Originally published in Trip Savvy
While New Jersey may be considered one of the smaller states in the country, and it’s sometimes overshadowed by its neighbors, there are so many wonderful destinations packed into such a compact area: great cities, towns, parks, and other must-see places to visit. Here are 15 fantastic destinations across the Garden State.
Located on the Hudson River across from New York City (and just south of Weehawken), the hometown of world-famous singer Frank Sinatra is popular with commuters who travel into the city daily. It may not be as busy or bustling as Manhattan, but it’s filled with great restaurants, bars, music venues, cool boutiques, and other retail shops. You can also stroll along the river and admire a jaw-dropping view of the NYC skyline. If you wish to venture into the Big Apple, it’s an easy trip via the PATH train from the local station.
Liberty State Park
In northern New Jersey, Liberty State Park is the optimal spot to gaze upon the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Over 1,200 acres and featuring a 2-mile paved pathway called the Liberty Walk, this park has many options for things to see, including the Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial, Liberty Science Museum, and the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal. While you’re here, you can also take a boat cruise to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island up close (advance tickets are recommended).Visit website
If you want to get a glimpse of what the New Jersey shore was like before it was built up with boardwalks, homes, beach bars, and carnival rides, check out Island Beach State Park. This area is situated on a 10-mile barrier island and requires an entrance fee ($6 per car for residents and $10 for non-residents). It’s open year-round, and offers plenty of amenities during the summer season, including lifeguards, picnic areas, restrooms, a sundry shop, and a snack bar with casual treats. For a more secluded experience, visitors can choose to park in a number of different spots along the shore and enjoy some tranquil beach time.