Although New Jersey is one of the smallest states in the US, it is home to many first-rate tourist attractions. From national parks to gorgeous beaches to the iconic Liberty Science Center, New Jersey is a state that is well worth taking the time to explore.
Here are the best five places to visit in New Jersey.
1. BEAUTIFUL BEACHES
New Jersey’s crown jewel is its 130 miles of coastline, spanning from Sandy Hook to Cape May. The beaches boast beautiful islands and bays dotted with majestic lighthouses, fishing villages and scenic views.
Located on the southern tip of New Jersey, Cape May is known for its colorful 19th-century architecture, oceanfront dining options, and beautiful beaches while also offering three miles of coastline.
Visitors can plan for a beachfront picnic, play some volleyball at Second Avenue Beach, or simply enjoy a day of relaxation. Although Cape May is a little more than a two hour drive from MTHS, the beach is definitely worth the drive.
Another stunning beach located in New Jersey is Ocean City. The beach is home to a two mile boardwalk that is sprinkled with amusement park rides, restaurants and more. The beach is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Great Egg Harbor Bay on the other, allowing for an array of activities that range from surf lessons to boat cruises.
Asbury Park is also ranked as one of the top beaches of New Jersey, not only because of its beach views, but also because of its downtown area.
Asbury Park Beach is a great place to shop, dine, stroll the boardwalk, or enjoy the beach and surf. Meanwhile, the city has a wonderful downtown mixed with restaurants, art galleries, antique and retail shops. The best part of the area is that it is only a 45 minute drive from MTHS.
Moving north from the beaches, one will come across the town of Princeton, a famous historical town that is known not only for its Ivy League university, but also its abundance of attractions for everyone.
Nestled in the heart of downtown Princeton, Palmer Square is a treasure trove of shops, restaurants and a variety of things to do. Stroll the tree-shaded sidewalks and take in charming colonial architecture complemented by modern elements.
Freshmen Erizel Platon said, “I absolutely love Palmer Square. Palmer Square in Princeton is in the style of a European town square, with ancient buildings and brick roads.”
Palmer Square also holds a variety of shops for every type of visitor, including clothing shops such as Urban Outfitters and Ralph Lauren, to art galleries such as the Cranbury Station Gallery.
The lively square also boasts unique restaurants and cafes such as Halo Pub, which is a creamery, or bakeries like Chez Alice Gourmet Cafe & Bakery.
If one wants to stimulate his or her creative side, Palmer Square also offers one-of-a-kind art. There are regular paint parties that are held in the Cranbury Station Gallery for all to enjoy.
Throughout the year, one can also find great musicians playing on The Green in Palmer Square. Grab your lunch in the Square and enjoy the melodies on select weekends year-round!
3. LIBERTY SCIENCE CENTER
Next on the list is the Liberty Science Center. The 300,000 square foot center is an interactive science museum and learning center located in Liberty State Park in Jersey City in Hudson County, New Jersey.
The center, which first opened in 1993 as New Jersey’s first major state science museum, has a multitude of science exhibits. It is also one of the largest and most technologically advanced planetariums in the world.
The Liberty Science Center offers multiple exhibitions to learn about all different types of science in an interactive way right here in New Jersey.
A popular exhibition the Touch Tunnel where guests crawl through a pitch-black 80-foot tunnel. Exploring an unknown environment in the dark makes you realize how much we rely on sight to move through the world.
The Dream Machine is another astounding exhibit that makes the Liberty Science Center such a renowned place. In this exhibit, visitors explore different emotions in this interactive, sensory adventure. The Dream Machine uses bicycle pumps to produce combinations of colors, sounds, and scents.
4. SIX FLAGS
After one is finished exploring the wonders of science, Six Flags Great Adventure is the place to go.
The largest amusement park in NJ is truly a great adventure for the whole family. The 550 acre park features over a 100 rides, shows, and special events.
There are a wide variety of themes established in the park such as a Frontier Adventure, Fantasy Forest and Movietown theme.
The amusement park includes thriller rides such as King da Ka, which is the world’s tallest roller coaster, and Zumanjaro, which is the world’s tallest drop tower.
Junior Shreya Shah said, “I love Six Flags. You can be there for a whole day and still not be done with all the rides. The rides are always a thrill to go on, and the park is a quick drive away. I visit so much that I always make sure to get a season pass.”
If scary rides are not for you, do not worry – Six Flags has other rides such as the carousel or Ferris Wheel, which can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
5. State Parks
Most visitors do not associate New Jersey with state parks, but not many know New Jersey has 36 state parks and 13 state forests. State parks are a perfect getaway to wilderness and should definitely be on your to-do list.
A must-see state park is the High Point State Park located in Sussex County. High Point is part of a nine mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail and is the highest geographic point of New Jersey. Standing on a hill, one can see New Jersey to the East, New York State to the north, and the Delaware River and Pennsylvania to the west. The park is also home to Lake Marcia, which includes a serene beach surrounded by scenery.
The Delaware Water Gap is another must-see. It is not officially a state park, but it might as well be. The recreational area has over four million visitors a year and straddles New Jersey and Pennsylvania with the Delaware River cutting through the middle of the park. On the southern end is Worthington State Forest, and scattered all over are waterfalls such as Buttermilk Falls, Silver Thread Falls, and Dingman’s Falls. One can hike Mount Tammany for a stunning lookout point over the river or rent a tube and float on the Delaware for the day.
Ultimately, with so many distinct places and experiences, New Jersey is well worth taking the time to explore, and it is definitely the place to be.
What is your favorite place in New Jersey and why?