17 miles from NYC
Perhaps best-known as Yogi Berra’s longtime residence and a hot spot for fictional mob boss Tony Soprano, Montclair’s strong suburban vibe meshes with its rich cultural history. With acres upon acres of parks, plenty of funky restaurants and great music venues, the town (only a 35-minute drive or train ride from the city) is totally worth scoping out.
What to do: Get a history lesson by perusing the baseball great’s legacy of sportsmanship and the stories of other famed sluggers at the Yogi Berra Museum (8 Yogi Berra Dr; 973-655-2378). Later, catch a concert or comedy show at the Wellmont Theater (5 Seymour St; 973-783-9500)—Thomas Edison attended shows there in the 1900s, and now it hosts the likes of Ghost, Whitesnake and Andrew Dice Clay.
Where to eat: For brunch, the classy diner-style eatery Toast (700 Bloomfield Ave; 973-509-8099) is not to be missed. Even after its chocolate chip pancakes, you’ll still want to sample the Instagram-famous, cereal-coated doughnuts from Montclair Bread Company (113 Walnut St; 973-509-2525). If breakfast foods aren’t your thing (who are you?), the lunch menu at Tinga Taqueria (215 Bellevue Ave; 973-509-8226) has a varied selection of fresh, affordable south-of-the border eats.
Place to stay: The soon-to-reopen Georgian Inn (37 North Mountain Ave; 973-746-7156) is Montclair’s most notable B&B. The historically landmarked, eight-room mansion offers both studios and suites with TVs, kitchenettes, Wi-Fi and private baths in the midst of the manse-dotted streets of Montclair.
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Montclair Film Festival