Oct 02, 2017

Historic Smithville

By Joanne Colella

Shopping, antiquing, dining, sitting by a tranquil lake, taking in festivals, strolling historic grounds, perhaps partaking in some wine tasting – all of that adds up to a perfect day trip! Head south on the Garden State Parkway from our area and you will find a place that offers all that and more. The Towne of Historic Smithville, located just 15 minutes north of Atlantic City, provides plenty of options for a delightful outing in a picturesque and interesting setting at any time of year.

Smithville’s historic roots as a rural community date back to the American Revolution. The Smithville Inn, built in 1787, was located on a well-traveled stagecoach route and expanded with great success through the 1800s, but was eventually abandoned at the turn of the 20th century. Ethel and Fred Noyes bought the inn in 1952 and restored the building, opening it as a restaurant. The inn was later declared a historic landmark in 1964.

During the ‘60s, the Noyes expanded the site and created the Smithville Towne Center, modeling it after Colonial Williamsburg. Several historic buildings from other south Jersey locations were brought in, restored, and converted into shops and attractions. In 1990, construction began on a second phase of the Smithville Towne Center, called The Village Greene. Today, visitors come from far and wide to leisurely stroll the cobblestone and brick paths to enjoy more than 40 specialty shops and boutiques, 11 eateries, activities, paddleboats, miniature golf, a carousel, a steam train, arcade, shooting gallery, and more. It is open daily all year long, except Christmas Day, with a variety of special weekend events planned for every season. The lively calendar includes celebrations such as the Irish Festival, Mayfest, Car Show, Oktoberfest, a Children’s Festival, Costume Pet Parade, and Holiday Light Show. Those who decide to turn their day trip into a weekend getaway can reserve accommodations at the quaint and comfortable (and convenient) Colonial Inn Bed & Breakfast or The Barn, a country inn, each offering modern conveniences with 18th-century charm.

And for a nice added touch, if you would like to propose a toast to yourself for finding such an idyllic place, be sure to stop by the onsite Tomasello Winery and sample some of their wonderful Jersey wines.

Special events coming up through the end of this year include Oktoberfest on October 7 and 8, Irish Festival on October 14 and 15, Costume Pet Parade on October 21, Corvette Show on October 22, Zombie Walk on October 28, Hospitality Night on December 2, and Girls Night Out on December 7. Every Wednesday is Jazz Night at the Smithville Inn. Every weekend during the holiday season, bring the whole family to enjoy the Magical Talking Tree, the Christmas Train Ride, and Story Time with Mrs. Claus. Breakfast with Santa is planned for December 9 and 16. The entire village will come alive and glow during the Holiday Light Show, held from dusk to 8:30 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays, from Thanksgiving through January 7.

To find out more and plan your day trip to The Towne of Historic Smithville and The Village Greene, go to www.historicsmithvillenj.com and www.colonialinnsmithville.com.