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12 Best Things to Do in New Jersey

Hills, forests, farms, villages, well-kept towns and a long coastline of white sand. Welcome to New Jersey which can be easily reached from New York City with distances ranging from 15 to 250 km. Let's find out what the Garden State offers between beaches, nature, history and last but not least, a privileged position for the view of the Manhattan skyline.

best things to do in new jersey

Here are a few places to visit in New Jersey.

1. Bergen County


After a short drive along the Hudson River and the Lincoln Tunnel, you'll be ready for a completely different big city experience. Get your itinerary and make sure you can accommodate your time to enjoy all there is to see and do.

From historic sites to bike trails, skiing, swimming, and even a zoo, local parks offer activities for all ages and fitness levels. At Van Saun County Park, kids can enjoy the playground, a carousel, pony rides, and train rides. Go fishing, have a picnic and go sledding, or play tennis and basketball.

The Bergen County Zoo, a nationally accredited and family-friendly venue, is always one of the best options. Enjoy free summer concerts, open-air movies and kayaking on the Hackensack River in Overpeck County Park, which features photo-worthy views of the Manhattan skyline.

Did you get an appetite? There are a wide variety of options in Bergen County. Enjoy a Sunday brunch or dinner on the terrace overlooking the countryside at Stony Hill Inn, a 19th century Dutch house. CHiT CHaT Diner in Hackensack serves exquisite classic flavors in a 1950s-inspired setting. Repeat visitors enjoy delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners served all day.

Speaking of retro, what do you think of an 11th century dining experience? If you feel like trying a four-course meal without silverware while watching a jousting tournament, book a dinner show at Medieval Times. You will be able to sit around this great arena and you will be assigned a knight to cheer on during the clashes. This is one of the family activities that you cannot miss.

In New Jersey flower delivery from Plant Shed takes care of your floral arrangements by occasion. They offer a large selection of flowers, plants, floral arrangements, and baskets at very competitive prices that will not be matched anywhere in New Jersey.

2. Newark


At the mouth of the Passaic river and with about 285,000 inhabitants, it is the most populous city in the state and home to the aforementioned airport which has increased the flow of visitors and the consequent development of the activities connected to it. In this city, which is about fifteen kilometers from NYC, there are some points of interest.

Newark Museum of Art is the largest museum in the state that, ranging between the various continents, exhibits both contemporary and ancient art. Do not miss the Buddhist altar as well as the galleries related to the world of science, the planetarium and a garden with modern sculptures.

Grammy Museum is a museum dedicated to music and grammys. In the rooms, visitors can interact and learn how to become a winner of the coveted musical award. Guided tours are available on request.

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is the fifth largest cathedral in the States built in a neo-gothic style. Inside, a large organ, decorated windows and pointed arches stand out. While visiting New Jersey in 1995, John Paul II celebrated mass giving the building the status of a cathedral.

3. Hoboken


This city of around 50,000 on the Hudson River features 19th-20th century buildings and some quaint cobblestone streets. One of his illustrious sons is the Italian-American singer and actor Frank Sinatra. Here the game of baseball was made official with the first game on 19 June 1846.

Washington Street is the main street of downtown with wide sidewalks and 19th century buildings housing bars, cafes, restaurants and shops. The most famous commercial establishment (where you can also attend a course) is Carlo's Bakery, managed by Buddy Valastro and his family, who became famous thanks to the “Il Boss delle torte” program.

Hudson River Waterfront Walkway: from Sinatra Drive the walkway overlooking the east bank of the river is perfect for admiring the Manhattan skyline, while the one to the west runs along green areas. The piers and parks give the opportunity to walk, fish, jog, cycle, sunbathe, dock boats and kayaks. The skate rink at Castle Point Skatepark is very busy.

The Hoboken Historical Museum offers visitors various exhibitions, curiosities and activities related to the history, culture and architecture of the city.

4. Jersey City


With about 265,000 inhabitants it is the second largest city in the state embraced by the Hudson River and Newark Bay.

Liberty State Park: from this green oasis you can appreciate the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. But that is not all; there are monuments, memorials, a play area and picnic pavilions. There is also the Liberty Walkway, a walkway overlooking Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty but also the Liberty State Center, an interactive science museum with its planetarium.

Colgate Clock near downtown and along the Hudson River, is a large advertising octagonal clock facing Manhattan.

5. Princeton


This city of around 30,000 inhabitants has historic districts and buildings. The most famous building is certainly its university, one of the oldest in the States. Inside is the Art Museum which houses ancient and contemporary works.

Drumthwacket: is the governor's residence.

Nassau Street is the main street of the downtown, where to capture the charm and essence of the city among shops and restaurants in historic buildings.

Palmer Square is in the heart of the city opposite Nassau Street and the university. It houses shops, restaurants, offices and homes.

Morven Museum & Garden: An 18th century mansion here was the governor's residence from 1953 to 1981, and inside you can breathe the culture of the state through exhibitions, educational programs and special events. Peonies, irises and dahlias are some of the flowers in the beautiful tree-lined garden.

Herrontown Woods Arboretum: pleasant walk among pines, oaks, bushes, red maples, swampy areas, flowers and a rich fauna skilled in not being noticed, including badgers, opossums, squirrels, marmots, turtles, gray foxes and seasonal birds.

Trinity Church: New Jersey's largest episcopal church founded in 1833 in the Greek style and completed in 1870 in the Gothic style.

Albert Einstein House is the house along Mercer Street where the scientist lived from 1936 to 1955. The residence is still private, well preserved, and not open to the public.

Princeton University is one of the most prestigious American universities.

6. Asbury Park


Although small in size, this town attracts with its white sand beach and the possibility of surfing, fishing and swimming. 8th Avenue Dog Beach is a year-round dog-friendly shoreline.

Boardwalk: Home to shops, restaurants, Asbury Splash water park, mini golf and the Silverball Museum Arcade. In the latter there are pinball machines and other video games of the past typical of an arcade. The great thing about this museum is that you can use them at no additional cost to the ticket.

New Jersey Hall of Fame is a museum that celebrates characters from New Jersey, past and present, who have left their mark in various fields.

7. Atlantic City


It is the most famous coastal city in New Jersey. The wide coastline of soft white sand (the best known beach is Atlantic City beach) attracts visitors who practice bodyboarding but gambling, inside the casino-resorts, is certainly the biggest attraction.

Even those who do not try their luck visit these gigantic structures for their particularities: Tropicana with the huge inner district (The Quarter) full of restaurants and shops, the sumptuous Caesars, the great architectural complex of Bally's and The Borgata with the coveted hall poker games and more than three thousand slot machines.

Boardwalk is an oceanfront walkway with hotels, shops, restaurants including Hard Rock Cafe and the bizarre Ripley's Believe it or not museum. Steel Pier: for over 300 meters it houses a funfair that attracts young and old with a Ferris wheel, lots of themed rides, souvenir shops and refreshment points. One of the must see citizens.

Absecon Lighthouse: overlooking Absecon Inlet, at 152 meters it is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey, and also one of the oldest in the nation. You can climb 228 steps to admire the Atlantic City skyline.

Curiosity: the creator of the American version of Monopoli was inspired by this city.

Nearby, in Margate City, the large Lucy the Elephant statue is a very unique creation that is spread over six floors to visit.

8. Ocean City


This small town on a strip of land overlooking Great Egg Harbor Bay has a large white sand beach ideal for swimming, surfing and paddleboarding.

Boardwalk is a walkway near the beach where you will find restaurants, shops, various mini golf, the Ocean City Waterpark summer water park and the Gillian's complex with Ferris wheel, carousel with horses and other attractions.

Ocean City Historical Museum “tells” the history of the city from its foundation in 1879 to the present day.

Asbury Avenue is an artery full of shops, restaurants and cafes located in the downtown between the beach and the bay.

9. Cape May


In the southernmost point of New Jersey, where Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, this country known for the Historic District has developed with one of the largest concentrations of Victorian buildings and homes in the States, mainly along Beach Avenue and Washington Street , a real roundup of this architectural style.

The protagonist is also the beach where it is possible to practice bodysurfing, surfing and swimming. Cape May Light is a 48-meter lighthouse from which you can enjoy the panorama of Cape May and its surroundings after climbing 199 steps.

10. Great Falls


To the north-east, in the city of Paterson, the Passaic River forms spectacular 23-meter-high waterfalls that drop into a 91-meter chasm. This spectacle is visible from Overlook Park, Mary Ellen Kramer Park and also from the footbridge over the gorge.

11. Delaware Water Gap


It is on the Pennsylvania border along the Delaware River through the Appalachian Mountains. In this natural area it is possible to swim, fish, climb, go rafting, cross-country skiing, canoeing and cycling. Among the various falls, Buttermilk Falls at 25 meters is one of the highest in New Jersey.

To reach the site it is necessary to follow a path of moderate difficulty but it is also possible to see them from the road. The flora is represented by pines, elms, maples, beeches, oaks, ash trees, birches and sycamores. While the fauna from black bears, gray foxes, squirrels, raccoons, trout, carp and sea bass.

12. Grounds for Sculpture


It is a park and museum in Hamilton, near Trenton. The location is dedicated to promoting and enhancing contemporary sculptures through the works of Seward Johnson, founder of Grounds for Sculpture, and other artists also of international origin. Many of Mr. Johnson's works belong to private collections and museums in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

The bronze statues by the New Jersey sculptor represent life-size people engaged in daily activities. Several sculptures, even larger ones, are inside galleries and in the garden; in this green area, among the various works, there is an arboretum with various pines, magnolias, maples, papayas, roses and ginko biloba.