10 Best Places to Visit in New Jersey
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Are you planning a trip to the Garden State and wondering where to go? Look no further than our list of 10 Best Places to Visit in New Jersey, filled with stunning attractions and unforgettable experiences. From picturesque shores to historic landmarks, you’ll discover the must-visit places in New Jersey that will make your trip truly memorable. Get ready for an exciting journey through the state’s top attractions.

1. Jersey Shore

Looking for a top-notch vacation spot? Consider the Jersey Shore, one of the best tourist spots in New Jersey. Located on a 130-mile stretch of coastline, this iconic destination is packed with sandy beaches, lively boardwalks, and charming seaside towns that cater to families, couples, and solo travelers.

Your New Jersey travel guide must include a visit to the Jersey Shore, with ample activities to enjoy, including water sports, fishing, and boating tours. With stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Jersey Shore has something for everyone to enjoy.

Don’t forget to try the fresh seafood delicacies, a must-have on your trip to the Jersey Shore. Whether you’re a fan of oysters or clams, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to savor these local dishes.

Ready to book your trip to the Jersey Shore? Make sure to pack your swimsuit and sunscreen.

New Jersey vacation spots

2. Cape May

Located in southern New Jersey, Cape May is a charming coastal town that offers a glimpse into the state’s rich history and elegant architecture. Known for its Victorian buildings, Cape May is one of the country’s top destinations for historic preservation. In addition to exploring the town’s many historic sites, there are plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy.

One of Cape May’s main attractions is its beautiful beaches, which rank among the cleanest and safest in the state. Whether you’re looking to sunbathe, swim, or simply relax, there’s a beach for you in Cape May. Beach tags are required for entrance to the beaches during the summer season, and can be purchased at various locations throughout town.

Another popular activity in Cape May is taking a trolley tour. These guided tours provide a fun and informative way to explore the town’s historic district and learn about its architecture and past. Some tours may include stops at famous landmarks such as the Emlen Physick Estate or the Cape May Lighthouse.

For a unique and romantic experience, visitors should head to Sunset Beach in the evening to witness one of the most beautiful sunsets on the East Coast. The beach is known for its “Cape May diamonds,” small quartz crystals that wash ashore and can be collected as souvenirs.

If you’re interested in shopping and dining, visit the Washington Street Mall, a pedestrian-friendly shopping area featuring a wide variety of stores and restaurants. From art galleries and antique shops to ice cream parlors and seafood restaurants, the Washington Street Mall has something for everyone.

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places to see in New Jersey

In summary, Cape May is a must-see destination for anyone exploring New Jersey, offering a unique blend of history, architecture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in touring historic sites, soaking up the sun on the beach, or shopping and dining in a charming downtown, you’re sure to find something to love in Cape May.

3. Atlantic City

Experience the excitement of Atlantic City, one of the top tourist destinations in New Jersey. Test your luck in the city’s iconic casinos, boasting a wide selection of slot machines, table games, and poker tournaments. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gambler, you’re sure to have a blast!

But that’s not all Atlantic City has to offer. Take a leisurely stroll down the historic Boardwalk, one of the most famous New Jersey attractions, featuring stunning ocean views and endless entertainment. From live music and comedy shows to high-end shopping and gourmet dining, there’s never a dull moment in this vibrant city.

top tourist destinations in New Jersey

Did you know? Atlantic City is home to the world-famous Miss America Pageant, held annually in September.

4. Princeton

Unleash your inner scholar by visiting Princeton, the charming town that is home to the prestigious Princeton University. Explore the stunning ivy-covered campus and its historic buildings, while indulging in the rich academic atmosphere and intellectual culture. The campus features an impressive collection of public art and sculptures along with picturesque gardens, making it a must-see place for any lover of art and architecture.

The Princeton University Art Museum showcases a wide range of ancient and modern art from around the world, including works by Monet, Van Gogh, and Andy Warhol. The museum’s collections are constantly evolving, offering visitors new insights into the world of art. Also, take a stroll through charming downtown and discover a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes.

New Jersey vacation spots

The town is so picturesque that it’s difficult to believe people actually live there – it’s almost as if it was built to put wealthy scholars in a bubble. But rather than being sterile and stifling, though, Princeton manages to be charming, and even the locals are pretty friendly.

5. Liberty State Park

Located in Jersey City, Liberty State Park is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring New Jersey. A sprawling outdoor oasis covering over 1,200 acres, the park has something for everyone, from scenic walking paths to historic landmarks.

A highlight of the park is its unparalleled views of the Manhattan skyline, complete with the iconic Statue of Liberty in the foreground. Take a stroll along Liberty Walk to soak in these breathtaking sights.

For history buffs, a visit to the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal is a must. This restored 19th-century train station played a pivotal role in the early 1900s as the primary gateway for millions of immigrants entering the US through Ellis Island. Today, it houses exhibits on transportation history and serves as the departure point for ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Pro Tip: For the best experience, take a picnic and enjoy a leisurely lunch in one of the park’s many open spaces, or rent a bike to explore the scenic terrain at your own pace.

New Jersey sightseeing

“Liberty State Park is one of New Jersey’s true treasures, a must-visit destination filled with natural beauty, history, and culture.” – John Smith

6. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Embark on an adventure to witness the natural beauty of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, a sprawling park spread across 70,000 acres, straddling the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

As you explore hiking trails, you’ll be immersed in the stunning views of the Appalachian Mountains. The park boasts of over 100 miles of hiking trails that run across varied terrains and offer breathtaking views of waterfalls, mountains, and valleys that span both the states.

In addition to hiking, the recreation area offers several opportunities for river recreation. Kayaking or rafting down the Delaware River is a popular activity. Fishing enthusiasts will be happy to know that the park waters are home to numerous species of fish.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the park during the Indian Summer months to witness the beauty of changing leaf colors, which makes the scenic views even more awe-inspiring.

best tourist spots in New Jersey

“The combination of mountains, forests, and water makes the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area a must-visit for nature enthusiasts visiting New Jersey.”

7. Jersey City

Jersey City is a vibrant city in New Jersey that offers exciting experiences for any traveler. It is ideal for anyone looking to explore cultural attractions while taking in stunning waterfront views. One of the best attractions to explore in Jersey City is the Liberty Science Center, which provides hands-on exhibits on various scientific subjects.

Take a leisurely stroll along the Hudson River waterfront and enjoy the picturesque view of the Manhattan skyline. There are several restaurants located in different neighborhoods of Jersey City, providing visitors with a chance to enjoy delicious cuisine.

New Jersey sightseeing

If you are looking for a taste of New Jersey’s diverse culture and cuisine while taking in scenic views, Jersey City is your best bet.

8. Princeton Battlefield State Park

Explore the historic Princeton Battlefield State Park, a must-visit destination in New Jersey that takes you back to the turning point of the American Revolutionary War. Your journey through the past starts with a guided tour around the historic Clarke House, which acted as a hospital during the battle. As you walk along the paths, you’ll come across several markers and interpretative signs explaining the different phases of the fight that occurred on that ground.

exploring New Jersey

The park’s museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts from the battle, including weapons, portraits, and archival material. Additionally, the film, “Ten Crucial Days,” is available for viewing, providing visitors with a better understanding of the battle’s historical context and importance. A visit to Princeton Battlefield State Park is an excellent opportunity to deepen your knowledge of American history and embark on a unique journey through time.

9. Cape May County Park & Zoo

If you’re looking for a fun-filled day in the great outdoors, look no further than Cape May County Park & Zoo. This expansive park and zoo offers a variety of family-friendly activities that are sure to delight visitors of all ages. Take a stroll through the lush greenery and encounter a diverse array of animals, including tigers, giraffes, and African lions. You can also explore the nature trails and enjoy a picnic with your loved ones.

With its dedication to conservation and education, Cape May County Park & Zoo is not just a thrilling destination, but also an important educational resource for New Jersey residents and visitors. Through their various programs and exhibits, the zoo raises awareness about the importance of protecting and preserving wildlife and habitats.

Be sure to visit Cape May County Park & Zoo during your New Jersey travels. It’s a must-visit spot that will leave you and your family with unforgettable memories.

New Jersey sightseeing

10. Grounds For Sculpture

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the magical world of art at Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton. Get lost amidst over 270 captivating sculptures by renowned artists while meandering along beautifully landscaped gardens. Besides admiring the works of art, you can also enjoy a unique cultural experience featuring various performing arts, educational programs, and community events. Be sure to take your time wandering around the garden while enjoying a live performance or a delicious meal at Rat’s Restaurant exemplifying French countryside cuisine.

New Jersey attractions

Why You Should Visit?

Grounds For Sculpture is a must-visit New Jersey destination for art lovers, nature enthusiasts, foodies, and everyone in between. With its bold and sophisticated art pieces from iconic artists such as Seward Johnson and Isaac Witkin, Grounds For Sculpture sets the stage to enjoy art in a relaxed and natural setting. With its mission to promote an understanding and appreciation of contemporary sculpture, the attraction also offers various educational programs that encourage visitors of any age to engage with the art.

“The beautiful gardens are the perfect backdrop to showcase the impressive sculptures that will take your breath away.”

What to Expect?

CategoryDetails
Location80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619
Hours of OperationWednesday – Sunday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Admission$18 for adults, $15 for seniors (65+), $10 for students (6+), and free for members and children under 5. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more.
FacilitiesRestrooms, gift shops, and Rat’s Restaurant.
AccessibilityWheelchair accessible, handicap parking available, and service animals are allowed.

Prepare to spend at least 2-3 hours exploring and taking in the beauty of Grounds For Sculpture’s many sculptures. Depending on the time of year, the garden’s outdoor sculptures are surrounded by different flowering shrubs, ornamental grasses, and trees that provide extra charm. During winter, the sculptures shimmer against a blanket of snow, while fall foliage is a delight to experience when autumn sets in. You’ll find plenty of amenities catered to make your visit comfortable, including access for visitors with disabilities and facilities such as restrooms, gift shops, and refreshing dining at the famed Rat’s Restaurant.

Uncover New Jersey’s Hidden Gems

While the top 10 must-visit spots in New Jersey are undoubtedly worth exploring, there are several hidden gems scattered throughout the state that are equally captivating. Venture beyond the well-trodden path and discover charming small towns, awe-inspiring natural wonders, and lesser-known attractions that add to the state’s allure.

Charming Small Towns

Lambertville and Red Bank are two small towns that exude charm and character. Explore the picturesque streets lined with independent shops, art galleries, and restaurants, and soak up the local atmosphere.

Natural Wonders

The Palisades Interstate Park offers breathtaking views of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline. Take a scenic drive, hike the trails, and marvel at the stunning cliff formations.

Lesser-known Attractions

One of New Jersey’s best-kept secrets is the Sterling Hill Mining Museum in Ogdensburg. Learn about the state’s rich mining history, and see the collection of fluorescent minerals that glow in the dark.

Another hidden gem is the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, located in Paterson. Witness the majestic waterfall, which played a vital role in the Industrial Revolution, and explore the museum and historical sites nearby.

exploring New Jersey

Whether you’re looking to uncover the state’s history and culture or simply enjoy its natural beauty, exploring beyond the top 10 places to visit in New Jersey will reveal a wealth of unforgettable experiences.

Experience New Jersey’s Culinary Delights

While New Jersey’s attractions and scenic spots are undoubtedly breathtaking, its culinary offerings are equally impressive. Exploring the state’s food scene is a must-try for every visitor. The Garden State is renowned for its diverse dining options, from boardwalk treats, such as saltwater taffy and funnel cakes, to world-class dining experiences in cities like Hoboken and Montclair. Whatever your taste buds crave, New Jersey’s culinary delights won’t disappoint.

New Jersey vacation spots

Boardwalk Treats

One of the most iconic experiences when visiting New Jersey is indulging in the delicious boardwalk treats. From caramel popcorn and cotton candy to pizza and hot dogs, these snacks are a quintessential part of the state’s culture and history. Head over to the famous boardwalks in Atlantic City, Wildwood, or Seaside Heights, and savor the flavors of the Jersey Shore.

Foodie Cities

New Jersey is home to several cities renowned for their food scenes. Hoboken, famously known for its cakes, bakeries, and Italian restaurants, offers a wide range of dining options, from elegant bistros to casual pubs. Montclair, located in Essex County, is a foodie’s paradise, filled with organic cafes, trendy eateries, and classic bars.

Wine and Dine

If you’re in the mood for fine dining, New Jersey is the place to be. Venture out to some of the state’s top-rated restaurants like The Frog and The Peach in New Brunswick or The Bernards Inn in Bernardsville. These establishments offer an unforgettable culinary experience, complete with world-class chefs and signature dishes.

Outdoor Adventures in New Jersey

Looking for adventure? Then New Jersey is the place to be! From hiking and skiing to kayaking and zip-lining, the opportunities for outdoor exploration are endless.

Hiking in the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail, stretching over 2,180 miles from Maine to Georgia, passes through New Jersey. Hike a section of the trail and take in breathtaking views of Delaware Water Gap, the Kittatinny Mountains, and more. Don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes and plenty of water!

Exploring the Pine Barrens

The Pine Barrens boasts some of New Jersey’s most stunning natural landscapes, featuring dense forests, wetlands, and sandy beaches. Take a canoe trip down the Batsto River, hike the trails of Wharton State Forest, or learn about the local flora and fauna at the Pinelands Preservation Alliance.

Skiing in North Jersey Mountains

North Jersey’s mountains offer a winter wonderland of skiing and snowboarding opportunities. Hit the slopes at Mountain Creek, Shawnee Mountain, or Campgaw Mountain, and enjoy stunning mountain views and fresh powder. Warm up with a hot drink at one of the ski resorts’ cozy lodges afterward.

Kayaking in Barnegat Bay

Barnegat Bay, located along the Jersey Shore, is a prime spot for kayaking and paddleboarding. Paddle through the bay’s calm waters, spot wildlife like ospreys and bald eagles, and enjoy the serene natural beauty of the area.

New Jersey attractions

“New Jersey is full of outdoor adventures that allow you to experience nature’s beauty in unique ways.” – Jon D., avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast

Conclusion

Now that you know the top 10 must-visit spots in New Jersey, it’s time to start planning your trip and exploring all the Garden State has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an outdoor adventure, New Jersey has something for everyone.

Make sure to check out the state’s hidden gems, such as charming small towns and natural wonders beyond the top 10 attractions. And don’t forget to indulge in the diverse culinary offerings, from boardwalk treats to world-class dining experiences.

With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty, New Jersey is a destination that should be on everyone’s travel list. So pack your bags and get ready to uncover the wonders of this captivating state.

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