Known as the Capital of American Revolution, Morristown in Morris County, New Jersey, is home to several interesting attractions such as the Morristown National Historical Park, which boasts important Revolutionary War sites like the New Jersey Brigade Area and Fort Nonsense. The town was the site of General George Washington's winter headquarters during the Revolutionary War, and his 18th-century home is now preserved as Washington’s Headquarters Museum. Morristown also offers many modern delights, such as restaurants, shops, galleries, and museums. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.The George Griswold Frelinghuysen Arboretum
The George Griswold Frelinghuysen Arboretum is a majestic 127-acre botanical garden on East Hanover Avenue that is a regional center for horticultural activities and the headquarters of the Morris County Parks Commission. The arboretum features a magnificent Colonial Revival mansion surrounded by rolling meadows, woodlands, and beautifully manicured gardens of native and exotic plants, spring-blooming shrubs, and perennials, ornamental grasses, fall fruit and foliage, and shade trees. The Frelinghuysen Arboretum presents a calendar of events, including educational programs, cooking classes, garden tours and demonstrations, and lectures.
353 E Hanover Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-326-7603
2.Morristown National Historical Park - Washington Headquarters and Museum
© Morristown National Historical Park - Washington Headquarters and Museum
The Morristown National Historical Park is National Historical Park that is home to four significant American Revolutionary War sites, namely the New Jersey Brigade Encampment Site, Jockey Hollow, Fort Nonsense, and the Ford Mansion (Gen. George Washington's Headquarters). The 1,676-acre park also features an 18th-century farm and reconstructed soldier huts, a visitor’s center, a three-mile tour road, and over 24 miles of hiking trails. Visitors to the park can enjoy guided tours, special events, and re-enactments of battles during the American Revolutionary War.
30 Washington Pl, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-543-1949
3.Jockey Hollow at Morristown National Historical Park
© Jockey Hollow at Morristown National Historical Park
Located at the Morristown National Historical Park, Jockey Hollow is a vital encampment site from the American Revolutionary War. The 1,200-acre area was home to over 12,000 plus members of the Continental Army during the winter of 1779-80 and features replica huts used by the Continental Army's soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Visitors can explore some of these huts and a wealth of exhibits and displays at the park’s Visitor Center. The 1,676-acre Morristown National Historic Park also features a three-mile tour road and over 24 miles of hiking trails.
586 Tempe Wick Rd., Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-543-4030
4.Ford Mansion and Museum
Located in the Morristown National Historical Park, the Ford Mansion and Museum is a classic 18th-century American home built in the Georgian style by Jacob Ford, Jr. Completed in 1774 by the early American industrialist, the mansion was used as the Continental Army's winter encampment of 1779-1780 after Ford died of pneumonia in 1777. Mrs. Jacob Ford and her family generously moved into the home’s kitchen while the soldiers used the mansion and grounds as an encampment. Visitors can explore the mansion and surrounding grounds on guided or self-guided tours.
30 Washington Pl, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-539-2016 ext. 210
© Morris Museum
The Morris Museum is one of New Jersey's oldest arts and cultural institutions that offers a variety of programs in the arts, theater, symposiums, history, science, film and music, and other unique performances. Established in 1913, the award-winning, the institution is the second largest museum in New Jersey and includes the Stanford White-designed Georgian-style Frelinghuysen mansion, which is home to an array of permanent and rotating exhibitions that explore the arts, sciences, and humanities. One of the signature exhibitions at the museum includes the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata, which features more than 750 pieces of exquisite craftsmanship and live demos of collection pieces.
6 Normandy Heights Rd, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-971-3700
6.Loantaka Brook Reservation
The Loantaka Brook Reservation is a nature preserve and scenic park with over eight miles of cycling and hiking trails, family-friendly picnic areas, an array of sports fields, and green spaces for families to relax and enjoy. The park features four distinct areas, namely the Loantaka Way Trail, the Kitchell Road Loantaka Brook, the Seaton Hackney Stables, and the South Street recreation facilities that cater to all kinds of recreation and outdoor activities. Seaton Hackney Stables offers horseback riding on a property next to the Loantaka Brook Reservation, where riders can enjoy trail riding near the Loantaka Brook.
468 South St, Morristown, NJ 07962
7.Fosterfields Living Historical Farm
© Anton Dios/stock.adobe.com
The Fosterfields Living Historical Farm is a working farm that uses turn-of-the-century tools and techniques for daily farm activities as it was done over 100 years ago. The 214-acre National Register Historic Site offers visitors the opportunity to experience farming as it was in the 1920s and perform daily farm tasks, such as grooming the horses, feeding the chickens, and collecting eggs. Visitors can also witness the farmer plowing and planting of the fields using antique machinery and enjoy guided tours of the 1854 Gothic revival-style mansion known as The Willows that was once the home to the previous owners of the farm.
73 Kahdena Rd, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-326-7645
8.Historic Speedwell Ironworks
© Friends of Historic Speedwell
Speedwell Ironworks is the beautifully restored estate of Stephen Vail. Located on Speedwell Avenue in Speedwell Village, just north of downtown Morristown, the National Historic Landmark site tells the story of the Speedwell Iron Works, Vails' once extensive ironworks, through an array of displays and exhibits. Of the eight structures in the complex, the restored factory where the first successful demonstration of the telegraph was conducted by Alfred Vail and Samuel Morse in 1838 and changed the course of modern communications.
333 Speedwell Ave A, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-285-6550
9.Lewis Morris Park
The Lewis Morris Park is a county park that offers an array of outdoor activities, recreation, and interesting sites for the whole family to enjoy. The park is home to Sunrise Lake, sandy beaches, picnic areas and sports fields, miles of hiking trails for cycling and jogging, and offers facilities for camping, horseback riding, ice skating, fitness activities, and dog-walking. The lake offers boating, canoeing, fishing, ice-skating in the winter, while other amenities and activities in the park include modern restrooms, sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
270 Mendham Rd, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-267-4351
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10.Schooleys Mountain County Park
Nestled in the hills of western Morris County, Schooley’s Mountain County Park is an 823-acre park in Long Valley and surrounded by lush riverine wetlands and fertile agricultural lands. Named after the Schooley family, who owned most of the land in the area in the 1700s, the park offers a wide range of recreational and leisure activities, including picnic areas, sports fields and play areas, a beautiful lake picnic grove, a natural amphitheater, and miles of hiking trails. The Adirondack-style venue also features a charming lodge for overnight stays and a newly renovated Boathouse with an expansive deck that can be rented for private events.
91 East Springtown Road, Washington Township, NJ 07853
© Morris County Government
Acorn Hall is a beautifully preserved 1853 Victorian Italianate mansion that serves as the headquarters of the Morris County Historical Society and operates as a historic house museum. Named for the two-centuries-old oak tree standing on its property and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it serves as the headquarters of the Morris County Historical Society, which operates the hall as a historic house museum. Acorn Hall also offers an exhibition gallery with rotating exhibits that documents the history and heritage of Morris County and the greater Victorian culture of the time.
68 Morris Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-267-3465
© Schuyler-Hamilton House
The Schuyler-Hamilton House, formerly known as the Jabez Campfield House, is a house museum owned and preserved by the local Daughters of the American Revolution. Built in 1760 on the eastern edge of Morristown and purchased in 1765 by Dr. Campfield, who served as a surgeon during the Revolutionary War, the is famous for serving as a home for Dr. John Cochran, who was assigned to General Washington during the winter of 1779-80. Today, the museum features an array of exhibits showcasing antiques, paintings, and historical memorabilia from the war, and visitors can learn about Colonial-era medical practices that occurred inside the doctor’s office during the time.
5 Olyphant Pl, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-267-4039
13.Macculloch Hall Historic Museum & Gardens
© Macculloch Hall Historic Museum & Gardens
The Macculloch Hall Historic Museum is a beautifully preserved house museum based in a 20-room Federal-style mansion that was built by George Macculloch in 1810 and features exquisitely furnished period rooms filled with 18th and 19th-century furnishings. The museum boasts ten preserved historical rooms and is home to an exhibition of works by famous 19th-century political cartoonist Thomas Nast, who is famed for creating the image of “jolly” Santa Claus as we know it today. The mansion is surrounded by immaculately manicured gardens and grounds with over 45 varieties of roses and the garden in which the very first Jersey tomato was grown in 1829.
45 MacCulloch Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-538-2404
14.St. Peter's Church
© St. Peter's Church
St. Peter's Episcopal Church is a historic Episcopal church in Morristown that has roots going back to the 1760s. Located on South Street, the still-active congregation worships in the beautiful church, which was rebuilt in the Gothic-Revival style in 1911, boasting a medieval interior and outstanding examples of stained glassworks. St. Peter's Episcopal Church traditionally worships in the High Church tradition with choral and sacramental liturgies, Sunday services, a Spanish-language mass, Sunday school, and children's choir.
70 Maple Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-538-0555
One of four crucial sites from the American Revolutionary War in the Morristown National Historical Park, Fort Nonsense, occupies a high hilltop overlooking Morristown and is thought to be the place where smoke signals were sent during the war. Originally built in 1777 at the order of General George Washington for use during the American Revolutionary War, the fort included a guardhouse that could accommodate up to thirty men. The fort never saw any action during the war and was called Fort Nonsense by the locals who believed it was only built to keep the troops busy. Today, nothing remains except a stone marker that was erected in 1888, but it’s worth a visit for the spectacular views over the park.
30 Washington Pl, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-543-1949
16.GK's Red Dog Tavern
© GK's Red Dog Tavern
Located in a converted rustic log cabin, GK’s Red Dog Tavern is a warm and welcoming local haunt that serves dry-aged steaks, burgers, and other American bar fare. The bar also serves a wide selection of artisanal ales, and specially selected imported and domestic tap beers. The casual tavern boasts inviting wooden décor and hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from quiz nights to cooking demos. GK’s Red Dog Tavern is open for lunch and dinner daily.
1 Convent Rd, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-585-5700
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17.Millie's Old World Meatballs and Pizza
© Millie's Old World Meatballs and Pizza
Millie's Old World Meatballs and Pizza is a casual, laid-back industrial-style BYOB joint that serves coal- and wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, classic Italian dishes, artisan sandwiches, cheese platters, and calzones in a relaxed, roomy space. The family-friendly spot is famous for its fried meatball station and meatball menu, which has meatball for every taste, along with its mouthwatering Neapolitan pizzas. The restaurant has a comfortable dining room and an outdoor dining lounge for alfresco dining with views. Millie's Old World Meatballs and Pizza is open every day.
60 South St, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-267-4992
18.Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen
© Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen
Helmed by veteran New York restaurateur Chris Cannon, Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen is an elegant restaurant with a raw bar, a rathskeller, and a laid-back cocktail that offers a unique dining experience. Housed inside Morristown's historic Vail Mansion, the four-part restaurant features the Oyster Bar at Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, which serves a mouthwatering selection of raw bar small plates and farm-to-table entrées created by highly acclaimed Executive Chef AJ Capella. The Vail Bar boasts a 450-bottle wine list from which guests can sip over 30 wines by the glass, as well as a range of classic and signature cocktails. A 1920's inspired cocktail lounge in the mansion's library is perfect for pre-dinner drinks.
110 South St, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-644-3180
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© Pierogies House
Pierogies House is an authentic Polish restaurant that serves traditional, handmade pierogies in a variety of flavors, ranging from potato and onion to lentils and mushrooms. The vegan-friendly restaurant uses family recipes passed down through generations to make traditional Polish foods accompanied by classic American favorites like Philly cheesesteak. The Pierogies House menu features typical pierogi types like the potato and farmer cheese, sauerkraut and onion, and a seasonal wild blueberry pierogi, a summertime favorite.
145 Morris St, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-432-8270
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19 Best Things to Do in Morristown, NJ
- The George Griswold Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Photo: Jason/stock.adobe.com
- Morristown National Historical Park - Washington Headquarters and Museum, Photo: Morristown National Historical Park - Washington Headquarters and Museum
- Jockey Hollow at Morristown National Historical Park, Photo: Jockey Hollow at Morristown National Historical Park
- Ford Mansion and Museum, Photo: AlexandruP/stock.adobe.com
- Morris Museum, Photo: Morris Museum
- Loantaka Brook Reservation, Photo: GCapture/stock.adobe.com
- Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, Photo: Anton Dios/stock.adobe.com
- Historic Speedwell Ironworks, Photo: Friends of Historic Speedwell
- Lewis Morris Park, Photo: pixs4u/stock.adobe.com
- Schooleys Mountain County Park, Photo: Alexander/stock.adobe.com
- Acorn Hall, Photo: Morris County Government
- Schuyler-Hamilton House, Photo: Schuyler-Hamilton House
- Macculloch Hall Historic Museum & Gardens, Photo: Macculloch Hall Historic Museum & Gardens
- St. Peter's Church, Photo: St. Peter's Church
- Fort Nonsense, Photo: Daniel/stock.adobe.com
- GK's Red Dog Tavern, Photo: GK's Red Dog Tavern
- Millie's Old World Meatballs and Pizza, Photo: Millie's Old World Meatballs and Pizza
- Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen, Photo: Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen
- Pierogies House, Photo: Pierogies House
- Cover Photo: spiritofamerica/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown
The Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum is a botanical garden in Morristown, New Jersey and the headquarters of the Morris County Parks Commission. The arboretum features thematic collections of flora, ranging from summer and spring-blooming shrubs, ornamental grasses and perennials to shade trees, fall fruit and foliage and a unique garden called the ‘promising plants garden’ which is full of underused plants by growers, nurseries, and breeders. The arboretum also features a gently sloping manicured grassy lawn where outdoor concerts are held in the summer months and a network of walking and hiking trails, including a Braille Nature Trail.
The Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum began life as the home garden of Matilda Frelinghuysen, granddaughter of Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, Secretary of State under President Chester A. Arthur. After being passed down through two generations of Frelinghuysens, Matilda Frelinghuysen ca,e to bequeath the home and began plans for turning the estate into an arboretum in 1964. Upon her death, the land and house was dedicated to the people of Morris County for the use as a public arboretum and became the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in 1971.
Today, in addition to the beautiful gardens, the Frelinghuysen Arboretum is also home to the Haggerty Education Center, which was opened in 1989 and features a multi-purpose auditorium and two classrooms in order to provide horticultural educational programs for the public. The Frelinghuysen Arboretum is also home for various regional plant societies.
The Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum feature a variety of gardens, plant collections, trees, and shrubs, including ornamental grasses, summer, and spring-blooming shrubs, fall fruit and foliage, and shade trees, including beeches, crabapples, magnolias, bald cypresses, willows, and flowering cherries. The fun-filled Kathryn A. Porter ‘Branching Out!’ Garden was established as part of a spring after-school and summer program where children between the ages of five and 13 work in the garden to learn more about the role of plants in cooking and crafts. Students grow herbs, flowers and vegetables to take home and cook with.
In front of the manor house, where Matilda Frelinghuysen lived, are beautifully manicured sloping lawns, known as the Great Lawn. Echoing the style of an English country estate landscape, this vast expanse of grass is used to host outdoor concerts in the warmer months.
Some parts of the arboretum have huge swaths of woods only which visitors can explore on walking paths and hiking trails. The gardens are intersected by a network of nature and horse trails known as the Patriots' Path, including a Braille Nature Trail designed for hands-on exploration and located just on the Great Lawn.
The Haggerty Education Center
The Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum also acts as an educational and regional center for a variety of horticultural activities and programs, including special guided tours, after-school and summer programs, and special events throughout the year. The Center is also home to a library with an extensive collection of botanical literature.
The Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum host a wide range of events and functions throughout the year for the whole family, ranging from photo scavenger hunts, arts and crafts activities and Sunday Garden Tours to Flowers Galore Tea and Tours, Grow Your Groceries and cooking demonstrations.
Children's Programs at the Arboretum
The Friends of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum offer regular educational programs for children from toddlers through junior high school. Programs include the hands-on, “Branching Out!” gardening program where young learners are encouraged to get dirt under their fingernails and learn all about growing herbs, flowers and vegetables to eat. The Arboretum offers a range of curricula-based home-school classes and programs with hands-on, science and botany- focused experiences, along with nature photo scavenger hunts, Family Discovery Backpacks, field trips for schools, cub and scout troops, and girl scouts.
The Friends of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum is located at 353 E Hanover Avenue in Morristown and is open to the public from 8:00 am until dusk daily, throughout the year. Matilda’s Café serves a menu of healthy meals, snacks, and beverages during the park’s opening hours.
353 E Hanover Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-326-7603
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Attraction Spotlight: Morristown National Historical Park in Morristown
Morristown National Historical Park in NJ was established to honor the sites where General Washington and the Continental Army encamped for winter between December 1779 and June 1780 and survived the coldest winter on record. Headquartered in Morristown, this United States National Historical Park consists of comprised of four significant American Revolutionary War sites, namely the Fort Nonsense Unit, The Ford Mansion or Washington's Headquarters Unit, the Jockey Hollow Unit, and the New Jersey Brigade Encampment area. The park also features a museum and extensive library collection with works relating to the encampments, George Washington, and pre- and post-Revolutionary America.
Following a report published in 1932 by the National Park Service recommending that the site of the winter encampments become a Federal Historical Reserve, leaders from the Morris County area drafted a bill supporting the proposal, which was passed in March 1933 in the final days of President Herbert Hoover’s term.
Morristown National Historical Park consists of four important sites where the army camped through the harsh winter months, namely the Jockey Hollow Unit, the Fort Nonsense Unit, The Ford Mansion or Washington's Headquarters Unit, and the New Jersey Brigade Encampment area.
Situated just a few miles south of Morristown in Harding Twp., Jockey Hollow was the encampment site of the Continental Army and the site where the entire Pennsylvania contingent mutinied, as well as some 200 New Jersey soldiers in later years. The historic Wick House is found on this site, along with 27 miles of walking trails to explore.
Set on a high hilltop was then called Kinney's Hill, overlooking Morristown, Fort Nonsense is believed to have been the site of an earthwork fortification built by Washington's troops in 1977 with the purpose of protecting the military storehouses and the main roads leading in and out of Morristown. The site features seven wayside exhibits, a small monument and beautiful views over Morristown from several picnic tables.
The Ford Mansion, which is situated in the heart of what is now Morristown, was the site of the quarters of George Washington and his Continental Army. Located on 16 acres of land, there are two two original structures on this site, namely the historic Ford Mansion and the Washington's Headquarters Museum.
The New Jersey Brigade Encampment is situated south of Jockey Hollow in Bernardsville, Somerset County and was used by more than 1,300 soldiers during the winter of 1779–80.
Washington's Headquarters Museum
Washington's Headquarters Museum is located next to The Ford Mansion site and features three exhibit rooms and a sales area. Visitors can enjoy a short video production titled ‘Morristown: Where America Survived’ before beginning their tour of The Ford Mansion, which can only be viewed on guided tours, which start at the Museum.
The Ford Mansion
The Ford Mansion is an original 18th-century structure that was used as General Washington's military headquarters for six months during the harsh winter of 1779-80. Built in 1772-74 and furnished in the style of the period, the historic house can be explored on daily guided tours.
Jockey Hollow Visitor Center
Established in 1975, the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center serves as the central area for visitor contact in the Jockey Hollow Unit and features several exhibits and interactive activities relating to the historical sites, the history of the area, and the surrounding environment and. The Center also has a staffed visitor reception desk, a gift shop and an introductory film to the park for visitors to watch. The historic Wick House is nearby and has a beautiful kitchen garden.
Morristown National Historical Park also acts as a reserve for the landscapes associated with the 18th-century winter encampments of General George Washington and the Continental Army. The park is made up of four geographically separate units which lie at the junction between the Highland and Piedmont provinces providing both excellent hilly and hiking terrain and spectacular scenic views.
The park has more than 27 of hiking trails that wind through dense forests which Washington’s Army used to construct a ‘city of log cabins’ during their encampment. The patchwork mosaic of forests and fields in the park are home to a diverse variety of fauna and flora.
Morristown National Historical Park offers a variety of curricula-based school programs, as well as junior and web ranger programs and scout badges awards.
Morristown National Historical Park is located at 30 Washington Place in Morristown and is open to the public from 8:00 am until sunset (seasonal).
30 Washington Pl, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-543-1949
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