New Jersey is one of America’s smallest yet most densely populated states. It is also home to some of the most incredible vacation and weekend destinations. These include places like Atlantic City and Jersey City, from where millions of tourists depart to visit Ellis Island each year.
With so many fantastic sites to visit, planning a weekend getaway to the state could be overwhelming. However, some places are a must-visit if you are planning such a trip.
Below, we’ve found some of the best things to do on a weekend getaway to the state. These offer a mix of adventure, relaxation, and enjoyment that might make you not want to return home.
Cape May Point State Park
Located after its namesake in Cape May Point, this state park is a fantastic place to spend the day in nature and is surrounded by many fascinating historical artifacts. Amongst these are the Cape May Lighthouse.
The lighthouse, built in 1859, still functions today and was recently refurbished to bring it back to its original state. Still boasting its original cast iron staircase, the lighthouse has hosted over 2.5 million guests who climbed the 199 stairs to the top. From here, you can enjoy magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay.
Also located within the park is the World War II Lookout Tower. Built in 1942, the tower is the last building in New Jersey that was erected as part of the Harbor Defenses of the Delaware. Featuring a Wall of Honor for those who served, the tower allows you to climb six stories and experience the history that occurred there through various exhibits.
Toms River Seaport & Maritime Museum
Located on the banks of Toms River, this seaport offers various ways to enjoy a relaxing day. There is plenty to do, from the many restaurants and eateries available to the opportunity to get on a boat and sail upon the glassy water.
If you’re looking for more than just some fun on the waves, the Maritime Museum can transport you back in history. You can find many nautical artifacts from years ago and explore things like the original A-Cat Spy sailboat.
While learning about the history of boats and sailing on them is great, helping restore one is an opportunity not to be missed. The museum workshop gives you a chance to do just this at the Joe Lappin Restoration Shop, where you can help bring new life to old boats.
Maurice River Cruises
Just opposite Riverside Park near Cumberland, Maurice River Cruises lets you board a canopied riverboat to take in the beautiful sites of the Maurice River. With multiple tours available, including a sunset cruise, you can enjoy a lazy trip down the river at any time of the day.
Along the way, you’ll be treated to views of historical sites, cute otters frolicking, and even guaranteed eagles. Each cruise takes approximately two hours and is a fun and adventurous way to experience nature.
If you want to play slots in NJ, there is no place better than Atlantic City. The city is a hive of activity, beaten only by Las Vegas as the best gambling destination in the US. It offers fantastic opportunities to try your luck at spectacular casinos.
Aside from gambling, the city offers numerous other ways to spend your weekend, especially if you’re planning a girls’ or boys’ weekend away with friends. The boys can enjoy clubs like Boogie Nights and the Pool After Dark located inside Harrah’s Resort and Casino.
Before the girls join the nightclub parties, relaxing and getting pampered at one of the many day spas and wellness centers should also be on their itinerary. These include Breathe Salt Spa and the Mynd Spa and Salon, also located inside Harrah’s.
Families can also have a great getaway by visiting places like the Atlantic City Boardwalk or Absecon Lighthouse. Children and young adults will especially enjoy the Steel Pier Amusement Park, the oldest amusement park in the state.
Asbury Park Boardwalk
Asbury Park offers much more than just a gorgeous beach and pristine crashing waves. The area is also where legends like Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi have been known to play, thanks to the many live music venues on offer.
Before enjoying some live music, you can spend the day exploring the many dining experiences stretched down the boardwalk or shopping at the numerous stores. Here you will find many weird and wonderful items you may not find anywhere else.
After a long day exploring the area, you can relax and play some games at the Silverball Museum. This is where you can go head-to-head with your traveling companions with some of the most memorable old arcade games, including classic pinball.
Wawayanda State Park
Found in Hewitt, this massive state park offers numerous exploration opportunities. All these are set amongst the most stunning backdrop of natural forests, Lake Wawayanda, and (if you’re lucky) striking blue skies.
Aside from hiking and unique walking trails, the park also offers fishing, hunting, bird watching, picnicking, and a playground for children. If you’re looking for even more adventure than this, there is also canoeing and kayaking available.
After working up a sweat exploring, the park also offers a dip in refreshingly cool water that borders white sandy beaches at its swimming areas. Here you can lull in the water and relax while lifeguards make sure everybody is safe and the nearby concessions stand ensures there are plenty of snacks to go around.