Small Town NJ: Haddonfield
Small Town NJ is back! At least for today since I found these photos from a trip to Haddonfield in October that I never got to share. It's so exciting to bring you the small town charm of Haddonfield which is just a hop and a skip over the bridge from Philadelphia. It's got all the ingredients for a charming NJ town: tree-lined street, local boutiques, local restaurants and cozy coffee shops, and historic character. Haddonfield has a great local vibe of a community that cares about its residents with the convenience and thrill of being minutes from a major city. There's no way I could have not featured Haddonfield in the Small Town series!
Haddonfield is located in Camden County and is a ten minute drive from the heart of Philadelphia (depending on traffic of course). It has a wonderful community vibe with the McMansion developments that tend to plague NJ nowhere in sight. It's also only a few miles south of another one of my favorite small towns, Collingswood. Of course I was visiting on a Saturday when the town was having a street fair but it is a walkable town with lots going on. There were older couples sitting on benches, middle schoolers riding bikes, and couples strolling the streets and looking in windows. The tree-lined main street made me feel like I was in an episode of the Gilmore Girls, just to show you how unreal the charm factor is for this town.
One of my favorite things about this small town is that it is local. You're probably thinking, well, of course. But how many small towns have you visited and there's a Burger King plunked down in the middle? Or the downtown business district is built up with office buildings? Or its surrounded by railroad tracks and rundown homes? Haddonfield has maintained all the historic structures that make up their main downtown. Even though there are a few chains like Starbucks and Saxby's Coffee (a Philadelphia chain coffee shop with to-die-for lattes) they've made sure they fit into the architectural landscape that has a very late 1700s/early 1800s vibe with all that brick and wood and slate. There are many charming neighborhoods that surround the town and have that everybody-knows-your-name feel.
Haddonfield not only retains a local vibe on the outside but many of the buildings house local boutiques. A favorite local shop worth popping into is The Paper Trail and More, a stationery and papery store. If Nick hadn't pulled me away I would have easily ended up with several boxes of note cards and maybe a dozen or so rolls of gift wrap. Though Haddonfield is as quiet in the evening as most any New Jersey small town, they have a Painting with a Twist, a painting studio that hosts parties and weekly open nights where you can bring a group of friends and a bottle of wine. It's one of my favorite ways to catch up with my friends.
Haddonfield has to be one of the most picturesque and charming small towns in New Jersey. If you're looking to shop local, eat local, and spend time in a real New Jersey community, you must head over to Haddonfield.