The unofficial start to summer is almost here, which means it’s time to make plans to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend. While many locals will be headed down the shore, that’s not the only place to enjoy the long weekend. Planning a staycation in Montclair is a great way to avoid traffic, enjoy local treasures, and have a fun and relaxing time. If you need help coming up with ideas for a Montclair staycation, we’ve got you covered. We’ve come up with the best places in and around Montclair to enjoy a staycation this MDW.
Places to Stay
The George | 37 N Mountain Avenue #2317, Montclair
(Photo credit: @thegeorgemontclair)
The George is a beautiful, boutique hotel in the heart of Montclair. A self-proclaimed “boutique hotel with modern style and historic bones,” The George features luxury accommodations for all guests. Each of its 31 rooms is uniquely styled.. Currently, The George offers complimentary “Grab and Go” style breakfast along with self-service check-in to remain as safe as possible. Additional amenities include a gym and a complimentary glass of wine each evening. To make a reservation, visit the site here.
The MC Hotel, Autograph Collection | 690 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair
(Photo credit: The MC Hotel)
A part of the Marriott family, The MC Hotel, Autograph Collection is conveniently located on Bloomfield Avenue. This pet-friendly establishment is known for state-of-the-art accommodations including a fitness center, on-site restaurant, free coffee and tea, and meeting spaces. Rooms are available in various layouts including King, Double Queen, and King Superior. To book a room, visit the site here.
The Wilshire Grand Hotel | 350 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange
(Photo credit: @wilshiregrandnj)
The Wilshire Grand Hotel is the perfect home-away-from-home. The quaint hotel is ideal for a relaxing stay with plush furniture in the lobby along with a complimentary juice and gourmet coffee bar. Guests can choose from various room layouts such as King Superior, Double Superior, and suites. Complimentary Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and complimentary breakfast are all included for guests. The establishment is also pet-friendly. To learn more and book a stay, click here.
The Westfield Inn | 435 N Avenue W, Westfield
(Photo credit: @thewestfieldinn)
Westfield is often considered one of New Jersey’s most desirable locations. With a vibrant downtown area filled with shops and restaurants, it’s a great place to stay for a long weekend. The Westfield Inn is a part of the Best Western family. The property was recently renovated and is home to the renowned French restaurant, Chez Catherine. Amenities include complimentary breakfast and parking, as well as a 24-hour front desk staff. To make a reservation, click here.
Read More: The ULTIMATE Montclair Bucket List
Things to Do Outdoors
Van Vleck House + Gardens | 21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair
The Van Vleck House + Gardens sits on a stunning 12-acre property. Now facilitated by The Montclair Foundation, the gardens are a center for education, beauty, peace, and quiet. Admission to the gardens is free and is available 365 days a year. To plan a visit and learn more, click here.
Presby Memorial Iris Garden | 474 Upper Mountain Avenue, Upper Montclair
(Photo credit: @presbyirisgardens)
See more than 10,000 irises at the Presby Memorial Iris Garden in Upper Montclair. All are welcome to attend with MDW being mid-peak season for bloom. A donation of $10 is suggested for admission as the gardens are made possible by the generosity of donors. Picnic tables are available on the premises on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn more and plan a visit, click here.
Montclair Brewery | 101 Walnut Street, Montclair
MDW is the perfect time to crack open a cold one. Let the team over at Montclair Brewery take care of that. The indoor/outdoor establishment has nearly two dozen beer varieties on tap along with hard seltzers and sodas. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and the brewery is pet friendly. Reservations for outdoor seating are highly suggested on weekends. To make a reservation, click here.
Ruthie’s Bar-B-Q + Pizza | 64 ½ Chestnut Street, Montclair
(Photo credit: @ruthiesbbq)
Ruthie’s Bar-B-Q + Pizza is one of Montclair’s hidden gems. Located smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood, its combination of pizza and BBQ is just as unexpected as its location. Ruthie’s is run by a husband-and-wife team who know how to do BBQ and pizza right. The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating with live musical performances scheduled regularly. The restaurant is open Wednesdays through Saturdays. To check out the menu, click here.
Jack’s Lobster Shack | 718 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair
(Photo credit: @jacksseafoodshack)
Seafood and MDW go hand-in-hand. The team at Jack’s Lobster Shack knows how to serve up a great seafood meal. Choose from items like lobster tacos, seafood sliders and shrimp, or crab roll platters. Land lovers have great options as well such as a grilled chicken sandwich or Angus beef burgers. Indoor and outdoor seating options are available. To check out the menu, click here.
Turtle Back Zoo | 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange
(Photo credit: @officialturtlebackzoo)
The Turtle Back Zoo is a North Jersey classic and a family favorite. Visitors can enjoy animals from around the world like African giraffes and Asian red pandas. Additionally, Turtle Back is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Zoological Association of America. This means that it is committed to taking care of its animals, behaving ethically, contributing to conservation causes, as well as educating the public. The zoo is open daily from 10AM-4:PM. Admission for guests over 13-years-old is $14, and kids (ages 2-12) and Seniors (ages 62+) are $13. Babies under two are free. To learn more about current exhibits and how to plan a trip, click here.
New Jersey Botanical Gardens | 2 Morris Road, Ringwood
The New Jersey Botanical Gardens is home to dozens of flower and plant varieties. Visitors can enjoy t the breathtaking views of curated gardens or take a hike through the scenic trails. Free guided tours are available on Sundays at 2PM or visitors are free to do self-guided tours using garden and park maps. Admission to the gardens is free and parking is $5 starting Memorial Day Weekend. To learn more about the gardens and to plan a trip, click here.
Things to Do Indoors
Montclair Art Museum | 3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair
The Montclair Art Museum is an engaging experience for all who attend. Various exhibits are available to enjoy for an immersive, educational opportunity. The Gallery is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 11AM-6PM and on Sundays from 11AM-5PM. The Gallery is closed on Memorial Day. Admission for adults is $15, for students and seniors it’s $12, and children are free. All guests must have proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Online ticket booking is highly encouraged and can be done here.
Yogi Berra Museum + Learning Center | 8 Yogi Berra Drive, Little Falls
Baseball legend and American icon Yogi Berra is a household name. His contributions to baseball and American culture are unmatched and are celebrated at the Yogi Berra Museum + Learning Center. The museum has both rotating and permanent exhibits that honor his legacy and educate visitors on history, culture, science, and society within the context of baseball. The museum is open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays from 12PM-5PM. Admission for adults is $10 with kids (under age 18) and for seniors, it’s $5. To learn more about the museum and to plan a visit, click here.
Boutique Shopping | Throughout Montclair
Velvet Lush Boutique
Montclair is home to tons of boutique shops for a day of retail therapy — from Salt Air(e) Collective to Velvet Lush Boutique. Some of the most popular areas to find cute treasures are Walnut Street, Church Street, and Bloomfield Avenue. Browse the latest fashion trends, pick out a new candle or home décor, or enjoy a sweet treat from one of many artisan bakeries in the area. To learn more about the various shopping districts and what to find in each, click here.
Go out to Eat | Throughout Montclair
Dining options are never lacking in Montclair and surrounding areas. Visitors can find world-renowned chefs and dive bars alike. Local favorites for a bite to eat include Samba—a certified, fully gluten-free establishment offering Brazilian cuisine; Halcyon — a seafood lover’s heaven; and Egan + Sons — a neighborhood Irish gastropub.
Bury the Hatchet | 672 Bloomfield Avenue, Bloomfield
Bury the Hatchet is the premier spot for axe throwing in the area. The most popular package option is a two-hour session that costs $40 per person. The Bloomfield location offers additional options such as a 60-minute session for $30 per person. Group rates are available for up to 12 people. For groups over 12, please contact the location to make a reservation. For more information and to book a reservation, click here.
Amazing Escape Room | 281 Liberty Avenue, Bloomfield
Amazing Escape Room aims to be the most entertaining escape room in the country. Puzzles and riddles will challenge the whole family. The Bloomfield location is open from Wednesday through Sunday with four room options. Tickets are $30 per person and all rooms are private. To learn more about Amazing Escape Room and to book a time, click here.
Gravity Vault | 8 Seymour Street, Montclair
(Photo credit: @gravityvaultmontclair)
You can rock climb on more than 12,000 square feet of space at Gravity Vault in Montclair. The facility is open to expert and beginner rock climbers alike with the staff offering support for all levels. Day passes for adults are $21 and for youth (ages 7-20) are $18. Shoe and equipment rentals are available for a fee as well. To check out the full calendar and fill out the required waiver, click here.
Woodhouse Day Spa | 56 South Park Street, Montclair
(Photo credit: @woodhousespamontclair)
Woodhouse Day Spa is a full-service spa that promises to leave guests feeling refreshed and rested. Traditional services offered at the Montclair location include facials, massages, body treatments, nail services, and waxing. For enhanced relaxation, guests can book a ritual service which ranges from sleep massages to mood soaks. To learn more about services available and to book an appointment, click here.
JaiPure Yoga | 575 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair
A good workout can be a nice addition to any trip. JaiPure Yoga has a full line-up of hot yoga classes all weekend both in-person and online. The studio uses infrared heat which is designed to help promote detoxification and overall general wellness. Memberships are available for an individual class and can be purchased for $27. To check out the schedule and book a class, click here.
Haus of Hilights | 212 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair
(Photo credit: @hausofhilights)
The start of summer is an ideal time to change up a hairstyle, and Haus of Hilights can handle all hair needs. Whether it’s a bouncy blowout for a night on the town, a fancy updo for a special occasion, or a cut and color, it can all be done here. The salon is open Monday through Saturday and also offers a seasonal drink menu. To learn more about the salon’s offerings, click here.
SKN | 408 Bloomfield Avenue Suite E1, Montclair
SKN custom skin and body treatments promises to make guests feel their best. The customizable spa experience offers a line-up of facials, massages, and waxing services. Guests can choose facial add-ons like a chemical peel or LED Photon Therapy to fit the needs of different skin types or enhance a massage with add-ons like full-body stretching or a warm oil scalp treatment. The spa is open Tuesday through Sunday. To learn more about services offered and to book an appointment, click here.
River Green Spa | 127 Pine Street, Montclair
River Green Spa is the self-proclaimed “best massage in Montclair.” According to the website, the Asian-inspired location has massage therapists who are adept in deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, oriental traditional massage, shiatsu, and more. The most popular service is a 60-minute massage and it costs $60. To learn more and to contact the establishment, click here.
Luxurious Wellniss | 57 Nassau Street, Orange
(Photo credit: @luxuriouswellniss)
All things beauty is what guests can enjoy at Luxurious Wellniss. This spa and beauty-product location has been carefully curated by owner Felicia Stokes. Her educational background in chemistry and business has led to the success of this location, providing not just the latest trends in skincare, but also options that are scientifically backed. Guests can choose from facial and skin treatments like a Vitamin C Peel, hair or beard conditioning, neck treatments, and more — or you can shop products available for purchase. To learn more about what Luxurious Wellniss has to offer and plan a visit, click here.
Where to Have Picnic
Edgemont Memorial Park | Valley Road, Montclair
You can shake out your park blankets and head to Edgemont Memorial Park for your MDW picnic. The park is located on Valley Road in Montclair and is known for its World War I Memorial.
Essex Park | 41 Chestnut Street, Montclair
Mostly occupied by sports and recreational activities, this park is perfect for a more active picnic. Visitors can utilize the facilities such as football and baseball fields, walking paths, and a playground before retreating to the open field for a nice bite to eat. Essex Park is conveniently located along the Montclair-Boonton transit line, which may be a preferred method of transportation as parking rules in this area can be tricky. Learn more about the park here. The park is open daily from 6AM-9PM.
Canterbury Park | 9 Planchet Drive, Montclair
At Canterbury Park, a picnic will be surrounded by lush green grass, long walking trails, and a kids playground. Tennis lovers can enjoy a match at this park equipped with a tennis court that’s open to the public. Canterbury Park is open daily from 5AM-7PM.
Anderson Park | 288 Bellevue Avenue, Upper Montclair
This is an ideal park for a picnic with over 14 acres of space to choose from for dining. Since this park is unstructured, visitors typically use the space for open-field games such as frisbee and catch or for long walks. The park is dog-friendly and has paved walkways which are wheelchair accessible. Anderson Park is accessible by NJ Transit. The park is open daily 6AM-8:30PM.
Brookdale Park | Watchung Avenue, Bloomfield
This historic park has been a classic in the area since 1959 when the New Jersey Rose Society and the Essex County Parks department teamed up to create the beloved rose garden. Now, in addition to the beautiful display of flowers, Brookdale Park is home to a dog park, playgrounds, fitness courses, and more for visitor access. This park spans across both Bloomfield and Montclair. Visitors can set down for a picnic before or after embarking on all the grounds have to offer. The park is open 8AM-9PM daily.
Nishuane Park | 48 High Street, Montclair
The 17 acres of land that make up this park provide a great opportunity for a picnic. Nishuane Park offers lots of activities including a swimming pool, multiple sports courts, and playgrounds. The park is open daily from 6AM-9PM.