Fall is a great time for weekend festivals and New Jersey is a great state for Fall Festivals. I got lucky this past weekend and attended two festivals in the Garden State. My fall festival adventure began in Mays Landing, New Jersey, at the Waterfront Wine and Food festival. Situated right on Lake Lenape, this annual festival is one to put on your list. Many people do not know that New Jersey has a number of local vineyards and wineries. I know you may not think of New Jersey when you think of wine but for some great fruit infused choices the Waterfront Wine and Food fall festival mix offers a lot for wine lovers. The crowd was large but not overpowering. It was easy to move around and stroll along the lake.
There were ten New Jersey wineries with a host of wines to choose from. I had a fabulous Cabernet/Merlot mix called Tango from Sharrott Winery in Hammonton, New Jersey. They also had a great Cabernet Franc that won the San Francisco wine competition. New Jersey vintners get a little creative with the wine, sometimes too creative. I had a swallow of something called “Kick in the glass” which was a tomato-flavored wine with pepper and jalapeno. Not exactly my favorite of the day. In addition to the wine, there were many art vendors with wine related crafts and tools. From decorative bags and bottles for wine carrying to wine themed refrigerator magnets, this fall festival is all things wine. Of course, you can get good food too, but the wine is the highlight.
After a quick ride past the vines of the Renault Winery, I headed up to the Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival. Talk about a vibe switch! The relaxing walk along Lenape Lake turned into a high-energy, pop music filled family friendly fall festival in the streets of popular Red Bank. I continue to find things to love about this little town. In fact the slogan is “a cool little town” and I concur. I will never miss this fall festival if I can help it. The admission is $5 and it’s free for kids 10 and under.
There are two stages, one on each end of the festival. There was a Bruce Springsteen tribute, of course. You cannot have a South Jersey fall festival without honoring The Boss. The food was plentiful and I managed not to have a single zeppola. With a major Irish and Italian influence it would be quite easy to skip the Guinness and focus on the food. Luckily I did not have to do that. I’m not a big beer drinker so I had one Guinness for the occasion then switched back to wine. I found a great hot sauce called Hoboken Eddie’s F/N Hot. It was worth the trip.
There was face painting and games for the children, music, dancing, and traditional fall festival vendors selling their wares. It was crowded but not unbearable. What a great way to spend the day without having to get on an airplane or train. Fall is here but the fun doesn’t have to stop. Find fall festivals in your area for fun-filled days. Happy traveling!