Best Places to Visit in New Jersey
For its location, New Jersey is a unique state. It is located between New York and Philadelphia, two big metropolises. New Jersey places to visit are made up of beaches, cities, and countryside in some parts, which many people are unaware of. If you’ve seen the Sopranos, you’ve probably heard what’s known as a New Jersey accent, but don’t worry, it’s not for everyone. From white-sand beaches to exciting excursions and galleries and museums to the Garden State’s environment outdoor activities, there are so many great sites for the best things to do in New Jersey.
Whether you’re visiting New Jersey today, tomorrow, or this weekend, you’ll find it difficult to choose the top tourist attractions in New Jersey for you and your family from this extensive list of New Jersey attractions.
This list includes a variety of fun free activities as well as points of interest, hidden treasures, and popular vacation destinations. Overall, New Jersey is one of the country’s hidden treasures, with a plethora of tourist attractions. Check out these top things to do and best places to visit in New Jersey (NJ):
- Cape May: In the 18th century, when the wealthy began to flock to the area, Cape May developed a reputation as a fashionable and appealing resort town. The town’s beaches, historic lighthouse, and lovely Victorian residences draw a large number of tourists each year due to its location on Delaware Bay.
In the past, six different US presidents have selected the town as the location of their vacation residences. The Emlen Physick Estate, which is now used as a museum and allows visitors to tour the building’s 18 lavish rooms, is one of the best examples of Cape May residences.
- Atlantic City/The Boardwalk: Atlantic City has a long history of being seen as an adult playground. It’s easy to see why, with casinos, bars, and a raucous nightlife. Although you can indulge in all of these adult activities, Atlantic City also features several family-friendly attractions.
The Steel Pier in Atlantic City is one of the best places to see in New Jersey. The Atlantic City Boardwalk, located on the magnificent Atlantic Ocean shore and surrounded by several world-renowned hotels, casinos, and resorts, offers a wide range of activities.
The Atlantic City Boardwalk offers both exclusive and tourist shops, five-star restaurants and snack shops, activities and amusements for all ages, live entertainment, unique traditions, and hours of enjoyment for everyone.
City art, a historical museum, and distinctive local specialties like saltwater taffy and pound-for-pound homemade fudge make up the boardwalk’s cultural epicenter. Although Atlantic City retains all of its adult attractions, it is also one of the best things to do in New Jersey for families.
- Liberty State Park: Many tourists to New Jersey may be surprised to learn that seeing the Statue of Liberty is one of the top 10 things to do in New Jersey, but a visit to Liberty State Park provides the opportunity to do just that.
The Park offers spectacular views of Ellis Island, Liberty Island, and Upper New York Bay, as well as the famous aforementioned statue. Communipaw Cove, a seagrass meadows nature reserve, and the moving “Empty Sky” memorial, which honors 9/11 fatalities who were from or had ties to New Jersey, are also located within the state park.
Pack a picnic lunch to share with family and friends while taking in the spectacular views of the downtown skyline. Make sure you bring some entertaining stuff to play with on the vast expanse of lush green lawns. The Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial is also close to the park.
A simple walk around the park will lead you to the memorial to the more than 700 people who died in the September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. A visit to Liberty State Park in New Jersey is a must-do because of this, among other things.
- Princeton: Princeton’s name is well-known due to the reputation and accomplishments of its university and research programs. The University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1756 and sits on 1,600 acres of land. The tours of the grounds, which take about an hour, are led by university students and are both educational and enjoyable.
- Ellis Island: Ellis Island is a heritage landmark that once served as a port of entry for millions of people. You may easily access this historical tourist attraction by taking a short ferry ride from Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Tickets to see Ellis Island are relatively affordable, and you’ll travel back in time on this history-rich and educational tour.
A visit to Ellis Island is the easiest way to immerse yourself in our country’s history. You’ll have the sobering experience of “meeting” some of our ancestors who came to the United States through Ellis Island’s hallways. You’ll also learn about the property’s history and how it was used by so many people.
- Adventure Aquarium: The Adventure Aquarium is one of several tourist attractions of New Jersey that the entire family will enjoy.
The aquarium, which is located on the gorgeous Camden waterfront, is one of many popular places to visit in New Jersey (NJ). More than 15,000 aquatic animals, including sharks, penguins, hippos, and other species, call the aquarium home.
There are numerous interactive displays in addition to seeing all of the lovely species that the aquarium has to offer. There are sea turtle and hippo encounters, as well as a shark bridge that can be crossed and a kid zone that is ideal for the little ones. A turtle cove and live feeding performances are also available at the aquarium, which is guaranteed to impress your family.
Make sure to stop by the aquarium’s marketplace, beer garden, or coffee shop for a quick bite to eat. The Adventure Aquarium is just one of the many best tourist attractions in New Jersey.
- Thomas Edison National Historical Park: The Thomas Edison National Historical Park, situated in the tranquil village of West Orange, contains the old laboratories and residence of America’s greatest inventor. You can take a tour of Thomas Edison’s 1887 complex of workshops and labs, where he polished inventions such as the motion picture camera, battery, phonographs, and silent and sound films. In Llewellyn Park, 5 miles (8 kilometers) west of the industrial area, you can also see Edison’s 29-room home “Glenmont.” From 1886 to 1882, the building was home to the famed inventor and his family.
- Grounds for Sculpture: Trenton’s Grounds for Sculpture is one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations in New Jersey. It was developed in 1992 as a method to appreciate sculptures from the contemporary art scene, and it has grown to its current size of 42 acres throughout the years. The Park, which is located in Hamilton, is home to a diverse collection of sculptures, including massive pieces by Seward Johnson and other American artists. The park’s grounds, which contain stunning landscaping of flowers and trees, are worth exploring.
- Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park: With so many things to see and do in New Jersey. A visit to the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park should be the top places to visit in New Jersey. Paterson Great Falls, a recently established National Park, is one of several attractions to choose from while visiting New Jersey.
The Falls are a must-see for anybody going through New Jersey and are open to the public for self-guided outdoor activities. You may learn about Paterson’s rich history while admiring the park’s gorgeous beauty with a downloaded app that walks you through the park and around the Falls.
The Paterson Great Falls are also a wonderful place for a picnic meal. The Park has free picnic benches for public use, however, there are many lovely areas throughout the park where you can lay a blanket and enjoy a picnic meal. The Paterson Great Falls are one of the most popular tourist spots in New Jersey.
- Cape May County Park & Zoo: The Cape May County Park & Zoo is a non-profit organization that relies on charitable contributions from tourists and patrons to keep its doors open. It is one of the best places to visit in New Jersey.
A long and picturesque drive down the Garden State Parkway to the state’s real tip will bring you directly to the lion’s den. The Cape May County Park & Zoo is a well-kept and interactive zoo that doesn’t skimp on attractions.
The Cape May County Park & Zoo is both family-friendly and informative, featuring a bald eagle exhibit, an African Safari with zebras, giraffes, and other animals, an aviary, as well as many other activities and experiences. All these reasons make it one of the fun places to visit in New Jersey (NJ) with kids.
- Liberty Science Center: A visit to Liberty Science Center is a must-do on any trip to New Jersey (LSC). With several things to do in New Jersey, LSC is a great place for families with kids to visit. The LSC contains a large planetarium as well as other interactive exhibits. However, this is merely the tip of the metaphorical iceberg. LSC offers a variety of family-friendly activities. There’s also a fantastic gift shop and restaurant for your lunching pleasure. If science is something you’re interested in, the Liberty Science Center is one of many fantastic sites to visit in New Jersey.
- Barnegat Lighthouse State Park: Plan to visit Barnegat Lighthouse State Park if you’re going to the beach in New Jersey. This magnificent park, located at the point of Long Beach Island where Barnegat Bay joins the Atlantic Ocean, is a lovely area to explore, picnic, collect seashells, take photos, and more. The Park has a walking track, fishing is allowed, and there is even a wildlife observation area.
Furthermore, Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is home to the famous lighthouse of Old Barney the Island. You can climb the 217 steps to the top of the lighthouse for a little price and enjoy the spectacular views. If you’re looking for something to do this weekend in New Jersey, regardless of the season, a visit to Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is one of many great things to do in the Garden State.
- Visit the Newark Museum: The Newark Museum, the biggest museum in the state of New Jersey, was founded in 1909 and is known for its Tibetan and African exhibits. The Ballantine House, built-in 1885, is now part of the museum, which is dedicated to natural sciences and community connections. Behind the museum building lies the Alice Ransom Dreyfuss Memorial Garden, which hosts a variety of performances, concerts, educational programs, and creative gatherings. Visitors can take NJ Transit to Broad Street in Newark or the Newark Light Rail to Washington Street in Newark. Residents of Newark can enter the museum for free.
- Six Flags Great Adventure: This theme park, which is located near Jackson, is a favorite destination for residents of New Jersey and New York, as well as tourists to the two states. As you’d expect from a Six Flags park, there are rides for all ages and levels of daring. Hurricane Harbor, a water park with an outstanding assortment of flumes and water thrill coasters, is also located on the property. Throughout the season, there is lots of live entertainment at the park, as well as plenty of places to eat and drink.
- Allaire State Park: Allaire State Park in Monmouth County is a lovely place to spend a day in nature. A trip through the park will provide you with both history and beauty, as it is noted for its 19th-century iron-making remnants and vintage steam train. No wonder, it is one of the msot popular places to visit in New Jersey (NJ).
The Manasquan River meanders through the park, providing opportunities for canoeing and fishing. The Park also has over 200 different types of flowers and plant life, all of which will awe you with their natural beauty.
Many guided hiking trails are available where you can marvel at the beauty of birds and other animals in their natural environment. Each of the hiking paths is accessible by foot, bike, or horseback. In addition, if you want to stay the night or weekend at Allaire State Park, they have pet-friendly camping sites available.
In New Jersey, there are a plethora of family tourist attractions in New Jersey, getaway spots for friends and couples, nature-rich sites to visit, historic monuments by the hundreds, and a plethora of other things to do and see. Natural, outdoor attractions, arts and culture, music and refinement, historical landmarks and miles of beaches, as well as shopping and dining alternatives for everyone, are all available.
What’s next waiting for you?
With so many fantastic things to do in NJ, start preparing now, pack your bags, and visit the lovely Garden State. Now you know where to go and what to do in New Jersey, you can plan your journey with total comfort. Check out our other travel guides to explore best places to visit near New Jersey.