Great Small Towns in NJ: Frenchtown

I've lived in New Jersey my entire life, but just recently discovered the Victorian Village on the Delaware known as Frenchtown. This picturesque town is tiny (just over one square mile), but packed with plenty to do for nature lovers, shoppers, foodies and families. We've highlighted some of the best reasons to visit this great little town. With a perfect location and an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants we promise you won't be disappointed. Take a day trip to Frenchtown and find out why it might just be New Jersey's best kept secret. For even more great small town destinations, check out our Small Towns Guide.

Things To Do

Frenchtown's beauty and serenity lends itself to some great hiking and biking. The beginning of the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park is located here. Visitors can take in the beautiful scenery as they stroll along The Riverside Trail. Feeling adventurous? Rent a bicycle from Cycle Corner and do some exploring. The only bicycle shop in Frenchtown, Cycle Corner has bike's for everyone in the family. Their inventory includes tandem, youth and child carrier bicycles. 

During the warmer months, enjoy a day floating along the clear waters of the Delaware River. Delaware River Tubing offers daily, affordable adventures including tubing, rafting, canoeing and kayaking. Your adventure includes a barbecue lunch on a beautiful private island. 

Art lovers will enjoy the many galleries in Frenchtown. In an interview with BestofNJ.com, local artist Dion Hitchings  said that Frenchtown has a "funky art flair you can't find anywhere else". Hitchings' gallery, the Outsider Art Gallery, features his own work (which he describes as "colorful, funny, strange and childlike") as well as pieces from other diverse artists that can't be found anywhere else. Designs for Tranquility, a contemporary art gallery, features a distinctive art collection that is soothing and inspiring. All of their gallery pieces exemplify serenity with their nature/organic themes. A visit to this lovely gallery will transport you to a place of calm and peacefulness. Finally, be sure to check out the Decoys and Wildlife Gallery for its nationally recognized collection of decoys, wildlife carvings, original artwork and framed prints. 

Places to Eat

Food lovers will delight in Frenchtown's great culinary options. For breakfast or lunch be sure to stop in the Frenchtown Cafe. Their menu includes French toast, omelets, sandwiches and burgers. As an added bonus, they offer gluten free bread. The consistently delicious food, friendly staff and mom and pop feel of the Cafe make it a local favorite.

For beautiful views of the Delaware River, enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Bridge Cafe. Located in what was once Frenchtown's only train depot, the interior of the restaurant still features pressed tin ceilings and walls. As an added treat, patrons can dine outside on what used to be station's waiting platform. The menu features a variety of healthy dishes as well as pastries and ice cream. The Lovin' Oven is another adorable Frenchtown eatery. Open all day, their menu features original salads, grass-fed hormone free burgers, and dinner entrees. Menu favorites include pumpkin pancakes with honey, cream cheese drizzle, maple syrup and granola for breakfast and bacon wrapped meatloaf for dinner.

If you have a sweet tooth you will love What's Brewing at Maria's. This great little cafe is known for its banana cream pie, brownies, apple walnut cake and ice cream. Maria's also serves a variety of coffee drinks and light dining fare including chili and soups. Finally, before leaving town pick up some chocolates at Minette's Candies, a wonderful little candy shop filled with beautiful and delicious treats. 

Shopping

You can find a charming shop or boutique around every corner in Frenchtown. Perhaps the most unique destination is The Book Garden. Located in an 1860's Victorian Mansion, this community bookstore and museum carries books for adults and children as well as toys, gifts and greeting cards. Sit down and relax in the shops read-in kitchen where a constantly changing collection of "previously loved books" is located. 

Looking for a gift or two? Stop in Two Buttons, a 2200 square foot warehouse owned by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. The store is filled with objects from her travels around the world. From furniture to jewelry, the store's inventory is sure to please anyone looking for unique, handmade gifts and decor. An added bonus, the charismatic staff are more than happy to help you shop. 

You can do a little guilt-free shopping at Jasper & June. This boutique is all about making a difference in the world. From selling environmentally friendly and socially conscious products to donating a percentage of your purchase to charity, each item sold carries with it a story of hope. Some of their products include trendy FEED Bags that help provide school meals to hungry children around the world and beautiful LSTN headphones and earbuds that help restore hearing to children through the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

Annual Events

Annual Events in Frenchtown include:  An annual Bastille Day Celebration in July; Wine & Art Weekend in May; Riverfest, a town wide event that celebrates the end of summer with music, food, arts and kids activities; The River Moon Film Festival; Halloween Parade; and a variety of holiday activities, including Santa's arrival via the Delaware on a canoe. 

Nearby Frenchtown

Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA are just 16 miles away. Both towns have their own great vibe and are filled with antiques, boutiques, galleries and restaurants. 

 

Jenkinson's Movies on the Beach
Beach across from Jenkinson's - various times Pick
State Fair Meadowlands
State Fair Meadowlands - various times Pick
Let's Learn Circuits
Zoom - Online - 9:30 AM
Spanish, Italian, or French Language Day Camps
GainVille Learning Center - 9:00 AM
Kids Art Classes at Hoboken Historical Museum
Hoboken Historical Musem - 10:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides