It was a bright summer’s day when my family loaded up the car to take a weekend getaway to South Jersey. However, a little over an hour into our drive, it started pouring. Just as my parents debated turning the car around, the rain magically stopped. It seemed as if a miracle had happened and we would get a beach trip after all. But then, a few minutes later, it started to downpour again. This time much heavier than the last. This failed South Jersey trip is how I came to spend a day in Vineland, NJ.
What originally was an ill-fated voyage led to one of my family’s favorite weekend getaways. Whenever we go to the beach, we make a point to visit Vineland. Just a short drive from beautiful Cape May, this relaxed city has nearly 70 square miles of territory for you to explore. If you’re planning to take a day trip to South Jersey, here are some places to visit in Vineland, NJ.
Take a Morning Stroll Through Albert V. Giampietro Park
To kick off your getaway to Vineland, NJ, start your day right with a walk through Albert V. Giampietro Park. It has a serene setting with a large lake and several walking trails lined with greenery. You can watch ducks sunbathing in the lake or throw a frisbee around with your dog. There are several activities for you to do while spending one-on-one time with nature.
Visit The Palace of Depression, an Odd Historical Site
For any curious minds out there, you can go off the beaten path at this peculiar New Jersey site. Nearly 100 years ago, eccentric George Daynor purchased a seven-acre junkyard. On this land, he built a home from mud and trash he collected from the lot. Undeterred by The Great Depression, Daynor called his trash monument “The Palace of Depression.” Today, the property is in the process of a lengthy renovation process and expects to be fully open to the public in the summer. Visit the site’s Facebook page for official details.
Grab Lunch at Julio’s on Main
Vineland is home to a variety of restaurants with all types of cuisine. If you’re still relishing in the birria craze and its move from the Southwest up to the Northeast, Julio’s on Main is your destination. Not only does this locale offer the famed birria tacos, but it also offers birria empanadas, ramen, quesadillas and pizza. Feel free to top your dish with salsa verde and avocado to elevate your experience.
If you’re looking for Italian, try Taste of Italy Pizzeria on Main Rd. This family-owned and operated restaurant offers specialty pizzas and homemade pasta for all to enjoy with fresh ingredients prepared daily.
Shop Locally in Downtown Vineland
Vineland has several dynamic shopping locations. Check out The Spot for vintage and handmade finds. Whether you’re looking to thrift an inexpensive party dress, buy some new home decor or purchase unique collectibles, The Spot is your one-stop-shop.
If you’re a fan of flea markets, the Vineland Flea Market has several long-time vendors that sell a mix of vintage items and new merchandise. In addition to clothing, you can purchase local farm produce and fine crafts. This one-of-a-kind community gathering is only around on weekends, so make sure you plan your trip accordingly.
You can also discover downtown Vineland along “The Ave.” This mile-long stretch of stores along Landis Avenue is sure to pique your interest, as people from all around the state visit to partake in the city’s shopping, dining and entertainment scene.
Have Dinner at Larry’s II Restaurant
Larry’s II Restaurant is a long-standing family-owned restaurant in Vineland, NJ. The original Larry’s Diner was established in 1949. This property has undergone several renovations since its initial founding. However, the superior quality of its delicious American food has remained unchanged, explaining why the restaurant has stayed a Vineland gem.
If you prefer Italian food, Maplewood III of Vineland serves classic cuisine in an upscale, dimly lit setting. There is also Kura Thai and Sushi, if you’re more of a sushi person. Whatever your hankering is, Vineland’s restaurant scene is sure to satisfy your craving.
Visit Vineland, NJ’s Historic Theaters
End the night with a film under the stars at Delsea Drive-In Theatre. New Jersey’s only drive-in stands at 2203 South Delsea Dr. Vineland, NJ. Although the site was built in 1949, it has gone through several renovations and stands the test of time. Also, this spot has some of the cheapest tickets in town, as it mostly relies on food sales to make a profit.
Delsea’s menu most certainly has movie theater classics for you to enjoy. However, be prepared to be surprised with their other menu items like pierogies with sour cream, sirloin burgers, pulled pork sandwiches and a list of gluten-free items. Prior to attending, you must pre-purchase tickets online and the place suggests you arrive at least 45 minutes before the start of the film to scan your tickets and park your car.
If you’d rather attend a live-music event, the Landis Theater is the place to check out. What originally started as an Art Deco-style movie theater is now a landmark in Vineland, NJ. This venue hosts theatrical performances, live music acts and a variety of other artistic events like craft fairs. Check out the site’s website for the most up-to-date information.
Do you plan to visit Vineland, NJ anytime soon? Let us know your favorite local spots in the comments!