10 Essential Summer Experiences in New Jersey

With its beaches and boardwalks, New Jersey is a summertime paradise, but you’ll quickly discover that there’s more to experience besides its coastline. A lot more. So get ready to make the most of warm-weather days with this bucket list of essential summer activities and inspirational things to do. Take it from us, these ten ideas are perfect for you!

  1. See the lighthouses.
    A reminder of New Jersey’s rich maritime heritage, historic lighthouses along the coastline are not only picturesque – they’re pieces of American history. Take a tour of Absecon Lighthouse  in Atlantic City, the state’s tallest lighthouse and the third tallest in the country. View Barnegat Lighthouse, affectionately known as “Old Barney” on the northern tip of Long Beach Island or the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, the oldest operating lighthouse in the U.S. And there are oh-so-many more lighthouses in New Jersey to explore. For more ways to brighten up your days check out our enlightening list of summer day trips in NJ.

    Sandy Hook Lighthouse
  2. Stroll the beaches and boardwalks.
    With more than 130 miles of coastline, Jersey has every type of beach you could want – from quiet and serene to hip and trendy and everything in between. Bordering the beaches are the world-famous boardwalks: wooden wonders lined with restaurants, shops, open-air bars, kid-approved attractions and beachfront hotels. In Jersey, we call it “walking the boards.” We think you’ll call it amazing. For another way to get your steps in while exploring the Garden State, head out for a hike on the Appalachian Trail.

    Asbury Park Beach
  3. Go wine tasting.
    Escape to the Garden State’s countryside to discover rolling hillsides covered in grape vines at more than 50+ wineries and vineyards. You can enjoy wine tastings in one of the many charming tasting rooms throughout the state, then take in the beautiful views with a vineyard tour. Enjoy crafty brews and sipping wines from Jersey vines? Our beer, wine & spirits itinerary is for you.
  4. Get in the game.
    Want to know why minor league baseball is a big hit in Jersey? It’s because when it comes to fun, it covers all the bases. Score big with the family, friends and your wallet as you root, root, root for your favorite players. It’s a wow-a-minute and budget-friendly way to catch all the excitement of summer. Check out who’s sliding into home in Jersey this season.

    Trenton Thunder

  1. Explore New Jersey’s state and national parks.
    Go on an outdoor adventure this summer with exciting things to do at the 58+ national and state parks in New Jersey, from swimming and boating to hiking and mountain biking. Many state parks, such as Monmouth Battlefield State Park (Manalapan) and Long Pond Ironworks State Park (Hewitt), also have important American history sites. And if history is your thing, you won’t want to miss these off-the-beaten-path historic sites in Jersey.

    Island Beach State Park

  2. Wheel in the fun during a scenic bike ride.
    Whether you have a mountain bike or a beach cruiser, there’s no shortage of places to take in the warm weather on two wheels. Enjoy a morning ride on the Ocean City boardwalk or an all-day excursion on the Henry Hudson Trail. Find even more great places to ride bikes in the Garden State. And if it’s too rainy to ride, check out wonderful weather-proof ways to have fun in Jersey!
  3. Plan a happy camper getaway.
    There’s nothing that says summer like the crackling of a campfire beneath a starry sky. Get away from the city with a weekend at one of New Jersey’s campgrounds and RV parks. Here are just a few of our favorite campsites with gorgeous scenery. And what goes better with camping (well, except s’mores) than kayaking and canoeing? If you agree, oh do we have some cool places to paddle for you.

    Kymer’s Camping Resort
  4. Delve into the past at living history villages.
    It’s one thing to visit a historic site, but it’s completely different to experience it as it was in its heyday. This summer, take the kids to a living history village such as Fosterfields Living Historical Farm (Morristown), where they can experience what farm life was like from 1918-1925. At Howell Living History Farm in Lambertville, visitors can take part in early 1900s field, barn and craft programs or explore the grounds on a self-guided tour. For more to do in Lambertville, “The Antiques Capital of New Jersey,” look here.
  5. Take a spin at Jersey’s amusement and water parks.
    New Jersey is a thrill seeker’s paradise, with dozens of amusement and water parks throughout the state. Take your pick from daring roller coaster rides at top spots like Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari in Jackson, or opt for destinations that have roller coasters and water parks, such as Morey’s Piers & Waterparks in Wildwood or Keansburg Amusement Park & Runaway Rapids Water Park. It’s a good time to dive into our latest in-depth look at things to do at Six Flags Great Adventure
  6. Fish around for an exciting adventure.
    Take your pick from hundreds of publicly accessible lakes, ponds and reservoirs in New Jersey – not to mention the many secluded rivers and streams – when you’re planning your next fishing trip. If you’re ready to reel in a trophy fish, book a fishing boat charter and try your hand at deep-sea Keep in mind Lake Hopatcong is also a fabulous spot to cast your line, hint, hint.


Find even more to do in New Jersey by downloading a free official travel guide or signing up for our e-newsletter. And as always, be sure to check the websites or social media channels of your destinations before you go to ensure you have all the need-to-know info. See you this summer!