Rock Talk

Destination NJ: Cruise Nights in Somerville

Last updated on November 7, 2019 at 12:40 pm

On Friday nights from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Main Street in Somerville transforms into part street fair and part car show. It’s an incredible time that’s fueled by antique cars, music and Somerville restaurants.

Cruise Nights in Somerville have been a town tradition for the past 28 years. The Downtown Somerville Alliance, which took over the event in 2009, says on its website that it may be the largest weekly event of its kind in the country. Cruise Nights in Somerville officially begin at 6 p.m. and run until 9 p.m., but cars and people start showing up well before then – and stay later.

People come from all over to enjoy Cruise Nights in Somerville. On any given Friday night you’ll see license plates from New Jersey (weird, huh?), Pennsylvania and New York. There will be classic cars like block-long Cadillac Coupe de Villes, pure American muscle like Ford Mustangs, big-body Buicks, antique roadsters and motorcycles. There’s a good chance that nearly every available space along Main Street will be taken by cars with shiny chrome and popped hoods. (If you need parking, there are well-marked lots and a garage just off Main Street.)


You’ll be in the company of throngs of people admiring cars and be able to discuss the finer points of the construction, model year and engine. But, you don’t need to be car savvy to have a good time at the Cruise Nights in Somerville. Amateur photographers will find no shortage of subject material. (I saw a handful of photographers crouching and bending to get the perfect shot of the cars on display.)

If your stomach is running on empty when you roll into Somerville, there’s restaurant after restaurant to satisfy your hunger. A heads up: many of Somerville’s restaurants are BYOB, but you’ll find two shops right on Main Street to get just about whatever you want.

Just a reminder to Plymouth Rock in New Jersey customers: if you go to Cruise Nights in Somerville and are drowsy from staying out too late, our Get Home Safe program provides up to $50 for cab fare home.

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