As we continue our great small towns series, we take a look at Verona. Primarily a residential community, this Essex County town is nestled between Montclair and West Orange and is full of family friendly charm. Bloomfield Avenue is the main hub of excitement with a variety of restaurants and shops. Make sure to check out our other small town posts on Nutley, Sparta or Clinton. Get out there and explore our great state in one of these wonderful small towns!
Out and About in Verona
Verona’s biggest and best attraction is Verona Park (Bloomfield and Lakeside Avenues). This mini-Central Park boosts walking trails, paddle boating, tennis courts, a children’s garden, softball field, bocce courts and a large playground. Paddle boating is open Monday to Friday from 10:00am to 7:00pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 8:00pm. The cost is $15 for a half hour and $20 for a full hour.
Built in 1905, Kip’s Castle (22 Crestmont Road) is another Verona treasure. This 9,000 square-foot mansion replicates a medieval Norman castle. During this summer, this park is home to Movies Under the Stars (Friday nights), as well as various musical performances. Currently, castle grounds are open to the public from dawn to dusk. Please note, due to extensive renovations to repair the roof and restore the Tiffany stained glass windows, self-guided tours of the castles interior have been suspended until further notice.
Make sure to also check out Hilltop Reservation or Eagle Rock Reservation for great hiking and biking trails.
Bloomfield Avenue and Pompton Avenue are home to several kid-friendly restaurants in Verona. From the Verona Inn (624 Bloomfield Avenue) to Avenue Bistro Pub (558 Bloomfield Avenue), your brood can settle in for some casual dining. If you are in the mood for some pizza, stop by Famous Ray’s Pizza of New York (10 Pompton Avenue) for a slice of pepperoni!
To shake things up, try PositiviTea (550 Bloomfield Avenue) an eclectic raw-vegan art space or Lisboa BBQ (1 Lakeview Place), a small Portugese gem. For something on the sweeter side, visit The Towne Scoop (542b Bloomfield Ave) for a great selection of homemade ice cream.
Verona is centrally located between Route 80, Route 280 and the Garden State Parkway. Within a ten minute drive, you can visit the Grover Cleveland birth place (Caldwell), enjoy Funtime Junction (Fairfield), walk the streets of Montclair, tour the Thomas Edison National Historic Park (West Orange) or shop at the Willowbrook Mall (Wayne).