded Glassboro in 1779, taking advantage of the large quantity of sand to turn glass manufacturing into the town’s leading industry more than 100 years. Learn all about it at the Heritage Glass Museum.

The highly-anticipated Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park and Museum will open very soon at Rowan University. The 65-acre fossil park is the only site east of the Mississippi where you can actively dig for fossilized remains from the Late Cretaceous period, which ended 66 million years ago. Exhibits include the Hall of Cretaceous Seas, which will showcase figures made by paleo-sculptor Gary Staab; and the Hall of Extinction and Hope, which focuses on climate change.

Since the museum is above the active dig site, you’ll be able to search for fossils of shark teeth and marine crocodiles and feel like a paleontologist.

And, plans for the 44,000-square-foot eco-friendly structure include geothermal heating and cooling systems, making it the largest public net-zero facility in the entire state.

Speaking of Rowan, the college opened in 1923 as a school for training teachers. Known as a really cool college town, the university influenced the downtown’s Rowan Boulevard area, and there’s also Glassboro’s Town Square along High Street, where you’ll find the community gathering for BBQs, movies and concerts.

Some of the popular places to eat include Cookie Munchers for gigantic cookies; LaScala’s Fire for cocktails and paninis served on wood-fired piadina; and the famous pork roll sandwich at Angelo’s Glassboro Diner.

Here at the 15 Best Small Towns in the U.S. to Visit in 2024:
Glassboro, New Jersey
Scituate, Massachusetts
Humboldt, Kansas
Hot Springs, South Dakota
Sleepy Hollow, New York
Aspen, Colorado
Haleiwa, Hawaii
Santa Ynez, California
Huntingburg, Indiana
Superior, Arizona
Beaufort, South Carolina
Arco, Idaho
Floyd, Virginia
Silver City, New Mexico
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

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