What comes to mind when you think of New Jersey? The Jersey Shore, perhaps, or maybe Industrial Revolution-era cities like Paterson and Trenton. But there’s much more to this northeastern state than that. From the serene Appalachian Mountains in the northwest to the Atlantic coastline in the southeast, New Jersey is packed with natural and historical wonders that make it a top tourist destination.
New Jersey previously bordered North Africa during the Jurassic Period, approximately 180 million years ago. The collision of North America and Africa created the Appalachian Mountains. During the Ice Age, New Jersey was covered with ice between 18,000 and 10 thousand years ago. The ice sheets melted, leaving Lake Passaic and numerous rivers, marshes, and gorges in their wake.
The Lenape inhabited New Jersey for thousands of years before European exploration, with the Lenni-Lenape being the most populous tribe at the time of encounter. Scheyichbi comes from the Lenape tribe and means “the land of the tall trees.” The Lenape called what is now a New Jersey home. They were a confederacy of autonomous villages that cultivated maize to supplement their hunting and gathering in the region surrounding the Delaware River, the lower Hudson River, and western Long Island Sound. They first encountered the Dutch in the early 17th century, and their primary relationship with the Europeans was through the fur trade.
Top Places to Visit New Jersey
Boardwalk: The four-mile-long beach walk extending along the Jersey Shore was constructed in 1870. One of the city’s most well-known tourist spots, the Steel Pier, is located here. The amusement park, which resembles a carnival, includes rides for children and adults of all ages. It also features a huge observation wheel that gives riders incredible views of the city and ocean. Renting a bike, an electric tram, or a traditional rickshaw-like rolling chair are great alternatives to walking along the Boardwalk.
Cape May The timeless charm of Cape May, a lovely Victorian-style lighthouse, and endless beaches have attracted tourists since the days of George Washington. Today’s visitors are enticed by the same things that attracted America’s first three Presidents, such as the endless beaches and Cape May Point Lighthouse (1859).
Emlen Physick Estate The house, now a museum, is an excellent example of American Stick Style architecture. It provides several harbor excursions and whale-watching cruises. The Yankee, an 80-foot tall schooner, is also worth a visit.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation AreaThe Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is on the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border. A portion of the Delaware River flows through Upper Makefield, which is part of a national park. It also includes a beautiful 40-mile protected stretch along the Delaware River. The large leisure area may be approached from several directions.
The most recent project from the team, which was first formed in 1993, has completed many projects together. Millbrook Village Historic Site is the first. It’s a recreation of a 19th-century village with old trades. The Kittatinny Point Visitors Center is equally fun to explore. It features many exhibits with stunning views and provides an entry point for the Appalachian Trail. The Minisink Archaeological Site is another park highlight. The park’s lower loop comprises a network of trails that lead to numerous natural and historical attractions. Remains of a 10,000-year-old settlement were found along with activities such as canoeing and kayaking, swimming, camping, and fishing.
Battleship New Jersey The USS New Jersey, the United States Navy’s most renowned ship, is now a museum on the Delaware River. It is also one of the country’s biggest military vessels. Some of the most popular attractions onboard include guided tours of this Iowa-class battleship, launched in 1942. You’ll find many exhibits and displays throughout the ship that display artifacts related to the ship’s involvement in conflict zones, from WWII to the Middle East during the 1980s. You can also visit the bridge from Admiral Halsey led the Pacific Fleet and view its 16-inch guns.
Another popular destination for families in New Jersey is the Adventure Aquarium on Camden’s Delaware River. The world’s largest saltwater aquarium, containing more than 8,500 marine animals, including penguins and sharks, is housed in a two-million-gallon facility. It’s also the only aquarium with hippos.
Visit New Jersey Today!
As you can see, there are many wonderful places to visit in New Jersey. From the historic sites to the natural attractions, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today! This is just a sample of some of the great places to see in New Jersey. For more information on things to do in the state, check out the official tourism website.