When you live in New Jersey as long as I have, you tend to stick to your little circle. You know, the 10 mile radius around which within you live your life. So it was a strange occasion that brought me to an appointment in a town that I almost couldn’t believe was real.

Sparta, NJ is home to some of the most unique houses I have ever seen, as well as some gorgeous views. The first thought that came to mind when driving through Sparta was that it felt like a town where elves would live. You are probably thinking I'm crazy, but this town seriously looks like Santa Claus could be living there. I had absolutely no idea that there was a town like this in New Jersey and I immediately fell in love.

The houses are all Tudor-style with a twist and were built in the late 20’s. Many of these houses are located on or next to Lake Mohawk, which runs into the Hudson River. Although the lake is definitely the main attraction of this town, there is also plenty to do on land. Sparta is home to several parks perfect for long, beautiful hikes or outdoor sports with friends.

In the town of Sparta there are are your basic Jersey hometown things to do like catching a movie, bowling, or having a bite to eat with friends and family. One of the most famous places in Sparta is Alpine Creamery. This ice cream joint serves delicious, homemade ice cream and there are over 40 flavors to choose from.

Many people in Sparta like to celebrate holidays like the 4th of July by grabbing a scoop of ice cream and heading over to the boardwalk to watch fireworks over Lake Mohawk. I’m not sure if Sparta has ever been used as a background for a movie or a TV show but it must have been, with its idyllic scenery and setting. This town is honestly a little slice of heaven and I am so glad I happened to drive by.

What strange town will I drive through next? That’s a question that I cannot wait to find the answer to.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.

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