Welcome to New Jersey
New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation, but the Garden State also offers tranquil spaces to explore. The Appalachian and Kittatinny Mountains cross the northern part of the state, and the Pinelands National Reserve protects over a million acres in the central part of New Jersey, home to forests, wetlands and farmlands.
New Jersey’s urban centers cover much of the northern part of the state, with Newark and Jersey City serving as the largest cities. Head outside of Newark to West Orange to visit the Thomas Edison National Historic Park. The central and western parts of the state are home to smaller cities. The capital city of Trenton puts its Revolutionary War history on display, and nearby Princeton is home to Princeton University. To the south, the Jersey Shore is a perennial vacation destination.
Plenty of Public Lands
Located along the Pennsylvania border in western New Jersey, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area is a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of New Jersey’s urban centers. On the state level, New Jersey has a strong commitment to public lands, with 50 state parks found across the state. High Point State Park is a favorite choice in the northern region, with tremendous views and a spring-fed lake. Hacklebarney State Park is a preferred spot for tossing in a line, with the cool waters of the Black River being prime trout habitat. In southern Jersey, Wharton State Forest has thousands of acres of woodlands.
Manhattan Across the Water
Jersey City, the state’s second-largest town, is known as a melting pot of cultures. Its proximity to Ellis Island made it a stopping point for some of the millions of immigrants who entered the nation there. The downtown area is home to blocks of historic brownstone buildings. Nearby, the waterfront district is a beautiful spot to stroll as you watch boats gliding by. Liberty State Park, located on Upper New York Bay, offers superb views of the Manhattan skyline, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (with ferries available to take you across the waters for a visit).
More on the Shore
With over 100 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, the Jersey Shore is bustling with natural beauty, family fun and outdoor recreation. For a classic beach experience, sink your toes into the sand as the salty breeze whistles by. Fish from a pier or take a turn on a Ferris wheel. Adventurous visitors will find one of the surfing beaches and head out to ride the waves. On the southernmost point, scenic Cape May hearkens back to a bygone era. Stroll the streets lined with pastel-colored Victorian homes. Nearby Ocean City is a perennial favorite, chock full of family fun.
Further north, Atlantic City is bursting with entertainment. The state’s only casinos are found here, and a glitzy array welcomes visitors. Favorite beachside activities include strolling the nation’s oldest boardwalk and taking a whirl at the Steel Pier amusement park. For a more natural experience, head north to rustic Island Beach State Park.