Things to Do in New Jersey
Liberty State Park, a revitalized urban area in Jersey City, is a departure spot for ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Once an industrial area, the land has always been crucial for arrivals to the Big Apple: The 1,000-acre park has views of the New York City skyline, the Hudson River, and the Statue of Liberty.
Step back in time to the “age of homespun” (1789-1840) at Historic Cold Spring Village. Spanning 30 acres (12 hectares), Cold Spring Village is the largest open-air living history museum in New Jersey. See history come to life through its 27 restored historic buildings, costumed interpreters, demonstrations, and interactive activities.
Shop until you drop at the Mills at Jersey Gardens. Conveniently located close to New York City, the Mills at Jersey Gardens is the largest outlet mall in New Jersey, featuring over 200 stores offering deep discounts, tax-free shopping on clothing and shoes, a movie theater, and plenty of dining options.
Located inside the Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City has a lively patio situated right on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Inside you'll find the classic American cuisine, cocktails, and music memorabilia that the Hard Rock Cafe chain is famous for. On the plate, the burgers, smokehouse ribs, salads, and locally inspired entrees are the stars, or simply grab a drink at the Gibson guitar-shaped bar.
Be sure to a look at the memorabilia wall and video exhibits, which showcase items such as costumes and musical instruments from legends like The Beatles, Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Hard Rock Cafe is always playing great music on its sound system, but also frequently brings in local musicians to play live on stage. The whole cafe is considered to be one of the best party spots in Atlantic City.
Visitors to Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Water Parks in Wildwood, New Jersey are whippedand spun like cotton candy on more than 100 rides and then left to fend for themselves amidthe scent of funnel cakes and fried chicken. Jutting into the sands of Wildwood beach, and amajor feature on the New Jersey town’s 38-block boardwalk, three piers of family-ownedamusement park rides have been lending shrieks to the boardwalk here since 1968.
The original park began at Surfside Pier. Today the furthest north of the amusement piers at theintersection of 25th Street, it contains a log flume ride, the twirling, flipping ‘It,’ a carousel, thecompact and feisty ‘The Great Nor’Easter’ coaster and dozens of other rides, many catering tosmall children.
From there, a half-mile stroll along the boardwalk will bring you to Mariner’s Pier at SchellengerAvenue. Adding shrieks to the bustling activity on the boardwalk, this central pier houses theclassic amusement park rides, including bumper cars and the Giant Ferris Wheel – in operationthere since 1985, its possible to see most of Wildwood, huge expanses of beach and the oceanfrom the tippy top. Closest to the sea on Mariner’s Pier is the Raging Waters Water Park, anindependently ticketed entity with two kiddie play areas, a lazy river as well as multiple slipperyslides beneath the rails of the dry-land coasters.
If it’s thrills you’re after, the southernmost Adventure Pier another 0.8 miles away, has thehigh-intensity rides including the 105-foot drop on the wooden Great White coaster, gianthuman slingshot, and a machine called the SkyScraper that will zip you around at 70 miles per hour in a 160-foot vertical loop. A popular concert venue and artists’ space —as well as theOcean Oasis Water Park + Beach Club with more slides and pools — are also located on thispier.
This centrally-located East Coast amusement park is currently the world’s second largest. Its 510 acres can easily take a day or more to roam and includes more than 50 water, coaster and
carnival rides as well as the chance to go on safari through enclosures home to 1,200 animals from around the world.
The park is divided into seven sections with shopping and dining in each. Many of the popular coasters and rides are located directly to the right and left of the entrance, though you’ll have to wander down ‘Main Street’ to get to their connecting thoroughfares. The Safari Park is accessed in the back of ‘Frontier Adventures’ in the rear left corner of the park. And the park’s two water rides, refreshing in summer, are in ‘Frontier Adventures’ and ‘Adventure Seaport’ home of the Nitro Coaster to the far right of the park entrance.
As with many amusement parks these days, crazy long lines are standard for Six Flags Great Adventure’s most popular rides: The 415-foot drop tower of Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom; the
Kingda Ka coaster, which zooms to 128 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds; the loopy Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and Nitro coasters; and the rickety El Toro track with the world’s steepest wooden coaster drop. To beat the lines, head to those spots first thing in the morning or after the daytime rush around 6 p.m. And, even better – visit on weekdays in the summer or any open day in spring, early summer and September. If that’s not an option, you can pay to avoid long waits: Three levels of FLASH Passes, ranging in cost from $30 to $90 for families up to five, allow visitors to check in with rides and spend their line doing other things – an alert notifies them when it’s their turn to ride. A mobile app sharing ride wait times is still in the beta phase.
Few dinner shows compare to Medieval Times. The long-running attraction combines an 11th-century feast with an exciting family-friendly performance, complete with jousting and sword fights. Perfect for travelers looking for a not-so-typical night out, Medieval Times is a mix of fairy tale and spectacle.
Stay cool over the summer and enjoy thrilling rides at Clementon Park and Splash World. One of the oldest theme parks in the country, the park offers more than 25 rides and attractions across the amusement park and water park, including roller coasters, carnival rides, wave pools, waterslides, rapids, and adventure-play areas.
New Jersey’s Cape Liberty Cruise Port serves as a gateway to New York City, which is located just across the Hudson River. Travel from the port to tour the city, visit its cultural institutions, and see a Broadway show. Cape Liberty is also a jumping-off point for a beach trips to the Jersey Shore and foliage tours in upstate New York.
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