The weather reaches its peak performance as summer turns to autumn. Crisp, cooler mornings turn into dry, warm afternoons. As the sun sets earlier by the minute, there’s something somewhat spooky lurking in the air this time of year. For those looking to celebrate the autumn season and all its festivities, try visiting Hope. Keep reading to hear more about spending an autumn day in Hope, New Jersey.
Listed as one of the earliest planned communities in the country, Hope was established by German Moravians in 1769. Before the German Moravians entered this area, there was no actual town. There were, however, several farming families near the Jenny Jump Forest area.
After about five years, the Moravians moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They would return to Hope Township 15 years later to meet the Green family. The Green family offered them 1,000 acres of land, and thus the Moravians became industrial by trade. They learned skills and crafts in addition to being farmers.
After about 40 years, the Hope land was sold, and almost all of the Moravians moved back to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The basic reason for selling and closing the community was that it was never self-supporting and declined in population. The entire village was sold for $48,000 to Nicholas Kramer and Abraham Horn of Northampton County, Pennsylvania.
After the Moravians, the town experienced two major surges in population. An area of the town was significantly developed in the early 1900s. This section is referred to as Silver Lake. In 1918 the town survived a major fire. Since then there have been little changes in the structure of the village. The village was entered into the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 1973.
Things to Do
Hope Junction Antiques | 331 High Street, Hope
At first glance, this storefront looks a little conflicting. While there’s a sign outside displayed as “Hope Junction Antiques” hanging from the awning, bypassers can’t help but notice the dated-looking decals listed on the glass windows of the store. With words like “Dairy Products,” and “Candy + Soda” on the front of the building, the antique store is visited frequently with questioners and horror fans alike. Kathy, one of the workers in the antique shop, mentioned that one of the scenes from the movie Friday the 13th was filmed here when it was a delicatessen. She said, “Groupies from all over the world come here.” The store has antique furniture, glassware, tchotchkes, and some clothing. The store also takes only cash or Venmo.
Buck Hill Brewery | 45 NJ-94, Blairstown
Beer changes with the seasons, and Buck Hill Brewery has a great list of seasonal beers. Some brews it has on tap are Buckhill Oktoberfest, Indian Summer Shandy (with orange and cranberry flavors), and a Strawberry Blonde ale. For seltzer lovers, White Claw is also available. Buckhill has beer flights listed on the menu in servings of four or six, which give patrons a taste of a variety of flavors. Choose favorites and pair them with some savory dishes like a Bavarian Pretzel (served with beer cheese and mustard), Hog Legs (wild boar shanks with a Jamaican jerk glaze and pastor sauce), or one of its many burger options. If sticking around for dessert, try the Salty Buck (Salted Caramel Ice Cream with Chocolate Covered Pretzel Pieces made locally by Tranquillity Farms).
Four Sisters Winery | 783 Country Road 519, Belvidere
For those who enjoy a dry red on a crisp autumn evening, or a chilled white during a warm afternoon, Four Sisters Winery has a covered outdoor patio that doubles as a wine-tasting space. One of the team members mentioned the winery originally was owned by a family with four sisters. Its original purpose was to pay for the girls’ college education. Since then the winery has been sold, but the original family is still involved. There is live music available on the weekends from 11AM – 5PM.
Jenny Jump State Park | 330 State Park Road, Hope
This state park has something for everyone to do. On warm and sunny days, visitors can enjoy fishing, camping, and canoeing or kayaking on its two lakes: Ghost Lake and Mountain Lake. As seasons turn from hot and humid to crisp and cool, visitors can plan a picnic, partake in birdwatching, or hike along its 14 miles of hiking trails. One thing to keep in mind: the visitor center has many signs about bear warnings.
Hope Market + Deli | 6 Cedar Street, Hope
Daycationers looking to get an early start should stop by Hope Market + Deli to grab breakfast. This deli has classic options such as omelets, and breakfast sandwiches. Consider a fresh cup of coffee with a classic Taylor Ham, Egg, and cheese. For patrons that lean on the lunch side of brunch, there are also sandwich and salad options available. It has a few tables inside so diners can eat in or grab-and-go.
Hope Museum | 232 High Street, Hope
One place to begin for history buffs is the Hope Museum. What looks to be a little cottage on the outside houses photographs, memorabilia, and other pieces of the local area’s history. The Museum is open on Sundays from 1PM to 3PM in June through October. It also has an option on the website for a self-guided walking tour through the town.
Hope Pizzeria | 435 Blairstown Road, Hope
Fresh pizza for lunch is a great choice on cooler, autumn days. Hope Pizzeria has slices and full pies available with a variety of toppings such as Veggie Lovers Pizza, Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza, or the Hope Special Pizaa (including bacon, sausage, pepperoni, ham, onions, peppers, mushrooms, + olives). Jim Zellers, owner and operator of Hope Pizzeria, said his eatery is celebrating its 12th year of business. Jim was a private chef, before opening Hope Pizza. He moved to Hope and opened his restaurant because he wanted to be closer to his kids. What he got in return is becoming a Hope staple. People from all over town know Jim and stop by for lunch or dinner. Jim says he tries to work with schools and charities in town to give back as well. Hope Pizzeria has a pick-up available option so customers can order their pies ahead of time.
Longmeadow Farm | 561 Hope-Blairstown Road, Blairstown
Apple season is a good time to stop by Longmeadow Farm. This family-owned business began in 1993 and currently has over 15 varieties of apples. Reds include Gala, Honey Crisp, MacIntosh, and Northern Spy among others. There are also some yellow varieties like Golden Delicious, Ginger Gold, and Crispen. The farm is open Saturday and Sunday from 9AM to 5PM. Monday to Thursday it’s open by appointment only.
Regal Town + Country Department Store | 3 Millbrook Road, Hope
This adorable department store may look like a home or rustic venue for events on the outside. On the inside, each room is filled with hidden treasures. From antiques and home decor to furniture and boutique vintage clothing, there’s something for every thrift lover. There’s a kitchen designed with glassware, appliances, and decor. The pieces that put together this display are all for sale.
The Toy Chest | 335 High Street, Hope
If going back in time is a fantasy, travel no further than The Toy Chest. Owned and operated by Kirk Perez, this store is a hidden gem in Hope. Kirk mentioned when he grew up he lived above a toy store in Union City. He traveled to Hope, NJ, and wanted to open a shop because people were doubtful of the success of such a store. When asked why he opened his establishment, Kirk said, “When people come in we want them to feel good. We want to bring you guys back in time.” This can be easily seen from their variety of original, wall-to-wall collectible action figures from beloved shows and movies like Star Wars, The Twilight Zone, and Star Trek. There is also a Creepy Corner where some merchandise pays tribute to Friday the 13th. The second floor holds children’s books and games, so they have fun for all ages. Its website is linked here, but Kirk did mention he prefers patrons to come visit his shop. “They have to drive out here and earn it.” The store also carries much more variety in the physical location.