Explore New Jersey

New Jersey Travel Guide

The tiny state of New Jersey is often overshadowed by neighbouring New York City. Travelling south on the New Jersey Turnpike toll road from New York, visitors will be stuck with the picture of popular imagination that has been the brunt of jokes with many an on-stage comedian. The ugly highway, traversing an industrial landscape of grey, smoking chimneys and factories, and passing bleak cities like Newark and the state capital of Trenton, does little to encourage visitors, while even the songs of Bruce Springsteen describe his birthplace in disparaging terms.<br /><br /> But surprisingly there is more to New Jersey than grey factories and industrial estates. One of the state's most treasured prizes is its 127 miles (204km) of sandy beaches along the Atlantic coast, lined with many holiday resorts, bustling boardwalks and quaint seaside towns that draw thousands of tourists to enjoy the sun, surf and excitement of the famous Jersey Shore. The world's first boardwalk has its home in Atlantic City, famous for its 24-hour gambling entertainment and casino hotels redolent of Las Vegas, while the old-world charm of Cape May takes one back to the Victorian age with beautifully restored 19th-century buildings home to some of the finest bed and breakfast Inns anywhere. In between are miles of fun and entertainment, from water parks and zoos to Ferris wheels, roller coasters, shopping and nightlife, along with surf and sand.<br /><br /> Even in the grey north of the state, cities like Hoboken and Princeton offer their own attractions, as well as bustling nightlife with a busy selection of bars and clubs. Princeton is home to the famous university, as well as some interesting historical sites.<br /><br /> Nature lovers can enjoy wilderness hiking trails in the scenic hills of the Skylands that also offers perfect conditions for skiing in winter. Historically this region is known as the Military Capital of the Revolution and visitors can trace the movements of General George Washington and his troops during the winter of 1779 at the Morristown National Historic Park. The state's rich history also includes some of America's greatest inventors and physicists such as Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, and the Liberty State Park overlooking the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island that was one of the country's main immigration stations from 1892 to 1954.<br /><br />

Atlantic City

At its height during the 1920s, Atlantic City was the holiday destination and playground for the rich and famous with thousands of city dwellers flocking to enjoy the seaside. This holiday spot is now one of America's oldest and boasts the world's first Boardwalk, running along an eight-mile (13km) stretch of beach, which was built in 1870 by local hotel owners.<br /><br /> Atlantic City is also home to the nation's first Big Wheel, the first colour postcards and the first Miss America Beauty Pageant, which has been held here annually ever since 1921. The Boardwalk is lined with amusement parks and nightclubs, which means visitors are always entertained, day or night. New Jersey instituted legal casino gambling in the 1970s, which has resulted in a collection of grand gambling halls and extravagant casino-hotels reminiscent of Las Vegas, from designs like the Showboat to the onion domes and gigantic elephants of the Trump Taj Mahal.<br /><br /> Today Atlantic City is famous as a gambler's paradise, with a vibrant nightlife. It also offers amusement rides, souvenir shops and children's entertainment in a bid to market itself as a family holiday destination and 'America's Favourite Playground'.<br /><br />

Cape May

Situated at the southern-most tip of the New Jersey Cape, the holiday favourite of Cape May is the jewel of the Atlantic Shore and the nation's oldest seaside resort, known for its calm beaches, historic sites and many nearby natural attractions that contrast with the flashier Atlantic City.<br /><br /> With a fairytale collection of authentically restored and beautifully preserved Victorian homes, the entire town of Cape May was designated a National Historic Landmark and is internationally recognised as one of the best Bed and Breakfast Inn resorts in the country. The ambience of gingerbread-trimmed inns, old gas lamps and colourful stained glass windows offers visitors a peaceful change of pace from most other holiday resorts along the shore.<br /><br /> Bird watchers are drawn on holiday to the Cape May Point State Park that attracts huge flocks of birds during the spring and autumn migrations. Cape May offers modern as well as historic accommodations, fine dining and shopping, and lots of nature walks, and its easy-going atmosphere is apparent even at the height of the summer holiday season.<br /><br />

Six Flags Great Adventure Theme Park

Address: 1 Six Flags Boulevard, Jackson

Admission: Adults $66.99, children $39.99. Discounted tickets available through the website. Parking $20. Hours vary according to season. Check the website for current times.

Telephone: (732) 928-1821

Six Flags Great Adventure is the largest theme park in New Jersey, and one of the most popular on the east coast of the US. It has eleven themed areas with various rides and attractions for all ages, and thirteen roller coasters. Much of the park is themed with DC superheroes like Superman, Batman, and the Green Lantern. The park has a number of restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops. The attached Six Flags Wild Safari is a drive-through game park with lions, elephants, giraffes, kangaroos and bears. Next door is Hurricane Harbour, a waterpark with a wave pool, adventure river, and more than a dozen speed slides.<br /><br />

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