Mini-Guide: South Jersey Edition

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Photo credit: @jerseyjava

This year’s Guide to Philly features neighborhood guides written by students and recent grads. In this mini-guide to South Jersey, we cover things to do, places to eat and everything YOU need to know to enjoy the neighborhood!

As told by Gus Van Walsen, Rowan University 2023

Hey! My name is Gus Van Walsen. I’m a rising senior at Rowan University studying Electrical and Computer Engineering with a minor in Physics! I spend a lot of my free time rock climbing, hanging out with friends, and taking care of my many house plants. I work part-time as a graphic designer and building manager for the Rowan University Student Center and am a class senator for the Rowan Student Government Association.

I love Philadelphia but as a New Jersey native and student at Rowan, I often find myself exploring all the vibrant South Jersey neighborhoods just outside of the city. If you’re a student at a Philadelphia school, a day trip to New Jersey can be a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Here are some of my favorite day-trip destinations for any students looking for a fun excursion to NJ!

Collingswood is the place to go for good vibes, good food, and great coffee. There’s a fantastic variety of restaurants both big and small, so anyone can find something they like. My personal favorite spot is goodbeet, an all-vegan/vegetarian eatery with a rotating menu of plant-based foods. There’s adorable outdoor alley seating, which makes this a perfect lunch spot, especially with summer right around the corner.

Some other great places to go include: The Tortilla Press, a restaurant with a delicious selection of Mexican, Central American, and South American-inspired dishes; The Pop Shop, a 50’s inspired diner with unique deserts and classic diner staples; and Krispy Kreme, satisfy that sweet tooth with a favorite donut chain.

Can’t forget about coffee, of which Collingswood has plenty. My go-to shop every time is the Endgrain Coffee Outpost, which makes a pretty mean oat milk latte. Grooveground is another coffee spot that features art for sale and some quick bites to eat in addition to their coffee.

Some other cool stops in Collingswood: Innergroove Records, Sabrina’s Cafe, and Devil’s Creek Brewery (21+).

If you like to shop, then Haddonfield is for you! The main strip has tons of small shops and businesses to explore. Some of my favorites include Meraki Market, a plant and home goods store with a quiet and inviting atmosphere, The Spice and Tea Exchange, a great stop for a massive selection of unique teas, and Inkwood Books, a classic book store with tons of awesome staff picked readings.

Haddonfield isn’t lacking in food or drinks either! If you’re 21+ and a fan of beer, check out King’s Road Brewing Company, a tiny corner brewery with a wide range of beers to choose from. If that’s not your speed, right across the street is the William Heritage Winery Tasting Room, an upscale spot to try some fantastic New Jersey home-grown wine.

Some other cool spots in Haddonfield: Jersey Java & Tea Co., Cross Culture, and Crumb.

Plus, the PATCO train service makes it incredibly easy to travel to any of these New Jersey spots directly from Center City. Tickets for the train can be purchased at self-service kiosks in any station. And round trips to any of the New Jersey locations are just $6 or less!

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Do you want to read the FULL guide to Philly with more neighborhood guides, student deals and discounts, foodie picks and MORE?! Check out the Guide to Philly here.

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