While New Jersey might be one of the smallest American states, it is home to some of the country’s best attractions. Whether you are a tourist visiting from another state (or country) or a proud NJ resident, exploring the Garden State is worth using your vacation time.
Start along the Atlantic Coast, visiting quaint and delightful seaside villages, explore museums and aquariums, and then move inland to Princeton and the surrounding areas.
Of course, you can also use NJ as a base from which to explore New York City, but you shouldn’t rush out to the Big Apple too quickly!
Check out our travel guide with 8 fantastic places to visit as you explore all that New Jersey has to offer.
Take a spin with Lady Luck in Atlantic City and The Boardwalk
Atlantic City is one of the world’s most popular destinations for gaming and recreation, known for its casinos, luxurious hotels, and iconic Boardwalk. The 4-mile promenade was first opened in 1870 and is still a delightful experience for visitors and locals alike. Make sure you visit Steel Pier, an amusement park, and ride the massive ‘Ferris wheel’ observation wheel to take in sweeping views of the area.
Step back in time in Old Victorian Cape May
Old Victorian Cape May is located at the southern tip of New Jersey, on Delaware Bay, and is home to many attractions. It was founded as a wealthy resort town in the 18th century, and has been the location of summer homes owned by 6 different US presidents! Visitors today are drawn to Cape May for the same reasons they were – to see the Cape May Point Lighthouse, lovely beaches, and Victorian homes.
Location: 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, New Jersey
Gaze at New York City from Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park sits in an enviable location overlooking Ellis Island (the site of The Statue of Liberty), Liberty Island, and Upper New York Bay. While most people come for the view, there is a lot to see in the park itself, including the Communipaw Cove (a tidal salt marsh), memorials, and recreation areas.
Location: 1 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City, New Jersey
Get into the Great Outdoors at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is spread across more than 70 thousand acres, spanning the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The most common areas to access this huge park are at its two visitor centers, located at Millbrook Village and Kittatinny Point Visitor Center. Enjoy a re-creation of a 19th-century village, archaeological sites, and the entry point to the Appalachian Trail.
Stroll through Princeton University and the Battlefield State Park
Princeton may be a small town, but it is known internationally as the home to its Ivy League University. You can tour the school’s 1,600-acre grounds on a student-guided tour, learning about its illustrious history. Nearby Princeton Battlefield State Park was the site of the 1777 Battle of Princeton, fascinating for anyone interested in American history.
Location: 500 Mercer Road, Princeton, New Jersey
Take a Tour of the Remarkable Battleship New Jersey
Anyone interested in the history of the military and war will want to visit the American Navy’s most decorated vessel. The massive Battleship New Jersey is open to visitors as a floating museum, located on the Delaware River. Take a guided tour and learn about its engagement in conflicts from World War II to the Middle East.
Location: 62 Battleship Place, Camden, New Jersey
Spend a day with the kids at the Adventure Aquarium
Kids (and kids at heart) love visiting the Adventure Aquarium, located on the Delaware River in Camden, NJ. This is widely regarded as one of the finest aquatic facilities in the US, with two million gallons of water home to more than 8,500 marine animals. Meet with African penguins, stingrays, sharks, and hippos, along with hundreds of species of fish.
Location: 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, New Jersey
Families love the Cape May County Park & Zoo
The Cape May County Park and Zoo is another family favourite, owing to its free admission and loads of fun activities. Spend time hiking, playing disc golf, perfecting your backhand on the tennis courts, and grilling up a delicious BBQ feast. The zoo, added in 1978, is home to bald eagles, African lions, zebras, and giraffes.
Location: 707 Route 9 North, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
New Jersey has a lot to offer any visitor
The next time you land at Newark, don’t rush into NYC too quickly! Take some time to explore New Jersey, a state with countless rewards, activities, and attractions.