Known as the “Garden State,” New Jersey is an outdoors enthusiast’s paradise. New Jersey’s crown jewel is its 130 miles of coastline, spanning from Sandy Hook to Cape May. These unmatched beaches boast beautiful barrier islands and bays dotted with majestic lighthouses, fishing villages, and scenic views.
Enjoy the cities along the shore like Cape May, Asbury Park or Atlantic City and walk the boardwalks, see the amazing lighthouses, and take in the ocean air. New Jersey is packed with dozens and dozens of fabulous destinations that offer fun, exciting and entertaining attractions for all members of the family. And there are water parks, water sports, fishing, concerts, special events and much, much more.
History is rich throughout New Jersey. Princeton and New Brunswick provide a backdrop for you to explore and learn about our nation’s history. New Jersey is packed with dozens and dozens of fabulous destinations that offer fun, exciting and entertaining attractions for all members of the family.
Here are the Family Vacations U.S 10 must-see attractions in New Jersey.
Everything you could possibly want is right here within walking distance, from shops to five-star restaurants to casinos, attractions, and great shows. New Jersey’s Atlantic City beach is famous. The free beach activities include surfing, kayaking, windsurfing and fishing. Stroll along the Boardwalk and enjoy ocean views on one side and shopping on the other, ranging from high-end retail to saltwater taffy shops. Embark on a deep-sea fishing excursion, go outlet mall shopping and visit art centers and wind farms. Take the kids to Storybook Land or find your inner child at the Steel Pier.
Ocean City, “America’s Greatest Family Resort,” is a year-round resort island with eight miles of beautiful beaches and bay for sunbathing, boating, fishing, jet skis and kayaking. You can enjoy eight miles of shiny ocean and bay beaches, all meticulously maintained. It is so popular that it attracts a million visitors a year. The 2.5 miles of boardwalk contains many family amusements like Gillian’s Island Golf & Water Park, Wonderland Pier, and music pier. You can also take a ride on the 140-foot Ferris wheel with views of Ocean City and the surrounding areas from the top.
Cape May is a vibrant seaside resort that draws visitors from around the world. Families can swim, sunbathe or fish in any of its stunning beaches such as the Higbee Beach, Poverty Beach, Sunset Beach or the Cape May Beach. You can also visit any of the city’s impressive museums and lighthouses such as Cape May Firemen’s Museum, Cape May Lighthouse or the Colonial House. Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum. With a rich history, award winning beaches, a designation as a top birding location, and nearly 600 examples of Victorian architecture Cape May is a seaside gem for families.
Located in Mercer County, New Jersey, Grounds for Sculpture spans forty-two acres and offers both a sculpture park and museum for visitors to enjoy in addition to a range of classes, speakers, workshops, and community events for all ages. There are some great exhibitions that you can also enjoy, which will inspire and educate. When you visit the park you can opt for a self-guided tour or book a guided one (including moonlight tours.)
Regarded as America’s most decorated museum, Battleship New Jersey is one of the most exciting museums in New Jersey. It’s open for overnight encampments, daytime tours and a wide variety of fascinating events. Apart from seeing the exhibits of artifacts from the battleship’s past or exploring the ship’s legendary 16-inch Gun Turret, you can also climb and descend the steep stairs and eat in the original mess halls.
The preservation site of Thomas Edison’s home and laboratory, the Thomas Edison National Historical Park is a must for anyone interested in history, science, inventions and nature. You’ll find so much to take in and explore here and the educational benefits make it a great choice to take the family for a fascinating day out. You can look forward to visiting the Glenmont Estate as well as the Laboratory Complex where you can spend time learning all about the inventions that this genius brought to us in order to help create the world we live in today.
Liberty Science Center is an interactive science museum and learning center located in Liberty State Park in Jersey City. Try the Infinity Climber hanging gym where you can climb up to 35 feet high on 64 small platforms. Challenge your navigational skills in the pitch-black Touch Tunnel maze, and then walk across a steel beam 18 feet above the floor in the Skyscraper exhibit. The traveling exhibits change several times a year and include options for scientists ages 2-8 to adults. Children ages 2-5 will love iExplore, the gallery just for them—no big kids allowed! And LSC has the nation’s largest IMAX Dome Theater with constantly changing family-friendly films.
Prepare for a thrill at the Adventure Aquarium, located in Camden. The aquarium features total tank volume of more than 2 million gallons of water and over 6,000 species of animals. You can watch the penguins, hippos, sharks or the over 25 species of African birds.
Adventure Aquarium is in the heart of one of the country’s richest historical and cultural regions. Conveniently located along the Camden Waterfront across the river from Philadelphia, you are minutes away from sites as varied as the Liberty Bell, Constitution Center, museums, world-class restaurants, as well as exclusive hotels, shopping and casinos.
Princeton is a beautiful university with a great tradition and some remarkable traditional architecture. As one of the top five institutions of higher learning, Princeton University embodies the best in education but it is also a great family attraction. The Cotsen Children’s Library is a must see with its wonderful treehouse and play areas.
Princeton University Art Museum’s permanent exhibits are impressive. It houses 92,000 works of art showcase an array of styles, from ancient to contemporary. The Princeton University campus also is home to one of the country’s most significant collections of 20th and 21st-century sculpture, presented as public artwork dispersed throughout the walkways and green spaces.
When in the Ivy-league town of Princeton, explore Drumthwacket, the official residence of the Governor of New Jersey.
Washington Crossing State park in Titusville includes the 18th Century Johnson Ferry House (historic farmhouse & tavern site) & Visitor Center Museum featuring exhibits on the Continental Army’s crossing of the Delaware River & the Battles of Trenton & Princeton.
Originally preserved for its historical significance, the park is also well known for its trails and wildlife habitat. A wide variety of migrating birds use the stream and ravine as a resting place and for nesting. Many bird species winter in the park, creating a perfect location for bird observation year round.
New Jersey is also known to have very hospitable citizens, a rich culture, a wonderful history and great shopping. From upscale boutiques to bargain-friendly outlets, flea markets and discount malls, the variety of shopping in New Jersey is plentiful. With no retail tax on clothing or shoes, shoppers are sure to find that perfect gift.
From the stunning mountains in the great northwest to 130-mile stretch of white sand beaches your family will enjoy unforgettable experiences on your New Jersey vacation.