Category Archives: Tourism

Hidden Gems of New Jersey: Lake Hopatcong

Written by: Suzanne LaVoie

LAKE HOPATCONG

Spring has arrived.  Flowers are in full bloom, daylight stretches even longer for you to enjoy the outdoors, and life overflows with excitement to get out there and put the last remnants of winter behind you.  Nature is calling.  Why not spend it in a beautiful area known as Lake Hopatcong (cited as the largest freshwater body in New Jersey) located between the counties of Sussex and Morris?

THE LAKE

Water is therapeutic in many ways.  It relaxes you and allows for contemplation and meditation; or you could enjoy some of the diverse activities offered throughout the warmer months, including boating and waterskiing

View this post on Instagram

Welcome back, lady!

A post shared by Lake Hopatcong Cruises (@lhcruises) on

Boat cruises provide spectacular views of the lake and gorgeous homes that line the surrounding grounds.  Weekend pontoon boat cruises supply opportunities to learn the history of Lake Hopatcong, including some of the specific dwellings that come into focus as you take in all that is around you. 

There are signature cruises on a special vessel to avail yourself of as well during the season from May through October.  Lake Hopatcong additionally offers a “floating classroom” for people of all ages to enjoy and get hands-on experience on an amazing educational adventure (not to mention time in the breathtaking Hopatcong State Park).    

DELICIOUS DINING

Every outing deserves to begin with a sensational breakfast.  What better place to begin than the Jefferson Diner which was featured on the Food Network with Guy Fieri?  The portions are incredible and if you desire to take home an amazing reminder of the scrumptious delectable, the lobster bisque is it!  You will bask in the chunks of lobster from this favorite soup!

If you crave something mid-day, then you can travel to the Jefferson House right on the lakefront.  Awesome food and beverages in a casual atmosphere along with a catching view!  Who could ask for more?  And yes, there is live music throughout the summer months! A perfect combination!  If you are looking for a terrific dining place to treat Mom on Mother’s Day, the Jefferson House is accepting reservations for Brunch and Dinner.

View this post on Instagram

Beautiful night…finally.

A post shared by The Windlass (@thewindlass) on

How about the evening meal?  Look no further than the Windlass Restaurant, which is also located on the lake.  Indoor and outdoor dining is available and the cuisine caters to all taste buds! This charming restaurant even has outdoor gliders to take delight in!  Oh, and be sure to check out their website which includes a fascinating account of the history of the Windlass and a once-famous amusement park from decades ago!

MORE FUN

Lake Hopatcong is a hidden gem in New Jersey.  It exudes its own peace and serenity when you take the time to take pleasure in its gorgeous sights.  It is a fundamental place for amateur and seasoned photographers to get their cameras and phones rolling to capture this natural wonder of New Jersey (there are never enough photos of nature, so go for it and click/snap away). 

There are nearby trails to hike if you are searching for more adventure and fitness.  Numerous events pop up throughout the heaviest tourism months which include various fun activities sponsored by the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club.  A fireworks display will be held this year on June 28th with a rain date of July 7thBridge Marina also offers events centered on boating enthusiasts.  Come check it all out!

DO SOMETHING NEW

Do it.  Give yourself permission.  Life is busy and often hectic and stressful.  You deserve to treat yourself to a day of tranquility, exquisite eats, entertainment, and experience.  Seek out Lake Hopatcong and be forever changed.      

Feature Image: Flickr/jrzykat

greasy foods

#GreasyFoodsDay 5 of NJ’s Yummy Greasy Foods

Hey #HipNJ! Today is #GreasyFoodsDay! To celebrate, let’s take a look at five of the most mouth-watering, greasy foods found in the Garden State!

1. Fat Sandwich, RU Hungry, New Brunswick

Launched in 1979 and aptly nicknamed the “Grease Truck,” RU Hungry is Rutgers University’s grease epicenter. The first fat sandwich they debuted was the Fat Cat which consisted of two cheeseburgers with lettuce, tomato, and french fries all on the sandwich. Their current best-seller is the Fat Darrell which consists of chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, french fries, marinara sauce, lettuce and tomato. I’ve had the Fat Darrell and can confirm it is delicious! Want to coin your own sandwich? RU Hungry challenges worthy participants to eat any five fat sandwiches in under 45 minutes. Those who succeed get to have their sandwich featured on their menu. Man vs. Food’s Adam Richman tried the challenge and failed. I couldn’t imagine eating five of those monstrous sandwiches in under an hour!

2. Italian Hot Dog, Jimmy Buff’s, Kenilworth

Originally founded in Newark by James “Buff” Racioppi in 1932, Jimmy Buff’s is the home to the famous Italian Hot Dog loaded with two fried hot dogs, peppers, onions and potatoes. I’ve visited the Kennilworth location and can confirm the authenticity, grease, and tastiness this sandwich boasts. This location featured an open kitchen so you can watch all of your sandwich fixin’s being deep fried right in front of you, which only makes your mouth water more before your served. Jimmy Buff’s is one of NJ’s oldest food traditions and there’s no wonder why it’s still going strong today.

3. Maui Burger, 30 Burgers, Branchburg

This relatively new NJ burger chain features 30 delicious, fresh and juicy burgers. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Branchburg location which has a very diner-esque feel to it. I had the Maui Burger, topped with grilled pineapple, smoked ham, teriyaki glaze, cheddar, lettuce, tomato & sweet mayo , and it was SO good! Other burgers that are worth trying include the Trenton Burger, topped with pork roll, American cheese, and ketchup, and the El Paso Burger, topped with roasted pablano peppers, sautéed onions, bacon, pepperjack, guacamole, lettuce & chipotle mayo. Yum!

4. Cheesesteak & Cheese Balls, Steaks Unlimited, Seaside Heights

Nothing says boardwalk food like a good ‘ol fashioned cheesesteak! Steaks Unlimited has one of the best cheesesteaks on the Jersey Shore. Paired with deep-fried, bread-crumbed coated, cheddar cheese balls, the cheesesteak and cheese balls combo is a Jersey Shore classic! When I visited, I was feeling daring and put cheese balls in my cheesesteak. Best idea ever!

5. Chonut, Kimchi Smoke, Westwood

This new Texas Korean BBQ fusion restaurant boasts perhaps the most intriguing, greasy, and glorious sandwich on this list. Dubbed “100% Ridiculousness,” the Chonut is brisket, smoked Kimchi, Fatboy bourbon chipotle sauce, bacon, cheese, and scallions sandwiched between a sliced glazed donut. Oh my! I have yet to try this delicious monstrosity but it is on the top of my To-Eat list!

Now that I’ve made your stomach growl, go out and celebrate #GreasyFoodsDay at one of these fine establishments!

HipNJ’s Weekend Recap: August 17 – 19

Miss out on a fully packed weekend? #HipNJ has the scoop on what you missed. Keep reading to see what happened near you!

DJANGO FESTIVAL ALL-STARS WITH SPECIAL GUEST EDMAR CASTAÑEDA

DJANGO FESTIVAL ALL-STARS WITH SPECIAL GUEST EDMAR CASTAÑEDA – August 17

Django Festival All-Stars, who have ushered the music of legendary Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt into the 21st century, revitalizing Reinhardt’s driving, swinging style (often referred to as “hot jazz”). The group’s repertoire combines unique interpretations of Reinhardt classics with original compositions. With a packed crowed, the group definetly didn’t disappoint! The group had fans dancing and singing along to the music.

LUXURY GARAGE SALE POP UP SHOP

LUXURY GARAGE SALE POP UP SHOP – August 17 – 19

With personalized service, Luxury Garage Sale is known for setting new benchmarks in luxury consignment. It offers shoppers a curated luxury shopping experience unparalleled in Westfield, New Jersey, and gives consignors a trusted avenue for re-selling their goods at fair market prices. Luxury Garage Sale’s personalized service included above-and-beyond offerings for women and men such as complimentary one-on-one personal styling consultations, industry-leading commissions and authentication guarantees.

RED BANK FOOD & WINE WALK

RED BANK FOOD & WINE WALK – August 19

Red Bank’s walkable downtown district is home to an array of upscale restaurants and casual eateries that appeal to your palate. Explore picturesque Red Bank on the third Sunday of the month while enjoying food and/or beverage samples from over 20 participating restaurants, bars & eateries. Three hours of top tastings, which guests loved!

RED BANK FOOD & WINE WALK

10th Annual Deb Levy Soccer Tournament – August 18 – 19

7v7, short sided soccer games. This is the 10th year that Chemo Clothes has done the tournament. Raising over $65,000 for families in need from this tournament alone. The money goes directly to paying bills for families impacted by cancers of all kind. The event wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the volunteers, participants and the funding of the generous sponsors!

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney Trip Around The Sun Tour 2018 – August 18

The leader of No Shoes Nation was, in fact, wearing shoes Saturday night as he took the stage in front of a full Metlife Stadium crowd. Kenny Chesney rocked his signature look of a cowboy hat and boots with a tank top and blue jeans.

Before he took the stage, however, there were T-shirt canons and two video packages played on the big screen, the first of Chesney wearing a Steelers helmet and thanking the crowd for coming out and the second of celebrities and others saying welcome to the show.

With people having tailgated for hours, or days on the boats, the crowd was ready for the show and Metlife Stadium was ready for the crowd, too, with 16 ounce beers going for $14 apiece.