New Jersey is a small but vivacious state nestled in the shadows of New York City’s skyscrapers. One of the nation’s most mocked and belittled state is actually very interesting and unique. It’s been called the backroom of New York City usually by those who never get to know its rich nature and beautiful Atlantic coastline. There is plenty to see and experience in this hidden jewel, so let’s start.
1. Atlantic City
You can’t leave New Jersey without visiting the Atlantic City. One of the most well-known waterfront attractions is Boardwalk. It’s packed with amusement parks, cafes, restaurants, and of course people, tourists, and locals both. For decades, it’s been the favorite vacation spot for Jersians and New Yorkers with plenty of fishing and dolphin sightseeing cruises. However, gambling casinos are something that first comes to mind when mentioning Atlantic City. You’ll find some historic spots as well as some modern casinos and hotels. Check out the vast variety at njgamblingfun.com. For a relaxing afternoon consider visiting the Atlantic City Aquarium, or Absecon, New Jersey’s tallest lighthouse.
2. Ocean City
Eight miles of sandy beaches is what attracts more than a million people every year to spend their vacation in Ocean City. One of the best beaches on the Atlantic coast is home to around 10,000 people, but the place is buzzing all year round. With the Boardwalk being the only couple of miles away, many see it as the perfect vacation destination. In the summer months it can get crowded, so to access the beach special tags are required.
3. Six Flags
The famous amusement and adventure park are the biggest ones in the area. This one is so much more than a rollercoaster park. A Ferris wheel reaches 150 feet, parachute training center, and Safari Off-Road Adventure where you get to see over 1,000 wild animals. If you’re up for something more relaxing you can take a cable car ride across the park.
4. Spring Lake
In case you prefer more tranquilizing vacations, Spring Lake is the perfect location. It’s situated in the middle of the town, close to the Atlantic Ocean. Filled with trout it’s a paradise for recreational fishermen. Locals say that the boardwalk is the longest one in New Jersey, so check it out. A peaceful patch of the Atlantic shore is perfect for people looking for relaxing or a moderately active vacation with plenty of tennis courts and swimming pools.
Famous for the university, but this little town of 30,000 people has more to offer. Even though Trenton is the capital city, Princeton is where the governor’s office sits. Don’t miss visiting the home of the relativity theory creator, Albert Einstein, and Washington Oak famous for being the witness back in 1787 when the US constitution was signed. Suitably, this small town is also the headquarters for several Fortune 500 companies. There are guided tours in case you want to visit Princeton University, and it comes with many discount vouchers for local eateries.
This is one of the best vacation destinations for families. Wildwoods boardwalk is covering dozens of city blocks and is packed with amusement parks, restaurants, coffee shops, hundreds of rides, and live entertainment. Hotels offer many family weekend discounts where kids get to stay for free. For peace of mind, you can choose fishing, surfing, and sailing. A lot of fun is packed in this small coastal town, from luxury resorts to beach swimming pools, arcade games, and various sports and activities.
7. Cape May
For a piece of history visit Cape May. This quiet town offers many activities from sailing, fishing, and surfing, to tasting mouthwatering wineries or hitting an amazing golf course. Cape May County Zoo is perfect for a family day out. It’s a perfect spot for a romantic getaway, or a peaceful weekend to unwind. Whatever you choose, locals are super- friendly so feel free to ask them about their little quaint town and its activities.
8. Barnegat Lighthouse
Built in 1859 this historic spot is perfect if you’re looking to soak up a little of New Jersey history. 217 steps will take you to the top from where you can enjoy the views of Island Beach and Long Beach Island. In case you’re not willing to take the steps, you can still see the views via live feed. The surroundings are packed with forest reserve with hiking trails and bird watching activities. You can also enjoy fishing and surfing. The additional perk is that many restaurants are open round the clock and are pet friendly.
9. Paterson Great Falls
The Great Falls are the photographer’s paradise. Overlook Park will give you a birds-view of the magnificent falls. In case you want to capture the detailed spots sprayed in the mist of the falls, check out Mary Ellen Kramer Park. The tranquilizing spot is favorite among weekend vacationers, amateur and professional photographers, and families. Parks are closed in wintertime, so take advantage of warm weather to see this amazing tourist attraction.
10. Island Beach State Park
This state park stretches for 10 miles along the Atlantic coast. It may look calm and quiet but it’s actually bursting with activities. Home to many various birds like falcons, and fish, it’s a perfect location for bird-watching and saltwater fishing. Fun activities are endless – surfing, picnicking, horseback riding, canoeing, biking, and so on. Beach is also filled with local eateries and concession stands. True naturalist paradise where every minute will be fun-packed.
11. South Mountain Reservation
If you don’t see yourself sunbathing, surfing and want to avoid long lines and crowded spaces, South Mountain can offer you a dream vacation. Passaic river runs through the reservation giving you a feeling that you’re somewhere in deep wilderness. Hiking and biking trails are numerous and go on for miles. If you want to take a breather, there’s plenty of designated picnicking spots with tables and benches. A weekend is not enough to enjoy all the activities this place has to offer, so many tourists keep coming back every year.