1. Atlantic City's Famous Boardwalk, 2. Cape May, 3. Liberty State Park, 4. The Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, 5. Island Beach State Park, 6. New Jersey Beaches, 7. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, 8. Princeton Battlefield State Park & Institute for Advanced Study, 9. Battleship New Jersey, 10. The Adventure Aquarium, 11. Grounds For Sculpture, 12. Morey's Piers. Despite being the fourth-smallest state in the USA and barely 14,000 square miles in size, New Jersey is home to numerous world-class tourist sites. The state of New Jersey is undoubtedly worth spending the time to visit, offering everything from national parks and places of exceptional natural beauty to top-notch museums and historical sites. The fact that New Jersey is close to New York City's many attractions and has first-rate public transportation to get you there and back is an additional plus. In addition, New Jersey offers a wide range of fantastic lodging choices close to New York City, from opulent hotels and resorts to charming family-run inns and B&Bs. To learn more about what is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit on the East Coast of the United States, check out the list of the Best Places to Visit in New Jersey.
- Atlantic City’s Famous Boardwalk
- Cape May
- Liberty State Park
- The Hudson River Waterfront Walkway
- Island Beach State Park
- New Jersey Beaches
- Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
- Princeton Battlefield State Park & Institute for Advanced Study
- Battleship New Jersey
- The Adventure Aquarium
- Grounds For Sculpture
- Morey’s Piers
Atlantic City’s Famous Boardwalk
Atlantic City, one of the most well-liked seaside resort communities on the northeastern US coast, is well known for its privately owned boardwalk. Since it was built in 1870, this four-mile promenade has remained the principal destination for tourists looking to explore the city.
The Atlantic City Boardwalk, which provides access to hotels, resorts, shops, casinos, and other attractions, serves as the city’s spine. There are various piers that branch off of the Atlantic City Boardwalk and offer a variety of attractions and specialty shops. With the Atlantic City Historical Museum and Atlantic City Art Center, Garden Pier is renowned as the artistic and cultural hub of the Atlantic City Boardwalk. With locally produced goods like exquisite fudge and saltwater taffy as well as souvenirs and gifts with an Atlantic City theme, the AC Boardwalk offers consumers a distinctive experience. With almost 90 upscale stores and eateries, including designer brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, The Pier Shops at Caesars offers top-notch dining, shopping, and entertainment. The casino’s gift shops are conveniently located near the Boardwalk as well.
Check out the Entrance to the Stars while strolling down the Boardwalk. This must-see attraction is the East Coast’s answer to Hollywood’s fabled Walk of Fame and displays the handprints of famous people, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Johnny Carson. There are a number of historical and cultural landmarks in Atlantic City. Among these are the Absecon Lighthouse, an aquarium, and the sizable Boardwalk Hall, a location that frequently holds sporting events and performances like the Miss America Pageant.
Address: 2301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Google rating: 4.4/5.0
As America’s first coastal resort, Cape May has long been a popular summer destination. This little hamlet is situated about 45 miles south of Atlantic City, New Jersey, 95 miles southeast of Philadelphia, and roughly 160 miles south of New York City. It is a part of the Jersey Cape’s stretch of beaches and boardwalks. Less than 3,500 people call it home, but more than 50,000 tourists visit each year. Along with its immaculate beaches, Cape May is known for its collection of charming bed-and-breakfasts and over 600 Victorian structures that have been preserved. Its military presence is especially notable; during World War II, Cape May played a significant part in defending the nation, and today, around 30% of the local population serves in the armed forces. You’re sure to instantly appreciate the attractiveness of this coastal retreat whether you decide to spend your day’s wine tasting, exploring historical monuments, or birdwatching (Cape May provides some of the best birding areas in the world).
The same things that drew so many American presidents in the past also draw tourists now. These include the region’s countless magnificent beaches, the stunning 1859 Cape May Point Lighthouse, and several elegant vacation homes built in Victorian architectural style. Emlen Physick Estate is among the best instances of the latter. This 18-room mansion, which is now a museum, was constructed in 1879 and is an excellent example of American Stick Style architecture. The Yankee, an 80-foot-tall schooner that offers a range of harbor tours and cruises to see dolphins and whales, is another interesting vessel.
Address: 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, New Jersey
TripAdvisor rating: 4.5/5.0
Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park is one of the state’s most stunning parks, with the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island serving as magnificent backgrounds. Liberty State Park, a lush sanctuary in the middle of Metropolitan Northern New Jersey, acts as the entryway to the area’s abundant natural, cultural, and historical resources.
At the park’s northern extremity lies the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal (CRRNJ), which served as a spectacular location for much of New Jersey’s transportation history in the northeast. The two-mile Liberty Walk promenade offers visitors a panoramic view of the Hudson River while connecting two picnics and play spaces, the Nature Center, and the CRRNJ Terminal. A performance area outside and kilometers of pathways create a welcoming environment for all kinds of entertainment. The park’s northern end is completed by the Liberty Landing Marina, dining options, and the NJ Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial, while its western section is dominated by the modern, recently expanded Liberty Science Center.
The trip to Liberty State Park, which offers views of Ellis Island, Liberty Island, and the Upper New York Bay and is home to New York’s Statue of Liberty, takes some time. Its 1,212 waterside acres provide not only stunning vistas of the aforementioned sites but also a wealth of unique exploration options for exploring them on their own. For nature lovers, Communipaw Cove, a 36-acre tidal salt marsh that has been classified as a nature preserve, is one of the best spots to explore.
A variety of noteworthy monuments and memorials can be found in the park. The Holocaust memorial, Liberation, and the somber Empty Sky memorial, which consists of two 210-foot steel walls with the names of 9/11 victims with connections to New Jersey, are two of the most significant. Along with picnic spaces, the park also offers fishing, kayaking, and cycling. Don’t forget to set aside some time to visit the Interpretive Center of the park, which offers details on the nature and history of this region of New Jersey.
Google rating: 4.7/5.0
The Hudson River Waterfront Walkway
On the western bank of the Hudson River in New Jersey, there is a magnificent walkway called the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. The Walkway is intended by the state to run along the river’s edge in a constantly connected, 30-foot wide route from Bayonne’s southernmost point to the George Washington Bridge. The public can enjoy the Walkway at no cost, every day of the year. The Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy is the group in charge of keeping an eye on the fulfillment of the 18.5 linear mile plan as well as regular maintenance and repair. The preservation of the walkway’s visual benefits and the enforcement of State laws and regulations governing its construction and use are among its objectives.
The Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, the newest attraction in New Jersey, debuted in early 2022 and is expected to rank among the best attractions in the Garden State. This amazing pedestrian route from Bayonne to Fort Lee is about 19 miles long and passes through no fewer than nine different New Jersey communities. Some of the most breathtaking views of New York City’s skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the Hudson River can be found along the route. The pathway is 30 feet wide over its whole length and was designed exclusively for bicycle and pedestrian traffic, so there is space for everyone.
Address: 340 Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, New Jersey
Google rating: 4.8/5.0
Island Beach State Park
One of the biggest unspoiled barrier islands in the nation, Island Beach State Park is noteworthy for being situated on the Barnegat Peninsula, about one hour’s drive north of Atlantic City. It is one of the best places to visit in New Jersey. The almost 2,000-acre park is divided into a northern and a southern part, both of which present fantastic chances for getting out and exploring.
Numerous miles of sand dunes and white sandy beaches provide a habitat that is nearly identical to that which existed thousands of years ago for marine plants and a variety of fauna. Outstanding examples of plant communities include primary dunes, thicket, freshwater wetlands, maritime woodland, and tidal marshes that may be found in Island Beach State Park. Here you can find wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, the largest osprey colony in the state, peregrine falcons, and migrating songbirds. With over 400 plants recognized, including the greatest areas of beach heather in New Jersey, Island Beach is renowned across the country as a special resource.
The park has a wide variety of fauna thanks to its beaches, dunes, tidal marshes, maritime woods, creeks, and ponds. Large heron and osprey populations can be found there, and it is exceptionally abundant with birds. Bring your binoculars because there are bird-watching blinds available. Other enjoyable pursuits include swimming, surfing, kayaking, and fishing in approved areas. There is also a vast network of boardwalks and pathways. Don’t forget to visit the Barnegat Lighthouse. It provides spectacular views of the water and the surrounding countryside and is situated near the park’s southernmost point.
Location: Berkeley Township, New Jersey
New Jersey Beaches
There are many additional fantastic New Jersey beaches to discover, in addition to the well-known beach regions found in towns like Atlantic City and Cape May City. Wildwood Crest Beach, which is only 15 minutes drive from Cape May proper, is well-known for its calmer tempo and welcoming atmosphere. Its crystal-clear waters and three miles of pristine white sand are ideal for kids to splash around on while also being enticing to adults who want to swim, sail, or rent a boat to go fishing for a variety of Atlantic species, from mackerel to sea bass.
Location: New Jersey
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is a 70,000-acre (28,000 ha) national recreation area that stretches from the Delaware Water Gap northward in New Jersey to the state line close to Port Jervis, New York, and southward in Pennsylvania to the outskirts of Milford. It is located along the middle section of the Delaware River in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System has designated a 40-mile (64-km) part of the Delaware River inside it as the Middle Delaware National Scenic River, which is also managed by the National Park Service. The historical Minisink region is centered on this stretch of the river.
The first of these is the Millbrook Village Historic Site, which features a recreation of a town from the 19th century along with exhibits of local handicrafts. The Kittatinny Point Visitor Center is equally entertaining to visit and offers a ton of exhibits, stunning views, and an Appalachian Trail access point. Other highlights of the park include the Minisink Archaeological Site, where 10,000-year-old habitation relics were discovered, as well as outdoor pursuits including canoeing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, and camping. Cross the border into Pennsylvania and visit the Delaware Water Gap Park Headquarters in Bushkill if you want to learn more about the “Gap’s” past.
Address: Hardwick Township, New Jersey
Princeton Battlefield State Park & Institute for Advanced Study
Princeton, one of the best little towns in New Jersey, owes its fame to its university and related research institutions. The Institute for Advanced Study, where Albert Einstein completed his last project, is one of them. Joining the student-run tour program is one of the greatest ways to see the 1,600-acre grounds of the school, which was founded in 1756. These hour-long educational tours are certainly worth it. Princeton Battlefield State Park is another well-known historic location. The Battle of Princeton, which took place on this beautiful 200-acre site in 1777 and led to George Washington’s triumph over the British in the American Revolutionary War, is located here.
The Clarke House Museum is one of the main sights in addition to the actual battlefield. The structure, constructed in 1772, served as a hospital for soldiers on both sides of the fight. Viewers should also take in the Ionic Colonnade and a monument marking the graves of British and American soldiers.
Address: 500 Mercer Road, Princeton, New Jersey
Google rating: 4.6/5.0
Battleship New Jersey
The second US Navy ship to bear the name of the US state of New Jersey is the Iowa-class battleship USS New Jersey (BB-62). She was affectionately referred to as “Big J.” The New Jersey was the sole US battleship providing gunfire support throughout the Vietnam War and received more battle stars for combat activities than the other three completed Iowa-class battleships… The enormous USS New Jersey, which received the most decorations from the US Navy, is presently moored in the Delaware River and serves well as a floating museum. Guided tours of the historic Iowa-class battleship, one of the biggest naval vessels ever built, are highlights of a visit. It was launched in 1942. You may view several exhibitions and displays of relics pertaining to the ship’s role in conflict zones from WWII to the Middle East in the 1980s all over the ship. Other highlights include seeing the massive 16-inch cannons on the bridge where Admiral Halsey oversaw the Pacific Fleet. If you can, take advantage of the chance to stay the night on the ship or sign up for one of its well-liked twilight tour packages.
The Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial consistently rates as one of the top museums in NJ, one of the top Philadelphia attractions, and fun family activity in New Jersey. In addition to seeing exhibitions of historical items from the greatest battleship, you enter the exhibit as you walk along the tour route. Sit in the chair that Admiral Halsey used to control the 5th Fleet and the largest battleship. They spread out on the bunks where the sailors slept. Learn how the projectiles were loaded by climbing into the turret of the 16″ cannon. One of the most engaging battleship museums in the United States is New Jersey.
Address: 100 Clinton Street, Camden, New Jersey
The Adventure Aquarium
The Adventure Aquarium, located in Camden on the Delaware River, is another well-liked family destination in New Jersey. This two-million-gallon aquarium is home to more than 8,500 marine creatures, including a sizable collection of sharks, sea turtles, penguins, and stingrays. It is regarded as one of the top aquatic instructional facilities in the United States. It also holds the distinction of housing hippos, which are unique to this aquarium.
The Adventure Aquarium, originally known as the New Jersey State Aquarium, is a for-profit educational entertainment facility run by Herschend Family Entertainment in Camden, New Jersey on the Delaware River Camden Waterfront. It was first inaugurated in 1992 and reopened on May 25, 2005, in its current configuration, showcasing around 8,000 creatures in a variety of semi-aquatic, freshwater, and marine settings. The facility has a public floor area of 200,000 square feet and a total tank volume of nearly 2 million US gallons (7,600,000 L) (19,000 m2).
Visitors to the aquarium have the chance to go “behind the scenes” and interact with some creatures, such as sea turtles and African penguins, in addition to viewing animals in their natural habitats. There is also the option of an underwater encounter with sharks and stingrays. Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, include Adventure Aquarium in your lesson plans by including the fresh activity pages to complete at the Aquarium each week! The Northeast’s largest shark collection, the only aquarium in the world to display hippos, and one of only six US locations with Little Blue penguins are just a few of the fascinating species that call Adventure Aquarium home. The Shark Bridge and Shark Tunnel offer two distinct vantage points from which to explore the Shark Realm. Visit our Touch Tanks to get up and personal with even more exotic creatures while continuing to learn.
Address: 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, New Jersey
Google rating: 4.5/5.0
Grounds For Sculpture
The magnificent Grounds for Sculpture (GFS), a 42-acre museum and sculpture park in the town of Hamilton, is a must-see destination for art (and nature) aficionados. With 270 large-scale pieces by US artists, including Seward Johnson, it has grown to become one of the most well-liked art displays in the state since it was founded in 1992 to promote the enjoyment of modern sculpture.
Over 270 contemporary sculptures, many of them large-scale, including pieces by Johnson and other American and foreign artists, are kept in the collection of GFS. There are six indoor art galleries in addition to the sculptures that are displayed in natural settings. Since the park’s opening, the collection of sculptures has evolved and increased, and the park’s website always contains a list of the most recent additions. The park itself is well designed with many trees and flowerbeds in addition to the sculptures. The Jersey City Museum, which has a collection of more than 300 paintings and a sizable permanent collection of historical objects from the area, offers another wonderful opportunity to explore art. The Newark Museum, which has more than 80 galleries and houses American paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts along with American Indian and African artifacts, is also noteworthy.
Address: 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township, New Jersey
A traditional coastal amusement park may be found at Wildwood and North Wildwood, New Jersey, on the boardwalk of The Wildwoods. It is called Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks. Will and Jack Morey, second-generation Morey Brothers, are currently in charge of the park, which has been family-owned and operated since 1969. Morey’s Piers offers two beachside waterparks, three amusement piers, and more than 100 rides and attractions.
The theme and water parks at Morey’s Piers take up six blocks and stretch parallel to the sandy beach in the tourist town of Wildwood, just a short drive from Cape May. The Morey brothers started the park in 1968 with a single waterslide and a snack shop. Over the next 50 years, they enlarged it and established a reputation as the designers of one of the top parks in the nation.
From kid-friendly to family-friendly mainstays like the tilt-a-whirl, bumper cars, and a 156-foot Ferris wheel, there are rides for every age group. As for thrill rides, there are many of them, including several roller coasters and attractions for the brave with names like IT and Springs hot. In addition to various driving rides and interactive attractions like the “Ghost Ship,” the park has a go-kart track. Additionally, Morey’s Piers has two water parks with cool waterslides, a lazy river, and pools with floatable snack bars.
Address: 3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, New Jersey