There are an incredible amount of scenic drives in our small state. Though you can travel the entire length of New Jersey in about three hours, we have diverse landscapes and winding roads that traverse them. You can explore rivers, mountains, woodlands and charming small towns, all in the span of several hours. It would be nearly impossible for me to compile a complete list of country roads with beautiful scenery in New Jersey, since we have so many, but here is a sample of what our state has to offer.
1. Route 519, From Colesville to Rosemont
This 88-mile stretch will take you back to a simpler time. You'll pass old barns, sprawling farms, vineyards and antique shops along the way, all while taking in some gorgeous scenery. Fun fact: Route 519 is New Jersey's Longest County Road
2. Route 521, From Montague To Hope
This winding road will afford you some magical views of parks, lakes and streams, particularly farther north on the route.
3. Ocean Drive, From Ocean City To North Wildwood
Enjoy views of beaches, bays, and the open ocean on this 20-mile trek. Take a detour and stop at Corson's Inlet State Park along the way for secluded beaches and a serene natural landscape.
4. Route 80, Through Warren County
This interstate highway is often overlooked as a scenic spot, but its mountain views can't be beat. This drive is particularly spectacular during the fall months, and several scenic overlooks will afford travelers breathtaking views.
5. Route 49, From Deepwater to Tuckahoe
You'll drive through pinelands and wildlife preserves on this lovely 60-mile route. Stop in Millville along the way and enjoy the bustling arts scene or grab a slice in Bridgeton at the legendary Big John's.
6. Route 29, From Washington Crossing To Frenchtown
You'll start with scenic views of the Delaware and will drive through the incredibly charming town of Lambertville on your way. Be sure to stop and explore Bull's Island and grab lunch at El Tule.
7. Palisades Interstate Parkway, From Fort Lee To Rockleigh
This drive is incredible year round, but just look at that fall foliage! Make sure to take a detour and enjoy the scenic overlooks with views of NYC, the Hudson River and the Palisades Cliffs.
8. Route 513, From West Milford To Frenchtown
You'll find farms, fields, forests, streams and small towns along this 70-mile trek. Don't miss the "pole farm" in Chester, a former AT&T testing ground.
9. Old Mine Road, Through Worthington State Forest
This drive along the Delaware is just 11 miles long, but it is packed with incredible views. Enjoy lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, wildlife and of course...the forest. This is a relaxing drive that will have you feeling connected to nature, but do note that this road is closed during the winter.
10. Route 537, From Camden To Long Branch
Though starting in Camden may not seem very scenic, you'll have incredible views of Philadelphia. You'll pass through fields, farms and several small towns, ending up in the lively Long Branch, right near the beach.
11. Henry Hudson Drive, From Fort Lee To Alpine
Running along the Palisades, this drive will take you right along the Hudson at the base of the cliffs. The views of NYC are stunning and the cliffs are majestic! Enjoy the Fort Lee Museum and Historic Park, Alpine Boat Basin and picnic spots along the way.
12. Route 527, From Cedar Grove To Toms River
Experience New Jersey's diversity, driving through large cities, small towns, affluent suburbs, industrial complexes and farmland. Enjoy the rivers, creeks and woodlands along the way!
I can think of countless others, from Route 15 past Lake Hopatcong to Route 9 near the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. What other scenic drives would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments!