There are so many things to do in New Jersey and so many ways to explore our great state. Even if you’ve lived here all your life, there’s something new to discover. Sometimes, it can be nice to have someone else show you around. Take some time this summer and check out one of these fantastic tours in the Garden State.
1. Cape May Whale Watcher, Cape May
This may possibly be the most popular tour in New Jersey and it can't be missed. The company offers whale and dolphin watching excursions along with dinner and lighthouse cruises. Cruises run frequently and are fairly affordable. Rates vary depending on the cruise/time, but start at around $30 per adult.
2. Birding By Boat, Cape May
If you've already taken the whale watching tour and are looking for another incredible option in Cape May, consider Birding By Boat on the Osprey. The boat is equipped with a covered viewing deck, restroom and a variety of binoculars to try. Explore the Cape May Harbor and Back Bay, and enjoy special discounted cruises for seniors.
3. Jersey Girls Food Tours, Jersey City
What better way to enjoy New Jersey than by eating your way through one of our most diverse cities? Don't be fooled by the name, these tours are not just for girls. The company was founded by two Jersey girls and the tours will take you to a variety of restaurants over the course of several hours. The Downtown Jersey City tour features 5 restaurants in 3 hours, costs $75 and includes all food along with a narrated tour.
4. River Horse Brewery Tour, Ewing
Tours run several times a day, each week on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is just $5 (regardless of age) and includes a tour of the brewing facility that teaches guests about beer and the brewing process, along with 4, 4-oz samples (for guests over 21).
5. Pour & Pedal Bicycle Winery Tours, Multiple Locations
A unique experience, Pour & Pedal was recently named "Best Vacation For Bicycle Lovers" by Fodor's Travel. Travel from winery to winery, enjoying a leisurely bike tour offering scenic views and local history. You'll bike 10-16 miles on mostly flat terrain over the course of around 5 hours. A picnic lunch, water and snacks are included. Tours depart from Ringoes, Cape May and New Egypt.
6. New Jersey State House Tour, Trenton
Every proud New Jerseyan should take this guided tour, which features information about the art, architecture and history of the New Jersey State House. Tours are offered hourly, Monday-Friday from 10-3 and on the first and third Saturdays of each month. Advance reservations are strongly recommended.
7. Underground Mine Tour, Ogdensburg
There's no place quite like this anywhere else in the world. Besides an amazing museum to enjoy, tour a fluorescent underground mine and its famous rainbow tunnel. Tours are just $12 for adults ($11 for seniors, $9 for children 12 and under) and last about two hours. The temperature is 56 degrees year-round and the mine is wheelchair/stroller accessible.
8. Lucy the Elephant, Margate
This New Jersey icon is a must-visit. The six-story historic landmark offers tours every thirty minutes during operating hours. Hours vary by season. Admission to the grounds is free, guided tours are $8 per adult or free to US military with valid ID. Lucy's 135th birthday is this year, on July 23rd.
9. Battleship New Jersey, Camden
The most decorated battleship in America, according to their website, guests may choose from a self-guided audio tour, or a premium guided turret tour on weekends. The turret tour is interactive and focuses on the ship's firepower - learn to load and fire the guns and input target coordinates. The turret tour is $29.95 for adults with discounts for children, seniors (62+) and veterans.
10. Sandy Hook Lighthouse, Highlands
Built in 1764, this is the oldest operating lighthouse in the United States. Managed by the National Park Service, tours are first come, first serve from 1-4:30 p.m. daily. You can also tour the nearby Nike Missile Radar Site.
11. Biplane Beach Tours, Bayville
Departing from the Ocean County Airport, these tours on The Cannibal Queen are a splurge (starting at $299 per couple/pair) but absolutely worth it. Fly over New Jersey's beautiful beaches for 30-75 minutes (depending on tour package) and see the state like you've never seen it before.
12. Princeton Tour Company, Princeton
Princeton Tour Company offers a wide variety of ways to explore one of New Jersey's most charming cities. Options include a variety of themed walking tours including a Sunday brunch tour, Halloween ghost tours, and 1-hour shuttle tours. The next shuttle tour will be held on June 11th and will take guests past the "homes and hangouts of Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, F Scott Fitzgerald, James Madison, Aaron Burr Jr., John F. Kennedy and Nancy Drew." This particular tour costs $20 per person.
13. Wolf Watch Tour, Columbia
How lucky are we to have the Lakota Wolf Preserve in New Jersey? Very! $15 will get you a very special 60-75 minute tour that offers guests a chance to observe wolves in their natural habitat while learning about their eating habits, pack structure and more. You'll also score some incredible photo opportunities.
14. Delaware River Railroad Excursions, Phillipsburg
Enjoy a scenic tour along the Delaware River or enjoy one of the many adventure tours. Choose from the Susquehanna Mine excursion, winery excursion and themed holiday rides. The mine excursion is just $15 for a steam train ride, tour of the grounds and a bag of mining ore guaranteed to contain gemstones.
15. Hackensack River Eco-Cruises, Secaucus
Choose from three different tour options - Meadowlands Discovery, Boating Through Bergen or Excursion Around The Bay. All tours last around 2.5 hours. The Excursion Around The Bay Tour is $30 per adult/$10 per child aged 4-12 and will take you all the way to Staten Island and back. Explore Kearny Point, Port Elizabeth and the Bayonne bayshore, among other sites. Tours are available on weekends from May-October.
This is only just the start of what New Jersey has to offer in terms of tours – what is your favorite tour to take in the Garden State? Which of these are you most interested in?