New Jersey is not just an industrialized state of New York. It is a historical site, one of the original 13 colonies and a platform for several famous battles in the War of Independence. New Jersey also has kilometers of spacious beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, making it a popular destination for summer vacations. It is known for its infrastructure, galleries, water parks and amusement parks. This is a popular summer destination for residents of New York and Pennsylvania. Here you are offered to look at the main attractions of New Jersey and choose the most interesting things to do in NJ today.
- Thing to do number 1: Have fun in the Six Flags Great Adventure park
- Thing to do number 2: Plunge into the history of Afro-American culture
- Thing to do number 3: Enjoy pristine nature in the South Mountain Reservation
- Thing to do number 4: Enjoy art in the Montclair Art Museum
- Thing to do number 5: Watch the Show Fremont Experience
- Thing to do number 6: Visit Casino Pier
- Thing to do number 7: Look at the Gingerbread Castle
- Thing to do number 8: Go to the NJ State Museum
- Thing to do number 9: Enjoy a great panorama from the Riegelsville Bridge
- Thing to do number 10: Attend the Concert and Sports complex Boardwalk Hall
- Thing to do number 11: Look at the unique plants in the NJ Botanical Garden
- Thing to do number 12: Visit the Loew’s Jersey Theater
- Thing to do number 13: Relax in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Six Flags Great Adventure is a theme park located in Jackson Township, with a total area of 205 hectares, opened in 1974. Currently, there are eleven thematic zones, four of which are for young children, including a zoo, which contains amazing animals from all climatic zones.
In front of the park entrance there is an excellent cafe “Fantasy Forest”, decorated in the form of a huge ice cream. In the park, you will find a huge number of various attractions with good and funny names have been built. The flower park, in which there are unique plants from different corners of the world are collected, looks amazing with its beauty.
Six Flags Great Adventure has a sports complex, including:
- a stadium,
- tennis courts,
- a swimming pool and a gym.
There is also a shopping area with shops, bars and restaurants offering traditional American cuisine.
Interesting: Six Flags Great Adventure is one of the largest entertainment complexes in the world, it gives people a lot of pleasant experiences – here even adults become children.
If you like history and feel like visiting museums, then don’t miss an opportunity to go to the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Society Museum, founded in 1984. It is located on the top floor of the public library of Greenville in Jersey City. This is the only museum in New Jersey dedicated to the African-American population, where all of its legacy has been collected since the 17th century. It was organized by the president of the National Association for the Promotion of Colored Population Thomas Taylor, who saw the need to preserve the cultural wealth of the people.
In three halls of the museum there are expositions in which African artifacts are represented. The composition includes:
- photographs and memorabilia associated with Afro-American history.
In particular, here you can find information about the slave trade in New Jersey, the construction of the underground railway, the struggle for civil rights, the history of the African-American church and genealogical information for the compilation of family bloodlines. The museum has a conference room for thematic lectures and meetings of the black community of New Jersey.
Interesting: Special exhibitions and excursions are held here, which are of great interest for tourists and guests of the city.
South Mountain Reservation is a nature reserve, founded in 1895. It is located between the two Watchung mountain ranges in the Essex area, in the northeast of New Jersey. The reserve covers an area of about 8 square kilometers. This picturesque place is mesmerized by the beauty of the virgin nature:
- impassable forests,
- abundant trees,
- and various ponds: ponds, lakes and waterfalls.
On the territory of the reserve, a scientific research institute has been established. Highly qualified specialists are engaged in the study, breeding and conservation of rare endangered species of plants and animals listed in the Red Book. Also, here there are various conferences, which attract scientists from all over the world.
Interesting: The reserve hosts all kinds of excursions that are very popular among tourists.
The Montclair Art Museum, dedicated to American art, is housed in a building built in the Renaissance style in 1914. The museum’s collection contains about 12,000 exhibits, some of which represent Indian art.
- The first floor of the museum is occupied by expositions with drawings, engravings, paintings, photographs and sculptures by American masters, from the 18th century to the present day. In the museum is the world’s gallery of the artist of the XIX century George Inness, here 22 of his best works exhibited.
- The history of the art of American Indians is represented on the second floor of the building. Here there are the cultural achievements of our days and historical artifacts, encompassing weaving, carving, ceramics and jewelry.
The sculpture “The Oath to the Sun”, which combines Indian figures with American landscapes, is the visiting card of the museum and is located on the main entrance.
The museum has an art school in which professional artists reveal the secrets of mastery.
Interesting: The Art Museum of Montclair is a historical monument and is very popular with tourists.
One of the attractions of Vernon is the seasonal water park Mountain Creek, opened in 1976. In 1991, the park was completely reconstructed and modernized. Here the newest water filtration system was installed, the main component of which is powerful sand filters, which allow to achieve the result for the shortest period of time.
Giant modern attractions, such as Kamikaze, Tsunami, Pipeline, Tarzan’s Swing, and others have replaced the old habitual slides.
On the territory of the water park there is a sports town, which includes:
- a stadium,
- tennis courts
- and a gym. There are also several restaurants and cafes.
Interesting: The Mountain Creek Water Park is ideal for families and is very popular with Vernon residents and tourists.
The main attraction of Seaside Heights is Casino Pier, located on a pier off the Atlantic coast. It was opened in 1960, but in 2011 a part of the pier collapsed under the influence of hurricane Sandy. As a result, Casino Pier was partially destroyed and temporarily stopped working. In the summer of 2012, repairs were completed, and the amusement park re-opened its doors to visitors.
Casino Pier includes 38 rides and a shopping tent. Vacationers are offered:
- “American roller coaster”,
- go-cart track,
- mini-golf and much more.
The park works for a year, stopping work for only one month at the end of winter to check serviceability and repair the rides. In Arcadia, located on the pier, a restaurant is built, where visitors are offered traditional American cuisine. Visitors here can have a snack and relax, admiring the beautiful views of the ocean. Also in the park there are several cafes and eateries offering pizza, hot dogs and lemonade. This is one more perfect place for the family rest.
Interesting: Near the park there is a wonderful white sand beach, on which the water park is built.
Gingerbread Castle was built in Hamburg (New Jersey, USA) in 1928 by Fred Henry Bennett next to his factory for the production of biscuits for dogs. It was a children’s park, the decoration of which was inspired by the tales of the Brothers Grimm.
The walls of the castle seemed to be made entirely of gingerbread, candy and other sweets. Children were dressed as Hansel and Gretel and became part of these fairy tales. Around the castle there were large sculptures of:
- Humpty Dumpty,
- Alice in Wonderland
- and other fairy-tale characters.
Unfortunately, the closure of Mr. Bennett’s company in 1989 led to the closure of the plant. Because of the old age of the castle, it was decided not to spend money on its restoration. Will it ever be restored in its original splendor, unfortunately, nobody knows.
Interesting: The castle itself was designed by the world-famous architect, theater designer and illustrator of children’s books by Joseph Urban.
The State Museum of New Jersey was opened in 1895 in Trenton, on the banks of the Delaware River. The main building of the museum is a classic example of modernist architecture, it consists of four floors of exhibition space. Next to it you will see a planetarium, designed for 150 seats, and a 380-seat audience.
The archaeological collection of the museum covers about two million prehistoric and historical artifacts, discovered as a result of almost a century of excavations. There are expositions with drawings, photographs, paintings and sculptures of American masters from the 18th century to the present day. In the ethnographic hall, the cultural heritage of Indian groups and the Afro-American population is collected.
The collection of the culture of history is the largest and occupies several exhibition halls at once – it includes 250 thousand samples of:
- documentation of economic, cultural, military-political and social history of New Jersey,
- as well as artifacts of arts and crafts.
Interesting: The museum hosts thematic conferences and entertainment events, which attracts a large flow of tourists.
The Riegelsville Bridge is laid across the Delaware River and connects parts of the city located in different states – New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The bridge was built in 1904, and is one of the oldest in the region. In the middle of the 20th century, the wooden bridge could no longer cope with the increased load due to the dramatically increased car flow, so in 1956 a new bridge was built.
In 2011, the bridge was completely reconstructed and modernized, including:
- the replacement of bridge steel,
- the reinforcement of pedestrian sidewalks,
- the painting of the bridge superstructure,
- restoration of supports,
- milling works,
- improvement of lighting,
- marking on the bridge and the entrances to it.
The bridge is a multi-span metal structure with four towers. Its length is 180 meters, the length of the span is 61 meters, the carrying capacity is three tons. The bridge contains two car lanes and two pedestrian sidewalks.
Interesting: From the bridge there is a beautiful panorama of the picturesque nature, therefore the bridge is frequently visited by both locals and tourists.
One of the main attractions of Atlantic City is the giant concert and sports complex Boardwalk Hall. The building was built as an exhibition hall in 1929. In the 50s of the XX century it was significantly expanded, several more buildings were completed.
- a concert hall,
- a conference hall,
- a football and hockey field,
- several sports grounds and an organ music hall, in which an organ consisting of 33,000 pipes is installed and entered in the Guinness Book of Records.
In the concert hall, various contests and concerts are held, on which stars of world scale perform. For example, American pop star Madonna performed a sold-out show here in front of 12,207 spectators during her MDNA tour on September 15, 2012.
Also in the Boardwalk Hall there are all kinds of sports competitions and scientific symposia, including international level. There are several restaurants and cafes on the territory of the complex, and several hotels are also nearby.
Interesting: In 1987, the Boardwalk Hall was declared the National Historical Monument of the United States.
The New Jersey Botanical Garden, also known as Skylands, is the unique attraction of Ringwood. The garden is located in the territory of a luxurious manor, which in 1963 was taken over by the city administration. Soon after, a botanical garden was built here, covering an area of 4.5 square kilometers.
Skylands has become a haven for unusual plant species from around the world, where they are protected and preserved.
Here you can:
- wander through the avenues,
- admire the old majestic trees
- and listen to the singing of birds.
The whole garden is buried in the scent of colors of various shades, which are huge here. The bushes of a bizarre shape attract attention, carefully trimmed by the staff.
On the territory of the garden there are daily guided tours of all its picturesque corners. In the old mansion, consisting of 54 rooms with antique panels and stained-glass windows, orders are accepted for holding all sorts of celebrations.
Interesting: It should be noted that the territory of Skylands there is also a huge Winter Garden, so tourists can visit this place all year round.
The unique landmark of Jersey City is the Loew’s Jersey Theater, located on Journal Square. It was built in 1929 in Baroque style, and finished with terracotta tiles.
What attracts attention most?
- At the top of the building’s facade animated clocks illuminating the statues of St. George and the dragon were installed.
- Every 15 minutes the clock made a chime, while the figures began to move.
- The building of the theater was divided into three auditoriums, designed for 1900 seats.
- Here, there were theatrical performances and the demonstration of motion pictures on a wide screen. The theater hall was equipped with an organ niche and an orchestra pit. In the cinema, the left corner of the stage was occupied by a piano, accompanied by a demonstration of silent films.
In 1986, the theater was sold to a construction company planning to erect a new structure in its place. In this connection, the building was abandoned for ten years, as a result the time and frequent cases of vandalism severely affected it.
Interesting: In 1996, thanks to volunteers, the full reconstruction and modernization of the building began. Currently, this historic place attracts tourists and guests of Jersey City.
Delaware Water Gap is a national recreation area, located in the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania and occupying an area of 28 thousand hectares. The park has many historical and cultural attractions, for example:
- the Minisink archaeological site,
- the village of Millbrook,
- the Petra Valley Art Center,
- the artifacts of Indian tribes and the early Dutch settlement of the colonial period.
The picturesque nature of this region strikes with its beauty: majestic mountains, a river, mighty deciduous forests and endless fields. Visitors to the park are offered a lot of entertainment for active recreation:
- cross-country skiing,
- horseback riding
- and picnics.
Interesting: Hunting and fishing are permitted in the season, subject to existing state licenses. Those who have ever visited Delaware Water Gap, get unforgettable impression for the whole life.