Historic Sites Near Me Posted March 12, 2019


Lets take a trip!…

  • Historic Smithville

Historic Smithville started as a simple, one room, stagecoach stop. Over the last 60 years has blossomed into a wonderful memory-making way to spend a day or two! When entering any of the 60 shoppes you will feel the hometown, small business, feel. Wander along our cobblestone walkways and over our foot bridges to discover a village that seems as if it were frozen in time.The carefully manicured grounds and attention to detail make Historic Smithville a breath of fresh air and a place you will want to visit again and again.

  • Batsto Village

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Charles Read is credited with building the Batsto Iron Works along the Batsto River in 1766. Batsto had the natural resources necessary for making iron. There was bog ore which was “mined” from the banks of the streams and rivers, wood from the forests became the charcoal for fuel, and water became the power for manufacturing. John Cox, a Philadelphia business man, became part owner in 1770 and full owner by 1773. The Iron Works produced household items such as cooking pots and kettles. During the Revolutionary War years, Batsto manufactured supplies for the Continental Army. Manager Joseph Ball became owner of Batsto Iron Works in 1779.  In 1784, William Richards, uncle of Joseph Ball, became a major owner of The Iron Works. This began the Richards’ era at Batsto which would last for 92 years. William was ironmaster until he retired in 1809. Son Jesse was in charge until his death in 1854; and he was followed by his son Thomas H. By the mid 1800’s, iron production declined and Batsto became a glassmaking community known for its window glass. Soon the glass business was also finished, and Batsto was in receivership.  Joseph Wharton, a Philadelphia businessman, purchased Batsto in 1876 at a Masters Sale. Wharton continued to purchase property in the area surrounding Batsto. He made improvements on the mansion, and on many of the village buildings. He was also involved in a variety of forestry and agricultural endeavors. Joseph Wharton died in 1909. From his death until 1954, the Wharton properties in the Pine Barrens were managed by the Girard Trust Company in Philadelphia.  New Jersey purchased the Wharton properties in the mid 1950’s. The state began planning for the use and development of the property. The few people still living in the Village houses remained as long as they wanted. It was in 1989 that the last house was vacated. Today Batsto Village is a New Jersey Historic site and is listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

The Batsto Village Visitors Center is the large building adjacent to the parking area. It is here that you can pick up a brochure about the site, purchase tickets for a Mansion tour, and find out what special events are happening within the Village. The Visitor Center is open from 9:00am to 4:00pm daily and is located on Route 542 in the Wharton State Forest.

  • Historic Cold Spring Village

Historic Cold Spring Village brings to life the day-to-day activities of villagers living   in South Jersey during the “age of homespun,” 1789-1840. Visitors can make a personal connection between the past and present through the interactive, educational, and hands-on family activities. The Village is open seasonally and for special events throughout the    year.  Take a stroll along our 30 acres of shaded lanes, enjoy the gardens and observe the    farm where heritage crops are grown; visit twenty-six restored historic buildings housing historically-clothed   interpreters,   who educate and entertain visitors about the lifestyles, issues, trades and crafts of yesteryear. Children enjoy playing at the activity area where they take part in a variety of projects such as trying on costumes, participating in hands-on crafts and playing games. Visitors can also enjoy free horse-drawn carriage rides on weekdays. Items created by the artisans working at the Village may be purchased in the Village Country Store. Pottery including bowls, mugs and containers; brooms such as whisk brooms and witch’s brooms; and ironware like horseshoes, hooks and broom-     holders are available. Also visit the Country Store for sweets and treats, home-made     jams and jellies, wooden toys and more!

Historic Cold Spring Village is located on 720 Route 9, three miles north of Cape May City. Visitors from the North take Exit 4A South from the Garden State Parkway and follow the signs to the Village. For visiting hours we recommend you check their website before heading to the Village.

  • Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge 

The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge protects more than 47,000 acres of southern New Jersey coastal habitats which is actively managed for migratory birds. The refuge’s location in one of the Atlantic Flyway’s most active flight paths, making it an important link in seasonal bird migration.

  • Time you can spend here: A half or full day
  • (This and the next spot are so close together you could plan for these in the same day!)
  • Gardner’s Basin in Atlantic City

Spend the day at the bay at Historic Gardner’s Basin, nestled on a protected channel along the back bays, directly across from the state marina and Coast Guard station. This bayside park offers shopping, dining, fishing and sightseeing boat rides for all ages.  From distinctive hand-crafted gifts in the Crafters Village and unique boutiques, to dolphin-watching and sightseeing cruises, Historic Gardner’s Basin is the perfect destination to spend a delightful hour, an afternoon or the day by the bay.  This maritime park on North New Hampshire Avenue replaces the hustle and bustle of the Boardwalk with a different type of activity. Sightseeing and fishing cruises come and go from the docks, the restaurants serve up seafood and ale house brews, the Atlantic City Aquarium offers an interactive aquarium and special events throughout the year.

  •  Address: Historic Gardener’s Basin is located at 800 North New Hampshire Avenue in Atlantic City. The Basin is open daily  from 10am-5pm.
  • Time you can spend here: A few hours, a half day, or a full day!!
  • Website:   http://www.acaquarium.com/
  • Ocean City Boardwalk

Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors travel just to visit Ocean City’s Boardwalk. For many, it’s a family tradition filled with anticipation up to the moment they step onto “the Boards.” Discover for yourself why this popular Jersey Shore Boardwalk is the vacation destination of people from all over the world.  From May through October, the Boardwalk offers endless opportunities for wholesome family fun and entertainment. November through April has a slower pace, seasonal sales and holiday special events.Miles from the Colonial Inn: Approx. 20 milesWebsite:   http://www.oceancityvacation.com/where-to-shop/boardwalk.html

Located in the heart of historic Tuckerton with charming shops and restaurants, this one-of-a-kind attraction the Jersey Shore’s maritime traditions of the past and present to life through people, exhibits and hands-on activities.  Stroll the boardwalk  and experience life on the Tuckerton “Crik.” Decoy carvers, boat builders, basket makers and baymen entertain, educate and delight visitors of all ages. Identify birds and plants on our nature trail through our Maritime forest. Discover the Jersey Shore’s unique maritime heritage and the interaction between culture and nature on the Barnegat Bay. Experience the rich traditions of the Jersey Shore and its baymen through the Seaport’s recreated and historic buildings, demonstrations, interpretive exhibits, events, festivals, live aquatic displays and more.The Tuckerton Seaport is located along the Tuckerton Creek, at exit 58 on the Garden State Parkway, 30 miles north of Atlantic City.  The seaport and museum are open daily year round from 10am-5pm.

Lucy the Elephant is six stories high and is listed on the National Park Registry of Historical Landmarks.  Take the tour and learn about Lucy’s unique architecture, her history and you will get to climb a spiral staircase through her insides all the way up to the howdah on her back, providing a spectacular 360° view of the surrounding shore area.

Lucy the Elephant is located along the beach in Josephine Harron Park in Margate. She is open all year but the hours of operation and tour times change by season.  Their website lists their hours depending on the time of year you are staying with us at the Colonial Inn.

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Wheaton Arts consists of over 60 acres with 20 buildings. The Museum of American Glass houses over 7,000 objects, both historic and contemporary. The fully operational Glass Studio presents daily, interpretive demonstrations for the public  with artists showing  traditional and contemporary glassblowing techniques. In the Artist Studios artists demonstrate the traditional southern New Jersey crafts of pottery, wood and flame working. The 1876 Centre Grove Schoolhouse, Museum Stores (General Store, Arthur Gorham Paperweight Shop, Brownstone Emporium and Boutique, Christmas Shop and The Gallery of Fine Craft) and the Event Center now complete the complex.


  • Time you can spend here: A few hours or a half day
  • Website:   http://www.wheatonarts.org/
  • Address: 1100 Village Dr. , Millville NJ
  • Atlantic City Boardwalk

Sun, sand, towering resort hotels, the bustling boardwalk, the awe-inspiring Atlantic — this is one beach party you don’t want to miss. The South Jersey beaches of   Atlantic City are famous, and rightly so. Everything you could possibly want is right    here within walking distance, from shops to five-star restaurants to casinos, attractions and great shows — all benefits of being one of the few American beaches  with boardwalks. What better way to cap a day of shopping, shows and gourmet dining than a sunset walk on the beach? And should you want to venture into the waves, you can surf, fish, parasail or embark on a relaxing cruise. Construction on Atlantic City’s world-famous Boardwalk began in 1870, and from then on it has become an icon in America as one of the few beaches with boardwalks. Stroll along the Boardwalk and enjoy ocean views on one side and shopping on the other, ranging from high-end retail to saltwater taffy shops.