Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Summit, NJ

  • Published 2023/03/08

Summit, New Jersey, is a little city with a charming autumn atmosphere ideal for a weekend day trip.

A tour to Summit takes you through the city’s lovely commercial area, prominent monuments, homes, businesses, and restaurants.

The city is focused around Springfield Avenue, where most of the attractions are.

Explore its bustling downtown and neighboring areas, including hotels, playhouses, and an arboretum.

Dine in the historic downtown.

Here are the best things to do in Summit, NJ:

Explore the Reeves-Reed Arboretum

Beautiful daffodils in front of Reeves-Reed Arboretum's main house

James Kirkikis /

The 13.5-acre Reeves-Reed Arboretum includes contemporary and historic gardens and six acres of wooded forest.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum engages and educates its guests to become better environmental stewards.

They preserve and use historic estates and gardens.

Lush greenery at Reeves-Reed Arboretum

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Reeves-Reed Arboretum offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Tour historic grounds and showcase gardens, observe art exhibits at the Wisner House museum, and more.

The Arboretum provides something for everyone, whether you enjoy gardening, trekking, bird watching, community engagement, or peaceful contemplation.

Closeup of a daffodil blossom at Reeves-Reed Arboretum

James Kirkikis /

Shop for Unique Items at the Summit Antiques Center

Since 1990, the Summit Antiques Center has become the best venue for all antiques in the New York City area.

The Summit Antiques Center is the state’s oldest antique center.

Check out artifacts, vintage, gems, artwork, furniture, home décor, collections, presents, and far more, along with two large stories of rare treasures.

You’ll uncover something for everyone in styles ranging from primitive to Victorian to Mid-Century Modern and everything else.

More than 50 skilled antique merchants will help you find what you’re looking for.

Discover the latest antique arrivals and get a sneak peek at what the Summit Antiques Center has in store.

Relax at the Woodhouse Spa

The Woodhouse Spa is on lovely Springfield Avenue in Summit, New Jersey, surrounded by fantastic shopping and restaurants.

At Woodhouse Spa, tranquility is an essential aspect of your experience.

You’ll get warm and calming teas upon arrival to help you relax entirely.

Likewise, delight in a Woodhouse mimosa or glass of red wine in their spacious Quiet Room between sessions.

Woodhouse Spa curates and customizes each exquisite treatment in-house to evoke the precise feeling you want, both during and after you leave.

Their exceptional spa services, including the Four-Handed Massage and the Minktyi Facial, are available at Woodhouse Summit.

You might also want to engage in unique tailored treatments.

Take in a relaxing environment with soothing natural sounds and earth tones for a calming experience.

Snack with Friends at Summit Diner

Signage and exterior of Summit Diner

michusa /

Do you know one of the state’s oldest restaurants is the Summit Diner?

Summit Diner is a restaurant in Summit constructed in the late 1930s.

It’s a long-standing establishment that serves typical diner fare in a nostalgic, relaxed setting.

Retro seats in Summit Diner

Kate Elliott /

Try their breakfast and salad platters, sandwiches, soups, side orders, desserts, beverages, and a kids’ menu.

Summit Diner is a must-see attraction where you may eat and socialize with friends.

Night view of Summit Diner's exterior

michusa /

See a Show at the Summit Playhouse

The Summit Playhouse is a theater and home to one of the country’s longest continually functioning amateur community theaters.

Since their opening, they have staged over 300 plays.

Since 1993, The Summit Playhouse’s Kaleidoscope Youth Theatre has staged great plays for and by youth as an educational and community service.

With over 40 youth shows, Kaleidoscope gives young people hands-on experience in acting, directing, design, costuming, stage management, lighting, and sound.

Playhouse regulars serve as mentors.

See a performance or two to round out your trip to Summit.

Savor Food and Atmosphere at the Huntley Taverne

Huntley Taverne is a seasonal American restaurant.

The wood-burning fireplace, stunning bar, and warm dining rooms provide the ideal setting for the bar’s distinctive drink and cuisine choices.

The high ceilings, woodwork beams, and tavern-style décor also provide a lovely atmosphere for guests.

The Huntley Taverne will fulfill your sensory and gastronomic demands, whether you want a private room to impress business partners, the ideal after-work gathering spot, or a romantic evening.

Classic seasonal food and a 250-bottle wine selection are available at Huntley Taverne.

This is an ideal location to visit, relax, and dine with family and friends.

Have a Wonderful Night at Pinot’s Palette

The famous Pinot’s Palette is owned and run by a small business owner from the neighborhood.

They provide creative entertainment to business people and enrich communities.

Attendees at Pinot’s Palette, an art studio franchise, serve wine and paints during evening lessons.

All visitors 21 years old and above can enjoy alcoholic drinks at Pinot’s Palette.

They have everything you require for a fantastic night out.

Pinot’s Palette – Summit wine and painting events are a blast.

They also host bachelorette parties, celebrations, and team-building events.

Come to Pinot’s Palette in Summit for an evening filled with friends, laughter, beer, wine, and painting!

See a Show at Vivid Stage

Vivid Stage is a skilled though small theatrical group company based out of Summit’s Oakes Center.

Performances, improv comedies, new play readings, a summer youth program, and many education and outreach activities for youngsters, adults, and seniors are all part of its year-round season.

With the power of narrative, they can make the world a better, more humane, and loving environment.

They feel a loving and encouraging atmosphere for artists to produce their best work is crucial.

Life-affirming experiences energize and delight the Vivid Stage actors, helping them connect with their audience.

See their performances and participate in their educational and outreach programs at the Vivid Stage.

Dine at Roots Steakhouse

Exterior of Roots Steakhouse

DW labs Incorporated /

Are you looking for a restaurant where you can relax and enjoy a delicious dinner?

The first Roots Steakhouse opened in downtown Summit in 2006.

This upmarket neighborhood steakhouse establishment offers steak, seafood, and New American sides in a classic atmosphere.

Lunch, supper, desserts, and a wine list are all available.

Their menu includes appetizers, salads, raw bar, steaks and chops, seafood, sauces, and add-ons.

Try the prime steak rib, filet mignon, lobster tail, and a selection of other beautiful dishes for supper.

Discover Unique Items at Badawang Art

If you’re looking for the perfect shop in Summit, head to Badawang Art.

Founded in 1991, Badawang Art offers handcrafted things to enhance and inspire your life.

The owner, Carol Schoffmann, has a passion for art, culture, and traveling, which led her to Bali, Indonesia, in 1989 after several years as an artist and teacher.

She began traveling twice a year to Southeast Asia and nearby regions for the next 20 years.

Schoffmann designed and imported one-of-a-kind handcrafted products from Nepal, India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Africa.

Carol Schoffmann selects goods for her consumers with these characteristics: excellent quality, handcrafted, exotic, sophisticated, elegant, inspiring, or therapeutic.

Badawang Art continues to display handcrafted items from Asia, Africa, and America today.

Enjoy the uniqueness of handcrafted items; each one is somewhat different.

Enjoy a Healthy Breakfast at Marigolds

Marigolds are all about bringing people together using delicious meals.

Start your day with excellent handmade porridge, granola, or an açai bowl.

Otherwise, indulge in an egg sandwich or avocado toast for a more filling breakfast.

They have a large selection of soups, salads, paninis, and weekly specials.

There’s also a variety of coffee and teas to choose from, and they’re always better when coupled with their freshly baked pastries.

Their unique lunch menu uses locally sourced products to appeal to a wide range of tastes.

Their goal is for everyone to depart satisfied and pleased.’

Spend a Lovely Stay at the Grand Summit Hotel

Exterior of the Grand Summit Hotel

quiggyt4 /

The Grand Summit Hotel is a vintage boutique hotel combining old-world charm with a distinctly modern edge.

Their rich history explains why discriminating guests value this one-of-a-kind hotel.

Grand Summit Hotel has provided all amenities necessary for a pleasant visit.

Enjoy free internet, a fitness center, 49′′ LED or 32′′ LCD flat-screen televisions, unique event locations, and a seasonal outdoor swimming pool.

After a full day of traveling, it’s the finest and best way to spend the evening.

Host an Event at Fiorino Ristorante & Bar

Fiorino Ristorante & Bar is in downtown Summit.

This restaurant and bar debuted in September 1995.

Groups with more than 100 members can reserve the entire restaurant.

The Wine Room is at the back of the main floor, where guests can have a lovely evening meal.

Groups with more than 60 members can celebrate occasions in the Main Dining Room.

This is the perfect setting if you want to invite guests to your gathering.

Have a Scenic Stroll at Passaic River Park

Passaic River Park is a scenic spot in Summit that’s as beautiful as it is underrated; very few locals come and visit here because it’s relatively hidden.

Right along the Passaic River, this is not your conventional city park as it’s mostly rugged terrain and raw nature.

This makes it a fantastic spot to do some off-road trekking, spotting a variety of plants and wildlife along the way.

If you’re a birdwatcher, this is one of the best places to experience it in Summit.

Passaic River Park is an integral part of Summit, so give this one a visit if you’re in the mood for a quick outdoor excursion.

Go for an Intimate Meal at Winberie’s Restaurant and Bar

A lot of locals and fellow visitors are fond of Winberie’s Restaurant and Bar because it’s a pretty dining spot that offers a wide range of scrumptious food.

It’s an all-rounder having amazing ambiance, a wide but excellent menu, and a competent staff that makes it a seamless experience all throughout.

One of the most exciting things about this spot is that it’s actually housed in Summit’s historic opera house.

The food here doesn’t really have a general theme, but you can expect some mouthwatering burgers, fresh salads, and an abundance of other creative meaty dishes.

There’s also a lot of cocktails and other beverages in this restaurant, along with a highly-rated selection of desserts.

Winberie’s Restaurant and Bar is located along Kent Place Boulevard.

Take Photography at Martin Brooks Park

Another hidden gem in Summit that not many know about is Martin Brooks Park, tucked near Butler Parkway.

Martin Brooks Park lets you experience a small brook that has a lot of overgrown vegetation, giving the place an austere vibe that’s perfect for photography.

Since it’s conveniently close to the urban areas of Summit, this is a safe and exciting way to bring smaller children to immerse them in nature.

Fall and spring are one of the best times to visit Martin Brooks Park, as it has a lot of foliage and greenery respectively.

If you have some time to spare, visit this cool hidden gem in Summit.

Visit Summit Historical Society

Just a stone’s throw away from Martin Brooks Park lies Summit Historical Society, making it a great extension in your itinerary if you’re already in the area.

A museum that houses various artifacts, this humble place is a great way to immerse yourself in 19th and 20th Century Summit.

You’ll see a ton of documents here as well, such as photographs, maps, newspapers, and postcards to name a few.

The historians and volunteers here are kind and helpful individuals, making a tour of this place a seamless and fun experience.

Summit HIstorical Society’s hours vary depending on the month, so be sure to call ahead of time before visiting.

Play Sports at Soldiers Memorial Field

Soldiers Memorial Field is one of the most popular recreational spaces in Summit.

The park has a huge baseball diamond along with a soccer field adjacent to it, so this is the place to be if you’re raring to play sports.

There are also walking trails and plenty of picnic areas with shade at Soldier’s Memorial Park,
so expect a lot of families here during the afternoons.

During the 4th of July, this is the go-to park of Summit to host their events and fireworks show, a nice addition if you’re visiting during that time.

Soldiers Memorial Field is located along Ashland Road.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Join Exhilarating Activities at the Gravity Vault

The Gravity Vault is in Chatham, New Jersey, five to seven minutes away from Summit.

The Gravity Vault Indoor Rock Gyms are open to the public and allow anybody to try rock climbing.

Since 2005, the Gravity Vault Indoor Rock Gyms have served local communities.

Their objective is to create a welcoming atmosphere where newbies and expert climbers can learn, train, and enjoy climbing.

The Gravity Vault has 14,000 square feet of climbing space, 40-foot climbing walls, 45-60 top-rope stations, and more.

They provide several ways for people of all ages and skill levels to use their facilities.

They have something for everyone, from subscriptions and day tickets to private climbing lessons and group programs.

Play a Round of Golf at Baltusrol Golf Club

Baltusrol Golf Club, known for its championship golf, is at the foot of Baltusrol Mountain in Springfield, New Jersey, nine minutes from Summit.

It’s nine minutes from Summit.

They are proud to be among the country’s top golf clubs, with a long history dating back to 1895.

After Golden Age architect A.W. Tillinghast established them in 1922, the Lower and Upper championship courses played prominent roles on the national scene.

All three major golf periodicals, Golf Digest, Golfweek, and Golf Magazine, have put the Lower and Upper courses in the Top 100 Courses in America.

The golfing grounds at Baltusrol have changed throughout the years.

Likewise, the courses have progressed to keep up with modern technology and player skill advancements.

Play a friendly round of golf with your pals at the famous Baltusrol Golf Club.

Final Thoughts

Summit’s bustling downtown, with its tree-lined streets, is home to a diverse range of restaurants, boutiques, spas, and much more.

Start your journey to Summit, New Jersey, and begin planning for your next exciting vacation!

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