Summit, New Jersey is an ideal weekend destination for garden enthusiasts or those wanting to explore central New Jersey. This picturesque community is rich with history and culture, and has inviting oak-lined streets and Victorian architecture. Shops and restaurants line the downtown street, enticing sightseers and residents to linger; yet New York City is an easy commute from the train station.
Nestled within the shaded avenues is the DeBary Inn. Owners Anita and Hill Rose have remodeled the circa 1880 mansion to create an atmosphere of serenity and Old World charm. While the elegantly appointed rooms reflect period design, modern amenities abound. A full breakfast is served in the light-filled dining room, which overlooks the deep covered porch and blooming gardens.
The gourmet breakfast is specially prepared with healthy, natural; organic ingredients, said co-owner Anita Rose. During our stay, tempting European-style pancakes were served with lingonberry preserves and pure maple syrup.
Over 25 restaurants are within walking distance of the DeBary Inn; many feature al fresco dining during clement weather. My companion and I strolled to La Pastaria on our first night, where we savored a local favorite, Pork Chop Giambotta, (grilled chops sautéed with mushrooms, onions and peppers) while we enjoyed a street-side view of the gathering dusk.
On our second evening, we joined a vibrant crowd at Winberie’s, which has an eclectic range of menu offerings featuring contemporary American cuisine. Cedar Planked Salmon, served with seasonal vegetables, is a crowd pleaser.
While Summit is approximately a two-hour drive from Newark, Delaware, I recommend checking into your accommodations and getting directions to gardens or other venues. New Jersey roadways can be confusing.
2012 Update: Since I stayed at the DeBary Inn, it has changed owners and been extensively remodeled. Updated information can be found on their website.
For More Information:
265 Springfield Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901
This story was first published in the News Journal in 2007 under the byline of Gail A. Sisolak. All rights reserved.