Jersey's bigger brother may get all the attention, but there’s no denying that there’s a special charm about the state, from the proud citizens to the unique tourist attractions. New Jersey gets a bad shake by most of our media outlets, often associated with lower-tier city life or obnoxious reality TV personalities, but the truth is that New Jersey has plenty of natural attractions, rich history, and friendly neighborhoods that will open their arms to travelers from all over. Visit the best parts of Jersey with some of these great suggestions in our 10 ten countdown.
Big lights and leisurely strolls down the beach is the perfect combination for an entire day of fun when you visit Atlantic City. The classic Boardwalk spans over four miles, with tons of great restaurants, hotels, rides, games, and famous landmarks along the way. Whether you just want to smell the ocean breeze and watch the waves crash on the coast or go into the city to hit the slots, there’s no shortage of things to do in Atlantic City.
Cape May is a charming place to visit. If you head south, you will reach a part of New Jersey that is like a living museum, where old roads are lined with Victorian-style homes and quaint little shops. You can book a tour guide to give you a nice historic walk through the town, or outside the harbor to view its beauty from another angle, along with the lively marine life full of whales and dolphins.
Don’t miss the extraordinary historical center and artisanal park in the town of Hamilton. Set up in 1992 to encourage the support for contemporary art, it has gotten to be one of the state's most famous museum displays, showcasing many works by US craftsmen. The Grounds itself is magnificently dressed with various trees and flowerbeds. Another extraordinary exhibition can be found at the Jersey City Museum with its accumulation of more than 300 works of art, and a vast gathering of chronicled ancient rarities from New Jersey history.
Address: 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619
Princeton is a place for academics, but it’s also one that stands out for its historic importance. This is where the Battle of Princeton took place during 1777, when George Washington successfully pushed out the British. You will find all original artifacts from the war, including the original hospital that housed soldiers and the graveyard where many of the fallen were buried.
Here is a vantage point in which you will never reproduce over in New York, overlooking the most iconic monuments of the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline, as well as Jersey’s own. You’ll also find a beautiful nature preserve, historic memorial sites (dedicated to those lost in the Holocaust and 9/11 attacks, along with plenty of outdoor activities that the family can enjoy, like biking, fishing, and kayaking through the park.
Here you will find yet another advantageous locale in New Jersey, this time a piece of land that gives visitors access to the wonderful Delaware River and all the many natural and man-made landmarks that span the 70,000 acres known as the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. This is the great outdoors, with tons of things to do, including the start up the Appalachian Trail. There’s an ancient archaeological dig site that you can visit, too, containing indigenous remnants of 10,000 year old relics and fossils.
Address: I-80, Exit 1, Hardwick Township, NJ 07832
The variety of New Jersey’s landscape is really under-appreciated. Just take the Paterson Great Falls for an example. You don’t have to visit Niagara Falls in two different countries for the chance to fully experience a breath-taking waterfall and natural parks, New Jersey’s own allows full access to all angles and activities that will tingle your senses.
The infamous bastion for America’s immigrants is easily accessible by ferry at the aforementioned Liberty State Park, yet one cannot help but try to picture the emotional arrival of millions of people during the 1900’s. Learn all about the typical journey of hope, struggle, and reprieve for immigrants arriving in American on Ellis Island.
In case you haven’t noticed, New Jersey has a lot to offer nature-lovers. This one is home to numerous hiking trails, entrance to the Appalachians, and a famous WWI monument called the High Point Monument, which acts as an observation tower overlooking the mountaintops in the distance. These are favored camping grounds for amateurs or anyone looking for a convenient stay within relative proximity of the city.
This celebrity sculpture is making our list of the best things to do in New Jersey because of just how great it is as a departure from the normal North East fanfare. It’s typically something you’d find in the Mid-West, but thanks to a guy named James Lafferty who built it as a hokey attempt at drawing in more buyers for his nearby real estate, New Jersey has its own pet elephant that looks as good as the day she was built in 1881.
Address: 9200 Atlantic Ave, Margate City, NJ 08402-2449