Visiting Hunterdon County this Summer? Explore the Outside!!
Hunterdon County is especially appealing in the summer with Jersey fresh produce in abundance, flowers in bloom, and outdoor events and activities in full swing. Hunterdon has something for everyone – farms, vineyards, historic Main Streets, craft breweries, boutiques and antiques, art galleries, and live music.
Locals love to play outside, and summer is the peak season for biking, hiking, kayaking, and tubing. Summer in Hunterdon is heaven for foodies – the local harvest shines and summer festivals serve up everything from corn fritters to cheesecake on a stick.
Located only an hour from Philadelphia and New York, Hunterdon County’s location is ideal for day trips and weekend getaways, and summer is the perfect time to explore Hunterdon!
Ride a Bike
Winding county roads, quaint towns, beautiful views, and extensive trails make Hunterdon County a premier destination for cyclists of all ages and abilities. Popular routes include: Four Farmers Markets and a Brewery, Lambertville Loop, Not for the Faint of Heart, Downtown Flemington to Unionville Vineyards, The Last Covered Bridge Ride, and the family-friendly Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath. You can explore these routes and many more at bikehunterdon.org.
Pick your own fruit + flowers
Nothing beats the taste of fresh-picked fruit! Visiting u-pick farms is a highlight of the summer season in Hunterdon County beginning in early summer with sweet NJ strawberries. U-pick crops include the tastiest blueberries, cherries, blackberries, red and black raspberries, peaches, plums, pears, and apples. A complete listing of u-pick farms can be found at Hunterdon579Trail.com. Check directly with the farms for available crops.
From July to September you can stroll beautiful flower gardens, cut your own bouquet, and take the perfect photo in the middle of a colorful field of lavender or sunflowers. At Mad Lavender Farm in Milford, pick your own lavender begins in mid-June, along with events like lavender field yoga and lavender wreath making. Melick’s Town Farm invites visitors to their Oldwick, NJ flower gardens from July thru September. From zinnias to sunflowers, there’s always something beautiful in bloom!
Relax at a Vineyard
Hunterdon’s vineyards boast spectacular views, cozy outdoor seating, and award-winning wines and ciders. Summer at the wineries features live music, tasting events, and seasonal specialties like peach wine, Frose (frozen Rose), and refreshing and fun wine slushies. Vineyards include: Beneduce Vineyards in Pittstown, Old York Cellars in Ringoes, Federal Twist Vineyard in Stockton, Mount Salem Vineyards in Pittstown, and Unionville Vineyards in Ringoes.
The Cider Garden at Ironbound Farm in Alexandria Township serves hard cider or seltzer, and simple, seasonal fare made with fresh ingredients grown on the farm and cooked outdoors over an open fire. More information about Hunterdon’s farms and vineyards can be found at Hunterdon579Trail.com
Explore the Hunterdon Beer Trail
HunterdonBeerTrail.com is a guide to Hunterdon County’s seven craft breweries including maps, tap lists, and events. Summer is the time to enjoy outdoor seating, live music, and refreshing summer brews. The Hunterdon Beer Trail is comprised of Odd Bird Brewing in Stockton, Lone Eagle Brewing in Flemington, Conclave Brewing in Raritan Township, Descendants Brewing Company at the Old Ship Inn in Milford, Sunken Silo Brew Works in Lebanon, and Readington Brewery & Hop Farm in Readington. Seasonal Brewery Passports invite guests to visit each of the craft breweries on the beer trail over a weekend or a few weeks and be rewarded with a commemorative glass.
Get Festive this Summer!
Hunterdon County is home to dozens of summer festivals and outdoor events, including the acclaimed NJ Lottery Festival of Ballooning which takes place on July 29-31, 2022 in Readington. The festival features up to 100 hot air balloons, concerts, family entertainment, crafters, vendors, and fireworks. The balloon ascension and balloon glow are spectacular sights that inspire thousands of stunning photographs and selfies.
The Flemington Corn Tomato and Beer Festival takes place on August 13th on Stangl Road, the heart of Flemington’s Arts & Culture District. Popular with foodies and families, the event features corn and tomato dishes from local restaurants, food trucks, a NJ craft beer garden, artisans, live music, and family entertainment.
On August 24-28, 2022, the Hunterdon County 4-H Fair takes place at the County Fairgrounds in Ringoes. This delightful old-fashioned country fair has it all – amusement rides, stage shows, live music, contests and awards for farmers, crafters, and cooks, and lots of animals — cows, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, and alpacas.
Paddle, Float, or Fish
Hunterdon County’s scenic waterscapes include the Delaware River, the Raritan River, Spruce Run, and Round Valley reservoirs, and pristine tributaries and creeks. Yellow Dog Paddle in Clinton offers paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing excursions, sup yoga (stand up paddle), full moon, and sunset paddling at Spruce Run and Round Valley reservoirs and surrounding creeks.
Big Bear Gear offers river tube, raft, and kayak rentals on the Delaware River. The family-run outdoor store is housed in a big red barn in Lambertville, NJ, and has all the gear you need for outdoor adventures along with classes, workshops, and excursions. Tubing adventures start at the Big Bear Tubing Center in Kingwood, between Frenchtown and Stockton.
Stroll a Historic Main Street
From boutiques to antiques, Hunterdon’s charming Main Streets offer unique shopping at friendly independent businesses. Restaurants and cafes make the most of the local harvest, and outdoor music and vibrant street events celebrate the summer season.
On summer Fridays, Clinton’s Come Together Music Festival features free outdoor music from 7-9 pm. Music in Milford features free family-friendly entertainment every third Thursday at 6 PM on Bridge Street.
Flemington’s summer calendar includes Flemington DIY Jazz Series, monthly Thursday Night Lights street events, Main Street Car Shows, and concerts at Stangl Stage and Lone Eagle Brewing. Event info at loveflemington.com
Frenchtown celebrates Bastille Day on July 16th with a concert, magic show, and “visit” with Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI. Every September, Riverfest celebrates life along the river with live music, art, food, family-friendly activities, and paper boat races with the Frenchtown Vikings, all with an ecologically focused lens.
Visit HunterdonMainStreets.com to learn more about the charming small towns of Hunterdon County.
Meet the Farmer this Summer!
Hunterdon County is home to 1,500 working farms and many are open to visitors. In addition to u-pick fruit and flowers, visitors can take a farm tour, learn about cheese making, meet cows, goats, and llamas, or even stay overnight in a restored historic farmhouse. Farm stores are packed with the freshest food and artisan goods and weekly Farmers Markets include Stangl Factory Farmers Market (Sat), Holland Township Farmers Market (Sat), Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers Market (Sun), Clinton Community Farmers Market (Sun), and Juniper Hill Farmers Market (Thurs). Visit hunterdon579trail.com for hours and locations.
Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse offers cheese and bread-making classes, farm tours, and outdoor concerts on the farm. Bobolink offers a delectable farm-to-fork menu at the concerts, with everything sourced on the farm!
Want to explore Hunterdon this summer and beyond? Follow Explore Hunterdon on social media or plan your visit here: Plan Your Visit.