New Jersey is known as the “Garden State” and many people never get to truly see why. New Jersey is a magnificent state and it’s filled with a vast array of beauty. My Aunts, Uncles, cousins, Grandpa, and some of my best friends currently live in New Jersey, giving me plenty of opportunities to go back and visit. In fact, I was actually born in New Jersey and lived there for 5 years of my life! Needless to say, I love love love New Jersey and some of the many things that it has to offer – history, beaches, beautiful countryside, pizza and bagels, and its close proximity to New York City and Philadelphia. This past weekend, I visited one of my childhood best friends Chris in our hometown where I used to live of Pennington, New Jersey in the Central part of the state.
Day 1 – Pennington Holiday Walk
Every year, the town of Pennington puts on a Holiday Walk. At the Holiday Walk, they light the town tree, the streets are closed, and many of its local businesses – which fill the streets rather than well-known chains – distribute hot chocolate to attendees for free. All of the local businesses also stay open later so that Holiday Walk goers can shop and support locally. Some of my favorite shops are The Front Porch, Twirl Toy Shop, and 2nd Time Around (a secondhand store that I sadly closing come January 1, 2022). The Front Porch happens to have an online store, too, so I can luckily shop my favorite finds from the DMV! Chris and I also went to Vito’s Pizza – our favorite New York or what I like to call New Jersey style pizza shop that has been around for YEARS – with his girlfriend Kim and our mutual good friend Andrew.
Throughout the night, we all walked the carless main streets of Pennington. Snowflakes that light up twinkle throughout the streets as they line the poles along the Main Street. Pennington is filled with so much historic charm that has remained in tact throughout the years. Its churches that reminisce those of cathedrals straight from the streets of London with their hand-painted stained glass windows, the homes that have been around for centuries and still maintain their unique, historical charm, and its small businesses – some of which have been there for decades, including The Pennington Market and the Pennington Apothecary. Whether its daytime or nighttime, Pennington’s historic charm shines through, especially during the holiday season filled with holiday cheer at every turn you make.
Day 2 – Titusville
On my second day here in beautiful New Jersey, Chris showed me one of his favorite places to walk – Titusville, New Jersey. Titusville, New Jersey is conveniently located along the Delaware River across from Washington’s Crossing Historic Park in Pennsylvania which lays on the other side. There are many riverside views that we were able to take in, even in the Wintertime! The trail along the Delaware River takes you through to a mystical, Victorian style magical wonderland. There are homes, a Titusville church, a cemetery, and several waterfront views that line it. All of the houses were decked out in their best Christmas way to spread some holiday cheer. Needless to say, despite the cold and the less than picturesque than Fall, Spring, and Summer Winter trees, I loved Chris’s regular walk and am so glad I got to do it with him. I was immersed into learning about the historic Titusville, New Jersey from just a simple walk!
Chris and I had an amazing weekend together. Chris is extremely well-versed with his knowledge of Pennington and its surrounding areas, including Titusville. He LOVES New Jersey and is so proud to be a born and raised resident there that it makes anyone want to be proud of their own heritage and hometowns, too. We had such a beautiful weekend getting in friend time and some sightseeing, too. All in all, a true blessing!
XOXO – Katie <3