The Jersey Shore is famous all over the world for its quiet towns and sandy beaches, while Atlantic City is notorious for its glamorous nightlife and glitzy casinos like the Borgata. Yet there is much more to discover in New Jersey. Located within easy reach of both Philadelphia and New York, the Garden State boasts an impressively diverse landscape, which couldn’t be further from the hustle and bustle of city life. There are historical and natural attractions galore to explore and uncover when you take a trip to this East Coast destination. So, what should you see and do during your stay? Here’s your New Jersey travel guide to help you plan your visit.
If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, lying back and chilling out on the sands, there’s no better place to head to than one of New Jersey’s sandy bays. Island Beach State Park remains an undeveloped barrier beach with its own 1214-hectare park offering swimming, bird watching, hiking trails and educational programs for all the family.
Discover traditional resort towns
Cape May and Seaside Heights are both popular resort towns that are visited by tourists all through the year for their fishing piers, boardwalks and countless events and activities. These destinations have been famous for their varied attractions and laid-back pace of life since the 19th century, and are still going strong today. If you have a late outbound flight and you desire a final trip out on your last day, leave your luggage with your hotel or LuggageHero and make the most of those last hours by visiting one of these picturesque towns.
Enjoy amazing nightlife
Atlantic City is a world-famous hot spot for lively nightlife. The beachfront boardwalk is well known for its hotels, shops, and casinos and you can eat, drink and dance the night away along its four-mile length. The glitzy hotels here have their own glamorous restaurants and bars where you can tuck into a tasty meal and sip a cocktail, while the casinos are the ideal place to have a flutter.
If you’d like to add a little extra education to your trip to New Jersey, there’s no shortage of attractions to visit. You can combine your passions for history and art at the Morris Museum or Newark Museum, or discover the skies at the New Jersey Statement Museum and Planetarium.
Try activities and sports
Do you prefer to stay active during your vacation? That’s no problem when you visit the Garden State. As you might imagine, thanks to the varied landscapes, you can enjoy all kinds of sporting activities from skiing in winter on Mahwah’s Campgaw Mountain to surfing at Atlantic City. Whether you love fishing, parasailing, hiking, horse riding or golfing, there are opportunities galore in New Jersey.
Entertain the kids
The children are sure to be entertained easily when you visit New Jersey on holiday. There are plenty of attractions that have been designed with the little ones in mind, from the fairy tale themed Storybook Land amusement park to the family-friendly rides at Atlantic City’s Steel Pier. Or why not get up close and personal to marine life at the Atlantic City Aquarium?
Get close to the Big Apple
If you’d like to see the landmarks of the Big Apple without having to actually visit New York, Liberty State Park is the spot for you. Overlooking Ellis Island and Liberty Island, this state park covers over 1000 waterside acres and boasts stunning views along with plenty of recreational facilities as well as memorials to the 9/11 tragedy and the Holocaust.
Get closer to nature
Head to the Delaware Water Gap national recreation area to get closer to nature in over 70,000 acres of spectacular scenery. There are two visitor centres here, one of which boasts its own reconstruction of a community from the 1800s with traditional craft displays. You can access the Appalachian Trail from the Kittatinny Point Visitor Center or visit the 10,000-year-old settlement at the Minisink Archaeological Site.
Princeton may be a small town, but it has an international reputation thanks to its world-renowned university. Set up in the 1700s, this school has grounds that extend for 1,600 acres and you can take a guided student-run tour to explore them to the fullest. You can also visit the Princeton Battlefield State Park, the historic site of the 1777 battle which saw Washington win a victory over the British.
Visit the Clarke House Museum, which was once a hospital, and its memorials that mark the graves of both American and British soldiers. While you’re in New Jersey, you should take the time to visit the Battleship New Jersey, the most decorated vessel in the US Navy. This floating museum is moored up on the Delaware River and has guided tours where you can find out more about the history of this Iowa-class ship which was first launched in 1942.
There are displays and exhibits of artefacts that relate to the vessel’s involvement in conflicts from the Second World War to the Middle East and you can even visit the bridge from which the Pacific Fleet was commanded by Admiral Halsey.
Indulge in your passion for art
Head to the Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, a 42-acre sculpture park and museum which was established in the early 1990s to encourage more people to appreciate contemporary sculpture. It is now one of the top art exhibits in the state with 270 huge works by US artists including Seward Johnson. Alternatively, head to the Jersey City Museum where you’ll find a collection of over 300 paintings together with historical artefacts from this region. The Newark Museum is also a great spot to visit with over 80 galleries that contain American sculptures, decorative arts, and paintings.
Learn about science
Whether you’re travelling with the kids or not, the Liberty Science Center is a fun attraction for all ages. This interactive museum has many hands-on exhibits that relate to technology and science. You can watch shows in the planetarium and see laser shows and films which will truly envelop you as well as visit the 3D theatre where you can watch immersive films about nature, technology, and science. Some of the best interactive exhibits include the pixel art wall and Infinity Climber and you can watch education presentations like the animal encounter, lightning show, and sea creature touch tank.
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