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New Jersey oftentimes gets overlooked, sitting in the shadow of its flashier neighbor New York. But the US state contains top attractions of its own, including some 130 miles (209 kilometers) of Atlantic coastline. From Jersey City’s Liberty State Park, travelers can head to nearby Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and the towns dotted along the Jersey Shore like Asbury Park and Cape May continue to capture the feeling of Americana summers and draw throngs of people when the weather warms up.
Since the northeast winters can be cold and snowy, the best time to visit New Jersey is from late spring to late summer (May to September). This is when you’ll be able to take part in outdoor activities and visit the state’s many beach towns, which draw the biggest crowds in June, July, and August. And thanks to the ocean breeze, the shore offers relief from the summer humidity most inland states are stuck with.
Since it’s located between Philadelphia and New York, New Jersey is traversed via several public transport options including ferries, Amtrak service, and NJ Transit, which manages the light rail systems, commuter rail lines, and buses. But most people prefer to navigate Jersey by car, traveling up and down the state along major arteries like the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike. Expect traffic jams especially if you’re headed to the shore in the summer months. Also, keep in mind that you’re not allowed to fill up your own tank of gas in NJ; all stations offer full service instead.
Although New Jersey didn’t invent the diner concept, it definitely popularized it, partly because of the need to feed travelers going between New York and Philadelphia. While residents are usually partial to their local spot, some diners are worth the drive. At the Summit Diner, the oldest still-operating diner in the state, order mini Taylor ham (also known as pork roll), egg, and cheese sandwiches. And at the Tick Tock Diner in Clifton, you can get disco fries (Jersey’s version of poutine with gravy and cheese) 24/7, 365 days a year.
Located toward the southern end of the NJ coastline, Atlantic City attracts both gamblers and beachgoers. Known for its casinos and historic boardwalk, the town still maintains some of its nostalgic charm with canopied pedicabs (or “rolling chairs”) and stands selling saltwater taffy. Year round, both locals and visitors try their luck at the slot machines and table games found inside the many resorts....More
In the northern end of the state, be sure to visit Jersey City and Liberty State Park where you can take in spectacular views of the New York City skyline and wander along the Hudson River. Along the shore, head to Asbury Park to swing by The Stone Pony (where Bruce Springsteen got his start) to catch live music and Atlantic City to roll the dice....More
New Jersey is known for its beaches, diners, and famous folks, including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, and Thomas Edison (who wasn’t an NJ native, but he did develop most of his inventions at his lab there). Most recently, it’s become recognizable thanks to the TV show “The Sopranos,” which follows Tony Soprano, a North Jersey-based Italian-American mobster....More
Arguably July, although the summer months in general are considered the best time to visit New Jersey. In July, the average high temperature is 86℉ (30℃), making it the ideal time to head to the state’s beaches. You might also be able to catch one of the July 4th celebrations taking place all around Jersey....More
Atlantic City. As the East Coast’s gaming capital, the city attracts over 27 million visitors a year. In addition to casinos, it also boasts plenty of outlet shopping, dining options, entertainment, and hotel accommodations. Plus, beachgoers can stroll the city’s iconic boardwalk and lounge on the sand during the summer months....More
New Jersey boasts a total of 44 beaches, which means there’s a sunny spot for everyone. A popular weekend getaway for New Yorkers, Cape May is considered one of the most picturesque beach towns in Jersey with streets that are dotted with pretty Victorian houses and quaint bed-and-breakfasts. Other top contenders include Avalon, Ocean Grove, and Ocean City....More
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