By Liz Johnson
Sunshine, soft breezes and sultry summer nights spur romance and there’s no place greater for exploring that than Hunterdon County. If you’re wracking your brain for things to do with your soul mate, here are a few suggestions:
Take a Stroll
Hunterdon County has no end of charming towns that are perfect for leisurely, hand-holding strolls. People watch or window gaze along the main streets of Clinton, Frenchtown or Lambertville, all popular favorites for Best Main Street, according to Hunterdon Happening List voters.
Any game that scores in the name of “love” has to have a dose of romance to it. There are plenty of free courts throughout the county for either singles or couples games. All you need is a racquet and a set of tennis balls.
Hint: Courtside Racquet Club in Lebanon, selected the Best Tennis Club by Hunterdon Happening List voters, is a great place to play when it’s too hot outside. It also offers pickleball and a pool.
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Spend a Day at the Spa
Who doesn’t love to be pampered? Multiply it by two, and you have a happy duo. Whether it’s a couple’s massage or an all-out day of facials, manicures, pedicures, steam baths and reflexology the end result is relaxation.
Hint: Check out Euphoria Studio in Frenchtown, voted Best Day Spa in the Hunterdon Happening List, which offers customized spa packages in an intimate setting.
Dinner and a Movie
Start with riverside dining at any of the county’s popular restaurants, then take in a screening at the ACME Screening Room in Lambertville, a cozy movie house specializing in independent films and documentaries. Or check out the Clinton’s River Town Film Festival in early September, voted Best Summer Event in the 2019 Hunterdon Happening List.
Hint: Hunterdon Happening List voters have no end of riverside dining favorites to recommend, including The Milford House in Milford, named the Most Romantic Place in Hunterdon. Other romantic place finalists include: The Lambertville Station Restaurant and Inn, the Boat House and Anton’s at the Swan, all of which are in Lambertville.
Visit a Vineyard
Hunterdon County is home to several vineyards that offer magnificent views, wine tastings and entertainment, particularly on the weekends.
Hint: Hunterdon Happening List voters recommend Beneduce Vineyards in Pittstown, named Best Winery and Best Date Night.
From obscure museums to breathtaking scenery such as the Ken Lockwood Gorge just outside of High Bridge, there’s a lot of hidden gems in Hunterdon County. For a list of county museums, visit www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/depts/c&h/huntmuseums.htm.
Hint: Check out The Little York Tavern in Little York, voted Best Kept Secret in the 2019 Hunterdon Happening List. Then consider a hike at one of the nearby county preserves such as Hollandview Farm on Ellis Road or Musconetcong Gorge Nature Preserve on Dennis Road, a 523-acre park that features hiking trails with scenic views and a waterfall.
Take in a Show
You don’t need to travel to New York City to see a live performance. There are several theaters in Hunterdon County, including Hunterdon Hills Playhouse, a Hunterdon Happening List Finalist for Best Date Night and winner of Best Theater. Or, cross over the Lambertville-New Hope Bridge to visit the Bucks County Playhouse.
See how well you complement each other by putting your heads together to answer inane questions about things you didn’t realize you knew. The National Hotel in Frenchtown and Mrs. Riley’s Public House in High Bridge are two Hunterdon Happening favorites for trivia.
Try a Staycation
Hunterdon County has many bed and breakfasts that offer a romantic escape from the daily hustle and bustle without a long drive.
Hint: Check out Chestnut Hill on the Delaware in Milford, voted Hunterdon Happening List Best Bed and Breakfast. Then, sign up for a sunset river cruise at Bucks County Riverboat Country. It’s just across the Milford Bridge in Upper Black Eddy, Pa.
Flemington and Lambertville both have a range of antique stores worth perusing for eclectic finds. Yesterday’s Treasure in Flemington was voted Hunterdon Happening Best Antique Shop. The People’s Store Antique Center, American Designs and Coryell Street Antiques, all in Lambertville, were Hunterdon Happening finalists.
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Get into the Swing of Things
Whether you’re both pros or just getting started, golfing can offer a fun night out. There are plenty of driving ranges, courses and miniature golf courses throughout the county.
Hint: Pine Creek Mini Golf in West Amwell, voted Hunterdon Happening Best Outdoor Recreation, features two challenging 18-hole miniature golf courses spread over creeks and storied countryside.