New Jersey road trip destinations can be exciting. The state is known as the ‘Garden State’ because it was known for a culmination of different varieties of food and cultures as it is situated in the center of Newyork and Pennsylvania, just like in a garden, you can find many different varieties of flowers. However, the state is known for the miles and miles of coastlines along the North Atlantic Ocean running along its east coast. Now without further ado let’s dive into our New Jersey road trip ideas.
So let’s begin our road trip covering most of the amazing attractions of the state! If you’re on a tight budget you can check out our detailed guide on cheap things to do in New Jersey.
But before that, are you curious about all wonderful destinations? Have a quick peek and get a quick summary of all the experiences through the slides below:
America’s Playground & Neighboring Road Trip Destinations
Atlantic city situated on the eastern coast of the state has come to be known as ‘America’s Playground’ this is the perfect spot to explore the very famous coastline of the state lined with sandy beaches everywhere you go. So this is the first of many New Jersey road trip destinations.
A highly famous spot of Atlantic City is the Boardwalk, a 4-mile stretch housing several casinos but it even has several piers hosting amusement parks and carnival fairs and rides for families and children. It is lined with restaurants and bars to enjoy the nightlife and have a party! But there is much more to the city such as the Storybook land, which is a theme park based on “Little Red Riding hood” and is known for its amusement park rides.
Another nearby attraction is the Atlantic City Aquarium hosting several interactive exhibits of the marine life of the Atlantic ocean including the corals and the sharks.
Driving down the Jersey Shore coastline for 10 miles or so, you’ll reach the Ocean City having an 8-mile long sandy beach to bask in the sun or build sandcastles on or just take a dip in the water, surf or swim. Other water activities such as boating, kayaking, stand-up pedaling, and sailing are very popular here and people like it for fishing flounders and bluefish and several different varieties of sea creatures. Water sports such as jet skiing, windsurfing, kiteboarding are very lucrative for spring-breakers.
A 12-hole golf course and a mini-golf course for youngsters are also available. But you can’t miss the slots when you are on this coastline so if you like to gamble, you will definitely love the casinos here.
Another 1-hour road drive from Ocean City will take you to Wildwoods along with everything that Ocean City has to offer. Wildwoods has much more to show! A highly famous attraction is the Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Water parks, which is one of the best seaside parks in the entire US. It has more than 100 rides and is spread across 18 acres and 6 sandy beaches. It is a must-go for the children, families, and even young adults who enjoy the thrilling rides.
If you are a car buff, you can ride the monster trucks on the beach or the mini formula 1 race cars at the Morey’s Pier or even go go-karting there.
You may even enjoy the Pirate themed cruises, or simply rent a bike. And how about flying high in the sky? Try the Breakfast in the sky at Morey’s Pier at a height of 156 feet from the ground or an 18-mile helicopter ride around the place to enjoy the bird’s eye view. You may even sit at the beach and chill enjoying freshly brewed beer from Bucket brigade brewery or the 7-mile brewery here.
The last destination on the coastline but certainly not the least is Cape May county situated right at the southernmost tip of the state, just 8 miles by road from Wildwoods. Of all other things the place has to offer, the most attractive spots are the historic district, which is lined with Victorian-style homes and restaurants and other such places. This is an outcome of a huge fire in the 1800s which led to burning the entire Cape May and later being restored in the then prevalent Victorian architecture. This has been preserved over the years in pursuit of tourism revenue as it is a walk back into the Victorian era.
Apart from this, the place offers many unique experiences of the coast such as whale and dolphin watching cruises, sunset points, and lighthouses with historical significance. You may end your trip with a glass of fresh wine or beer from the vineyard or the brewery in Cape May.
The next set of road trips can cover the regions in the heart of the state…
‘Mile Square City’ & Neighboring Road Trip Destinations
The next set of road trips are in and around the cities of Hoboken, also known as the Mile Square City and Jersey City Situated just 9 miles away… Hoboken is known for producing the very renowned star in the music industry of all time, Frank Sinatra. In his memory, you can begin your road trip driving along the riverside of Frank Sinatra park singing ‘My way’ all along and experience how New Jersey’s favorite son made it in the music world, through guided tours in the park.
Apart from that you can enjoy the nightlife and visit the local bars and bistros, the city is full of 5 miles towards the south, near Jersey City, is the Liberty Science Center and the Liberty State Park from where you can take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, a highly notable national monument of the entire US.
The museum hosts several interactive exhibitions for children and young adults including one dedicated to Angry Birds Universe where children can play with life-size catapults and the birds as in the game.
One hour from Hoboken towards the south will take you to Princeton, the home of Princeton University and the home of Albert Einstein who lived in Princeton till his death.
You may even enjoy theatre, music, or dance events at the McCarter Theater Center for the Performing Arts or visit the Battlefield state park where one of the most ferocious wars occurred, fought at the time of the American Revolution under the command of George Washington.
The university hosts a lot of natural attractions such as Carnegie Lake for ice skating, strolls, or just looking at the water life.
The next stop on your trip should be Six Flags Great Adventure, situated 30 miles away from Princeton which is an amusement cum theme park and hosts several families, kids, and thrill rides, something for everyone. There are life-size living Looney Toons characters who make your visit highly entertaining by providing shows such as the night-time epic dance party and character meet and greets.
On your way to the amusement park, you may make a quick stop at the Grounds For Sculpture, a 42-acre sculpture park at times known as the hidden gem of New Jersey. The park hosts giant 25-foot tall sculptures and is a selfie-wonderland. Some notable sculptures are that of Marlyn Monroe, Three Witches with a bubbling cauldron, the sailor kissing the nurse after America’s historic win over Japan in WWII, and many others. The theme of these sculptures is to bring to life the iconic images and paintings of the past. Very little is written about this place but it is an awe-inspiring, must-go place and it is right on your way to the amusement park.
The last stop on this southern road trip is the Spring Lake, situated right at the tip of the eastern coast and just 30-minutes away from Six Flags and is like a mini Atlantic City experience with sandy beaches, biking, golfing, water sports opportunities. Further, the Irish Fest in June and the Italian Fest in September are great attractions and full of fun, food, music, and entertainment.
Having explored the southern road trip destinations, it’s time to explore the northern, western, and more in the heart of the state destinations, all reachable from Hoboken and Jersey City.
The first stop on the trip is the Thomas Edison National Historical Park and witness the lab and home of Thomas Edison, the inventor of the electric bulb. There is a museum and a guided tour for history buffs. It is located just 14 miles to the north-west of Hoboken.
Moving ahead another 13 miles in the same direction will take you to the Paterson Great Falls, another natural beauty of the state housing the 77 ft high waterfalls. In the late 1700s, Alexander Hamilton visited the falls and came up with the plan of developing the US’ first planned industrial city around the same, which came to be known as the town of Patterson. This is a spot for being close to nature, going for a hike, or just simply enjoy the serene nature.
1-hour away from the falls in the west is the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (Delaware River) and in the north is the High Point State Park. These are spots for weekend getaways for nature lovers with acres of forested areas, beautiful scenery and panoramic views from the mountainous regions. These places offer several hiking trails and fishing opportunities. Kayaking and canoeing are common water activities here plus the campgrounds are amazing spots for having a close to nature experience right in the middle of the woods. These places also offer spots for cross-country skiing in the winter and can be a soothing break away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
So this was it from New Jersey road trip destinations. It should rightly be called as the state of amusement parks, sandy beaches, historical attractions and casinos with a garnish of nature to make the state worth a visit for anyone and everyone.
We hope that these New Jersey road trip destinations will be helpful when you head over to explore the Garden State. Check out the best vacation rentals and accommodations on Rental Trader. For further queries, fill out our web form or give us a call.