Let’s be honest. Here in central New Jersey, there is a LOT to enjoy.

We’ve got the standard American fare: shopping, golfing, a Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey's largest playground (in Veterans Park). We're accessible within the hour to rarefied spots such as NYC, Philly, the Jersey Shore, Trenton, Princeton, and don’t forget Sesame Place.

But the offerings right here in beautiful Hamilton Township solidify our place amongst the most desirable places in the area. One of the greatest things about living in the Garden State is, well, its gardens, of course!

Hamilton's lovely and historic outdoor sites will inspire you to label all your pictures #nofilter. That's how gorgeous they are.

Check out these three incredible places with your family, your out-of-town guests, or simply your thoughts.

ART & NATURE: Grounds For Sculpture

You can’t go wrong with 42 acres of more than 300 contemporary sculptures nestled among this stunningly well-cultivated and rare arboretum.

Planning began in 1984 and it opened to the public in 1992 on the property of the old rundown New Jersey State Fairgrounds. Today, the landscaping makes it feel as though even the trees, the very Earth, were sculpted.

As if that weren’t enough, you can also find a huge variety of programs here throughout the year. There are classes, performances, lectures, artists workshops, storytelling hours, film screenings (both curated educational selections as well as entertaining family favorites), meditation, herbalism, yoga… you get the idea.

It’s not just outdoors either. Four indoor galleries with annually rotating exhibitions celebrate both local and international artistic treasures. They also encourage the creation of new works.

A word of advice though: plan your visit. As of this writing, you need advance reservations to get in and they’re closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Very reasonably priced though, plus 5 and under get in for free.

FARM TO MOUTH: Terhune Orchards

Any time of year is perfect to visit this picturesque family farm (as in, owned by a family, family-friendly, and the current caretakers share distant ancestors with the farm's creators).

The products you will find are high quality with what they call “country-style” service. (Meaning inviting and easy. Sustainable. Certified organic.)

You can do classic pick-your-own, enjoy seasonal holiday activities and shop an exceptional little farm store. They host festivals, music series, camps, and classes. With farm animals and a play area for the kids, a winery for the adults- there is space and fresh air for anyone craving the romance of farm life.

Open every day except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The hours shift around a little.

TREK THE TREK: D&R Canal State Park Trail

Just to the southwest of Hamilton, you’ll find the glorious trail connecting the Delaware and Raritan Rivers with more than 70 miles of “linear multi-use pathways” you can hike, bike or kayak. The views will take your breath away long before the exercise does. Picnic, canoe, jog, fish, stroll or ride your horse from sunrise to sunset any day of the year.

It boasts over 160 species of birds, most of which nest right there in the park, so bring your bird-watchers (that is, your binoculars and your ornithological neighbors) or anyone who loves aquatic turtles. This is the place to see them.

Chock full of old houses and wooden bridges, this incredible area has a deep connection to the history of New Jersey as well as connecting Hamilton to other historic towns in New Jersey. After all, isn't that what we're all looking for? More connection? You'll find it, and so much beauty, here.

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