With a combined website and magazine circulation exceeding 16 million, Travel + Leisure carries clout when it comes to influencing tourist trends, and readers may now be persuaded to make day trips to a dozen select municipalities in the Garden State.

The publication has named its 12 Best Small Towns in New Jersey for 2022, which are spread across eight of the state's 21 counties.

Travel + Leisure did not specify what constituted a "small" town, and both Bay Head (population less than 1,000) and Montclair (more than 40,000) made the list.

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The unranked grouping also encompasses all five main types of New Jersey municipal governments: borough, city, town, township, and village.

Here are some travel guide-style notes Travel + Leisure took on each "small town."

Bay Head — "renowned for its beautiful beaches" ... "incredible shingle-style architecture" ... "eye-catching structures" ... "a combination of casual haunts"

Port Coffee Roasters Google Maps
Port Coffee Roasters Google Maps
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Cranbury — "historical charm remains intact" ... "take a walking tour along Main Street" ... "lakefront views await"

Dennis & Judi live from Zinna's in Cranbury/Chris Swendeman NJ1015
Dennis & Judi live from Zinna's in Cranbury/Chris Swendeman NJ1015
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Flemington — "fair share of historical sites and fascinating attractions" ... "lined with shops" ... "one-of-a-kind eats" ... "seasonal festivities"

Lone Eagle Brewing, Flemington
Photo courtesy Hunterdon County Beer Trail
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Lambertville — "attracting travelers from near and far" ... "must-visit antique shops" ... "art lovers can wander through one of the nearby galleries"

Google Maps
Google Maps
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Millburn — "teeming with activities and attractions" ... "most famous for its downtown area" ... "farmers market ... also worth exploring"

Google Maps
Google Maps
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Montclair — "best known for its eclectic boutiques" ... "indulging in some retail therapy" ... "fresh kimchi, anyone?" ... "extend your trip with an overnight stay"

Governor Phil Murphy signs an executive order requiring NJ TRANSIT to release monthly rail performance metrics at the Bay Street Train Station in Montclair on August 19, 2019.Edwin J. Torres/ GovernorÕs Office.
Governor Phil Murphy signs an executive order requiring NJ TRANSIT to release monthly rail performance metrics at the Bay Street Train Station in Montclair on August 19, 2019. Edwin J. Torres/GovernorÕs Office.
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Red Bank — "quaint" ... "chock-full of shops" ... "nostalgia-inducing" ... "prime people-watching and pristine water views"

Riverside Garden Park in Red Bank. (Google Maps)
(Google Maps)
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Ridgewood — "walkable downtown area that's well worth a stroll" ... "be sure to come hungry" ... "budding artists" ... "unique shops"

It's Greek to Me Ridgewood/Facebook
It's Greek to Me Ridgewood/Facebook
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Spring Lake — "mouthwatering meals, eclectic stores, beloved beach time" ... "outdoor enthusiasts can rent a bike" ... "thespians can catch a performance"

Spring Lake
Spring Lake (Bud McCormick)
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Tenafly — "plenty to offer families of all ages" ... "scenic trails for hiking, walking, or running" ... "summer concerts worth checking out"

Tenafly house of Cardi B (NJMLS via Realtor.com)
Tenafly house of Cardi B (NJMLS via Realtor.com)
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West Cape May — "small but scenic" ... "sleepy" ... "beautiful Victorian architecture" ... "vibrant farmers markets"

Zillow
Zillow
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Westfield — "charming" ... "colorful downtown that beckons travelers and locals alike" ... "get your caffeine fix" ... "a slew of special events throughout the year"

Ahrre’s Coffee Google Maps
Ahrre’s Coffee Google Maps
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Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

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