HomeDESTINATIONS36 Best Things To Do in New Jersey 2024

36 Best Things To Do in New Jersey 2024

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What is the best thing to do in New Jersey? You don’t have to overthink as we have provided a list of some of the best things to do in New Jersey, United States.

New Jersey, popularly called the Garden State, is located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States of America. The state is rich in history and bustles with cities, stunning landscapes, and diverse culture.

With an area size of 8,722 square miles, New Jersey is one of the smallest states in the United States. Despite its small size, its beautiful beaches and famous Pine Barrens are just a few things New Jersey boasts about.

Apart from its beaches, New Jersey has several attractions and recreational centers to visit and enjoy. To begin with, here below are the 36 best things to do in New Jersey.

36 Fun & Best Things To Do In New Jersey

1. Liberty State Park

Liberty State Park offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. The park spans 1,212 acres in total. At this location, you can partake in a pleasant outdoor meal, rent a bicycle for a picturesque journey, embark on a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island, or explore the nearby Liberty Science Center.

2. Princeton University

Princeton University is known for its stunning collegiate gothic architecture. When you visit the campus, you can take a leisurely walk and admire the beautiful buildings. While you’re there, make sure to check out the Princeton University Art Museum, which houses an impressive collection of artwork.

Additionally, you have the opportunity to attend interesting lectures or concerts that take place on campus. If you’re in the mood for some exploration, the nearby town is worth a visit. It has charming shops, delicious restaurants, and even the renowned Princeton Record Exchange.

3. Cape May

The historic center of Cape May, which is well-known for its Victorian elegance, may be explored on a trolley tour. You can also travel to the Emlen Physick Estate, climb the Cape May Lighthouse, unwind on the beach, or go bird-watching at the Cape May Bird Observatory.

4. Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail in New Jersey covers a large area that stretches across multiple states. This particular section passes through rough and uneven mountains, providing a challenging and adventurous experience for hikers. This trail runs alongside beautiful rivers, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery.

You can choose from a few activities for your outdoor adventure. One option is to go on a day hike, where you can explore the trails and enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. Another option is to camp overnight, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the wilderness and experience the tranquility of sleeping under the stars. Lastly, you could also try bird-watching, which involves observing and identifying different sceneries from the highest elevation in New Jersey.

5. Battleship New Jersey

The battleship with the highest number of decorations in the history of the United States Navy has been transformed into a museum. If you’re interested, there is an option for you to participate in a guided tour where you will have the opportunity to learn about the service of this battleship in various significant events throughout history. These events include World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War.

When you visit the ship, you will have the opportunity to see various exhibitions that showcase the weaponry used on board. Additionally, you can explore the living quarters of the crew members and take a stroll along the deck, where you will be treated to breathtaking views of Philadelphia’s beautiful skyline.

6. Wildwood

This place is popular for its beautiful beaches that you can enjoy without paying. Also, there is a vibrant boardwalk that is bustling with various activities such as games, shops, places to eat, and not one but three amusement piers that offer more than 100 different rides and attractions for you to enjoy.

Ensure you don’t forget to visit the Doo Wop Experience Museum to get a glimpse of the vibrant culture that existed during the middle of the 20th century.

7. New Jersey State Museum

Visiting the four-museum complex in Trenton is one of the best things to do in New Jersey. It has a planetarium, where you can learn about space and the stars. There is also an archaeology and ethnology exhibit, where you can see artifacts from different cultures and learn about their history.

The complex also has a cultural history exhibit, where you can learn about the history and traditions of New Jersey. It’s a great place to go if you want to learn more about the cultural and natural history of the state.

8. Grounds for Sculpture

There is an outdoor sculpture park located in Hamilton. It spans 42 acres of land. The park has over 270 large contemporary sculptures. It also has beautiful landscaping and replicas of well-known impressionist paintings. All of these are set up in a three-dimensional environment. Checking these beautiful sculptures and paintings is one of the interesting things to do in New Jersey.

9. Asbury Park Boardwalk

The Asbury Park boardwalk is famous for its extensive musical history. It is home to various music venues, such as the renowned Stone Pony. Visitors can also enjoy a delightful shopping experience at the Grand Arcade, where they can find many stores.

Regarding dining options, the boardwalk offers a diverse selection of eateries to cater to different tastes.

10. Liberty Science Center

The Liberty Science Center is a place where you can go to learn and explore. It offers a wide range of exhibits and activities that are educational. The center is home to the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere.

It also provides interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, and 3D movies. These activities are designed to make science enjoyable and captivating for people of all ages. If you are looking for some of the best things to do in New Jersey, this location will be worth our time.

11. Island Beach State Park

Island Beach State Park is considered to be one of the last remaining significant remnants of a barrier island ecosystem in the state of New Jersey. The park is a wonderful destination for various activities such as swimming, kayaking, fishing, or exploring nature.

The park offers a beautiful coastline with sandy beaches, as well as dense maritime forests, rolling sand dunes, and tidal marshes.

12. Adventure Aquarium

Touring the Adventure Aquarium in Camden is another fun thing to do in New Jersey. The aquarium has more than 8,500 aquatic species, such as a group of African penguins, different kinds of sharks, and a large group of sea turtles. You can watch a live feeding, get close to animals in touch tanks, or walk through a 40-foot suspended Shark Tunnel.

13. High Point State Park

At 1,803 feet above sea level, High Point State Park is the highest point in New Jersey. It has a wide view of rolling hills and farms. Hiking, camping, fishing, and cross-country skiing are some of the things you can do there. Don’t miss the High Point Monument, which is 220 feet high and gives you an even better view.

14. Six Flags Great Adventure

The Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson is one of the biggest entertainment parks in the world. The park has many thrill rides, including the world’s largest roller coaster, Kingda Ka. It consists of a water park and a wildlife park with more than 1,200 different animals.

15. Newark Museum

Exploring the biggest museum in New Jersey can be one of the best things to do in the State. Newark Museum has a total of 80 galleries that showcases amazing collections from all over the world. These collections include American art, contemporary art, decorative arts, and arts from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the ancient world. Apart from the galleries, the museum also has a planetarium and a mini zoo.

16. Historic Smithville

Historic Smithville is a charming village in New Jersey that dates back to the 18th century. It is known for its collection of over 60 unique stores where you can find various items.

There are also many dining options available for you to explore and enjoy. For the little ones, there is a delightful carousel and a train that they can ride on, adding to the fun and excitement of the village. Make sure you don’t forget to attend the “Light Show on the Lake” event, especially if you happen to be visiting during the holiday season.

17. Sterling Hill Mining Museum

The Sterling Hill Mining Museum is a genuine underground mine where visitors can learn about the history of mining. This museum in Ogdensburg, once one of the world’s richest zinc ore deposits, provides underground mine tours, a mineral discovery center, and a mining machinery museum.

18. Morristown National Historical Park

The landscape of the Continental Army’s winter camps in 1779 and 1780 is preserved in Morristown National Historical Park, which comprises four separate places. You can go to Washington’s Headquarters, tour the Ford Mansion, or walk along the tracks in the Jockey Hollow Encampment Area.

19. Pine Barrens

The Pine Barrens, also referred to as the Pinelands, is a forested region famous for its distinct ecology and fascinating cultural past. This nationally protected reserve provides a wide range of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. Some fun activities at this location include hiking, camping, kayaking, and bird watching.

20. Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park

Visiting the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park is also one of the best things to do in New Jersey. The park is home to one of the biggest waterfalls in the country. In the 19th century, these powerful falls were used in factories, which gave Paterson the nickname “Silk City.” There are several spots to view the falls from the park. Also, you can scan through its old mills and a tourist center with displays about the Industrial Revolution.

21. Princeton Battlefield State Park

Princeton Battlefield State Park is a place that honors and remembers a very intense battle that took place during the American Revolution. At the Clarke House Museum, visitors can explore and learn about the area’s rich history. They can take a leisurely walk through the park’s scenic trails, immersing themselves in the natural beauty surrounding them.

For those seeking more in-depth experience, joining a guided tour is a fantastic option. These tours provide valuable insights and fascinating stories about the historical significance of the area, allowing visitors to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the region’s past.

22. George Washington Bridge

This iconic suspension bridge connects Fort Lee, New Jersey, to Manhattan, New York, and offers panoramic views of the Hudson River. It is also an excellent location for photographing the New York skyline. Taking a walk through this bridge is also one of the best things to do in New Jersey, especially if you are a lover of scenic views.

23. Navesink Twin Lights

The Navesink Twin Lights is a lighthouse that is quite special because it has two towers that are not identical. This lighthouse also has a museum where visitors can learn about its history. Additionally, visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse to enjoy a magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean and Sandy Hook Bay.

24. Clinton

Visiting Clinton is one of the fun things to do in New Jersey. Clinton is a charming small town known for its famous Red Mill and Stone Bridge, as well as its rich past, beautiful scenery, and many cultural attractions. The Red Mill Museum Village has a collection of artifacts that show the area’s past in farming and industry.

25. Hoboken Historical Museum

The museum provides displays and presentations that focus on the history, art, and culture of Hoboken. The company arranges various activities such as walking tours, guest lectures, and enjoyable events. The town itself is worth exploring because it is known as the birthplace of Frank Sinatra and baseball.

26. Presby Memorial Iris Gardens

Presby Memorial Iris Gardens is a lovely garden situated in Montclair. It is known for its stunning collection of irises, which come in many colors and consist of thousands of different varieties. The flowers start blooming in the middle of May and continue to bloom until the first week of June. People from all over the world come to see them.

27. USS Ling

The USS Ling is a submarine now anchored in the Hackensack River. It serves as a museum, providing visitors with the opportunity to learn about what life was like at sea during World War II. The museum has a wide variety of artifacts on display.

These artifacts include torpedoes, which are underwater weapons used in warfare, uniforms, which are the clothing worn by military personnel; and medals, which are awards given to individuals for their achievements.

28. Hereford Inlet Lighthouse

Located in North Wildwood, Hereford Inlet Lighthouse is a working lighthouse and a museum. The museum is dedicated to showcasing the history of the 19th-century building. The gardens surrounding the lighthouse are English-style and have won awards. These gardens contribute to the charm of the lighthouse.

29. Old Barracks Museum

Trenton’s Old Barracks Museum is housed in a building that served as barracks for both British and American troops during the Revolutionary War. It is now a museum showing relics, weaponry, and uniforms from the colonial and revolutionary eras. Taking a walk around this site wouldn’t be a bad idea for the best things to do in New Jersey.

30. Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart

The cathedral is situated in Newark and designed in the French Gothic Revival architectural style. Visitors can enjoy guided tours that highlight the cathedral’s stunning stained glass, intricate sculptures, and a vaulted ceiling that reaches an impressive height of 154 feet. Additionally, the surrounding grounds of this place provide a magnificent view of the Manhattan skyline.

31. Jenkinson’s Boardwalk

Jenkinson’s Boardwalk is located in Point Pleasant Beach. It spans a length of one mile and provides a wide range of attractions that are suitable for families. These attractions include an aquarium, arcades, amusement park rides, a fun house, mini golf, and a soft sandy beach. Make sure you remember to sample the mouthwatering food available on the boardwalk.

32. Palisades Interstate Park

This 12-mile long, half-mile broad park along the Hudson River features breathtaking views, hiking trails, a historic site, a nature preserve, picnic areas, and boat basins. It is an ideal location for outdoor pursuits such as hiking, angling, and cross-country skiing.

33. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

On the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area offers nearly 70,000 acres of mountains, forests, and rivers. Hiking, camping, canoeing, fishing, bird viewing, and exploring historical villages are among the activities available. If you are a fan of outdoor and recreational activities, you can consider this one of the best things to do in New Jersey.

34. Montclair Art Museum

The Montclair Art Museum is a museum that is well-known for its impressive collection of American and Native American art. This collection covers a span of 300 years, showcasing the rich artistic heritage of these cultures.

The organization provides diverse educational programs, exhibitions, and tours for individuals to engage with and learn from.

35. Storybook Land

Storybook Land is an amusement park that is situated in Egg Harbor Township. This delightful family-friendly park spans 20 acres and is dedicated to bringing classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes to life.

This place is ideal for younger children. They will have a fantastic time riding on various attractions, exploring different rides, and even getting the chance to meet and interact with their beloved storybook characters.

36.Thomas Edison National Historical Park

Home to the laboratory and residence of inventor Thomas Edison, guests can tour the complex and see where Edison developed the phonograph, motion picture camera, and improved practical electric light bulb. Visitors can also see vintage movies and phonograph demonstrations.

Conclusion

You’ll get a wide sample of what New Jersey has to offer by exploring these 36 best things to do in New Jersey, which range from gorgeous natural landscapes and intriguing historical sites to unique cultural experiences and exhilarating amusement parks. Remember to plan beforehand and check each location’s operating hours and any relevant restrictions. Have fun exploring the Garden State!

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