12 Once-In-A-Lifetime Adventures You Can Only Have In New Jersey
New Jersey may be a small state, but we have a little bit of everything. From big cities to beautiful beaches, there are endless opportunities for entertainment. You can take a stroll through the gorgeous gardens at Skylands, sunbathe in Stone Harbor or relax at one of the incredible spas in Atlantic City. While all of these are wonderful ways to spend a weekend, it’s also fun to have a little adventure. Here are 12 unique adventures you can only have in New Jersey.
1. Paddle the Pine Barrens.
Take your kayak or canoe out to the Batsto or Mullica River for a spectacularly scenic adventure. Even better? Take a guided tour with
. These tours will take you through the Pine Barrens and allow you to see them in a whole new way while learning about habitats, history, native plants and animal species.
2. Sail and learn aboard the AJ Meerwald.
The home port of this stunning tall ship is Bivalve, New Jersey. The restored 1928 oyster dredging schooner sets sail regularly from the Bayshore Center along with other ports throughout the area. Help raise the sails and learn about New Jersey's maritime history on these scenic cruises. Visit
for schedule and pricing info.
3. Have a "Great Adventure" at Six Flags.
While there are Six Flags locations throughout the United States, Great Adventure in Jackson is unique in several ways. I'll admit, I'm not a big roller coaster person... But if I was, I would be thrilled to ride on Kingda Ka - the world's tallest roller coaster. Also impressive - the park's parachute ride is the only one of its kind in the nation, the El Toro is one of the smoothest riding wooden coasters in the US and the 350-acre safari is unlike anything else you'll find in the states.
4. Run with the wolves at Lakota.
Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia is the most enchanting place. Paradise for photographers, anyone will enjoy observing these majestic creatures in a natural habitat. For information on guided tours, visit
5. Get your wine on with NJ Adventure Tours.
Based out of Parsippany, the "Three Ways To Wine Tour" includes round trip transportation to three wineries, tasting fees, lunch, a souvenir wine glass and VIP discounts on bottles (where applicable). To learn more, visit
6. Climb to the top of the oldest working lighthouse in the US.
The 250-year-old Sandy Hook lighthouse is open for tours daily from 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.. Fun fact: In 1990, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 25 cent stamp featuring the Sandy Hook Lighthouse.
7. Jet boat with East Coast Parasail.
The popular parasailing company in Cape May also offers jet skiing and jet boat adventures. The guided jet boat tour is the perfect balance of excitement and education - your captain will zip, dip and spin for thrills while slowing down to offer insights on points of interest. Visit
for more info.
8. Take a twilight tour of Greenwood Gardens.
This Italianate estate is always a whimsical place, but it's even more magical as the sun starts to set. Located in Short Hills, the site offers several gardens, stunning terraces and architectural gems. Guided twilight tours cost just $10 and include wine and cheese. The next tour will be offered on July 19th with additional tours on August 16th and September 20th. For more information, visit
9. Geocache at The Tourne.
With a smartphone and geocaching app, you can explore New Jersey and find hidden treasures throughout the state. Fun for all ages, there are caches available almost everywhere. The Tourne, located near Mountain Lakes, offers several top-rated caches along with spectacular scenery and great hiking. Learn more at
10. See a show in Atlantic City.
From concerts to comedians, there is something for everyone. I recommend checking out Five at the 5 in Dante Hall. Weekends in July, this event celebrates the famed 500 Club that Frank Sinatra frequented and will take you back to the 1950s with live music and more. For additional info, click
. Photo taken at the 500 Club in 1955.
11. Get out on the water at Lake Hopatcong.
You don't need to head to the shore for waterfront fun. Lakeview Marina offers party and pontoon boats, kayaks, wakeboarding, waterskiing, tubing, "ZUPboarding" and the "Air Chair." There's something for every level of skill and thrill.
12. Look on in awe at the Quick Chek Festival of Ballooning.
Now in its 34th year, the festival will be held from July 29th - 31st in Readington. The colorful balloons make for quite a sight, but for a real (and pricey) adventure, enjoy a ride yourself. Daytime rides are $225 per person and evening rides are $250 per person. For more information, tickets and VIP packages, visit
What’s your favorite adventure in New Jersey? If you’re looking for more fun, check out this
unique tunnel, these beautiful waterfalls and 13 epic water parks in the Garden State.
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.