New Jersey may be the fourth-smallest of the American states, but it still packs a punch far beyond its size. The Garden State offers something for everyone, from enjoying beautiful beaches along the Jersey Shore to exploring the vibrant downtown areas of Jersey City and Hoboken. There are also iconic landmarks to visit, such as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. And let’s not forget Atlantic City – also known as the “Las Vegas of the East” – if you’re up for some casino table games and all-night entertainment.
Before we delve into some of the best things to do in New Jersey, let’s look at the history of this vibrant and diverse state.
The history of New Jersey
Before European colonization, Native American tribes (including the Lenape) inhabited the region. In the early 17th century, Dutch and English settlers arrived in the area, after which the region split into two colonies: East Jersey and West Jersey. New Jersey was the third state to ratify the United States Constitution in 1787.
Gambling also has a long history in New Jersey, dating back to the 19th century, with a variety of illegal gaming operations which included card games and horse racing. In 1978, the state legalized casino-style gambling, encompassing a variety of games, in Atlantic City. In recent years, New Jersey has also permitted gambling and sports betting on online platforms. Now residents can enjoy a wide range of live dealer online casino games, including online slots.
Whether you’re interested in online casino games or something more active, we’ve made a list of New Jersey’s finest attractions for you to check out.
Located across the Hudson from Manhattan, Jersey City is a vibrant and diverse place. Visit Liberty State Park and enjoy stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the New York City skyline. There are many recreational activities in the park itself, such as hiking and biking trails, fishing and boating. Or else head towards the Historic Downtown while working up an appetite along the waterfront pathway with its multitude of restaurants, bars and shops.
If you’re searching for some of the best places to live in New Jersey, take a look at the super-gentrified town of Hoboken, the one-time home of Frank Sinatra and Bruce Willis. Naturally, the property here is vastly expensive. Still, this suburb is perfectly positioned on the edge of the Hudson River, with a wide variety of intriguing shops, bars and restaurants to explore.
Cape May Historic District
This must-see destination is perfect for those interested in history or architecture. This charming area is filled with beautifully-preserved Victorian-era homes and buildings that offer visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich history. Enjoy several historic sites, including the Emlen Physick Estate, a Victorian-era mansion that is now a museum, as well as the Cape May Lighthouse, the Cape May County Park & Zoo and the Cape May Convention Hall.
With more than 15,000 aquatic animals, it’s clear why Adventure Aquarium scores among the top 10 aquariums in the US. Get close and personal with giant Nile hippos, interactive exhibits, touch tanks and a 40-foot shark tunnel!
Six Flags Great Adventure
Besides online slots, here’s another way to have a wildly thrilling time – visit the Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park, one of the most fun attractions in New Jersey. From family-friendly rides, like a small coaster, to much more challenging rides like Superman: Ultimate Fight, you are sure to be entertained for hours. If rides aren’t your thing, you could instead check out the 1,200 animals in a 35-acre Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure.
We’ve kept the best for last! After you’ve explored the many hidden gems of New Jersey, you can hit the East Coast’s gambling epicenter, Atlantic City. After ambling along the Boardwalk, sampling delicious cuisine and trying your luck in the arcade, you can round off your day with some casino games. Visit the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa – a luxury hotel offering a casino VIP room, 180 casino gaming tables and a sports book. When it comes to casino table games like blackjack, poker and roulette, you’re sure to have an exciting time at this upmarket casino.
Best time of the year to visit New Jersey
When it comes to visiting New Jersey, different seasons offer various advantages. Late spring is ideal for warmth which gives you a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoor events during Memorial Day Weekend. There is also the Atlantic City Beer and Music festival at this time of year. During the warmer months, you can take advantage of the state’s beaches and outdoor activities. Alternatively, the cooler months offer beautiful fall foliage and other intriguing holiday events and are considerably less crowded.
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