NJ’s Historic Smithville Is a Must-Visit in Fall

by Kailee Morel

Smithville, New Jersey, is a cute and simple historic town in Atlantic County. With over 50 shops, an inn, and several restaurants, a day or weekend spent here is sure to be entertaining. 

History of Smithville, NJ

The town’s history began in 1952 when Ethel and Fred Noyes bought a stagecoach stop and the seven acres surrounding it. The couple purchased the property and stagecoach shop for only $3,500. The stop started out as a restored antique shop but was soon converted into a restaurant called the Smithville Inn, which is still in business today. After the restaurant’s popularity grew, several more historic homes, shops, and other restaurants were built in the 1960s. 


Fred Noyes was born in 1905 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He started his education studying painting but did not care for the abstract style of fine arts that was popular during the 20th century; he never finished his education but joined the Barnes Foundation, which holds one of the world’s best collections of modern art. Not soon after, Fred joined the Army during World War II and was sent to France. Upon his return, he met his wife, Ethel. 

Ethel Noyes was born and raised on NJ farmland. She was also an artist, inspired by her indigenous ties and the folklore learned from her father. Ethel was named Top 10 Business Women in NJ by the New Jersey Manufacturers Association and was inducted into the Atlantic County Women’s Hall of Fame in 1969. 

Oliphant Grist Mill at Smithville, NJ

After the developments made to Smithville, the American Broadcasting Company purchased the town for $7 million in 1974. By that point, the property equated to about 2,300 acres, consisting of three inns, American village shops, historically restored buildings, and a hotel.

Ethel and Fred Noyes’ artwork can be found in The Noyes Museum Galleries at Kramer Hall in Hammonton, NJ and The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University in Atlantic City, NJ.

What to do in Smithville, NJ

Historic Smithville has over 50 shops and six restaurants to visit and enjoy. Here’s a guide with shops and upcoming events the town has to offer. 


A Tour of Italy

This Italian-themed shop is home to a variety of goods– from jewelry to decor pieces, limoncello, and Italian ingredients. It’s a simple shop on the outside, but you’ll be sure to find plenty of prized possessions inside. 

Castle in the Air

Castle in the Air holds several antiques and trinkets. With endless decorations and collectibles, from stained glass to sun catchers, the unique pieces in this store are going to catch your eye. 

The Colonial Inn Café and Bed & Breakfast

The Colonial Inn Café and Bed & Breakfast is located in the heart of Smithville, just 20 minutes away from Atlantic City. Its quaint decor will leave you feeling like you’ve traveled back in time. It’s the perfect place to stay when visiting Smithville since it is within walking distance from the shops and restaurants in the town. 

Country Folk

Country Folk is an interesting shop that provides handcrafted furniture and collectible knick-knacks. The shop gives an old-fashioned feeling with its rustic decor. 

Fairest of Them All

This boutique features eco-friendly, hand-made goods. It is known as a trade shop, meaning it provides ethical working conditions to the craftsmen and women who make their jewelry, handbags, and clothing items. 

Fred and Ethel’s Lantern Light

The tavern is one of Smithville’s best restaurants. Their menu features items like the Jersey Devil Burger. With great service and a variety of menu items, you’ll want to check out this popular eatery. 

La Petite Boutique 

La Petite carries unique baby gifts and apparel. With cute baby clothes and toys, this shop is great for families and those looking for the perfect gift. 


Paddle Boats

For $12 on weekdays and $15 on weekends, groups of 4 can enjoy paddle boating on Lake Meone. 

Here are the hours for the rest of the season: 

Fall: Sept 2 – Nov 26

Monday-Friday 10am-6pm

Saturday 10am-7pm

Sunday 11am-6pm

Scoop’s Place

This novelty ice cream shop has a wide variety of flavors that are perfect for crafting an ice cream sundae. 

Smithville at Night

Smithville Peanut Butter Co. 

Smithville Peanut Butter Co. features homemade peanut butter and peanut brittle. Some of their specialty flavors include chocolate peanut butter, butterscotch peanut butter, and honey-roasted peanut butter. They also have jams, jellies, and marmalades with sweet and savory flavors like apricot jalapeno, blackberry, pumpkin butter, strawberry rhubarb, and mint mango plum ginger. 

Smithville, NJ Upcoming Events

Smithville hosts a Holiday Dickens Fest every year for the holiday season. On November 26th and 27th, there will be an original adaptation of A Christmas Carol. They also feature vendors with collectibles and holiday-themed art. 

Historic Smithville NJ (4)

Throughout December, Smithville offers holiday train rides at just $3 per person.  

You can also visit the Christmas Shoppe, which is a festive shop that is the perfect place to find holiday decor like nutcrackers, ornaments, and much more.

For more information, visit Smithville’s website.  

About the Author/s

Kailee Morel is a senior at New Jersey City University where she majors in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and minors in Political Science. Kailee has completed an internship as an Editorial Assistant with Memoir Magazine and is currently the Editor-In-Chief of NJCU's Hype Literary Magazine and an Editorial Intern with New Jersey Digest. She also participates as an Event Host with the NJCU English Dept.'s Student Events and Publications Committee. Kailee has developed her craft to produce content that uplifts the messages of writers.

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