Fall is officially here and it's a great time for weekend trips, right here in our area.

There are plenty of great spots to check out within an easy drive from wherever you are in Atlantic and Cape May County.

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Writer Pete Genovese ranked his 33 best small towns in New Jersey for Fall getaways with six stops in Atlantic and Cape May County landing on his list, which I will add to at the end of this article.

According to Genovese:

They’re just great places to escape the rat race (or whatever it is you’re running away from). Perfect for day trips or weekend getaways, these towns are packed with history, tradition, charm and congeniality.

So make sure you check out one of these great South Jersey small towns this fall season!

First up at No. 28 on the list, is the incredible island of Brigantine. Atlantic City's neighbor is definitely a unique little island.

No casinos or clubs. No high-end restaurants. No gigantic boardwalk. No industry. Brigantine bills itself as “An Island You’ll Love for Life.”

He mentions some cool Brigantine spots like Aversa's Bakery,  Ernest and Sons, and Black Turtle Coffee and I would add to check out a cool store named Brigantine Home, which sells some Brigantine decor for your home!

Next up at No. 25 on the list is the "blueberry capital of the word", Hammonton.

This Atlantic County town is slowly getting on the tourist radar, with a diverse mix of restaurants — pizzerias, Mexican restaurants, wine bar and cafes.

Hammonton is definitely worth visiting,  and when you do, I suggest checking out Three 3's Brewing Company and grabbing a Back to Reality IPA.

At No. 15 on the list is Cape May, which routinely lands on lists as a spot to visit for a variety of reasons.

Cape May is one of the nation’s Victorian jewels and the Jersey Shore’s most romantic town, with its postcard-pretty inns/B&Bs and generally unhurried manner.

He mentions the Washington Street Mall, C-View Inn and The Mad Batter.  I would add The Boiler Room and Luck Bones if you going to visit.

Next up, at No. 12, is Strathmere, which is part of Upper Twp in Cape May County.

A Shore town notable for what it doesn’t have. There is no boardwalk. No amusement parks or water slides. No parking meters. Not even a pizzeria. The post office is on the ground floor of a faded white house.

He lists the popular Deauville Inn and Twisties as places to visit and I can't add or disagree, it's a great spot to visit if you want a quiet weekend.

As we enter the Top 10, you'll see West Cape May on the list.

No, not Cape May, but sleepy West Cape May, where 1,020 people live at the end of Jersey

It's a picturesque spot at the end of the state, and of you're down there check out Willow Creek Winery before you leave.

The highest-ranked town on the list was Port Republic, which landed at No. 3 on the list.

Thousands of people drive past picture-postcard Port Republic every year without realizing it. It’s to your left as you cross the Mullica River southbound on the Garden State Parkway around milepost 50.

When you're here, be sure to check out the Port Republic Historic District.

So those are the towns that made his list, but be sure to check out:

Ventnor has year-round restaurants and shops like Makt Arts, which features items from local artists.

Somers Point has tons of great local spots, like Charlie's,  Josie Kelly's, and a hidden Gem, Italian Street.

Linwood has a great bike path to take a walk and while you're walking stop at Jesse's for a cup of coffee.

Stone Harbor has awesome shopping down 96th street and some cool little eateries that are worth a visit.

Cape May Court House has a great spot, Slack Tide Brewery that is worth a visit any time of year.

7 Places to eat or drink that are worth the weekend drive

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