Looking for the best things to do on your weekend trip to Somerset County, New Jersey? When in doubt, our team at Valor Hospitality Partners believes in doing as the locals do.
Nestled in Bernards Township in the Somerset Hills region of Somerset County, relaxation comes with ease in this comfort-filled community. Whether you’re just passing through or considering planting new roots in New Jersey, Basking Ridge is chock full of features to fall in love with. From the best places to dine, play and stay – consider this guide your ticket to a taste of the local lifestyle in this unique region of the Garden State. Read on to discover the best 10 things to do during a stay at Delta Hotels by Marriott Basking Ridge.
Have Brunch at the Historic, Washington House Restaurant
Washington House Restaurant is a culinary staple and historical landmark in Basking Ridge. Despite a few changes in name and ownership, the location has preserved its charming, sophisticated appeal as a beacon of Basking Ridge culture.
Originally built as a hotel in 1871, Washington House has undergone a series of transformations and restorations over the years. During the Prohibition Era, it was known for its applejack and secret bootlegger’s storeroom in the basement.
Today, this elegant eatery is known for its historical ambiance, signature brunch menu, sunny outdoor seating area, and exceptional guest service and hospitality. Stop by for Sunday brunch and see what all the fuss is about. Be sure to let us know what you think!
See a Play in Pleasant Valley Park
During the summer months, you’ll find many a Basking Ridge local gathered at the Pleasant Valley Park attending the annual, ongoing “Plays in the Park” event. Catch one of these performances after dark on a warm summer’s evening or stop by for a concert or family-friendly movie.
These, along with a multitude free events, are just a few fun perks the Park at Pleasant Valley has to offer. These events are ongoing throughout the summer, so be sure to check out the possibilities to see what’s happening during your visit. If you find an event you think you’d be interested in, just remember to check the weather beforehand and do some light research to find out if you need to bring your own seating.
Attend a Concert at Historic Estate, Ross Farm
The Ross Farm estate offers a rich history whose narrative is still woven throughout the fabric of our nation and the community of Basking Ridge.
According to the estate website, many influential families lived on the property at Ross Farm. The original owner of the estate, Elias Boudinot, is considered by some to be “one of the least-known of our nation’s Founding Fathers.” Historical accounts of his life are said to be somewhat associated with those of influential American politicians such as Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.
Today, Ross Farm is best-known for hosting live outdoor music and entertainment. Stop by to enjoy events featuring music from a number of up-and-coming artists, and established musicians alike. Occasionally, some past events have offered light snacks and soft drinks for concert-goers. Sometimes guests are encouraged to their own seating or pack for a picnic-style gathering, so be sure to read the details for any event you plan on attending.
Play Disc Golf at Dunham Park or Go Ice Skating at Southard Park
Regardless of the season, there are countless beautiful parks to explore throughout the Bernards Township area. Dunham Park offers a nine hole disc golf course and non-residents can rent a disc golf equipment kit for just $30, according to the Park website. There are also countless other equipment kits to explore including volleyball, paddle tennis, croquet, and corn hole.
If disc golf isn’t your preferred outdoor activity, you can go ice-skating at Southard Park during the winter months or explore one of the many park’s paved bike paths or wood chip trails. There are a number of ways to immerse yourself in the outdoors in Bernards Township. Feel free to set out on your own or with a group to explore the area. And don’t be afraid to start an activity and make friends with a local or two.
Book a Tee Time at a Local Public Golf Course
There is certainly no shortage of golf courses in the Basking Ridge area. For short term Basking Ridge visitors, Warrenbrook Golf Course and Green Knoll Golf Course are a few nearby public greens you can test out. Both courses are easily accessible from Bernard Township, located within just 5-10 miles from hotels like Delta Hotels Basking Ridge.
Golfers should keep in mind that the Warrenbrook course winds its way up a mountain, so there are likely to be a few areas where the terrain requires a less-than-leisurely stroll. Both public courses should prove to be an interesting challenge for golfers of all levels.
If you happen to befriend a local during your stay, you may get the privilege of exploring some of the prominent private golf courses as a guest. With any luck, the guy from your game of frisbee golf at Harry Dunham Park doubles as a member at New Jersey National Golf Club or Basking Ridge Country Club. Stranger things have happened.
Grab a Scoop of Homemade Ice Cream at Ava’s or Shop Rare Finds at a Local Boutique
Ava’s Homemade Ice Cream is a local favorite often referred to as a “hidden gem” of Basking Ridge and surrounding areas. Yelp reviews consistently rave about the Cookie Do-Reo ice cream flavor, which is said to be a mixture of cookie dough and Oreo-style cookies, resulting in a deliciously satisfying taste. A fun alternative to your average ice cream eatery, both locals and tourists alike seem to be hooked on Ava’s unique flavors and friendly service.
If you’re in the mood to shop, stop in at local boutique, Soul Sisters on South Finley Avenue. This unique shop carries an array of trendy and sophisticated lifestyle clothing items, jewelry, and accessories. They also appear to have an assortment of unique gift options like candles for shoppers to peruse. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or a special someone back home, it’s worth taking a look around. If you find any other rare shopping destinations while you’re exploring, be sure to let us know!
Check Out the Devil’s Tree, A Spooky Secret and Local Legend in Basking Ridge
The Devil’s Tree is a haunting source of horror and astonishment for locals and visitors of Bernards Township and its surrounding areas. The legends run vast and deep when it comes to this terrifying tree. From sinister suicides to murder and ancestraul trauma, the only thing certain about this solitary oak are its roots in the unnatural and inexplicable.
Locals have reported that the tree itself, which stands alone in the center of a field, cannot be cut down. According to some legends, anyone who tries to remove it will meet an untimely ending. Other Basking Ridge natives report observing a noticeable lack of snow on the ground surrounding the tree in the winter. Could it be the warmth of those whose lives were lost nearby, giving an unnatural warmth to the ground below? Some believe so. If you’re enticed by the inexplicable happenings and haunts of the world… This is one spooky stop you’ll want to add to your list.
Hike the Great Swamp
About 14 miles from prime lodging locations like Delta Hotels Basking Ridge, this outdoor excursion requires a little more planning. But if you’re an avid adventurer, it’s worth the extra effort. With 8 miles of designated hiking trails and 3,660 acres of more advanced hiking regions, there’s plenty to see and explore at the Great Swamp.
A National Wildlife Refuge, this outdoor oasis serves as a migration-resting and feeding refuge and permanent habitat for more than 244 species of birds. Visitors and hikers may have the opportunity to observe and photograph any number of animals like white-tailed deer, bluebirds, turtles, red-tailed hawk, red fox, and muskrat–to name a few.Eco-friendly travelers will appreciate the role of this refuge in the conservation of precious natural resources and the protection of threatened and endangered species of wildlife.
Have Lunch at the Copper Kettle
Copper Kettle Deli is a frequent local pit-stop located in the center of Basking Ridge. A small-town deli with a consistent menu and diner-style aesthetic, it serves as the perfect solution for a taste of the local, laid-back cuisine. Patronage most commonly praise this eatery for breakfast items, great sandwiches, salads, and a scenic porch area providing comfortable outdoor seating.
Drop in for breakfast or a quick bite in the afternoon for a tasty lunch or morning meal–minus the frills. If you don’t have time to get out and explore, popular delivery service doordash appears to allow you opt to order-in from the Copper Kettle Deli menu.
Rest and Recoup at Delta Hotels Basking Ridge, A Marriott Hotel
This hotel offers the warm-welcome and refined luxury of a country-club with all the classic comforts of Basking Ridge country charm. For guests with an inherent eagerness to explore, the free shuttle to nearby destinations makes this the ideal place to rest your head at night.
After a long day spent navigating the beauty of nature, Delta Hotels Basking Ridge offers the perfect place to unwind. The location has been newly-renovated to include beautiful, spacious rooms with classic style, modern amenities, and home-like comforts. To book your stay today, click here.