This New York neighbor is the most densely populated state in the nation, but there’s still plenty of room for visitors to enjoy the state’s fantastic attractions. New Jersey has vacation options for every type of traveler from the resort goddess to the thrill seeker, and families too.
If your idea of a day off is kicking back on the beach, or strolling past luxury shopping centers, then the Jersey Shore has what you’re looking for. For those that want to have some playtime while they’re away from work, Atlantic City or Six Flags Great Adventure offer every amusement imaginable, perfect for young ones and those who feel youthful too.
The coastline made famous by the reality television show of the same name is called simply “the Shore” by residents.Geographically, the area called Jersey Shore covers 217 miles of the coastal area extending from Sandy Hook to Cape May. Within this area are 40 communities, many of which are popular vacation spots for visitors from neighboring states. Some of the most popular towns along the shore include Sandy Hook, Ashbury Park, Ocean Grove, Belmar, Point Pleasant Beach, Seaside Heights, Long Beach Island, Atlantic City, Ocean City, The Wildwoods, and Cape May.
Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park is located on Upper New York Bay in Jersey City, New Jersey, opposite Liberty Island and Ellis Island. The park opened in 1976 to coincide with bicentennial celebrations and is operated and maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry. Liberty State Park covers 1,212 acres. The main part of the park is bordered by water on three sides: on the north by the Morris Canal Big Basin and on the south and east by Upper New York Bay. The New Jersey Turnpike Newark Bay Extension marks its western perimeter.
Nicknamed “America’s Favorite Playground” Atlantic City is the east coast answer to Las Vegas. This internationally recognized resort city is home to casinos and it’s the perfect place for endless leisure and entertainment. In addition to enjoying the gambling and nightlife scenes in Atlantic City, the Boardwalk running along the beach to the city limit is also a popular destination. Along the one and half mile boardwalk are casinos, hotels, retail stores, restaurants and a variety of entertainment options.
Liberty Science Center
Liberty Science Center is an interactive science museum and learning center located in Liberty State Park in Jersey City. The Science Center houses 12 museum exhibition halls, a live animal collection with 110 species, giant aquariums, a 3D theater, the world’s largest IMAX Dome Theater, live simulcast surgeries, a tornado-force wind simulator, K-12 classrooms and labs, and teacher-development programs.
Cape May Lighthouse
Where the Delaware Bay meets the ocean is this famous cape and the city of Cape May a small town and popular resort destination. Like many of the Jersey Shore summer colonies, the population of the town explodes during the summer months. The Cape May beach was ranked fifth in a contest of the state’s best beaches and it was recognized by the Travel Channel for having one of America’s top 10 beaches, but the city is also known for its prime bird watching.
Top Things to Do in New Jersey
George Washington Bridge
This suspension bridge, commonly called the GW Bridge, spans the Hudson River connection a neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City to Fort Lee, New Jersey. The bridge represents one of the most important connections in the New York Metropolitan Area allowing commuters to travel to and from New York. Besides its important location, the bridge is notable for its massive capacity, with two levels, each with three or four lanes in each direction totaling 14 lanes for travel, giving it the greatest capacity of any bridge in the world.
Six Flags Great Adventure
The park is comprised of the thrill ride theme park, a safari, and water park. Like other popular theme parks, Six Flags features a variety of themed areas including pulse-pounding roller coasters to gentler options for children. Ride some of the fastest, tallest, wildest, rides in the country including a few record-breakers.Six Flags Great Adventure is the 510 acre ultimate thrill park.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
The small state of New Jersey might seem like its all beaches and theme parks, but it also has beautiful natural areas like this 70,000 acre recreation area along the Delaware River. The recreation area is located in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Several important sites in the park include notable farms, churches, waterfalls, and geologic features.
Great Falls National Park
The Great Falls of the Passaic River is a prominent waterfall, 77 feet high, on the Passaic River in the city of Paterson New Jersey. The falls and surrounding area are protected as part of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. The combination of height and volume make this one of the bigger waterfalls in this part of the country. The Falls are viewable from Haines Overlook Park on the south and Mary Ellen Kramer Park on the north. Drive-by viewing is available from McBride Avenue where it crosses the river just above the Falls. A footbridge over the Falls gorge also serves as an outlook point.
Adventure Aquarium is on the Camden Waterfront and features exhibits with more than 8,500 aquatic species throughout two million gallons of water. The Aquarium is home to the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, including the only great hammerhead shark on exhibit the only aquarium in the world to exhibit hippos, one of only six facilities in the US to have Little Blue penguins as permanent residents and exhibits the longest Shark Bridge in the world a unique V-shaped rope suspension bridge just inches over Shark Realm.
Things to Do in New Jersey
The small tightly packed state of New Jersey, tucked between some of America’s great metropolises is home to some of the East Coast’s top tourist destinations. While New Yorkers might joke about their neighboring state, on a sunny weekend or a long lazy summer take a cue from those same New Yorkers and head to this beach-lined, fun-filled state for a great time.