Freehold - The Largest Little City In New Jersey
By Frank Dalotto
Freehold, New Jersey, the child hood home of Bruce Springsteen, and popularized by his song “My Hometown” with the imagery of small town America, is a small town with a revamped downtown that mixes the best of mom and pop establishments, fancy eateries, and Victorian houses. Freehold has caught on to the sidewalk dining craze, and on warm summer days and evenings, tables along tree lined, brick paved Main Street are packed with patrons.
A town as diverse at it is old, with it’s trendy dining spots, historic sites, shopping, and bed and breakfasts, Freehold is a great day or weekend trip for those who love history, architecture, and of course, food!
Freehold, one of the nation's oldest cities, with numerous monuments and landmarks familiar to people all over the country, enjoys a past that is rich in American Revolution History.
A walking tour of downtown Freehold is a must. Many of the Victorian buildings along Main Street date back to the 1800’s. The American Hotel, built in 1824, is rich with history. The hotel’s most famous visitor was Abraham Lincoln, who stopped here on the way to the White House in 1861. The American Hotel has recently been purchased by a new owner and plans are underway to revamp it. The oldest building in Freehold is St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, built in 1683. Check out the old cemetery – you’ll be fascinated by dates going back to the times of the pilgrims.
The Freehold area has sometimes been referred to as the "largest little city" in NJ. In addition to the downtown area with numerous shops and restaurants, the area boasts of many top attractions, including:
Freehold Raceway – The nation’s oldest and fastest daytime half-mile harness racing track. It was first opened in 1853, and is the only operating daytime harness racing track in America. It operates from mid-August to May.
Freehold Raceway Mall - A super regional mall, it is the third largest shopping mall in the state of New Jersey. A major expansion by 100,000 sq/ft is planned for 2007
Center Playhouse - Conducts activities and programs to educate and entertain its patrons.
Metz Bicycle Museum - A step into the Metz Bicycle Museum in Freehold is truly a stroll through history. The Museum houses one of the world's finest collections of antique bicycles, dating from the 1850's to the 1950's. Hundreds of bicycles are artfully displayed.
Boneshakers, high wheelers, quadricycles, tricycles, ordinaries, safeties, children's bikes, trick bikes, and many more unusual and one-of-a kind cycles make up this fascinating collection.
Battle view Orchards - An example of why New Jersey is known as the Garden State. A great place to take the kids to pick your produce. Each year from May to October, Battle view, which borders on Monmouth Battle State Park on Wemrock road off Route 33, offers pickers the chance to select some of the areas best fruit.
Monmouth Battlefield State Park - One of the largest battles of the American Revolution took place in the fields and forests that now make up Monmouth Battlefield State Park. A reenactment of the June 1778 battle is held every year with authentically dressed troops camped out in the park and situated in the fields for fighting.
(c) Copyright Frank Dalotto
Frank Dalotto is the editor of New Jersey Leisure Guide and writes a blog about New Jersey on
http://www.new-jersey-leisure-guide.com He also produces a monthly ezine (newsletter) about New Jersey attractions, events, and restaurant reviews. The free ezine can also be subscribed to at that address.
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