20 Best Thing to Do in New Jersey this Summer

New Jersey, often overshadowed by its larger neighbors, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored, especially during the summer months. With its unique blend of picturesque beaches, lush green parks, historic sites, and vibrant festivals, the Garden State offers a plethora of activities that cater to every interest. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for your next adventure, a family in search of fun activities for all ages, or simply someone wanting to unwind and soak up the sun, New Jersey has something special for you. This guide highlights the 20 best things to do in New Jersey this summer, ensuring that your summer plans are filled with memorable experiences.

1. Visit the Jersey Shore

No trip to New Jersey is complete without a visit to its famous coastline, known as the Jersey Shore. Stretching over 130 miles, the shoreline boasts of beautiful beaches, charming boardwalks, and quaint seaside towns. Some must-visit spots include Atlantic City for its vibrant nightlife and iconic Steel Pier amusement park, Ocean City for its family-friendly atmosphere, and Cape May for its Victorian charm. Whether you’re looking to sunbathe on the beach, try your luck at a casino, or indulge in some delicious seafood, the Jersey Shore has it all.

2. Hike in the Delaware Water Gap

Nature lovers will be delighted by the scenic beauty of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Located in the northwestern part of the state, this park offers over 70,000 acres of lush green forests, rolling hills, and picturesque waterfalls. It’s a perfect spot for hiking, with trails ranging from easy to challenging. You can also go camping, kayaking, or fishing in the Delaware River that runs through the park.

3. Explore the Palisades Interstate Park

For a unique and breathtaking view of New Jersey’s Hudson River, head to the Palisades Interstate Park. This 12-mile long park is located along cliffs that rise over 500 feet above sea level, providing stunning views of the river and the Manhattan skyline. You can hike or bike on the many trails in the park, have a picnic, or take a guided tour of the historic Kearney House.

4. Attend a Music Festival

New Jersey is home to some fantastic music festivals that take place throughout the summer. The most popular one is the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival, which showcases over 1,000 different beers from around the world and features live music performances. Other notable festivals include the Maplewoodstock Music and Art Festival, the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, and the Appel Farm Arts & Music Festival.

5. Visit Liberty State Park

Located in Jersey City, this 1,212-acre park offers stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It’s a great spot for a picnic, a leisurely bike ride, or a scenic walk along the waterfront. You can also take a ferry from here to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

6. Cool Off at Mountain Creek Waterpark

Escape the summer heat by spending a day at Mountain Creek Waterpark in Vernon Township. This water park features over two dozen exhilarating slides, including the H2-Oh-No, one of the world’s tallest freefall slides. You can also relax in the lazy river, enjoy a poolside cabana rental, or try out some delicious food from the many eateries on-site.

7. Tour a Winery

New Jersey may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of wine tasting, but the state does have a thriving wine industry. You can take a self-guided tour or join a guided one at any of the 50+ wineries located throughout the state. Some popular ones include Tomasello Winery, Cape May Winery & Vineyard, and Working Dog Winery.

8. Catch a Baseball Game

New Jersey is home to two minor league baseball teams, the Trenton Thunder and the Lakewood BlueClaws. Catching a game at one of their stadiums is a fun way to spend an evening with friends or family. The Trenton Thunder stadium also offers stunning views of the Delaware River.

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9. BBQ at Liberty State Park

In addition to its scenic beauty, Liberty State Park also has designated barbecue areas. Bring along some food and charcoal, and have a fun afternoon grilling with stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as your backdrop.

10. Visit Six Flags Great Adventure

For adrenaline junkies, there’s no better place to be than Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township. This amusement park features over 70 rides, including world-renowned roller coasters like Kingda Ka and El Toro. You can also cool off at the adjacent Six Flags Hurricane Harbor water park.

11. Explore the Historic Village of Allaire

Step back in time by visiting the Historic Village of Allaire in Farmingdale, a restored 19th-century iron-making village. Take a guided tour, participate in hands-on activities, and learn about the village’s history. You can also attend special events and festivals held throughout the summer, such as the Allaire BBQ & Brew Fest.

12. Relax on a Cruise

Spend an evening cruising around New Jersey’s waterways on one of its many dinner cruises. You’ll get to enjoy delicious food, live entertainment, and stunning views of the state’s skyline. Some popular cruise options include Spirit Cruises, Cornucopia Cruise Line, and Bateaux New York.

13. Visit the Thomas Edison National Historical Park

New Jersey is known as the birthplace of many inventions and innovations, thanks to its resident genius, Thomas Edison. You can learn all about his life and work at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange. The park features his former home and laboratory, along with exhibits showcasing his inventions.

14. Indulge in Some Delicious Food

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to try out some of New Jersey’s famous food while you’re there. From classic diner fare to Italian delicacies, the state has a range of delicious options. For a true New Jersey experience, don’t miss out on trying a pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich or some boardwalk-style pizza. And of course, no trip to the Garden State is complete without indulging in some saltwater taffy!

15. Go Whale Watching

New Jersey’s coastline is home to a variety of marine life, including whales. Take a boat tour from Cape May or Atlantic City to spot humpback, finback, and minke whales in their natural habitat. You can also see dolphins, seals, and other sea creatures on these trips.

16. Attend a County Fair

Summer in New Jersey wouldn’t be complete without attending a county fair. These events showcase the state’s agricultural heritage and feature carnival rides, live music, animal exhibitions, and delicious food. Some popular fairs include the New Jersey State Fair in Augusta, the Warren County Farmers’ Fair in Phillipsburg, and the Cumberland County Fair in Millville.

17. Go Birdwatching

With its diverse landscapes and coastal habitats, New Jersey is a great place for birdwatching. The state has over 400 species of birds, including bald eagles and peregrine falcons. You can find several bird sanctuaries and nature reserves throughout the state, such as the Cape May Bird Observatory, the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, and the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

18. Attend a Street Fair or Festival

New Jersey is known for its lively street fairs and festivals, which celebrate everything from food to music to culture. Some popular ones include the Hoboken Arts & Music Festival, the Red Bank International Beer, Wine & Food Fest, and the Ocean City Block Party & Fireworks. These events are a fun way to soak up some local flavor and experience the vibrant community in New Jersey.

19. Hike or Bike Through the State Parks

New Jersey has over 50 state parks and forests, offering endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. You can go hiking, biking, camping, fishing, and more at these beautiful natural areas. Some popular parks include High Point State Park, Hacklebarney State Park, and Cheesequake State Park. Check out the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry website for more information on specific parks and their activities.

20. Shop at a Unique Market

For a unique shopping experience, visit one of the many farmers’ markets or flea markets in New Jersey. These markets offer a variety of local produce, arts and crafts, antiques, and other goods. Some notable markets include the West Windsor Community Farmers’ Market, the Englishtown Auction & Flea Market, and the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market. You never know what treasures you may find!

Overall, there are plenty of fun and exciting things to do in New Jersey during the summer. Regardless of whether you’re drawn to the great outdoors, in search of adrenaline-fueled adventures, or a connoisseur of fine cuisine, the Garden State offers something to satisfy every taste.. So pack your bags and get ready to make unforgettable memories in New Jersey this summer! So why wait? Plan your trip now and experience all that the amazing state of New Jersey has to offer. From scenic hikes to thrilling amusement parks and everything in between, this state truly has it all. So make the most out of your summer and explore the diverse and exciting attractions that New Jersey has to offer! So don’t wait any longer – start planning your New Jersey summer adventure today! Happy travels!

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