New Jersey, affectionately known as the Garden State, is a treasure trove of diverse experiences waiting to be discovered.
From the bustling boardwalks of Atlantic City to the tranquil beauty of the state parks, New Jersey offers a unique blend of urban excitement and natural serenity.
This isn’t your typical tourist guide; this is a journey into the heart of New Jersey, filled with local secrets, offbeat attractions, and a healthy dose of humor.
So buckle up, because we’re about to dive into 17 must-do experiences in New Jersey.
In this article...
1. Revel in the Glitz and Glamour of Atlantic City
Atlantic City is like the Las Vegas of the East Coast, but with a beach. It’s a place where you can try your luck at the casinos, stroll along the iconic boardwalk, or simply soak up the sun on the sandy beaches.
And if you’re a fan of live entertainment, the city’s vibrant nightlife is sure to impress. For more details on what to do in Atlantic City, check out our Atlantic City guide.
2. Explore the Grounds for Sculpture
Art lovers, this one’s for you. The Grounds for Sculpture is a 42-acre sculpture park and museum that offers a unique blend of art and nature.
With its beautifully landscaped gardens and impressive collection of contemporary sculptures, it’s a place where art comes to life in the most unexpected ways.
3. Take a Stroll on the Ocean City Boardwalk
The Ocean City Boardwalk is a classic American boardwalk, complete with amusement parks, mini-golf courses, and plenty of food stalls serving everything from fresh seafood to cotton candy.
It’s a place where you can let your inner child run wild, whether that means riding the Ferris wheel, challenging your friends to a game of skee-ball, or simply enjoying the ocean views.
4. Visit the Cape May Lighthouse
Standing tall at the southern tip of New Jersey, the Cape May Lighthouse offers stunning panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. It’s a must-visit for history buffs and nature lovers alike.
And while you’re in the area, don’t forget to explore the charming seaside town of Cape May, known for its Victorian architecture and beautiful beaches.
For more on Cape May, check out our Cape May guide.
5. Discover the Wild Side of New Jersey at the Cape May County Park & Zoo
Who knew that New Jersey was home to giraffes, lions, and monkeys? The Cape May County Park & Zoo is a hidden gem that offers a world-class zoo experience at no cost (yes, admission is free!).
It’s a great place for a family outing, with plenty of picnic areas, playgrounds, and walking trails to explore.
6. Experience History at Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park offers breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Manhattan skyline.
But it’s more than just a scenic spot; it’s a place steeped in history.
The park is home to the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, a hub that was once bustling with immigrants arriving in the United States.
7. Get Your Adrenaline Rush at Six Flags Great Adventure
For thrill-seekers, no visit to New Jersey would be complete without a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure.
Home to some of the most exhilarating roller coasters in the country, this amusement park is sure to get your heart racing.
And if you’re a fan of wildlife, don’t miss the park’s Safari Off Road Adventure, where you can come face-to-face with over 1,200 animals from six continents.
8. Visit the Jersey Shore Alpacas
If you’re looking for a unique and heartwarming experience, head to Jersey Shore Alpacas.
This friendly, family-run farm offers the chance to feed and interact with their adorable alpacas.
It’s a hit with visitors of all ages and a great way to enjoy New Jersey’s rural charm.
9. Explore the Lakota Wolf Preserve
For a truly wild experience, visit the Lakota Wolf Preserve, home to packs of wolves living in a natural environment.
Guided tours offer the chance to learn about these fascinating creatures, observe them up close, and even hear them howl.
10. Take a Scenic Cruise
New Jersey’s coastline offers plenty of opportunities for scenic cruises.
Whether you opt for a sightseeing cruise around the Statue of Liberty, a whale and dolphin watching trip from Cape May, or a sunset sail along the coast, you’re in for a treat.
11. Go on a Self-Guided Tour
New Jersey is a state that rewards exploration.
Consider going on a self-guided tour, whether that means following a hiking trail through a state park, taking a leisurely bike ride along the coast, or embarking on a city scavenger hunt.
12. Visit a Local Farm
New Jersey is known as the Garden State for a reason.
Visit a local farm to pick your own fruits and vegetables, sample homemade jams and jellies, or simply enjoy the peaceful countryside.
13. Explore the State’s Rich History
New Jersey’s history dates back to the colonial era, and there are plenty of historic sites to explore.
From Revolutionary War battlefields to grand Gilded Age estates, these sites offer a fascinating glimpse into the past.
14. Enjoy the State’s Diverse Cuisine
New Jersey’s diverse cuisine is a reflection of its multicultural population.
From Italian hoagies and diner food to fresh seafood and farm-to-table fare, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
15. Attend a Local Festival
New Jersey hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and art to food and wine.
These events are a great way to experience the local culture.
16. Visit a Winery or Brewery
New Jersey’s wineries and breweries are gaining recognition for their quality products.
Take a tour, enjoy a tasting, and bring home a bottle or two as a souvenir.
17. Enjoy the Great Outdoors
With its beautiful beaches, lush forests, and scenic hiking trails, New Jersey offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Whether you enjoy surfing, bird-watching, or simply relaxing in the sun, you’ll find plenty to do in the Garden State.
From its vibrant cities to its peaceful countryside, New Jersey is a state of contrasts, offering a wealth of experiences to suit every traveler.
So whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, you’re sure to find something to love in the Garden State.
And remember, this is just the beginning.
There’s so much more to discover in New Jersey, so why not start planning your next adventure?
For more insights and tips on traveling in the USA, don’t forget to check out our other guides on visitusaguide.com. Whether you’re planning to explore the historic sites of Boston or the vibrant music scene of Nashville, we’ve got you covered. Safe travels!