Situated in New Jersey’s Southern Shore Region, scenic Cumberland County encompasses around 500 square miles, over 40 miles of which traces the Delaware Bay coastline. Its rich maritime trades and glassmaking industry made it famous centuries ago, but those are only a couple of reasons why you need to plan a visit now. Here, you can drift away in a laid-back destination where the “wildlife” remains truly of the outdoor kind, and the finer things lie in its nature, heritage, arts, culture and cuisine.
Nautical-by-Nature Outdoor Activities
One of the first things you’ll notice? Natural beauty – so stunning and brimming with iconic highlights, it earned Cumberland County the well-deserved acclaim on our Bayshore Heritage Scenic Byway, also a National Scenic Byway, one of the most significant routes in the U.S.
Vast wetlands, stretches of unspoiled bay coastline and winding rivers host myriad fauna and flora species, including one of the state’s largest concentrations of bald eagles. In these flourishing habitats, you’ll find many places and ways to explore.
Navigate on or along the Maurice River – designated a National Wild and Scenic River – either biking or walking, canoeing or kayaking, or embarking on lots of other things to do there. Charter a fishing boat at Fortescue State Marina, or meander peaceful, nearby beaches, spotting mussels, horseshoe crabs, seashells and sea glass.
Hit the Albert J. Kolonich, Jr. Nature Trail (Bridgeton), learning as you go about the fish ladder and migration and the local ecosystem. At trail’s end, enter the free Cohanzick Zoo, featuring nearly 100 birds and mammals representing more than 45 global species.
Serenity awaits in Glades Wildlife Refuge's tidal marsh, creeks and ponds, farm fields and mixed and old-growth woodlands (Newport, Downe Township), Meadow Wood Environmental Sanctuary (Maurice River Township) and the hilly, 500-acre Maurice River Bluffs Preserve (Millville).
Authentically Cumberland County Heritage
As early as the 1800s, New Jersey was among the top four oyster-producing states, and Port Norris became “Oyster Capital of the World.” From the Maurice River wharves and oyster shipping sheds at the Bayshore Center at Bivalve, you can still watch oystermen at work, sail aboard the 1928 schooner AJ Meerwald (New Jersey’s official tall ship) and soak up the Delaware Bay Museum.
But Cumberland County honors other facets of its history, too. At the Seabrook Educational and Cultural Center museum, discover stories of Seabrook Village, where Japanese Americans from World War II U.S. incarceration camps, as well as diverse people from other countries and cultures, relocated to live and work together beneficially.
The Millville Army Air Field Museum preserves the story of “America’s First Defense Airport” and its impact on the world, while covering a range of subjects. The All Sports Museum of Southern New Jersey (Bridgeton) features numerous artifacts from professional athletes with South Jersey ties, plus local and regional sports stars and prominent media figures.
See the picturesque East Point Lighthouse (Heislerville), built in 1849. Delve deeper into programs and multiple museums from the Cumberland County Historical Society (all in Greenwich).
Trailblazing Arts and Culture
The fires of southern New Jersey’s glassmaking industry, vibrant since 1739, still burn brightly in Millville. Year-round, stroll the inviting Glasstown Arts District for distinctive art galleries and studios, dining, live performances at the Levoy Theatre and eclectic shopping, like that found in An Octopus's Garden, Bogart's Bookstore and Cafe and Pangea.
Nestled on 45 wooded acres, the internationally acclaimed WheatonArts (open seasonally) offers glass and pottery demonstrations in the Artist Studios, exhibits in the Museum of American Glass and Down Jersey Folklife Center, a nature trail and shops.
In Vineland, catch live shows at the Landis Theater and nostalgic vibes at the Delsea Drive-In movie theater (open seasonally).
Savor Your Stay with Great Dining and Lodging
Fulfill every craving in restaurants spanning classic Jersey diners, to Italian and Mexican, to all-day desserts, to – of course – seafood!
Popular picks include Outlaw's Burger Barn and Creamery, Dolce Vita, Milly's Restaurant and Kura Thai and Sushi (Vineland); Lucy's Mexican Restaurant, Bridgeton Family Diner and De Olde Towne Restaurant (Bridgeton); Maurice River Diner and Bailey's Seafood (Port Elizabeth).
In Millville, try BJ Roasters, Bruni's Breakfast and Burgers, Everything Classie Sweet Soulful Cafe, Jim's Lunch and Millville Queen Diner. Plus, sample some stops on and beyond New Jersey’s Southern beverage trails at Glasstown Brewery, Cedar Rose Vineyards and Mission Spirits Distillery.
Linger longer, and experience everything you can. Stay overnight in the one-of-a-kind Charlesworth Hotel & Restaurant (Fortescue), Rev. Leonidas E. Coyle House Bed & Breakfast (Bridgeton) or any of these Southern Shore accommodations.
Dip into even more in Cumberland County and New Jersey’s Southern Shore Region. For help in planning your getaway, download our travel guide and sign-up for our e-newsletter – both are free to visitors. To make the most of your stay, be sure to check out the official websites or social media pages of the sites you plan to visit before hitting the road.