Cozy Bed and Breakfast in 18th-Century Grist Mill on 23 Tranquil Acres
In 1769, the tiny town of Hope, New Jersey, revolved around its gristmill; it supplied grain to George Washington's Revolutionary Army. Though the town saw its share of changes, including a massive fire, the stone mill remained a constant—it churned out flour for the locals until 1956. Today, the gristmill is one of three historical buildings that make up The Inn at Millrace Pond.
There's an old-fashioned feel to much of the inn's 23-acre property. On a walk through its brick pathways, you can find a tranquil brook, a stone cottage, and a 19th-century home that once lodged the property's miller. The décor is accented with exposed chestnut beams, colonial-era furnishings, and a 5-foot-tall stone fireplace.
The inn's guest rooms are scattered throughout the gristmill, millrace house, and the stone cottage, and they balance rustic charm with contemporary amenities. Many of the cozy rooms feature antique four-poster beds topped with lace canopies and tricorn hats. Whenever you tire of the pioneer lifestyle, immerse yourself in a whirlpool tub and wireless Internet access.
Brass chandeliers cast light on black-and-white photographs on the walls at The Dining Room, the inn's Zagat-rated restaurant. Stop by here for breakfast to dine on house-made bread and omelets. Downstairs in the wine cellar, you can find remnants of the mill's water wheel as well as Fireside Tavern, which serves malt whiskey around a natural stone fireplace.
Hope, New Jersey: Old German Moravian Town near Mountains and Lakes
The little town of Hope is set in northern New Jersey's Kittatinny Valley and just south of the Delaware Water Gap. There's a diverse topography of mountains, black-spruce forests, and glittering lakes here.
Roughly 10 minutes from the inn is Jenny Jump Mountain. It's worth it to hike or mountain bike the trails to the top here to take in views of the Delaware Water Gap. At nearby Mountain Lake, anglers often reel in whopping catches of muskellunge, perch, and goldfish cracker bags.
A close-knit community of German Moravians founded Hope in 1769, and there's still a small-town, intimate feel to the place. Throughout, you can see remnants of its past in red barns, limestone houses, old grain silos, and centuries-old churches. Horror-movie geeks might recognize the black iron gates of the old Moravian Cemetery from the movie Friday the 13th.
Sprinkled throughout the historical landmarks are some modern family attractions. The Land of Make Believe, a 30-acre fun park, reopens on Memorial Day, and it is situated just minutes from the inn. Here you can ride an old-fashioned locomotive, zoom down a 40-foot water slide, and dry off in the whipping wind on a roller coaster.