People often associate the state of New Jersey with American singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen or the MTV series Jersey Shore. But don’t worry if that’s not your thing—this East Coast state has plenty to offer every sort of tourist!
The ideal location for your next trip is New Jersey, which offers visitors everything from stunning secluded woods to oceanside boardwalks.
This list of the top 18 things to do in New Jersey is the result of significant research we conducted to provide you with a broad range of activities that will help you make the most of your stay in this Northeastern state.
The activities on this list will guarantee that, whether you’re staying in New Jersey for a weekend or a week, you have a great time and get the most out of your trip to the Garden State.
1. Visit Sandy Hook
There are more than simply beaches in this hidden treasure. There are several locations, like the historic Fort Hancock, to visit in addition to the miles of sandy beachfront and a nudist beach.
Sandy Hook Beach in Middletown Township is the perfect destination for a day of outdoor recreation surrounded by nature.
Between each beach, there are well-kept routes for walking and bicycling that are paved with yellow lines to assist guide traffic north and south.
Adventure beckons for both ardent bikers and gentle family riders with miles to explore from the park’s entry up to the end of the peninsula.
Do you desire to have fun on the water? To access Sandy Hook Kayaks, go to Beach C Bayside Lot C. There, you can hire anything from stand-up paddleboards to one- or two-person kayaks.
They also give classes, so don’t be concerned if you need assistance. Inflatable island rentals with room for seats and a cooler are now available from Sandy Hook Kayaks as well.
2. Asbury Park
In Monmouth County, New Jersey, there is a beach that welcomes dogs. It is renowned for its expansive boardwalk, which is flanked on each side by busy shops and the shallow waves of the Atlantic.
You may take a stroll down the boardwalk while admiring the lovely artwork, try surfing in the sea or bring a tent and a cooler to enjoy the Atlantic Ocean vista.
Right near the boardwalk, there are several eateries, pubs, and food stands. There are several art galleries and lodging options along the shore as well.
Right along the shore, there is a conference center and a tiny children’s amusement park called Asbury Splash Park.
Lifeguards and the beach are open from 9 am to 5 pm. There are rental options for beach lockers, chairs, and umbrellas. Parking is charged and you need the ParkMobile App to purchase a spot.
3. Jenkinson’s Aquarium
The goal of this indoor establishment is to educate the public about the preservation and diverse facets of marine life.
The aquarium houses a wide range of aquatic creatures, including Atlantic Sharks, coral reef fish, and local fish.
In the Pine Barrens section, there are turtles, frogs, and even an owl. The Rainforest area is home to parrots and monkeys. Along with them, there are touch tanks, harbor seals, and African penguins.
You must also view the penguin webcam on the aquarium’s website.
4. Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
This amazing National Wildlife Refuge protects wetlands and coastal ecosystems on more than 47,000 acres in southern New Jersey.
From Brick Township to its southernmost point, which is five miles north of Atlantic City, the refuge stretches 50 miles along the shore. On the sanctuary, at least 322 different bird species have been seen.
The refuge is accessible from at least ten different points. The Wildlife Dr. in the Brigantine Division is the most well-liked location to see birds. You go along this eight-mile, one-way, gravel route amid marshes and forests.
For viewing birds, there are two observation towers and one observation deck with spotting scopes.
There are four hiking routes as well. In the spring and autumn, watch for amazing concentrations of migrating water birds as they rest and stay in areas designed for them by refugees.
The Wildlife Dr. and its related footpaths are accessible for a charge. Registration is open for guided activities for school groups.
5. Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
One of the most important “change of course” sites for coastal boats was considered to be the location of Barnegat Lighthouse, which is located on the northernmost point of Long Beach Island in Ocean County.
Even the most skilled sailors had difficulty navigating the choppy currents, changing sandbars, and offshore shoals. The Barnegat Lighthouse was essential for guiding ships traveling to and from New York along the New Jersey coast away from the shoals that extended from the shore.
The park is included on the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail as a marine site.
During the spring and autumn migrations, Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is a fantastic place to see many different bird species.
Observing wintering birds like harlequin ducks, common eiders, and red-breasted mergansers is another fantastic activity in the park. In the winter, the park offers several waterfowl-watching events.
On the beach next to the park, a program run by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife fences off crucial nesting grounds for a season. In addition to offering possibilities for observation, this offers protection for certain endangered beach breeding species.
6. Get Lost Inside Island Beach State Park
This 10-mile-long, slender barrier island, which lies between the turbulent Atlantic Ocean and the famed Barnegat Bay, is shaped by storms and tides.
Numerous miles of dunes and white sandy beaches provide an environment that is virtually identical to that which existed thousands of years ago for marine plants and a variety of fauna.
Outstanding examples of many plant groups, including main dunes, thicket, freshwater wetlands, maritime woodland, and tidal marshes, may be found at Island Beach State Park.
Here you may find the biggest osprey colony in the state, along with wading birds, shorebirds, ducks, and migratory songbirds.
With over 400 plants documented, including the greatest stretches of beach heather in New Jersey, Island Beach is recognized on a national scale as a special resource.
Fishing, swimming, sunbathing, and surfing are among the available activities.
7. Belmar Parasail
Imagine floating comfortably 500 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, admiring the spectacular panorama of the Jersey Shore shoreline. Treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the skies while you’re on vacation in Belmar, New Jersey, at Belmar Parasail.
Parasailing is a pleasant summertime pastime that doesn’t need any specific equipment or prior expertise. You lift off and land softly and safely on the boat after the crew makes sure you are securely fastened in. You may choose to dangle your feet in the water (or not).
8. Visit Ocean City
One of the most well-liked vacation spots on the New Jersey coast is Ocean City. Every member of the family may enjoy Ocean City’s attractions.
Eight miles of beaches along the Jersey shoreline make Ocean City famous. The island in New Jersey is notable for its immaculate white beaches and thriving bay area.
Ocean City offers a range of things for you and your family to enjoy during your visit, from relaxing on the beach to fishing in the bay or shopping downtown.
From the final week in June until the end of the summer, lifeguards are on duty at the beaches to ensure that you and your family have a fun, safe, and enjoyable time at the shore.
Since Ocean City is well-known for being “America’s Greatest Family Resort,” hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the beach each summer to take advantage of all the city has to offer.
9. James Candy Co.
James Candy Co. is the firm that produces the well-known Fralinger’s saltwater taffy from the Jersey Shore.
The 1880-founded confectionery company in Atlantic City has a long history of taffies that are linked to the seaside. In addition to Wildwood, Cape May, and Ocean City, it has 11 retail sites.
Bayard’s Chocolates, which was founded in 1939 and has shops in Cherry Hill and Cinnaminson, is another business owned by the same entity.
10. Casino Pier & Breakwater Beach
Children, families, adventurers, and boardwalk adrenaline seekers are all welcome at Casino Pier.
Visit our amusement park, which is set on a typical Jersey Shore pier, and stroll among the many rides we have to offer.
With a variety of rides, nice seaside breezes, and a breathtaking view, the Casino Pier amusement park provides something for everyone, whether you want to bring your family to enjoy the attractions for the first time or you are a frequent visitor.
With one of the biggest interactive play areas on the North Atlantic Coast, Breakwater Beach is a cutting-edge water park that provides its visitors with a fun and memorable family outing.
11. Enjoy Some Delectable Seafood
Every summer, visitors swarm to the Jersey Shore eager to load up on the region’s wonderful, fresh seafood. Here, fishing is a booming business, and Viking Village on Long Beach Island is well-known for its excellent catches.
Pay attention to the residents and annual tourists to learn about the top seafood restaurants on Long Beach Island. The greatest seafood you’ve ever had will soon be available for ordering!
When traveling somewhere new, it’s common wisdom to “go where the natives go.” This is the distinction between picking tourist-oriented locations that are generic and expensive and experiencing a location fully.
You can’t go wrong following local suggestions if you want to dine at the top seafood establishments on Long Beach Island.
12. Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum
NASW, which was founded in April 1943, served as a training facility for plunge squadrons throughout the Second World War.
At present, an aircraft museum has been created out of a restored Hangar, which is home to a variety of planes, engines, unique exhibitions, and dynamic exhibits that are informative.
The gallery offers “hands-on,” entertaining, and informative experiences for the whole family that allow the legacy of WWII, New Jersey, and aircraft for tourists to learn about!
13. Cape May County Park & Zoo
The Central Park of Cape May County has both the zoo and the park, which together occupy roughly 220 acres, at 707 Route 9 North, where the zoo is situated.
Near 85 acres of displays, more than 550 animals from 250 species may be seen at Cape May County Park & Zoo in New Jersey.
Also available in the zoo are a train ride and a carousel. Visitors may travel the whole length of the zoo on the trackless railway. Instead of the usual horses on typical carousels, the carousel includes zoo animals as riding seats.
Barring inclement weather, the zoo is open every day except Christmas. Admission is free all year long.
14. Historic Cold Spring Village
A living history museum that is accessible to the public, Historic Cold Spring Village (HCSV) welcomes everyone who visits to discover inspiration, purpose, and enjoyment in learning about the past of southern New Jersey.
The museum operates as a non-profit educational institution from spring through summer.
A recreation of a rural Southern New Jersey hamlet from the “homespun period” spread over more than 30 acres serves as the focal point of the museum.
15. Cape May Whale Watcher
Several activities are provided aboard the fleet of Cape May Whale Watcher. You’ll go on a 3-hour tour of the Bay and the Atlantic as part of our flagship “Cetacean Spectacular” event to go whale and dolphin watching.
They also operate the biggest and quickest marine animal observation boats in New Jersey and are the only ones with a “Marine Mammal Sighting” guarantee that never expires.
Additionally, they provide a range of daytime and special event boat packages, such as Sunset Dolphin Tours, Prime Rib Dinner Cruises, and History Cruises in Collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts. Please print the booklet for additional information.
16. Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey
The most thrilling activities are available in Point Pleasant, which is the ideal Jersey Shore location for a day trip, weekend getaway, or summer vacation.
This little hamlet on the Jersey beach is a well-liked getaway for North New Jersey and NYC visitors, or “benny’s,” as the locals refer to them. It’s just an hour’s drive from New York City, or an hour and a half on New Jersey Transit, with a 15-minute walk to the boardwalk.
Point Pleasant Beach, a well-liked family-friendly entertainment spot along the Jersey Shore, is also a popular choice for young people looking to hit the clubs late at night.
Parking is accessible at the Ocean Avenue municipal parking lot with meters. There are also private pay lots available for a premium price. Several streets away from the Boardwalk, free on-street parking is available.
17. Water park Splash Zone in Wildwood
Water recreation opportunities abound in Wildwood. This water park extravaganza, which is situated on the boardwalk, has 20 activities.
Be challenged by the speed and height of the Terminator Slide, get wet at the Giant Bucket, and whiz down the body flume at the Abyss.
There are Hydro Zone squirters and a water play area on Hurricane Island for the less brave. At the kid-friendly Zoe Zone, even young children may participate in the fun.
Visit the Zone House for food, beverages, and sweets if you work up an appetite. On Saturday, June 18, Splash Zone begins its season.
18. Adventure Aquarium
One of the numerous tourist attractions in New Jersey that the entire family will enjoy visiting is the Adventure Aquarium.
The aquarium is one of several well-liked destinations to visit in New Jersey and is situated on the picturesque Camden waterfront.
More than 15,000 aquatic species, including a sizable collection of sharks, penguins, hippos, and other creatures, call the aquarium home.
There are several interactive displays at the aquarium in addition to all the great creatures it has to offer. There are opportunities to see sea turtles and hippos, as well as a navigable shark bridge and a kid zone that is ideal for young children.
The aquarium also has live feeding demonstrations and a turtle cove that are guaranteed to amaze your family.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the most popular Jersey Shore beach?
Point Pleasant Beach is the most popular Jersey Shore beach.
2. What is the prettiest Jersey Shore beach?
Cape May Beaches are the prettiest on the Jersey Shore.
The New Jersey Seashore is home to a variety of exciting activities, gorgeous scenery, and interesting locations.
What could be better than spending a day at the Jersey Shore with your toes in the sand and the sun on your face? The likelihood is high that your family would want to do anything other than play in the surf all day.
Even while ice cream treats and other boardwalk attractions are wonderful, the whole cost may be rather high. Fortunately, there are many cost-effective methods to amuse and please your family.
Also, check out, Can You Go Inside the Statue of Liberty