New Jersey, often overlooked, is a treasure trove of diverse attractions and experiences that cater to a plethora of tastes and interests. Whether you’re a fan of scenic beaches, historical landmarks, interactive museums, or thrilling theme parks, the Garden State has got you covered. Are you prepared to launch an adventure through New Jersey and unearth all the entertaining activities it has to offer? Let’s plunge into the captivating realm of things to do in New Jersey!
Whether you’re looking for family-friendly activities, cultural experiences, or outdoor adventures, New Jersey has it all. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the best attractions the state has to offer. So buckle up, and let’s explore all the fun things you can do in New Jersey in 2023, and experience the amazing things to do in New Jersey!
Best Things To Do In New Jersey
- Explore the Jersey Shore, Liberty Science Center & Branch Brook Park
- Unwind at Historic Cape May & Grounds for Sculpture
- Get your adrenaline pumping with Six Flags Great Adventure and explore Ellis Island’s history
1. Experience the Jersey Shore
Offering beautiful beaches, lively boardwalks, and a vibrant nightlife scene, the Jersey Shore is a destination you shouldn’t miss. With a variety of Jersey attractions, there’s something for everyone, from family-friendly attractions to adult entertainment. Stroll down the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk and enjoy the classic amusements, arcades, and mouthwatering snack stands. Or, if you’re feeling lucky, try your hand at the casinos and experience the wild nightlife of Atlantic City.
For those seeking outdoor activities, you can visit Point Pleasant Beach for some fun in the sun or explore the picturesque Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, which offers stunning views and hiking trails. Asbury Park is another popular destination, known for its rich history, bustling art scene, and beautiful beaches. You’re bound to create unforgettable memories with the myriad of attractions the Jersey Shore offers.
2. Discover Liberty Science Center
Located in Jersey City, the Liberty Science Center, with its interactive museum experience for all ages, ranks among New Jersey’s top attractions. With hands-on exhibits, live science demonstrations, and a cutting-edge planetarium, it’s the perfect destination for families and science enthusiasts alike.
While at Liberty Science Center, make sure you check out the Making Mammoths exhibit where you can learn about these ancient creatures. Don’t forget to drop by the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood-themed exhibit, especially if you have little ones with you. If you’re a fan of puzzles, the Rubik’s Cube exhibit is a must-see. And last but not least, the Wild-animals exhibit is a delight for all animal lovers.
Aside from the thrilling exhibits, the Liberty Science Center also organizes a variety of events and performances, such as music concerts, dance shows, and other entertaining spectacles. After your exploration, take a moment to appreciate the breathtaking view of the New York City skyline from Liberty State Park, which is conveniently located nearby.
The interactive activities and stunning sights at Liberty Science Center make it a must-visit destination in New Jersey.
3. Unwind at Branch Brook Park
Branch Brook Park in Newark, New Jersey serves as an ideal location for some downtime amidst nature. Home to the largest collection of cherry blossom trees in the US, the park boasts over 5,000 cherry blossom trees that bloom each year, creating a breathtaking display. The annual Cherry Blossom Festival is a free event that celebrates the beautiful blooming cherry blossoms with live music, arts & crafts, and other fun activities.
Pro Tip: Get to the Cherry Blossom Festival early to snag a parking spot, or use a rideshare service to avoid parking hassles.
Branch Brook Park is not just about the cherry blossoms; it also offers numerous hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts. Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life to relish in the natural beauty of Branch Brook Park.
4. Explore Historic Cape May
Travel back in time by exploring Cape May, a charming Victorian seaside town nestled at New Jersey’s southern tip. This picturesque town is famous for its beautifully preserved architecture, boutique shops, and delicious dining options. Take a stroll through the Cape May Historic District and admire the stunning 19th-century buildings, now converted into quaint bed and breakfasts.
When you’re in Cape May, you’ve got to swing by the South Cape May Meadows Nature Conservancy. It’s a real treat for anyone who loves the great outdoors. And let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like watching the sunset over the beach, especially with the Cape May Lighthouse standing majestically in the background.
If you want to take it up a notch, why not go on a sunset cruise? It’s a fantastic way to experience the beauty of this coastal gem. All in all, Cape May, with its fascinating history and charming atmosphere, is a must-visit spot in the Garden State.
5. Immerse Yourself in Art at Grounds for Sculpture
Art enthusiasts should seize the opportunity to delve into the world of contemporary art at Grounds for Sculpture. This 42-acre sculpture park, created by sculptor and philanthropist Seward Johnson, features a stunning collection of contemporary art installations and intricate gardens. Wander through the park, discover hidden gems, and be inspired by the creativity and beauty that surround you.
After exploring the outdoor art installations, take a break and dine at Rat’s, a top-rated restaurant on the grounds, known for its delectable cuisine and picturesque setting. Perfect for both art enthusiasts and nature lovers, Grounds for Sculpture offers a unique and memorable experience.
6. Step Back in Time at Thomas Edison National Historical Park
At the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, New Jersey, you can step into the world of the legendary inventor Thomas Edison. This is the place where he brought to life amazing inventions like phonographs, electrical lighting, motion picture cameras, and other electrical appliances. And guess what? You can see all these prototypes on display here!
But that’s not all. You can also visit the Glenmont Collections, a grand 29-room Victorian estate where Edison spent many years of his life. It’s like stepping into a time machine! You’ll also get a sneak peek into the life of the man who played a pivotal role in shaping modern America. So, if you’re a history buff or just someone who loves to learn new things, this place is a must-visit. There’s so much to explore and discover here!
7. Get Your Adrenaline Pumping at Six Flags Great Adventure
Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey is the go-to spot for thrill seekers and families seeking a day packed with excitement. Home to adrenaline-pumping roller coasters, family-friendly rides, and an adjacent water park, this popular theme park offers endless fun for all ages. Don’t miss Kingda Ka, the world’s tallest roller coaster and the fastest in North America.
Aside from the heart-pounding rides, Six Flags Great Adventure also offers a variety of events such as parades, fireworks displays, and the seasonal FrightFest. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or just looking for a day of family fun, a visit to Six Flags Great Adventure guarantees a day filled with unforgettable experiences.
8. Connect with Nature at Island Beach State Park
Leave the city behind and reconnect with nature at the pristine barrier island, Island Beach State Park, located in Berkeley Township, New Jersey. This unspoiled paradise offers miles of sandy beaches, hiking trails, and opportunities for birdwatching and fishing. For a truly memorable experience, take a walk to the Barnegat Lighthouse, go for a swim in the crystal-clear waters, or fish along the shore with a permit.
Island Beach State Park is a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts and also provides insights into the area’s rich history. Enjoy the stunning scenery, pristine beaches, and tranquil atmosphere of this beautiful park, perfect for a relaxing day trip or a weekend getaway.
9. Visit the Historic Ellis Island
Visit the historic Ellis Island, a part of a national monument in both New York and New Jersey, and journey back in time. A quick ferry ride from Liberty State Park will take you to this iconic location, where millions of immigrants entered America in search of a better life.
During your visit to Ellis Island, you can immerse yourself in the rich history encapsulated within the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, marvel at the iconic Statue of Liberty, and engage with various interactive exhibits that provide a deeper understanding of how immigration has shaped American history.
Ellis Island offers a unique opportunity to connect with the past and understand the struggles and dreams of those who came to America in search of a better life. Anyone eager to delve into the rich history of immigration in the United States should not miss this historic site.
10. Savor New Jersey’s Diverse Culinary Scene
With a diverse culinary scene that caters to every palate, New Jersey serves as a perfect destination for food aficionados. From classic diners to farm-to-table restaurants, the Garden State has it all. In fact, New Jersey is known as the “dinner capital of the world” due to its abundance of classic diners who serve breakfast all day and offer a wide range of menu options.
Beyond its famous diners, New Jersey also prides itself on a lively food truck culture, offering a taste of global cuisine on the go. The state is also home to unique farm-to-table dining experiences at establishments like The Farm & Fisherman Tavern + Market in Cherry Hill, The Farmhouse in Princeton, and The Farm & Fisherman in Cherry Hill. No matter what your taste buds crave, the diverse culinary landscape of New Jersey is sure to satisfy.
11. Take a Frank Sinatra Walking Tour in Hoboken
Explore a different facet of New Jersey by embarking on a self-guided Frank Sinatra walking tour in Hoboken, the legendary singer’s hometown. The tour includes over 20 stops related to Ol’ Blue Eyes’ life in Hoboken, such as his favorite hangouts, family bakery, and the church where he was baptized.
Besides the Frank Sinatra walking tour, Hoboken itself offers a variety of attractions, including beautiful parks, a vibrant restaurant and bar scene, and stunning views of the New York City skyline. Venture to the charming city of Hoboken and immerse yourself in the life of one of America’s most iconic singers.
12. Witness the American Dream Mall
Get ready to have a blast at the American Dream Mall, a massive entertainment and shopping complex that’s got it all. Nestled in East Rutherford, New Jersey, this place is a paradise for fun-seekers and shopaholics alike.
Imagine this: An indoor theme park, an ice rink, a ski slope, and hundreds of stores all under one roof! It’s like stepping into a different world. Get your adrenaline pumping at Nickelodeon Universe, where exciting rides and attractions await. If you’re up for some water fun, there’s a water park right next door, complete with slides, lazy rivers, and pools. It’s the perfect alternative to outdoor fun, especially when the weather isn’t playing nice.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. The American Dream Mall also boasts a wide range of luxury and inclusive stores, kiosks, restaurants, and snack stands, making for a unique shopping experience. Whether you’re looking for the latest fashion trends, a new gadget, or a tasty treat, you’re sure to find it here.
So, if you’re planning a trip with your family or just looking to indulge in a shopping spree, make sure to add the American Dream Mall to your itinerary. With so much to see and do, it’s a must-visit destination that guarantees a great time for everyone.
13. Bike the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park
Embark on a scenic and relaxing adventure by biking along the historic Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, adorned with picturesque scenery and charming villages. This beautiful bike trail winds through central New Jersey, allowing you to explore the natural beauty of the Garden State while visiting quaint villages like Frenchtown and Lambertville.
Whether you’re an avid cyclist or just looking for a leisurely ride, the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and explore charming villages. Don’t let this scenic bike trail slip away for a truly memorable experience.
14. Visit the Oldest Lighthouse in the US
Visit the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in the United States, and experience history firsthand. Located in the beautiful Sandy Hook area of New Jersey, this historic lighthouse offers guided tours, allowing visitors to climb the tower and learn about its storied past.
Plus, the area around the lighthouse isn’t half bad either. You’ve got gorgeous beaches, hiking trails, and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy. So why not swing by this historic beauty and soak up a bit of U.S. history while you’re at it?
15. Attend a New York Red Bulls Soccer Game
If you’re a sports enthusiast, attending a New York Red Bulls soccer game at the Red Bull Arena is an activity not to be missed. Located in Harrison, New Jersey, the stadium offers stunning views of the New York City skyline and an electric atmosphere as the Red Bulls compete in Major League Soccer.
Whether a die-hard soccer fan or just in search of an exciting day out, attending a New York Red Bulls game offers an unforgettable experience. Cheer on the team, soak up the atmosphere, and enjoy the beautiful skyline views at this popular sporting event.
16. Stroll Through Princeton University
Stroll leisurely through Princeton University’s ivy-covered campus, renowned as one of the United States’ most prestigious universities. Admire the stunning architecture of the university buildings and explore the renowned Princeton University Art Museum, which houses a diverse collection of artwork from around the world.
Princeton University is more than just its art museum. The campus is dotted with beautiful gardens and tranquil walkways, all steeped in rich history. Whether you’re an art geek or just a curious wanderer, you’ve got to check out Princeton University. It’s a visit you won’t regret.
17. Visit the Unique Diggerland Theme Park
For a truly unique day out, why not try Diggerland in West Berlin, New Jersey? This isn’t your average theme park – it’s all about getting your hands dirty and operating some heavy machinery. Yes, you read that right! You can actually get behind the controls of real diggers and construction vehicles. But don’t worry, it’s not all work and no play. There are plenty of construction-themed rides and attractions to keep the fun going. Plus, it’s a great way to learn about the construction industry.
So, if you’re looking for a day out with a difference, Diggerland is definitely worth a visit. And, when you’ve had enough of the heavy machinery, there’s a water park on-site too – perfect for cooling off on those hot summer days.
In addition to the heavy machinery experiences, Diggerland also features a water park, providing the perfect opportunity to cool off on a hot summer day. Boasting numerous exciting and educational attractions, Diggerland is an essential stop for families seeking a different kind of adventure.
18. Learn about Wildlife at Lakota Wolf Preserve
Witness the beauty of wildlife conservation at Lakota Wolf Preserve, a sanctuary committed to the protection of endangered wolves. Located in Columbia, New Jersey, this preserve offers guided tours that allow visitors to learn about the lives and habitats of the wolves, as well as observe them in their natural environment.
But it’s not just all about the wolves at the Lakota Wolf Preserve. They’ve got a few other cool residents too, like foxes, a bobcat, and even a lynx! It’s a pretty awesome chance to learn about these incredible animals up close. So, if you’re an animal lover or just looking for a chill day hanging out with nature, we recommend checking out the Lakota Wolf Preserve.
19. Embrace History at Batsto Village
Embrace history and journey back in time at Batsto Village, a preserved historic village in South Jersey, housing over 30 preserved buildings. Located within the Wharton State Forest, this charming village offers guided tours, scenic hiking trails, and a glimpse into the past, allowing visitors to experience life as it was in the 18th and 19th centuries.
But wait, there’s more! Besides all the cool historic buildings, Batsto Village is also surrounded by some seriously breathtaking nature. It’s such a peaceful and picturesque place to explore. So, whether you’re a history nerd or just looking for a chill day out, Batsto Village is totally a must-see in New Jersey.
20. Shop ‘Til You Drop at Jersey Shore Premium Outlets
Enjoy some retail therapy at Jersey Shore Premium Outlets, which boasts over 120 designer and brand-name stores providing excellent deals and an enjoyable shopping experience. Located in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, this popular outlet mall is home to a wide range of luxury and inclusive stores, providing something for every shopper.
In addition to fantastic shopping, Jersey Shore Premium Outlets also offers family-friendly amenities, such as stroller rentals and a kiddie playground, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all visitors.
Jersey Shore Premium Outlets, whether you’re hunting for a bargain or just browsing, is a shopping enthusiast’s must-visit spot.
21. Enjoy Family Fun at Storybook Land
Relive the magic of classic children’s stories at Storybook Land, an amusement park where beloved fairy tales come to life through various rides and attractions. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, this family-friendly park offers a range of activities inspired by stories like “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and “Three Little Pigs.”
Storybook Land is a total blast, no matter how old you are! This place brings all your favorite fairy tales to life. But it’s not just about the rides and attractions – they also host events throughout the year, so there’s always something new and exciting going on. Trust me, whether you’re a kid or just a kid at heart, you’re gonna love it here!
22. Take a Scenic Drive Through Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Take a scenic drive through Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, which offers stunning views, hiking trails, and a variety of outdoor activities like swimming, fishing, and canoeing. This beautiful recreation area stretches along the Delaware River, providing visitors with a diverse range of landscapes and activities to enjoy.
Whether you’re after a leisurely drive through picturesque scenery or seeking a more active adventure like hiking or canoeing, nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts should not miss The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
23. Attend Trenton’s Punk Rock Flea Market
If you’re looking for something different, don’t miss Trenton’s Punk Rock Flea Market, an unconventional event showcasing alternative vendors, live music, and food trucks. This one-of-a-kind flea market offers a diverse selection of vintage clothing, classic cassettes and records, oddities, unique collectibles, original clothing and art, comic books and games, and handmade jewelry.
Aside from the funky vendors selling all sorts of cool stuff, Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market also hosts food trucks from all over the state, offering a smorgasbord of tasty eats to munch on while you hunt for treasures. If you’re into the unconventional, like us, you’ll love Trenton’s Punk Rock Flea Market. It’s definitely a must-do when you’re in Jersey.
24. Explore The Newark Museum of Art
Explore a world of art at the Newark Museum of Art, which features a diverse range of art collections from around the globe, interactive exhibits, and a beautiful museum garden. Located in Newark, New Jersey, this renowned museum offers visitors the chance to explore artwork from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Mediterranean, as well as engage with interactive exhibits that bring art to life.
Besides the amazing art you can see, the Newark Museum of Art also offers cool stuff like lectures, workshops, and classes. And hey, they’ve got a gift shop and a cafe too. So, whether you’re an art lover or just curious, you gotta check out the Newark Museum of Art.
25. Wander through Rutgers Gardens
Leave behind the daily hustle and bustle to explore Rutgers Gardens, a free botanical garden nestled in New Brunswick, New Jersey. This peaceful and tranquil garden offers a diverse array of plants, natural areas, and seasonal events for visitors to enjoy, making it the perfect destination for a relaxing day out.
And if you’re a fan of nature, you can’t miss Rutgers Gardens. This place is a little oasis of peace right in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It’s not just about the beautiful plants and green spaces, they also run cool workshops and classes for anyone who wants to learn more about gardening and the environment. So, whether you’re a plant lover or just need a break from the hustle and bustle, Rutgers Gardens is your spot.
26. Visit the Fascinating Museum of American Glass
Marvel at the beauty and artistry of glass at the Museum of American Glass tucked away in Millville, New Jersey. This captivating museum is a treasure trove of over 20,000 glass pieces that will blow your mind. From historical artifacts that tell a tale of the past to contemporary art installations that challenge your perception, every piece offers a unique glimpse into the world of glass artistry.
And there’s more! The Museum of American Glass isn’t just about looking at pretty things. They also offer live demonstrations where you can see artisans at work, creating beautiful pieces right in front of your eyes. Plus, they host workshops where you can learn the art of glassmaking and create your own masterpiece. They even have special exhibits that change from time to time, so there’s always something new to discover.
So, whether you’re a glass art enthusiast or just curious, the Museum of American Glass is a must-see when you’re in New Jersey. It’s truly a place where beauty, history, and artistry come together in a dazzling display.
27. Climb Aboard Battleship New Jersey
Climb aboard Battleship New Jersey, a historic naval vessel that offers guided tours, interactive exhibits, and insights into the ship’s storied past. As you explore this massive battleship, you’ll learn about its fascinating history, its role in World War II, and the inner workings of this impressive naval vessel.
Not only do you get to explore the battleship’s interiors and exhibits, but visitors can also take in the stunning panorama of the surrounding landscape from the ship’s deck. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or just looking for an enriching and unique experience, the Battleship New Jersey is a must-see when you’re in the Garden State.
28. Experience the Charm of Frenchtown
Discover the charm of Frenchtown, a quaint riverside village situated along the Delaware River’s banks in New Jersey. This picturesque village boasts boutique shops, art galleries, and delicious dining options, making it the perfect destination for a leisurely day trip or romantic weekend getaway.
Along with its captivating charm, Frenchtown provides a host of outdoor adventures. You can go tubing on the Delaware River or discover the beauty of nearby parks and nature preserves. Soak in the allure and splendor of Frenchtown for an unforgettable experience.
29. Visit the Sterling Hill Mining Museum
One of the hidden gems of New Jersey is the Sterling Hill Mining Museum. This fascinating museum, located in Ogdensburg, offers a unique opportunity to learn about the history of mining and the geology of the Garden State. The museum is actually housed in a former zinc mine, providing an authentic and immersive experience. Visitors can embark on an underground tour, where they will get to see the mine’s tunnels, the Rainbow Tunnel with its fluorescent minerals, and the mining equipment used back in the day.
The Sterling Hill Mining Museum isn’t just about mining, though. It’s also home to one of the largest collections of fluorescent minerals in the world, making it a must-visit for geology enthusiasts. Plus, the museum offers a variety of educational programs and exhibits, making it a fantastic destination for families and school groups. Whether you’re a history buff, a science enthusiast, or just looking for a unique day out, the Sterling Hill Mining Museum is a must-visit when you’re in New Jersey.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the number one attraction in New Jersey?
Atlantic City is the number one attraction in New Jersey, often referred to as the “Gambling Capital of the East Coast”.
It is home to some of the most iconic casinos in the world, including the Borgata, Caesars, and Harrah’s. It is also home to a variety of other attractions, such as the Boardwalk.
What is unique to Jersey?
New Jersey is home to the state bird, the Eastern Goldfinch, boasts the first-ever submarine ride in the Passaic River, and is the actual location of the iconic Statue of Liberty – making it truly unique.
This makes New Jersey a truly unique place, with a rich history and culture that is worth exploring.
What is New Jersey famous known for?
New Jersey is famously known for its stunning beaches, boardwalk, and casinos in Atlantic City, 115 Million annual tourists, and diverse dining options. It’s also home to plenty of American history and untouched nature.
What is the most scenic part of New Jersey?
Alstede Farms is an idyllic spot for scenic beauty in New Jersey, perfect for those looking to experience country living in all its glory.
The farm offers a variety of activities for visitors, including hayrides, pick-your-own produce, and a petting zoo. There are also plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area, with hiking trails, fishing spots, and more.
What are some popular attractions along the Jersey Shore?
The Jersey Shore offers something for everyone, from beautiful beaches to lively boardwalks and vibrant nightlife, as well as family-friendly activities.
In conclusion, New Jersey offers a diverse array of attractions and experiences for visitors to enjoy. From beautiful beaches and historic sites to interactive museums and adrenaline-pumping theme parks, the Garden State has something for everyone. We hope this guide has inspired you to explore the many fun things to do in New Jersey in 2023 and create unforgettable memories along the way.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your adventure today and discover the hidden gems, unique attractions, and unforgettable experiences that await you in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey.
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