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COURIER-POST, Sunday, August 28, 2011

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homes and beautifully landscaped lawns make this a walkable destination, for holiday shopping, treasure hunting or celebrating a special occasion. Medford hosts many downtown events including antique car shows, Music on Main concerts, a Spring Fling and much more.

Moorestown

By TAMMY PAOLINO Courier-Post Staff

Collingswood

If you’re playing a game of word association, when you say “Collingswood,’’ the other person is likely to say “restaurant.’’ Indeed, the borough just miles from Philadelphia has long since established itself as a dining mecca, with at least 25 eateries in its diminutive 1.9 square miles. Whatever you hunger for, it’s here. Collingswood also offers three big parks, dozens of large community events including Second Saturdays, a Book Festival, an Arts & Crafts Festival, classic car nights and a Green Festival, as well as the area’s most popular farmers market. Shoppers can find some interesting shops along Haddon Avenue, while music lovers can see national acts all year at the Scottish Rite Auditorium. And Perkins Center for the Arts has a satellite in the borough that also offers exhibits, kids’ activities and film screenings.

Haddonfield It would be hard to find a more picturesque downtown. With its deep respect for history, Colonial architecture, gorgeous old homes and thriving downtown, Haddonfield is a great place to visit, shop, dine and stroll. A courtyard gazebo off Kings Highway beckons shoppers to sit for a spell and take in the atmosphere. The shops that line Kings Highway and nearby streets offer visitors everything from high-end running shoes and top couture to funky gifts and baby items. Restaurants run the gamut from casual brunch places to traditional Italian sit-down to ethnic cuisine, as well as an organic juice bar and a mini cupcake boutique that has made visiting that Hadrosaurus statue all the sweeter.

Haddon Heights Visiting this quaint little borough for the first time is like stepping back in time, to an age when shops lined downtown streets and people actually walked. Cafes and restaurants offer eclectic cuisine from tapas to pizza to pastries, and there is always a bustle on the sidewalk as people move from brunch line to karate class.

CHRIS LaCHALL/Courier-Post

Downtowns worth the trip

Main Street in Mullica Hill Community events frequently center on the historic train station, and the borough also offers its own restaurant week.

Merchantville It might not get as much buzz as some of its neighbors, but Merchantville is a quaint downtown with historic architecture, nice sidewalks for strolling, and some inviting stores, cafes and other places to enjoy. The Blue Monkey Tavern, located in the historic Collings House, is a great place to relax and sip a craft beer or dine on a fine meal. Chocolate lovers can head over to Aunt Charlotte’s for some sweet treats. Art lovers can pop into a gallery or two, and car buffs wait all year for the borough’s car and motorcycle show.

Bordentown A quick trip on the RiverLine, or a short drive up 295 brings you to Bordentown, a historic city located above the confluence of the Delaware River, Blacks Creek and Crosswicks Creek. The town is known for having at least three famous residents — Clara Barton, Joseph Bonaparte and Thomas Paine. Approaching the city affords a beautiful view of sailboats at the yacht club, as well as the grand sweep of Bordentown above. The downtown is a vibrant place with charming shops including a bookstore whose owner loves to talk about founding father Thomas Paine, author of “Common Sense.’’ (Ask him how to get to the statue commemorating Paine just a block or two away.) The Record Collector brings in national acts such as Jeffrey Gaines and Graham Parker to its retro music store, and the nearby Dublin Square pub is a great place to take in the sights.

Medford At the edge of the Pine Barrens, the village of Medford affords a fun and vibrant shopping experience, with art galleries, boutiques, gifts and antiques shops, jewelry and other stores perfect for browsing or buying. Dining options include restaurants that offer Italian and Asian favorites, as well as Jamaican cuisine. The town’s historic

This historic Burlington County town has made headlines for being named one of the best places to live in America, and it’s not hard to see why. Its beautiful homes, stately downtown and rich history make it a prime spot. But Moorestown also has plenty to welcome visitors, including Perkins Center for the Arts, a vibrant arts center that offers exhibits, classes for all ages and many other activities. The township hosts numerous community events, including ArtWalk, Autumn in Moorestown and holiday parades. Shops include art galleries, jewelers and even a boutique cupcakery.

Mount Holly If you love history (or ghosts), then this township is for you. One of the oldest communities in the state, it is a veritable walking tour through time. Among the spots you won’t want to miss are: Shinn Curtis Log Cabin, an early settler’s log house; Burlington County Prison, which offers both historic tours and lots of ghosthunting fun; the Old Courthouse Complex, with a bell that announced the signing of the Declaration of Independence; St. Andrew’s Church, Thomas Budd House, Mount Holly Friends Meeting House, and Relief Fire Company No. 1, the oldest continuously used active volunteer fire company in the United States. A dinner at the historic Robin’s Nest is great for a special occasion, and there is a thriving poetry scene at the Daily Grind coffeehouse.

Mullica Hill It’s tough to find a hill in South Jersey, which is mostly very flat. But this part of Gloucester County does offer some rolling hills and beautiful farmland that just calls out to us: “Take a Sunday drive!’’ Mullica Hill is a nice destination for a morning (pancakes at Blue Plate) or afternoon (browsing at the Amish Market) visit. A community beautification program is making the downtown even more attractive for residents and guests. The town hosts Second Saturdays, sidewalk sales, Christmas in the Village holiday festivals and Civil War living history events. Shops will lure art, antiques and collectibles lovers, as well as quilters and those looking for that perfect gift. And don’t miss the Christian bookstore tucked into an old church.

Millville This waterfront shopping district has a charm all its own. Brick buildings will take you back in time as you explore the many shops, along with the arts district. A highlight is the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts, a public gallery focusing on fine arts. Look for Santa -- and horse and carriage rides -- as the holidays draw near. And, of course, leave plenty of time to explore the exhibits, glassblowing demonstrations and other offerings at WheatonArts.

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South Jersey Guide - 2011-12  

A guide for newcomeres and natives

South Jersey Guide - 2011-12  

A guide for newcomeres and natives

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