Although it’s the fifth-smallest state by land mass, New Jersey ranks 11 in population. The state is also impossible to dismiss as it boasts some of the most unique attractions in the nation, beautiful and diverse landscapes, and world-class cities.
The Garden State is like the kid who sits at the big table. It wouldn’t take much exploring to see why New Jersey is a treasure trove of natural beauty, history, entertainment, and rich culture.
If you’re up for an N.J. adventure, buckle up as we take you through some of the state’s best and top-rated places to see.
1. Delaware Water Gap
A New Jersey trip can’t be complete without seeing and experiencing the Delaware Water Gap.
The park, officially known as the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, covers thousands of acres at the border between New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The park’s most striking feature is the 40-mile stretch of the Delaware River, cutting through breathtaking, forested hills.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the park offers hiking, paddling, swimming, fishing, sightseeing, and hunting opportunities. A hike to the various vistas will reward nature lovers with some of the most picturesque views in New Jersey.
2. Atlantic City Boardwalk
Americans love boardwalks. They are the epitome of merrymaking on a hot summer day.
Out of the many boardwalks adorning the beaches in various U.S. states, Atlantic City Boardwalk is one of the best, ranked second by CNN.
While the seaside resort city is popular for many things, including the glitzy fashion and entertainment scene, the boardwalk is a unique attraction by itself.
You definitely want to stroll the four-mile length of the historic landmark. Constructed in the 1800s, the boardwalk has become a top attraction in the state.
3. Cape May
Cape May is a one-of-a-kind seaside city on the shores of the Atlantic south of New Jersey.
You will have no trouble finding seaside towns with beautiful beaches, promenades, and eclectic shops. But finding one that seems to have jumped straight out of a Jane Austen book will be tough.
The history of Cape May dates back to the 10th century when it served as a vacation hotspot for the wealthy.
Today, what attracts tourists in droves isn’t just the pristine beaches but the Victorian-styled holiday homes spread throughout the historic district.
4. Long Beach Island
You’ve probably heard many movie references to Long Beach Island and wish to see the jewel of eastern New Jersey.
You won’t be disappointed because the tiny island has some of the best sites to explore in the Garden State.
The Barnegat Bay is a must-see as it is home to the iconic Barnegat Lighthouse, a perfect spot for a memorable photo. It’s also the site of many shipwrecks, and you’ll love the history.
Fun lovers will appreciate the resorts, the amusement parks, and the township’s popular water activities: surfing, kayaking, and swimming.
5. Liberty State Park
Nestled within the Jersey City high-rise is Liberty State Park, a 1200-acre park offering some of the most stunning views and attractions in the state.
You’ll be presented with breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline rising above the glistening waters of the Hudson River.
Stroll along the Liberty Walk promenade and check out the historic Central Railroad Terminal before visiting the Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial.
6. Cedar Grove
An adventure around the Garden State has to include stops at one or two quaint towns with close-knit communities and long-standing traditions.
Cedar Grove is one such place.
The laidback suburb lifestyle, coupled with various attractions within the township’s boundary, makes Cedar Grove an ideal community to explore, especially if you’re considering places to live in New Jersey.
Stunning and picturesque sites worth exploring are the Vleck House & Gardens, Verona Park, Eagle Rock Reservation, and the Mills Reservation.
Hike the trails at the Mills Reservation to the breathtaking vistas popular with cannabis lovers. Since the legalization of adult-use and medical marijuana in New Jersey, a number of places have popped up where weed lovers chill and enjoy.
The Garden State has a unique charm that makes it an enticing destination for many. It offers a wholesome experience, from historic sites and rich culture to bustling cities and breathtaking landscapes.
While the hidden gems are fantastic, you’ll equally appreciate New Jersey’s best and most heavily-trafficked places.