Hotel at a Glance: Colonial Inn
The Colonial Inn may be just 13 miles from Atlantic City, but it seems to be a world away from the tourist-packed boardwalk. It’s set on a peaceful lakefront in the hamlet of Smithville, known for its locally owned artisan shops and restaurants. The inn makes you feel at home (and supports local shops) by offering you housemade snacks and a bar of all-natural organic soap from the Little Egg Harbor Soap Company.
- Where you’ll stay: Whether you book a room in the inn or its old-fashioned wooden barn, your country-style lodgings may afford such amenities as a fireplace and free WiFi.
- Start the day with coffee and freshly baked muffins as part of the complimentary breakfast.
- Swirl and sip at the nearby Tomasello Winery. With this Getaway’s included tasting, you can sample its famous ice wine.
- Recent award: The inn’s hospitable service helped it earn TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2015.
Galloway Township, New Jersey: Atlantic City Neighbor Home to Historic District
Galloway Township is a rural seaside community hiding in the shadows of party-centric Atlantic City. It is perhaps best known as the home of the historic town of Smithville, whose cobblestone village square has restaurants, an arcade, and old-timey shops selling tea, candles, and sweets. Just step outside the Colonial Inn for a walking tour of the square, or you can take the family to get a full view of the town by riding paddleboats in the town marina. In the fall, it’s worth driving through the area to see the lovely fall foliage.
A 20-minute drive will bring you to Atlantic City and its iconic boardwalk, which stretches for 6 miles along New Jersey’s eastern coast. Originally built in 1870 to keep sand out of hotel lobbies, the boardwalk grew in popularity as a place where you could drink and gamble during Prohibition without much trouble from the police, as depicted in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. The boardwalk is still popular for its casinos, but it’s family-friendly, too; visitors are just as inclined to sit at the beach or stop at one of the many carnival rides.
While you’re on the boardwalk, check out the more than 150-year-old Absecon Lighthouse. A 228-step climb gets you to the top for sweeping views of the skyline and the sea. Down at its base, you’ll find a replica of the original light keeper’s lonely cloister and the collection of sock puppets he created to keep him company.