Travel Tips

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50 BEST Things To Do in New Jersey (There's Something For Everyone!)

Explore the top 50 things to do in New Jersey for a perfect trip! From golden coastlines to vibrant cities, find family fun, history, and adventure.

Tobi Miles
September 12, 2022
50 BEST Things To Do in New Jersey (There's Something For Everyone!)

New Jersey often gets a bad rap for how reality shows and movies portray it. But this state has miles of golden coastline and a rich, diverse history. Even legends like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison proudly called this state "home."

New Jersey often gets overlooked by travelers who typically visit its neighboring states instead. But when you learn what the garden state offers, you’ll be surprised to discover that it has everything a traveler could want. From vibrant cities and quaint towns to seaside amusement piers and excellent restaurants – if New Jersey isn’t on your travel list, it should be.

Whether you’re spending just a weekend or a week in New Jersey, the experiences listed here will ensure you have plenty of fun and make lifelong memories.

1. Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Water Parks

Credit: Cape May

Map It: 3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260 | Phone: (609) 729-3700 | Website | Hours: Monday – Sunday 1:00 – 11:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Ocean Oasis $49.99, Raging Waters $51.99

Morey’s is the largest amusement pier in the world. It features over 100 rides and attractions and six restaurants. There are also two large beachfront waterparks attached to it. From kiddie to extreme thrill rides, there is something for every group here. It’s one of the best family-friendly spots in New Jersey.

Raging Waters or Ocean Oasis water park is the best place to be on a hot summer day. Adults can spend the day sipping frozen drinks in a private cabana at PigDog Beach while kids play in the shipwreck-themed pool.

Make sure to visit the boardwalk at night. It’s a truly magical sight with the rides lighting up the night sky. The amusement pier has all your carnival favorites – go-karts, tea cups, rollercoasters, a carousel, and more.

What you’ll need to know: It will cost you less to buy an unlimited ride band than to pay per ride.

2. Storybook Land

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: 6415 E Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234 | Phone: (609) 646-0103 | Website | Hours: Wednesday – Monday – 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Children over 3 and adults $30.95

Storybook Land has operated for 50 years as a prime entertainment and educational venue in southern New Jersey. This 20-acre park has a whimsical storybook theme and features larger-than-life characters and displays. It’s a timeless place that adults enjoy as much as the kids.

There are enough rides and attractions to keep your family busy for an entire day. Work your way through the maze of card soldiers in Alice’s wonderland, and take a spin on the whirly bugs. After a relaxing ride on the J&J Railroad, you can grab lunch from a real train caboose at the Caboose Café.

Remember that Storybook Land is closed in January and February each year for renovations.

What you’ll need to know: Your one-price admission will give you unlimited access to all of the park’s attractions. 

Related Read: 45 BEST Things To Do in Atlantic City, NJ

3. Six Flags Great Adventure


Map It: 1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson Township, NJ 08527 | Phone: (732) 928-2000 | Website | Hours: 10:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Gate price $99.99, Online price $74.99

Like its name, this theme park is an adventure for the entire family. There are over 100 rides, dozens of entertaining shows, and themed areas like Movietown, Fantasy Forest, and the Boardwalk. With 24 coasters, the park boasts one of the largest roller coaster collections in the world.

If you’re a thrill seeker, you don’t want to miss the Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom! It’s the tallest drop tower in the world at 415 feet high. You’ll feel as if you’re free falling as you drop at 90 mph. This ride is not for the faint of heart.

During the summer season, Six Flag’s Hurricane Harbor opens next door. This water park features exhilarating slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, and a section for younger kiddos. Hurricane Harbor requires separate admission from the amusement park, but I highly recommend doing both if you have the time.

What you’ll need to know: Save up to $25 by pre-purchasing your park tickets online.

4. Battleship New Jersey

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: 100 Clinton St., Camden, MI 08103  | Phone: (856) 966-1652 | Website | Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Self-guided tours $25, Guided tours $35, and Specialty tours $25 to $100.

If you want to experience part of New Jersey’s military history, plan a weekend outing to Battleship New Jersey. Climb aboard the world’s longest and fastest battleship. Weighing in at 45,000 tons, the vessel dominates the Delaware River.

After decades of tours, the battleship was decommissioned in 1991 and has been available to tour since its finally docking. Touring the vessel is an interactive experience that kids will even enjoy. You can climb ladders, navigate tricky passageways, and explore the ship’s decks. Make sure you snap a picture in front of the Battleship New Jersey to capture its magnificence.

What you’ll need to know: If you want to take a specialty tour, you must reserve your spot online prior to visiting.

5. Ricky Boscarino’s Luna Parc

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: 22 Degroat Rd., Sandyston, NJ 07827 | Phone: (973) 948-2160 | Website | Hours: Visits must be reserved | Admission Fee: Cost given when spot is reserved.

Artist Ricky Boscarino created Luna Parc in 1989 as a place for people to explore their creativity. This charming house is assembled from recycled trash and treasures. Its multi-colored façade is welcoming and looks like something straight from a storybook.

This attraction is only open a few days a week, and you need to reserve an appointment before you go. You can enjoy hands-on art activities and even learn art techniques from Boscarino. The park features an art gallery and museum where many shows and workshops are held.

If you’re interested in learning from one of New Jersey’s best artists, make sure to reserve your visit ahead of time.

What you’ll need to know: Check the website for event hours before visiting.

Related Read: 15 Best Hiking Trails in New Jersey

6. Thomas Edison National Historic Park


Map It: 211 Main St., West Orange, NJ 07052 | Phone: (973) 736-0550 | Website  | Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $15 and children 15 and under – free.

Thomas Edison’s home and two laboratory buildings have been fully preserved at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park. You can explore all three floors of the main laboratory, which includes his library, machine shops, music room, and more exhibits.

Within these buildings, Edison invented objects like the first batteries, primitive movie cameras, and even sound recorders. Tour guides will let you examine the labs and original objects Edison used up close. The tour also involves a film on his inventions, and a silent movie that Edison helped produce.

After touring the laboratory, you can walk through Edison’s impressive 29-room mansion. Home tours only take place on the weekends from April to December, and you must book ahead. Don’t miss this New Jersey staple!

What you’ll need to know: The laboratory is open year-round for tours, but the mansion is closed in January and February for refurbishment.

Related Read: 20 Free & Fun Things to Do in Edison, NJ

7. Imagine That! Museum

Credit: Fun New Jersey

Map It: 4 Vreeland Rd., Florham Park, NJ 07932 | Phone: (973) 966-8000 | Website | Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $6.99 and children 1 – 10 years old $ 21.99

Imagine That! is one of the best places to visit in New Jersey if you have young children. The museum has over 50 interactive exhibits to help young children explore the world around them. It’s a safe environment where kids can roam and let their imaginations run wild.

There is a diner that kids can pretend to cook in and a fire station with a mini fire truck to climb on! Other exhibits include an art room, dance studio, doctor’s office, princess castle, and a post office. Check out their special events page for character breakfast dates!

What you’ll need to know: Make sure to check the museum’s indoor admission ticket calendar for any delayed openings or early closings for private events.

8. The Newark Museum of Art

Credit: The Newark Museum of Art

Map It: 49 Washington St., Newark, NJ 07102 | Phone: (973) 596-6550 | Website | Hours: Thursday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $10 and children/ teachers/ students/ seniors 62+ $8

With art collections from all over the world, the Newark Museum of Art is a hub of culture. It’s New Jersey’s largest art museum and one of the best places in the state to visit. This year’s galleries include collections from Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Americas.

Beyond the displays, there are science exhibitions, a museum garden, and a creative play experience. The museum often holds special workshops, panels, and film screenings, so make sure to check out the event’s calendar when planning your visit!

What you’ll need to know: All guests must reserve tickets online as there are no on-site ticket sales.

9. Old Barracks Museum

Credit: Old Barracks Museum

Map It: 101 Barrack St., Trenton, NJ 08608 | Phone: (609) 396-1776 | Website | Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 – 5:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $10 and students/ seniors 62+ $8

For more New Jersey history, the Old Barracks Museum takes visitors back to colonial times. It’s open year-round, and lets visitors experience the way of life back then. If you’re a history buff, you’ll love the Revolutionary War reenactments.

Tour the barracks and see where British soldiers were housed during the Revolutionary War. Some of the museum’s exhibits include the Battle of Trenton, World War I, and the Anti-Suffrage Movement.

What you’ll need to know: The museum is located in the New Jersey State Capitol Complex. Free parking is available in the Capitol Complex parking garage.

10. Caesars Atlantic City Casino

Credit: Atlantic City Hotel Experts

Map It: 2100 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 | Phone: (609) 348-4411 | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Free

Best known for its high-end casinos, Atlantic City is one of the top resort areas in New Jersey. Caesars has the largest gaming area in the state, measuring 124,720 square feet. The venue has a massive theater at which big-named celebrities like Adele have residency.

The casino is situated right on the Atlantic City boardwalk and offers more than 3,000 slot machines. If you’re looking for a luxurious hotel, Caesars offers contemporary accommodations. It also has extensive leisure opportunities, with a spa, indoor shopping center, and a rooftop pool.

What you’ll need to know: Sign up for Caesars Rewards to earn rewards on every dollar spent in the casino, hotel, and restaurants.

Related Read: 25 Best Romantic Getaways in New Jersey

11. Cape May & Cape May Lighthouse

Credit: Country Living Primitives

Map It: 215 Lighthouse Ave., Cape May, NJ 08204  | Phone: (609) 224-6066 | Website | Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $12 and children 3 – 12 $8.00

Cape May is an iconic resort town at the southern tip of New Jersey. The town earned its reputation as a trendy, wealthy destination in the 18th century as the aristocracy always visited it.

Situated on the Delaware Bay, Cape May’s beaches and Victorian-style homes attract many tourists. One of the town’s best features is the Cape May Lighthouse. More than 2.5 million visitors have climbed to the top since its opening in 1988.

The lighthouse is located in Cape May Point State Park and serves as a reminder of New Jersey’s maritime legacy. While visiting, you can peak into the Oil House, which contains the visitor center and a gift shop. There are also family-friendly programs like story time, and full moon climbs.

What you’ll need to know: Buy your tickets online so you don’t have to stand in line.

12. Liberty State Park

Credit: Visit NJ

Map It: 200 Morris Pesin Dr., Jersey City, NJ 07305  | Phone: (201) 915-3403 | Website Hours: 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free

With the city’s skyline views, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island in the background, it’s easy to see why Liberty State Park is a place you should put on your travel list. This 36-acre park is perfect for a weekend adventure.

There are so many different places to explore within the park. One is the Historic Central Railroad of New Jersey terminal, which served millions of immigrants who came through Ellis Island. There is also the Hudson River Estuary, a natural area consisting of salt marshes.

Another one of the park’s popular attractions is the Empty Sky Memorial. These twin walls give a clear, direct view of Ground Zero. Each wall is the length of the former World Trade Center towers. 749 names of new Jersey victims are etched on the stainless-steel walls in remembrance.

What you’ll need to know: You can access Ellis Island and Liberty Science Center from Liberty State Park.

13. Wildwood Beach

Credit: 101.5 NJ

Map It: Wildwood Crest, NJ 08260  | Phone: (609) 522-3825 | Website Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Free

Wildwood Beach has been named the “Best Beach in New Jersey” by USA Today. This five-mile stretch of white sand offers plenty of room for summer activities. You’ll see beach-goers surfing, boogie-boarding, and building sand castles.

There are even designated areas for dogs to enjoy the sun and water. The beach hosts special events like monster truck racing sand sculpting contests, and kite festivals throughout the season. Enjoy all of the activities, play in the calm waters, and work on your tan.

Don’t miss the Wildwood’s Boardwalk nearby! It offers 38 blocks of shops, restaurants, and over 100 amusement rides.

What you’ll need to know: Check the website’s event calendar for special events and concerts.

14. Insectropolis

Credit: WPST

Map It: 1761 US-9, Toms River, NJ 08755 | Phone: (732) 349 – 7090 | Website | Hours: Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: $10, ages 2 and under – free

If you’ve never been to a bugseum, Insectropolis is a great first experience. It’s a fun and unique experience that intrigues visitors of all ages. You can view thousands of exotic insects from all over the world.

Kids can pretend their termites and climb through the mud tubes. You can also get up close to observe a busy bee hive and learn about why preserving bees is crucial. And there are daily touch presentations where you have the chance to touch insects like tarantulas, millipedes, and hissing cockroaches.

What you’ll need to know: During the school year, the bugseum’s hours change to weekends only.

15. Turtle Back Zoo


Map It: 560 Northfield Ave., West Orange, NJ 07052  | Phone: (973) 731-5800 | Website | Hours: Friday - Monday – 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday – Thursday – 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $17.00 and children 2 – 12 $14

Another fun spot for the whole family is Turtle Back Zoo. If you’re looking for a wildlife experience in northern New Jersey, this place is a treat. The zoo thrives on preserving wildlife, while educating and enriching its visitors’ experience.

Situated on 15 acres at the foot of a mountain, Turtle Back Zoo boasts nearly a thousand animals and 200 different species. The zoo’s other attractions include boating, mini golf, pony rides, and a dinosaur playground.

Turtle Back Zoo is one of Jersey’s best-loved attractions, and visitors of all ages will enjoy a day here.

What you’ll need to know: Visit the website for information on exhibit closures and ticketing for general admission.

16. Island Beach State Park

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: 2401 Central Ave., Seaside Park, NJ  | Phone: (732) 793-0506 | Website | Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Monday – Friday $12.00 and weekends/ holidays - $20.00

Island Beach has the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Barnegat Bay on the other. It’s one of the quietest, most peaceful places in New Jersey. If you arrive in the early morning, you will find long stretches of shoreline that you can have all to yourself.

The park is divided into thirds. There are preserved natural areas, with trails and kayak and fishing access. There is also a recreational area and then the swimming beach. The swimming beach has lifeguards, two bathhouse pavilions, and concession stands.

On the Barnegat Bay side, there is a water entrance where hundreds of boats anchor in the shallow water during high season. It’s one giant floating party.

What you’ll need to know: Check the park’s website to stay up-to-date on ocean advisories and more.

17. Atlantic City Boardwalk and Beach


Map It: Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401  | Phone: (609) 93-8656 | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Free

Atlantic City has been called the adult’s playground, with its many casinos, bars, and thriving nightlife. It’s situated on the beautiful Atlantic Ocean coast and has many of New Jersey’s best resorts. Although Atlantic City has a lot of adult attractions, don’t count it out for family fun; it’s one of the top things to do in Jersey.

The boardwalk has exclusive and local shops, five-star restaurants and vendor booths. There are also rides, music venues, and tourist shops. Don’t forget to grab some of New Jersey’s famous saltwater taffy and handmade fudge while you’re there.

18. Ellis Island

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: Jersey City, NJ | Phone: (212) 363-3200 | Website Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $24 and children $12

Don’t settle for views of Ellis Island when you can tour the historic site. The island is a historical landmark that served as an entry port for millions of immigrants. You can take a short ferry ride from Liberty State Park to access this striking piece of history.

Ellis Island features one of New York’s most majestic buildings. The building was meant to be a symbol of America’s grandiosity and was able to accommodate 5,000 people per day. It now houses the immigration museum, where all the names of the port’s travelers have been recorded.

What you’ll need to know: To get to Ellis Island, you need to purchase a ferry ticket though Statue Cruises online.

19. Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum

Credit: NAS Wildwood Aviation Museum

Map It: Cape May Airport, 500 Forrestal Rd, Cape May, NJ 08204  | Phone: (609) 886-8787 |
Website | Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $14 and children 3-12 $10

The NAS Wildwood Aviation Museum is located inside a former World War II hanger. It was used as a training facility in the 1940’s for dive bombers to practice. After the war, the building was used for charter flights until 1990 when it began falling into disrepair.

In 1997, a doctor and his wife bought the 92,000 square foot building for $1, and completely restored it into a museum. There are dozens of historic planes, helicopters, and WWII memorabilia. Check out all of the other 1940s artifacts, like the retro soda machines.

What you’ll need to know: The museum is closed on Saturday and Sunday from December to March each year.

20. Princeton University Art Museum


Map It: Elm Drive, Princeton, NJ 08544  | Phone: (609) 258-3788 | Website | Hours: Tuesday – Sunday – 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Free

Princeton’s historic campus is a sight to see. Founded in 1756, the university consists of 1,600 acres of beautiful grounds. One of the campus’s best features is the university’s art museum.

This culturally rich museum is full of curated collections, exhibits, and daily shows. Some of the current collections include “Landscapes of the Mind,” “Picasso Prints,” and “Women Artists and Abstractions.”

Beyond these sophisticated collections, the museum also hosts artist talks, special guest lectures, and live art shows. There is truly something for everyone here. Not only is the Princeton University Art Museum a fun place to visit during your stay in New Jersey, but an enriching one too.

What you’ll need to know: Check the website’s ongoing calendar for dates of live programs.

21. Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park

Credit: NJMom

Map It: 72 McBride Ave., Paterson, NJ 07501  | Phone: (973) 523-0370 | Website | Hours: 6:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free

The breathtaking Paterson Great Falls waterfall looms at a whopping 77 feet high. It pours up to an impressive two billion gallons a day. Standing next to this 300-foot-wide wonder will make you feel tiny!

If you’re in a rush and don’t have much time to spend in the park, you can park on Maple Street, which is adjacent to the Falls. It’s the perfect spot to feel the water spray and to snap a selfie. If you have time to spare, there are many areas surrounding the waterfall to have a picnic.

If you want an insider’s view, reserve a ranger-led tour. Your children can become junior park rangers for the day. They will learn about the park’s history and receive a fun badge for participating. If you want to do a tour, be sure to book online at least two weeks ahead of your travel date.

What you’ll need to know: Check the park’s website for safety advisories before visiting.

22. Cape May County Park & Zoo

Credit: NJ Southern Shore

Map It: 707 US-9 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210  | Phone: (609) 465-5271 | Website | Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free

Take a long, scenic drive down the Garden State Parkway to the famous Cape May County Park & Zoo. This non-profit organization operates solely on the generosity of donations from visitors. It’s a well-kept and interactive zoo that spares no attraction.

You can take an African safari to see zebras and giraffes and check out the impressive bald eagle exhibit. There are many animal encounters where you can see smaller reptiles and insects up close and even hold them if you’re brave enough!

To make your visit even more memorable, you can book a private guided tour to see behind the scenes. You’ll learn how the animals are cared for and get to observe feedings. The zoo also has many picnic areas, concession stands, and playgrounds to enjoy.

What you’ll need to know: The park is free, but donations are accepted and help to take care of the zoo’s many animals.

23. Sterling Hill Mining Museum

Credit: Jersey's Best

Map It: 30 Plant St., Ogdensburg, NJ 07439 | Phone: (973) 209- 7212 | Website | Hours: Reservations for tours can be made between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $13 and children 4-12 - $10

If you’re looking for a novel place to visit in Jersey, the Sterling Hill Mine is a fun place to visit. A guide will take you through the old iron and zinc tunnels to learn about mining history.

You’ll learn about the equipment and techniques used to mine zinc and iron and hear about the harsh conditions that workers faced. The museum has also preserved artifacts from the mine’s operating days in the 1830s.

One of the mine’s most-loved exhibits is the “Rainbow Tunnel.” The illuminating rock and crystal walls are a great delight to view. Keep in mind that the mine is damp and cold, so dress comfortably and bring a jacket.

What you’ll need to know: Wear comfortable walking shoes to help you navigate walking through the mine.

24. Liberty Science Center

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: 222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07305 | Phone: (201) 200-1000 | Website Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $29.99 and children 2-12 $24.99

The Liberty Science Center, located in northern New Jersey, is the ultimate interactive museum for families. It’s home to many permanent exhibits and always features several traveling ones.

A visitor favorite is the “Skyscraper” on the first floor. You can dress up as a construction worker, and play around with a mini excavator and crane to build a skyscraper. There are two other floors to explore with exhibits on animals, ships, and experiments.

After exploring the museum’s exhibits, relax and watch a film about science, nature, or technology at the IMAX. The center is home to the world’s largest IMAX screen. It’s 88 feet long! This isn’t your typical children’s museum; even teens and adults enjoy the hands-on activities.

What you’ll need to know: Purchasing tickets online is recommended, as tickets may not be available on site.

25. The Adventure Aquarium

Credit: Youtube

Map It: 1 Riverside Dr., Camden, NJ 08103 | Phone: (844) 474-3474 | Website | Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Adults $26.99 and children 2-12 $18.99

The Adventure Aquarium, located on the Delaware River, is a favorite summer activity for many in New Jersey. This two-million-gallon aquarium is home to 8,000 marine species. There is a massive collection of sharks, sting rays, turtles, and penguins.

The aquarium is one of the top aquatic teaching facilities in the country. If you have children who are aspiring marine biologists, the Adventure Aquarium is the place to check out. The aquarium also boasts the distinction of being the world’s only aquarium featuring hippos.

What you’ll need to know: The aquarium strongly encourages reservations up to 45 days pior to your planned visit.

26. Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

Credit: New York New Jersey Trail Council

Map It: 208 Broadway, Barnegat Light, NJ 08006 | Phone: (609) 494-2016 | Website | Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free

If you’re planning to spend any time at the beach while in New Jersey, consider spending some time at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. The lighthouse, named Old Barney, is located on the tip of Long Beach Island, where the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay meet.

The picturesque beach is the perfect place to picnic, collect seashells, swim, and snap Instagram-worthy shots. You can climb the 217 steps to the top of the lighthouse to enjoy the scenic views.

If you’re wondering where to visit on your New Jersey trip, the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is a great place to visit, no matter the season.

What you’ll need to know: There is a $3 fee to climb the lighthouse.

27. Grounds for Sculpture

Credit: Grounds for Sculpture

Map It: 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619 | Phone: (609) 586-0616 | Website | Hours: Monday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Friday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $20.00 and students 6-17 $10.00

Art and nature come together for a fulfilling experience at Grounds for Sculpture. This 45-acre park has over 300 artistic sculptures from local and international artists. You can spend a relaxing afternoon walking through the arboretum and impeccably kept gardens.

The Grounds for Sculpture organization fosters up-and-coming artists and often features events where you can meet aspiring sculptors. To create an enchanting atmosphere, the board also constantly adds hardscaping features to the grounds like bridges, patios, and pergolas.

In the evening, you can eat at Rat’s, a delectable restaurant located in the gardens. It has a romantic atmosphere and is warm and inviting. It’s perfect for a date night.

What you’ll need to know: Entry to the grounds is by advance timed ticket. Capacity is limited, so you must reserve your spot ahead of time.

28. Deep Cut Gardens

Credit: Get Outside NJ

Map It: 152 Red Hill Rd., Middletown, NJ 07748 | Phone: (732) 842-4000 | Website | Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free

Deep Cut Gardens features 54 acres of gardens and greenhouses. The park is one of New Jersey’s most family-friendly, historical, and idyllic places. It is the horticultural heart of the Monmouth County Parks System.

Most people aren’t aware that mobster Vito Genovese purchased the property in 1935 and designed it to remind him of Naples, his home country. He constructed a pseudo-Italian rock garden, cascading pools surrounded by weeping hemlocks, and a small-scale replica of Mount Vesuvius.

After a short walk from the garden’s entrance, you’ll encounter a large pond stocked with dozens of koi fish. There are many spots to sit in the shade and enjoy watching the fish swim. The garden is one of the loveliest spots to spend the day in.

What you’ll need to know: Check out the events calendar for some of the garden’s special activities.

29. Winding Creek Alpaca Farm

Credit: NJMom

Map It: 1148 Somers Point Rd., Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234 | Phone: (609) 760-8566 | 
Website | Hours: Appointments only | Admission Fee: Price given upon booking

If you want to meet alpacas up close, visit Winding Creek Alpaca Farm in Egg Harbor. The farm opened in 2013, and is now home to 22 huacaya alpacas, and a dozen mini donkeys. Their herd descends from some of the finest lineage in the country.

Owners Mike and Sheri von Fischer open their doors to their 22-acre farm to visitors. They enjoy educating the public and sharing their happy, friendly animals with others. You’ll learn about what it takes to raise and care for alpacas when you spend a day at Winding Creek.

What you’ll need to know: Visits to the farm are by appointment only.

30. Nickelodeon Universe – American Dream

Map It: 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073 | Phone: (833) 263-7326 | Website | Hours: Monday - Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Non-peak days $49.99 and peak days $59.99 – 89.99

After two decades of construction, Nickelodeon Universe finally opened its doors in 2019. It’s the country’s largest indoor theme park. It’s impressive how many attractions the developers were able to fit in this 8.5-acre park.

American Dream has a fun atmosphere, with a glass ceiling, bright colors everywhere, and lots of noise. There are a total of 35 rides and attractions, which will keep the entire family busy for a day. You can also catch many of your favorite characters like the Ninja Turtles, Paw Patrol characters, and SpongeBob walking throughout the park.

From calm rides like Dora’s Sky Railway to the thrilling Skyline Scream, there is something for every age group to enjoy.

What you’ll need to know: You must walk through the American Dream Mall to get to the amusement park.

31. Hoboken Historical Museum

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: 1301 Hudson St., Hoboken, NJ 07030 | Phone: (201) 656-2240 | Website | Hours: Tuesdays – Sundays 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $5

Hoboken has a lot of charm, with its mix of the historical past and contemporary updates. The city’s rich history is preserved and celebrated at the Hoboken Historical Museum. Located in the former Bethlehem Steel Machine Shop, locals refer to it as the “shipyard.”

The museum opened in 1986. It has a dozen exhibits on the city’s history and frequently provides tours, lectures, and film screenings to educate the community. It also hosts a collection of artifacts and documents that reveal the town’s cultural heritage.

One of the coolest features is the self-guided walking tour. Pick up a map from the front desk, and follow the highlighted path to observe the museum’s best exhibits.

What you’ll need to know: On-street parking is hard to come by. Visit the museum’s website for parking guidelines.

32. The Chateau Grande Hotel (East Brunswick)

Credit: The Knot

Map It: 670 Cranbury Rd., East Brunswick, NJ 08816 | Phone: (732) 724-4600 | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Free

The Chateau Grande Hotel is one of New Jersey’s few French-style country estates. It’s about a half-hour from Princeton and an hour from lower Manhattan. The hotel is set on 15 acres of lush and luxurious parkland.

None of the rooms are smaller than 300-square feet. The suites are spacious, and most feature a full kitchen, dining area, and verandas. The grounds and buildings are so picturesque that the Chateau has become a popular wedding venue.

If you’re looking for an elegant hotel in New Jersey, the Chateau Grande Hotel in East Brunswick is a top choice. You must book several months in advance to lock in the best nightly rates.

What you’ll need to know: There are three dining options at the hotel, and reservations are strongly recommended.

33. Molly Pitcher Inn

Credit: The Molly Pitcher Inn

Map It: 88 Riverside Ave., Red Bank, NJ 07701 | Phone: (732) 747-2500 | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Free

Most people think of Jersey Shore when it comes to waterfront destinations in New Jersey. But Red Bank is one of the state’s best-kept secrets. The Red Bank Hotel’s Molly Pitcher Inn is a waterfront hotel located on the banks of the Navesink River.

It’s only 25 miles from the John F. Kennedy International Airport. It offers a marina for those who want to explore the river. And an outdoor pool for those who would rather stay put to relax. There are many activities to choose from as guests can schedule massages, horse riding lessons, and sailing lessons.

The hotel’s dining room is a popular Jersey restaurant, known for its excellent views and seafood cuisine. Try their bloody Mary oyster shooters and famous seafood pot pie.

What you’ll need to know: Book your room six months in advance for the best rate and accommodations.

34. The Ocean House in Spring Lake

Credit: The Ocean House

Map It: 102 Sussex Ave., Spring Lake, NJ 07762 | Phone: (732) 449-9090 | Website | Hours: 24/7 | Admission Fee: Free

If you’re looking for a place to stay in New Jersey, The Ocean House is one of the state’s nicest retreats. Built in 1876, the hotel is one of the largest remaining hotels in Spring Lake. It’s wrap around porch presents old world charm, while the inside is full of modern-day amenities.

From the porch’s rocking chairs, you can feel the breeze coming off the Atlantic Ocean. There are complimentary bicycles you can take to explore Spring Lake, and each morning of your stay you will be provided with a free, hot breakfast.

The Ocean House is centrally located between the historic village and beach. You can easily access the town’s local restaurants, and walk down to the beach for evening strolls. It’s the perfect place to unwind, relax, and recharge.

What you’ll need to know: A deposit is required to book your reservation, and cancellations must be made one week prior to your arrival.

35. Cellar 335 in Jersey City

Credit: Cellar 335

Map It: 335 Newark Ave., Jersey City, NJ 07302 | Phone: (201) 222-1422 | Website | Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Free

Cellar 335 is a unique eatery, located in the basement of White Eagle Hall concert venue. It’s a modern Asian and tropical-themed restaurant. It’s an ideal place for dining with friends and family who like to share dishes.

Some of the restaurant’s top dishes include spicy cornbread, maple chipotle Korean-style wings, and drunken chicken noodles. There are also several appetizers that come served in tiny cast iron skillets.

The Cellar is also known for its specialty cocktails like Zombie Priest Punch, and Purple Tribe. It’s a fun, chill place to relax and unwind.

What you’ll need to know: Make a reservation as this hot spot fills up quickly, especially on weekends.

36. The Frog and the Peach

Credit: The Frog and the Peach

Map It: 29 Dennis St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901 | Phone: (732) 846-3216 | Website | Hours: Varies - Check Website | Admission Fee: Free

The Frog and the Peach has been serving patrons in New Brunswick since 1983. The restaurant is located in an old industrial building, which was originally used as a printing press for a local newspaper.

World-renowned chef, Bruce Lefebvre, purchased the restaurant in 2012. He has stayed true to New Jersey’s authenticity, and uses a farm-to-table approach to highlight Jersey’s agricultural and fishing industries.

The Frog and the Peach has been named New Jersey’s Best “All Around” Restaurant, and one of “America’s Top Tables” by the Zagat Survey.

What you’ll need to know: Reserve your table in advance to ensure you get in.

37. Grape Expectations

Credit: Fun New Jersey

Map It: 25 Kearney St., Bridgewater Township, NJ 08807 | Phone: (732) 764-9463 | Website | Hours: By appointment only | Admission Fee: Varies

If you’ve ever wanted to make your own wine, you have the opportunity to do so at Grape Expectations in New Jersey. This winery has the most inviting atmosphere and provides a hands-on experience throughout the entire winemaking process.

You will get to do everything from crushing and pressing the grapes to bottling the wine. You even get to choose from select California, Italian, or South American grapes to make the wine taste exactly as you like.

Award-winning winemakers from all over the world will assist you during the process, and give insight on different methods and techniques.

What you’ll need to know: Call ahead of your trip to book your spot.

38. iPlay America

Credit: iPlay America

Map It: 110 Schanck Rd., Freehold, NJ 07728 | Phone: (732) 577-8200 | Website | Hours: Wednesday - Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Unlimited band $39.99

If you’re looking for an exciting place to spend an evening with the family, iPlay America is a top pick. It’s an indoor boardwalk arcade, with nearly four acres of games, rides, and attractions. There are over 250 of today’s best games to play!

You can also race your family members on go-karts and battle in the two-story laser tag arena. There’s also a 4-D movie theater that provides a multi-sensory experience.

iPlay America offers a variety of foods at the Game Time Grill, and a front row seat to all sport games in the Topgolf Swing Suite.

What you’ll need to know: It’s very crowded on the weekends, so plan accordingly to avoid peak times.

39. High Point State Park

Credit: Youtube

Map It: 1480 NJ-23, Sussex, NJ 07461 | Phone: (973) 875-4800 | Website | Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Free

New Jersey is full of state parks to explore, but High Point State Park is the state’s highest elevation park. If you enjoy hiking, this is the best park to visit. Some of the hiking trails even loop back through New York.

Check out the blue dot trail, which will bring you past two lakes and amazing vistas. The Appalachian trail intersects this route, and will really get your blood pumping.

Other hiking trails include the Monument Trail Loop, High Point Summit, and White Cedar Swamp Trail.

What you’ll need to know: Some of the trails are meant for advanced hikers only. Pay attention to park signage.

40. Tuckerton Seaport Museum

Credit: Tuckerton Seaport

Map It: 120 W Main St., Tuckerton, NJ 08087 | Phone: (609) 296-8868 | Website | Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: Ages 2+ $12.50

Tuckerton Seaport has evolved into a maritime village. The seaport includes 17 historic buildings connected by a boardwalk over 40 acres. The museum is located along historic Tuckerton Creek.

There is so much to do and see at the museum. A forest surrounds the museum and features nature trails through the wetlands. Exhibits include two houseboats, a decoy gallery, a boat building workshop, and more.

Bring the entire family and spend the day exploring and meeting people who live, work, and play along the Barnegat Bay.

What you’ll need to know: With so many things to do and see, planning your day to Seaport ahead of time will help you make the most of your time.

41. Lakota Wolf Preserve

Credit: Flickr, RickyNJ

Map It: 89 Mt. Pleasant Rd., Columbia, NJ 07832 | Phone: (908) 496-9244 | Website | Hours: 10:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. tour times | Admission Fee: Adults $15 and children 11 and under $7

The Lakota Wolf Preserve is home to wolves, bobcats, and foxes. You must make a reservation to attend one of the daily wolf watches. By visiting the preserve, you get the once in a lifetime chance to experience packs of Timber and Arctic wolves.

When you arrive, you will be taken into the observation area in the center of four packs of wolves. Guides will give talks on how to raise and care for wolves. You will also learn about the social structure of wolf packs, and how they interact with humans.

It’s a magical experience that you can only have in a few places in the entire country.

What you’ll need to know: A reservation must be made to attend a wolf watch.

42. Diggerland USA

Credit: Jersey's Best

Map It: 100 Pinedge Dr., West Berlin, NJ 08091 | Phone: (856) 768-1110 | Website | Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: $45.95

Diggerland USA is the ultimate construction-themed paradise. The amusement park spans 21-acres, and is the only theme park of its kind in the country. Kids get the opportunity to operate bulldozers, backhoes, and tractors.

The “Mini Dig” teaches kids how to use an excavator to unearth buried treasure. There are also obstacle courses, extreme bowling, an arcade, and bumper cars.

After working up a sweat, you can cool off at Diggerland’s new waterpark. Visitors can swim and slide across two acres of construction-themed splash pads and slides.

What you’ll need to know: There are height restrictions on many attractions. Check guidelines to help plan your visit.

43. Lucy the Elephant

Credit: Wikipedia

Map It: 9200 Atlantic Ave., Margate City, NJ 08402 | Phone: (609) 823-6473 | Website | Hours: Sunday – Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Friday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $8.50 and children 3-12 $4.00

The only place in the world where you can see a 65-foot-high wooden elephant is in Margate, New Jersey. Lucy the Elephant is a National Historical Monument and was built to attract homeowners to the area in the 1880s.

Lucy is a fully functional, six-story building and is 134 years old. She’s been used as a real estate office, a hotel, a summer home, and even a tavern. Now, it’s a popular tourist spot, where visitors can tour the inside.

For a small admission fee, tourists can enter the elephant by climbing the spiral staircase next to her legs. At the top, you’ll have a breathtaking view of the city and the Atlantic Ocean.

What you’ll need to know: Arrive early before opening time to avoid long lines and crowds.

44. Museum of American Glass

Credit: Top Brunch Spots

Map It: 1501 Glasstown Rd., Millville, NJ 08332 | Phone: (800) 998-4552 | Website | Hours: Thursday – Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $12.00 and students $7

Southern New Jersey is referred to as the “Cradle of American Glass.” Glass factories have been operating here for over 200 years because the soil has a lot of silica, which is melted to make glass.

The Wheaton family, owners of Wheaton Glass Industries, opened the Museum of American Glass in the 1960s. The museum is now the largest glass museum in the world, with over 6,500 items on display.

You can view the world’s largest glass bottle, which stands eight inches tall, and holds 188 gallons. Another famous piece in the collection is a child’s coffin made entirely of glass. It’s one of two glass coffins in the world that are unoccupied.

What you’ll need to know: Check the events calendar for glassblowing and artist demonstrations.

45. The Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market

Credit: The Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market

Map It: 81 Hamilton Ave., Trenton, NJ 08611 | Phone: N/A | Website | Hours: See EVENTS page on their website for announced dates | Admission Fee: Free

The Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market is only held three times a year, and has become popular with vintage enthusiasts everywhere. It’s held in the historic Roebling Wire Works building, and is kid and dog friendly.

The flea market now has over 300 high-quality vendors, who make unique and handmade products. It’s a fun filled day with a dozen food trucks, special performances, and sometimes even celebrities make an appearance.

If you’re in New Jersey when the flea market takes place, you don’t want to miss it. The Huffington Post named it as the best flea market in America.

What you’ll need to know: Flea market dates will be announced several months ahead of time on their website.

46. Land of Make Believe and Pirate’s Cove

Credit: NJ Family

Map It: 354 Great Meadows Rd. – Rt. 611, Hope, NJ 07844 | Phone: (908) 459-9000 | Website | Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. seven days a week | Admission Fee: $32.83

Everyone feels like a kid again when they visit the Land of Make Believe in Hope Township. Formerly a dairy farm, the land was converted into an amusement park in 1954. There are over 30 acres of kid-friendly rides.

In addition to the rides, you can visit Santa’s Barn year-round to see what Santa and his reindeer are up to. After that, you can swing by Old MacDonald’s farm. It’s a petting zoo with dozens of farm animals to touch and take pictures with.

If you visit during the warm weather months, you can also get admission to Pirate’s Cove waterpark.

What you’ll need to know: There are height restrictions on some of the rides and attractions.

47. Yankee Doodle Tap Room

Credit Visit Princeton

Map It: 10 Palmer Square East, Princeton, NJ 08542 | Phone: (609) 688-2600 | Website | Hours: Varies - Check website | Admission Fee: Free

The Yankee Doodle Tap Room is located at the Nassau Inn. Locals and tourists have enjoyed the atmosphere, food, and drinks for over 75 years. Additionally, the Tap Room is home to Norman Rockwell’s oldest and largest mural.

If you have the chance to visit, order the award-winning Princetonian Burger. There are 22 beers on tap to choose from! Check out the photos on the walls to see some of Princeton’s most distinguished alums.

The tap room serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. And if you travel during any major holidays, check out the website for special holiday buffets.

What you’ll need to know: Advance reservations are recommended to get a seat.

48. The Spy House


Map It: 719 Port Monmouth Rd., Port Monmouth, NJ 07758 | Phone: (732) 787-3033 | Website | Hours: Sunday 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Free

The Spy House in Middletown is the most haunted house in America. Historians, psychics, and mediums have said the building’s energy is off the charts. No one has been able to tolerate staying a night here.

Built in 1648, the Spy House was a tavern that British troops frequently visited. Soldiers would drink too much and tell the innkeeper, Thomas Seabrook, all of their war plans. Afterwards, Seabrook would tell all of the secrets he had learned to the continental army.

Visitors have reported strange noises, unexplained sightings, and power surges. The Spy House is a fun and creepy spot to visit if you’re brave enough!

What you’ll need to know: This attraction may not be suitable for children under the age of 16.

49. Greenwood Gardens

Credit: The New York Times

Map It: 274 Old Short Hills Rd., Short Hills, NJ 07078 | Phone: (973) 258-4026 | Website | Hours: Friday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Adults $15 and children 3-12 $5

Greenwood Gardens is a 28-acre landscape steeped in history, horticulture, and family. From the magnificent summerhouse to the croquet lawn, you can feel how this property has been loved for decades.

Greenwood is a magical playground of spaces. It first belonged to self-made millionaire Joseph Day, who sought a retreat from the pace of New York. He had a 28-room Italianate villa built, along with a formal garden.

You can walk through the garden’s vistas, pavilions, and hidden spaces constructed by architect William Whetten Renwick. The most interesting structure is the two-story teahouse that looks like something from a fairy tale. It features cobble-stone floors, and its walls are full of Rockwood seashells.

What you’ll need to know: Arriving to the garden at opening time will give you enough time to see all of the garden’s features.

50. Whippany Railway Museum

Credit: Heritage Rail Alliance

Map It: 1 Railroad Plaza, Whippany, NJ 07981 | Phone: (973) 887-8177 | Website | Hours: Sunday 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. | Admission Fee: Free

The Whippany Railroad Museum has preserved New Jersey’s railroad history. There are different pieces of railroad equipment throughout the museum’s grounds. They are on display for visitors to see and appreciate.

Inside the museum, there is a model train that children can interact with. And there are hundreds of railroad memorabilia, like drawings, photographs, models, and more. Special excursion train rides take place throughout the year.

What you’ll need to know: Tickets for train rides are available for pre-purchase online.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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