When our friends and family come visit from far away, they always want to see “the city,” whether that city is New York or Philadelphia. Sure, I get it – big cities, big attractions. New Jersey has our fair share of incredible attractions, too.
1. The Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island
Though these attractions aren't underrated, New Jersey never gets the credit. Both are located, at least partially, in Jersey waters. Hop the ferry to these iconic locations from Liberty State Park in Jersey City.
2. Liberty Science Center
While you're in Jersey City, check out this massive museum! New York City museums are great, but WE have the largest IMAX Dome Theater in the United States. Until May 30th, visitors can enjoy a very special Titanic exhibit.
3. Battleship New Jersey
This Camden attraction offers great views of Philadelphia, but that's only just the beginning. Explore this magnificent ship with a long history and over 50 active years served between 1942-1999. Try the 4-D flight simulator, enjoy an interactive turrets tour and check out the nearby Adventure Aquarium.
4. Montclair Art Museum
The charming city of Montclair offers an incredible art museum. You'll find everything from Pueblo pottery to modern American art here, along with special tours, events and lectures. The first Thursday of each month is free and when you're done, the dining in this town is fantastic!
5. Cape May Whale Watcher
There's no need to head to New England for some amazing dolphin and whale watching opportunities. Cape May Whale Watcher also offers fantastic dinner and lighthouse cruises. Fun will be had by all!
6. Grounds for Sculpture
This magical indoor/outdoor gallery may be one of New Jersey's most beautiful man-made attractions. Visitors can also enjoy workshops, lectures, demonstrations and incredible dining options including Rat’s Restaurant and the Peacock Cafe.
7. Sterling Hill Mining Museum
This interactive mining museum in Ogdensburg allows visitors to tour a working mine and take in all of New Jersey's incredible fluorescent minerals. I could go on and on about this amazing attraction, but this short video says it all:
8. Ocean City
All of our shore resorts are wonderful places to take out-of-towners. Atlantic City is usually the first tourist destination to come to mind, but Ocean City has been called America's greatest family resort. The 2.5-mile boardwalk is filled with all kinds of fun activities. Try mini-golf, carnival games or the water park. While you're in the area, check out the free Discovery Seashell Museum.
9. Turtle Back Zoo
This West Orange Zoo is often ranked the #1 zoo in New Jersey. Guests can enjoy numerous exhibits, a petting zoo and treetop adventure course. Other great places to take animal lovers include the Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia and the Popcorn Park Zoo in Forked River, both of which support wildlife preservation.
10. New Jersey State Museum
Located in Trenton, the capital of New Jersey, this museum has it all - art, science, and history. Children will love the interactive Discovery Den while everyone can enjoy the Planetarium.
Visitors will love a day trip to this charming town. Tour Princeton University and University Art Museum, the Princeton Battlefield, Governors Mansion and Terhune Orchards. Take in a show at the McCarter Theatre Center and stop for a meal at Nassau Inn.
12. Ringwood State Park
This Jersey gem offers a botanical garden, beautiful grounds and TWO historic mansions. Recreational opportunities include boating, swimming, fishing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, sledding and more!
13. Silverball Museum Arcade
One of the many incredible places to see in Asbury Park, this is one of the most unique museums around. You don't just learn about the games, you get to play them, too! All games are free with paid admission.
And this list is just the beginning! There are so many great tourist spots in New Jersey, your visitors never need to leave the state. Where is your favorite place to bring out-of-town guests?