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Day-tripping Collingswood: A non-beach reason to head to New Jersey

When you think of going to New Jersey in the summer, you think of the Shore and its boardwalks, beaches and nightclubs. All of those things can be a great time… but not all the time. Collingswood is the anti-shore. It provides a New Jersey refuge where you can escape the noise.

This borough of 14,000 is known for its hippie-esque shopping and festival scene. It’s kind of like a college town in suburbia. Plus, Collingswood is bounded by two bodies of water: Newton Lake and the Cooper River. So quality outdoor activities aren’t hard to come by either.

How to Get There

Collingswood can be reached easily by car or train. If you have a car, just hop 676 switch to 39 then 130 and then follow signs. Public transit is probably even easier, though. Just take PATCO to the Collingswood stop and you’re right there. It should take about 20 to 25 minutes to drive and 30 to 40 via PATCO, depending on how you get to the closest PATCO station.

Cost

A round-trip on PATCO is $5.20. Gas would be cheap. Collingswood has some public parking and garages, so you might have to spend a little on that. Otherwise, it’s whatever you spend on food, shopping and festivals.

What to do

Shopping

Haddon Avenue is Main Street and where you’ll find all the cool stores. Best bet is to walk up and down and stop anywhere that interests you. But here are a few standouts.

  • Blue Moon Premium Olive Oil and Vinegar: If you’re into these sorts of things.
  • Dig This: You’ll really feel like you’re in a college town with this store. It features vintage furnishings, or as the store calls it “cool stuff for cool people.”
  • Ellis Antiques: Because you’re in New Jersey and on a daytrip.
  • The Candy Jar: Has exactly what the name implies — plenty of candy and other sweets.

Outdoors

  • Cooper River Park: On the northern side of Collingswood, this park features a driving range, trails to bike and run, a Yacht Club, mini golf and more.
  • Newton Lake Park: This park is on the southern side of Collingswood. It has plenty of areas for biking and running.
  • Boating: Newton Lake and the Cooper River allow for fun on the water. But don’t plan on bringing your jetski. Newton Lake limits motor boats to 25 mph and you can’t have a motor on the Cooper. The Cooper is ideal for kayaking and rowing.
  • Knight Park: More than 60 acres of beauty.

Festivals

  • 2nd Saturdays: Arts and music along Haddon Avenue.
  • Farmers’ Market: Every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.
  • Summer Mummers (?!): Various dates this summer.

Top restaurants/cafes

Pretty much every restaurant in Collingswood is BYOB, so come prepared.

  • Grooveground: Drink coffee and shop for music and movies.
  • Il Fiore: BYO Italian. You might have to wait a while to get a table, though.
  • Sagami Japanese Restaurant: Sushi place that’s been around since 1974.
  • Cipolli Cannoli: Only open on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings/afternoons.
  • The Pop Shop: Old-fashioned place with a soda fountain, ice cream and diner food.
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