From—New Jersey is the nation’s most densely populated state; and, somehow, a state teeming with small towns, New Jersey’s least-publicized asset.

The 33 towns on Peter Genovese’s best small towns list are not necessarily there because they are super shopping and eating destinations; they’re just great places to escape the rat race (or whatever it is you’re running away from). Perfect for day trips or weekend getaways, these towns are packed with history, tradition, charm, and congeniality.

6. Chester Borough

Turn off the cookie-cutter stretch of Route 206 onto Main Street Chester and its picturesque array of shops and restaurants. One sweet stop: Taylor’s Ice Cream Parlor, with its white benches. Pick up homemade soup, or lemonade with fresh basil and strawberry, at Maria’s. imagiNations is a cool gift shop with items from around the world.

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