With a storied past dating back to its establishment in 1688, Somerset County is a place where history whispers through its picturesque landscapes and historic sites. Somerset County is one of the oldest counties in New Jersey.
From the county seat of Somerville, where the echoes of centuries-old stories linger, to the quaint townships that paint a picture of traditional Americana, each corner of Somerset County carries a piece of the past, waiting to be explored.
Home to prestigious institutions like Rutgers University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Somerset County takes pride in cultivating minds that shape the future.
With a seamless blend of historical charm and modern allure, Somerset County invites you to explore its timeless allure.
Let’s have a look together at the best 20 things to do in Somerset County, NJ:
1. Visit Duke Farms
Besides walking, this farm offers the opportunity to bike or hike along these paths which makes it a wonderful way to explore the estate’s pristine beauty while observing wildlife in its natural habitat.
During the farm, there is also a historic farm that was kept, which has been converted into an interactive and educational space.
2. Tour the Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage
The Wallace House, a well-preserved historic home, dates back to the 18th century and provides visitors with a glimpse into early American life. The Old Dutch Parsonage, also steeped in history, was once the residence of the Dutch Reformed Church minister.
As you tour these charming buildings, you’ll be immersed in the architectural and cultural legacy of the past, gaining insights into the lives of the families who once called these places home.
3. Sourland Mountain Preserve
Sourland Mountain Preserve has over 6,000 acres of diverse landscapes, including forests, meadows, wetlands, and rocky ridges.
It offers an array of outdoor activities, such as hiking, birdwatching, and nature photography. As you explore the trails, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas and opportunities to observe native wildlife, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike.
4. Colonial Park
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing escape or a place to bask in the beauty of nature, Colonial Park is a cherished destination that caters to residents and visitors seeking outdoor enjoyment and tranquility.
The park’s serene ambiance and well-maintained grounds provide the perfect setting for leisurely strolls, picnics, and family gatherings.
5. Grounds For Sculpture
This place seamlessly blends nature and sculpture perfectly! Spanning over 42 acres, this captivating outdoor museum showcases a diverse collection of contemporary and classical sculptures by renowned artists.
The art comes alive as it interacts with its natural surroundings, offering a unique and immersive experience that celebrates the fusion of art and nature.
6. Farmers’ Markets
There are several farmers’ markets you can choose from. These bustling markets offer a treasure trove of fresh produce, artisanal products, and homemade treats.
Strolling through the stalls, you’ll discover a kaleidoscope of colors and flavors, from freshly picked fruits and vegetables to delectable baked goods and handcrafted items.
Just make sure you arrive early in the morning to catch the best produce!
7. Somerville Downtown
Somerville Downtown is lined with quaint shops, eateries, and historical landmarks, this downtown area offers a delightful blend of old and new.
Take some time to walk around and admire the picturesque streets, explore the unique boutiques, and indulge in culinary delights at cozy cafes and restaurants.
Somerville Downtown’s vibrant atmosphere and warm hospitality create a welcoming space making it an ideal spot for shopping, dining, and immersing yourself in the town’s character.
8. Rutgers University Gardens
Rutgers University is an oasis of horticultural beauty and educational opportunities. Spanning over 180 acres, these lush gardens offer a diverse collection of plant species, from native flora to exotic blooms.
Go on a walk through themed gardens, including the Rain Garden, Bamboo Forest, and Roy DeBoer Evergreen Garden. The gardens serve as both a tranquil escape for relaxation and a living laboratory for horticultural studies, making it a captivating destination for nature lovers and plant enthusiasts!
9. Watchung Reservation
With over 2,000 acres of preserved woodlands, wetlands, and fields, this expansive reserve offers an array of recreational activities and opportunities for wildlife observation.
Picnic areas, playgrounds, and nature centers add to the park’s appeal, making it a popular destination for family outings and those seeking to immerse themselves in the beauty of the great outdoors.
10. Blackwells Mills Canal House
This well-preserved historic site, dating back to the early 19th century, once served as the home of a lock tender and now stands as a testament to the area’s industrial heritage.
The museum showcases the significance of the Delaware and Raritan Canal in the transportation and trade history of the United States.
11. Somerset Patriots Baseball
The Somerset Patriots have a storied history, having been founded in 1998, and they have garnered a dedicated fan base over the years. As a professional baseball team, the Somerset Patriots play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, captivating sports fans with their exciting games and spirited performances.
Attending a game is not only a chance to watch some high-quality baseball but also an opportunity to experience the camaraderie and excitement of a live sporting event.
12. The Center for Contemporary Art
With its ever-changing exhibitions and diverse programs, the center offers visitors a thought-provoking and immersive experience of the world of modern art.
The center provides an array of opportunities for art enthusiasts, students, and the community to engage with artistic expression through workshops, lectures, and events.
From painting and sculpture to photography and digital art, The Center for Contemporary Art celebrates creativity and artistic innovation, making it a vibrant hub for cultural enrichment in Somerset County.
13. Liberty Village Premium Outlets
Located in Flemington, New Jersey, Liberty Village Premium Outlets is a shopper’s paradise that offers a blend of retail therapy and historical charm. The outlet mall boasts over 40 designer and brand-name stores, providing savvy shoppers with an array of discounts and savings.
Beyond the shopping experience, Liberty Village Premium Outlets is steeped in history, with its location at the site of the historic Liberty Village, which dates back to the 18th century.
You can explore the preserved buildings and learn about the area’s significance during the Revolutionary War era.
Created by Bruce Williams Zaccagnino, Northlandz is the world’s largest model railroad, showcasing intricate landscapes, meticulously crafted buildings, and an extensive network of model trains.
The awe-inspiring craftsmanship and attention to detail make Northlandz a must-visit destination for model train enthusiasts and those seeking to be transported to a whimsical world of imagination and creativity.
15. Horseback Riding
Explore the beautiful landscapes of Somerset County, NJ, through horseback riding adventures. Several equestrian facilities in the area offer guided trail rides and riding lessons for both beginners and experienced riders. One I highly recommend is the Stable Lord Stirling Park.
Horseback riding provides a unique and serene way to connect with nature, as you trot through scenic trails, meadows, and woodlands, all while forming a special bond with these majestic creatures.
16. Bridgewater Commons Mall
Shop, dine, and indulge in retail therapy at Bridgewater Commons Mall, a premier shopping destination in Somerset County with over 175 stores and an array of dining options!
The mall offers a delightful shopping experience for fashion enthusiasts and bargain hunters alike. From high-end boutiques to popular brands, visitors can explore a wide selection of products, making it a one-stop destination for all their shopping needs.
17. Somerset County Park Commission Golf Courses
If you are into golf, there are several options you can choose from. Some of the places usually locals prefer to go to are Neshanic Valley Golf Course located at 2301 South Branch Road, Neshanic Station, NJ 08853, or Green Knoll Golf Course located at 87 Garretson Road, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
18. Washington Rock State Park
This is the site where General George Washington once surveyed British troop movements during the American Revolution, the park stands as a symbol of the nation’s history.
Make sure you take a short hike to the top of the rock formation, where you will be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside.
19. Planetarium at RVCC
Located at Raritan Valley Community College, the Planetarium offers captivating astronomical shows that take visitors on virtual journeys through the cosmos.
From exploring distant galaxies to learning about the night sky’s wonders, the Planetarium’s immersive shows provide an educational and entertaining experience for space enthusiasts and astronomy lovers.
20. Somerset County 4-H Fair
This fair s a highly anticipated event that celebrates the accomplishments of local youth involved in 4-H programs. Somerset County 4-H Fair showcases a variety of agricultural exhibits, livestock displays, arts and crafts, and entertaining performances.
It’s a family-friendly affair that offers a glimpse into the county’s agricultural heritage and the talents of young individuals engaged in the 4-H community.