9 unmissable things to do in New Jersey

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With its proximity to New York and Philadelphia, New Jersey has rolling farmlands, captivating beaches, majestic mountainsides, historic towns, tax-free shopping meccas, top-rated golf courses and culture-rich cities.

What’s more, New Jersey is preparing to welcome football fans when it hosts some games in the FIFA World Cup 2026.

Here’s a sample of some of New Jersey’s must-see destinations.

#1 Liberty State Park

Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial, Liberty State Park

Delve into the past at the ‘Historic Gateway to America’, boasting a spectacular view of the New York City skyline.

Ferry along the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty, an iconic symbol of freedom, and Ellis Island, where 12 million immigrants to the USA passed through between 1892 and 1954. Also here is the ‘Empty Sky’ 9/11 Memorial and Liberty Science Center. 

More information here.

#2 American Dream

Chase an unparalleled mix of thrill rides, world-class entertainment, retail and fabulous dining in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Home to the largest indoor theme park in the Western hemisphere, North America’s largest indoor water park, diverse menus and upscale shopping at Hermes, Tiffany & Co, Saks Fifth Avenue and more.  

Shoes and clothes are tax-free in New Jersey, so the price you see is the price you pay.

More here.

#3 The Jersey Shore

The legendary Stone Pony, where Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi performed

Be greeted by waves of rolling surf and salty sea breezes on New Jersey’s crown jewel – New Jersey’s captivating coastline dotted with white-sand beaches, iconic boardwalks, majestic lighthouses and plenty of surf and sun fun.

Visit trendy Asbury Park, home of The Stone Pony where Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi got their legendary starts, and Cape May, the state’s most southern shore ranked one of the ‘Top 10 Best Beach Towns on the East Coast’ by Conde Nast Traveller

More details here.

#4 Appalachian Trail

Hike the renowned Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the world’s longest hiking-only footpath, spanning 3,524 kilometers from Georgia to Maine.

New Jersey’s portion of the trail delivers 116km of serene, picturesque mountain and river vistas along the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, High Point State Park (the highest elevation in NJ) and other parks.

More here.

#5 Atlantic City

Atlantic City at dusk

Stroll the world’s first and longest boardwalk, which opened in 1870. Unwind at the famous Steel Pier amusement park and enjoy the coastal breeze along the shore.

Regarded as the USA’s East Coast seaside gaming and entertainment capital, you’ll be dazzled by casinos, live shows, award-winning cuisine by local and celebrity chefs, glamorous nightlife and tax-free designer outlet shopping.

Find out more here.

#6 Grounds for Sculpture

Marvel at and interact with 300 contemporary sculptures throughout the stunningly landscaped grounds at this world-renowned 17-hectare park, museum and arboretum in Hamilton.

Step inside to explore six impressive galleries showcasing more intriguing exhibits. Colorful live peacocks wandering the grounds make your visit even more memorable. 

More here.

#7 Historic Cape May district

Cape May Harbour. Credit: Cape May Tourism, NJ Dept of Tourism

Delight in the beauty of Cape May, where the entire coastal resort town is a historic landmark.

Take a trolley ride to see 600 colourful postcard-perfect buildings accented by Victorian architecture. Stay in one of the town’s many historic bed and breakfasts and dine on some of the East Coast’s most delicious fresh seafood.

Visitors can also climb the 199 steps of the 1859 Cape May lighthouse, enjoy coastal cruises, birdwatching, wine tasting and other distinctive events.

More here.

#8 Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area

Discover 5,581 square km of New Jersey’s remarkable ties to the American Revolution, featuring battlefields and pivotal historic sites.

Stops include noteworthy landmarks in riveting time-honoured New Jersey towns such as Trenton, Princeton, Monmouth and Morristown.

More here.

#9 Exciting Itineraries

Honour black history, love of nature, interest in history or passion about food with inspiring journeys – such as the Anthony Bourdain Food Trail and scenic byways – designed to take visitors beyond the usual tourist attractions.

Itineraries take visitors through some of New Jersey’s most beloved towns and culture-rich cities. 

More here.

Getting to New Jersey

Visitors from the UK can reach New Jersey via Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways and United Airlines, landing at either Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) or Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) or cruising into Cape Liberty Cruise Port just minutes from downtown Newark, New Jersey.

Public transport is available at all locations. New Jersey has easy access to both New York City and Philadelphia by car and train and works great as a two-centre holiday or a stand-alone destination.

Find out more at visitnj.org.

And click here to see a short video about New Jersey.

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