New Jersey, a state which is located in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. The state of New York borders it on the east and north; the Atlantic Ocean borders it on the east, southeast, and south; the Delaware River and Pennsylvania border it on the west; and Delaware Bay and the state of Delaware border it on the southwest. New Jersey is the 5th smallest state based on land area and is 11th most populous and most densely populated. Its capital is Trenton, while the state’s most populous city is Newark.
New Jersey is home to many tourist attractions. From national parks and areas of magnificent natural beauty to fine museums and historical sites, New Jersey is certainly worth taking exploration.
A good place to start your adventure will be with the ‘Garden State’ which is along New Jersey’s Atlantic coast. Using any one of its many picturesque and attractive harbor towns or resorts as a jumping-off point, you can easily cover a variety of fun things to do in a very short time. On the other hand, you could even opt to use the entertainment hot spot of Atlantic city as a base to start exploring.
1. Best Things To Do In New Jersey
1.1. Six Flags Great Adventure
It is located in Central New Jersey. Six Flags is the most popular theme park in the garden state. Six Flags are filled with thrilling rides, perfect eateries, fun carnival games, and many more! But, beyond the roller coasters, the park also offers much more than that to do — including the kid-friendly sections for the youngest member of your family visiting.
Six Fags also pulls out all the stops and throws parades and other special events for holidays and also for special occasions. Around July, they also have their post-sunset fireworks show. And in October, the decor of the park changes to the Halloween theme, and guests are invited to enjoy FrightFest.
It also has two other adjoining parks (but separate admission is required). There is also the drive-thru Wild Safari, as well as the water park.
The ticket prices vary by season because of the different kinds of rides, activities, and events available. So, if you want to save some money then buy the tickets online as it will save you both time and money.
1.2. Liberty Science Center
The Liberty Science Center is loved by both adults and children. It is full of mesmeric, interactive exhibits where kids can explore the many angles of the world around them. Some local favorites are T-Rex Experience, Infinity Climber, and Dinosaur Dig.
One of the favorite parts liked almost by everyone is the Hoberman Sphere, located on the ceiling in the hallway. This fascinating sphere is one of the first things you will notice as you walk in. Watch it for sure, as it expands and contracts at random throughout your visit. And take your time to learn the history of its complicated design.
1.3. Adventure Aquarium
It is located in Southern New Jersey. Adventure Aquarium takes you on an exquisite journey into the aquatic world. Though its focus is on the younger audiences, if you are an animal lover, then for sure you’ll also love it.
One of the best and most notable features of this aquarium is its touch tanks. This specific feature lets you explore such animals as small sharks, starfish, and stingrays. You get to touch these pretty animals as they exquisitely swim past you.
In the Shark Kingdom, they even have a shark tunnel that can you can walk through. As you do, you see all the magnificent sharks and other sea life swimming right above your head. It is truly a beautiful sight that nobody would want to lose.
There are a few food vendors inside the cafeteria for burgers and fries, if you get hungry. A small cafe is also there to refuel your energy.
1.4. New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC): Watch A Live Show Downtown
If you want to catch a show while you’re in the Garden State, the NJPAC is where you want to be! NJPAC is New Jersey’s version of NYC’s Broadway.
It is located in this energetic downtown Newark. If you want to attend these live shows then plan and book ahead because NJPAC is among the most popular tourist attractions in Newark, even the locals living here are also waiting for these live shows. Shows also get sold out pretty quickly. They have shows like musical concerts, dances, and others.
1.5. Turtle Back Zoo
It is located in the city of West Orange. The Turtleback zoo is New Jersey’s answer to the ever-populated Bronx Zoo in New York.
The entrance fee is affordable, and it is truly one of the best zoos. As you walk in, you are welcomed by the zoo’s free-range peacocks that parade about everywhere you go.
One of the best things about this zoo is the little train that goes around it. You get a nice view of many parts of the zoo, and it helps you decide on what you might want to explore next.
1.6. The Escape Game @ American Dream
If you are interested in Escape Rooms, or just want to try, then you definitely should pay a visit to The Escape Game.
New Jersey has very few escape rooms to choose from, but The Escape Game has some extraordinary features that make it stand out from others. For one, their escape rooms are unique. They challenge your mind and are full of surprises. And just when you think you have figured it out, something news pops out. They take difficulty level up a mark as they challenge your mind- but in a very fun way!
The staff here is very helpful and funny too! Even if you are a pro at escape games, you definitely should check it out.
1.7. Atlantic City Boardwalk
The Atlantic City Boardwalk and its beaches are the most popular tourist attractions in New Jersey. People come from all over the world to take in the alluring views of the Atlantic Ocean as they enjoy a beach day and all the other fun things to do in the Atlantic city.
Additionally, Atlantic City has a lot of shopping places, and options for outdoor recreation, right on the boardwalk. While there is a beach too, it’s not one of the best New Jersey has to offer. The thrill here is in the shopping and the activities on the boardwalk.
1.8. Liberty State Park
One of the most well-liked parks in Jersey City is Liberty State Park. People come here for photo shoots because they find the area to be quite lovely.
From here you get a most beautiful view of the Hudson, as well as of the New York City skyline. Once home to the World Trade Center, you can now see the Freedom Tower standing tall and proud too. You can lay down a blanket on the grass and have a picnic as you face the Statue of Liberty standing tall and proud.
This area is also rich in history and is home to the Empty Sky Memorial. A perfect place to relax and do some casual sightseeing.
It has many areas and most are covered with waterfront views and some with playgrounds.
1.9. Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
If you love historical architecture, but still want to enjoy a day outdoors at the park, then you’ll surely love it here. The Lighthouse is open for about 4 hours on the weekends, so plan your visit accordingly.
From the top of Barnegat Lighthouse, you will catch a magnificent view of Island Beach and Barnegat Bay. And even if you not feeling up to climbing 217 steps, then no problem! There are cameras at the bottom that gives live views of the top.
Moreover, when you are not enjoying the Lighthouse views, you can also take advantage of the park’s other activities. Take a walk down the self-guided trail, go bird watching, and even go fishing. The park is a paradise for nature lovers.
1.10. New Jersey Botanical Gardens
If you are looking for a relaxing walk on a beautiful Spring day, then come visit the fragrant, floral blooms at New Jersey’s Botanical Garden. They even feature hiking trails for adventurous and outdoor pursuits. It is also a perfect thing to do in New Jersey with children, as kids love running through the grasses, along the woodland paths where they can encounter frogs and turtles.
Wonder at the beauty of nature as you see and touch the delicate flowers of the gardens. Satisfy yourself with the colors of the Lilac garden, and the aquatic environment of the Azalea garden on the reflecting pools.
1.11. New Jersey Festivals
Cherry Blossom Festival
Springtime means time for the Cherry Blossoms and their annual bloom! Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy one of the most floral festivals that New Jersey offers! Captivate the natural beauty of the cherry blossoms as they only bloom for a few weeks.
And of course, the event is free, but food vendors do charge. Enjoy the live music, arts & crafts, and the beauty of Cherry Blossoms.
The Cherry Blossom Festival, sometimes referred to as Bloomfest, takes place in Newark’s Branch Brook Park. Absolutely everyone can enjoy it. The best scenario here would be a flawless photo shoot.
Hot Air Balloon Festival
One of the best things to do in New Jersey is to relish the New Jersey Hot Air Balloon Festival! Everybody likes to grab only the opportunity to ride on this hot air balloon. You get to watch the beautiful sight of the city and the ocean.
The Festival of Ballooning is something for everyone. If you do not want to ride on the hot air balloon then no problem, just grab a bite to eat from one of the food vendors and watch the balloons take off.
Food Trucks Festival
Food trucks are favorite tourist attractions in New Jersey, so much so that events are held all over the state in honor of the food trucks.
Food truck events also feature cuisines from all over the world. You’ll get to enjoy here anything from classic American food to Asian food, to African Street Food – and everything in between! You can also enjoy some food trucks with unique confections such as fried ice cream, chocolate of different types, Japanese mochi, and much more. It is a dream come true for all food enthusiasts.
1.12. Museums and Culture
Newark Museum Of Art
It features both historical and contemporary art, which is truly not to be missed by any fans of art enthusiasts. The museum features American art, and also art from all over the world. It is one of the most popular art museums in New Jersey.
Throughout the year, they also offer educational programs for patrons of all ages. They also give you the option of guided or self-guided tours, so feel free to choose any.
Sterling Hill Mining Museum
The Sterling Hill Mining Museum shows you the world of a miner. There are various tours are available which will take you through the different museums.
The popular ones on the tour involve the Warren Museum of Fluorescence. Here you can touch the displayed designs. Why? Because they want to teach you about what exactly makes these minerals glow so beautifully.
If the weather is good enough to allow then Museum-goers can even go Sluicing. This activity allows patrons to get a bag of sand pre-loaded with hidden treasures that they can sift out, just like miners do! This is one of the most common tourist attractions because here you get to live like a miner.
Battleship New Jersey
This is also one of the most popular New Jersey tourist attractions, especially for those who are interested in war history. Battleship New Jersey features the USS New Jersey, which is an Iowa-class ship.
Into the USS New Jersey, you will get to know about the famous battleship’s rich history and its role in World War II. You’ll get to see how this Navy ship operated, and you can also have an overnight experience there too.
If you’re not into history, then just the experience of getting on a battleship and learning how it works.
1.13. Beaches In New Jersey
Point Pleasant Beach
The New Jersey shore remains one of the most popular tourist attractions. Jenkinson’s boardwalk is the most common of all beaches in Point Pleasant.
Spending summers here especially is one most amazing things you can experience. Go to the beach and enjoy a bath there. Then, before leaving, have some ice cream from the ice cream shop. You can also enjoy a picnic too.
Asbury Park Beach
Here you also need to stop at this beach as it is one of the must things to do in New Jersey. Asbury Park Beach is fun-filled beach time, it is complete with a boardwalk that has carnival games, and great food.
If you need a chair or umbrella then there are cash-only Beach Chair and Beach Umbrella rentals available for a nominal fee. So just grab a chair and sit back and enjoy!
Asbury Park beach requires a small fee for a beach badge because the lifeguards are on duty (from 9 am to 5 pm during the summer). After they’re off-duty, the beach is free to access – but at your own risk.
1.14. Food & Drink
Jersey Freeze makes one of the perfect and most creative ice cream confections in New Jersey. They serve some of the most amazing and delicious creations of ice cream which nowhere can be found in New Jersey.
They provide seasonal mixes like pumpkin pie made up of real pumpkins and tastes like heaven, and they release new flavors according to the seasons.
They also serve burgers and fries. Their burgers are also perfect – but the ice cream from here can never go wrong.
2. Best Time To Visit New Jersey
The best time to visit New Jersey is from April to November. Here, the springtime is most pleased with the sunny days, clear blue skies, and beautiful flowers emerging. Everything here starts to get warm in the springtime. Summer is the best time to visit the beaches along the shores and fall is truly amazing with plenty of brilliant autumn foliage.
New Jersey is a perfect place to visit throughout the year. Some people might not like the summer weather, so you come here during the winter season which starts in November and ends in March. But it is cold in New Jersey during these months.
There are also price fluctuations between July and August as it is crowded with tourists from all over the world. During this time, the prices are most high taking from airlines to room bookings, so plan accordingly.