The Best Time to Visit New Jersey in 2023 (A Local’s Guide)
The best time to visit New Jersey is between May and September. Spring provides optimal weather conditions for outings, and summer is ideal for the beach season.
I’ve lived in New Jersey all my life and have experienced every season in most regions of the Garden State. I’m here to help you pick the best time to visit New Jersey so you can get the most out of your trip.
At the end of the day, when you visit New Jersey depends on what you want to do when you get here. As such, I’ll go over when’s the best time to come for good weather, fewer crowds, or if you’re on a budget. And while you’re here, bookmark these best places to visit in New Jersey for inspiration on where to go.
Let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
- When is the Best Time to Visit New Jersey?
- New Jersey Travel Seasons
- New Jersey Weather and Climate
- FAQs About When to Visit New Jersey
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When is the Best Time to Visit New Jersey?
In general, the best time to visit New Jersey is from May through early September when the weather is optimal for both indoor and outdoor excursions. These months are great times to take advantage of all that the Garden State has to offer.
But of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, especially when we factor in what you want to do and see. In light of that, let’s break it down just a little further:
When to Visit New Jersey for Good Weather
Most of the Garden State experiences similar weather, so between May and early September is the best time to visit New Jersey. The weather is warm and pleasant, and you’re past the rainy period that April is known for. This is also tourism season.
May is when the average temperature starts to warm up to about 70°F/21°C. Temperatures then rise as high as 100°F/38°C come late June – mid-August, before coming back down to the 70-degree range around mid-September. Some summers are hotter than others, but in general, this is the best time for outdoor activities.
When to Visit New Jersey on a Budget
The most popular tourist season is May – September. Because of this, prices are often higher for many activities across the state. October – April is the off-season for tourism, and you’ll find that many hotel prices dip around this time.
Of course, being that the weather starts to get colder, outdoor activities aren’t as favorable. Still, there are things you can do in the off and shoulder seasons.
Popular cold-weather options include ice-skating and skiing. Visiting the beautiful waterfalls and museums are also great activities during this time. There’s always something to do in New Jersey, even if the weather isn’t the best.
When to Visit New Jersey for Sunny Beach Days
If you’re like most and want to come to New Jersey for the fabulous Jersey Shore, then you’ll want to visit in the summer months; June, July, and August. The weather is favorable for a dip in the water and tanning on the sand.
Many of the beaches along the Jersey Shore are often open year-round. However, there are a few that are only accessible from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For ideas of where to visit on the Jersey Shore, check out my list of New Jersey’s best beaches!
When to Visit New Jersey for Families and Kids
When you’re traveling with kids, you want to make sure you have as much space for them to run around as possible. If you visit during the warm months of late spring and summer, then you’ll be able to enjoy more activities. Beaches and outdoor festivals are popular activities for families around here.
Early fall is another great time to visit New Jersey, as that’s when the apple-picking season is well underway. Wide-open farm spaces are the perfect place for the little ones to safely run off their energy!
When to Visit New Jersey to Avoid Crowds
Tourism season is from May through early September in New Jersey which lends to bigger crowds. This is especially the case in popular New Jersey cities such as Atlantic City.
If you visit during the off-season, such as in late fall and winter, then you’ll experience fewer crowds. This means being able to enjoy attractions more freely. Tourists (and locals!) don’t tend to be a fan of the cooler temperatures that late fall and winter bring. Kids are back to school at this point too, lending to the smaller crowds.
🛎️ Need a place to stay? Check out my insider’s guide to where to stay in New Jersey, or check out some deals on Booking.com, which are especially great outside of the tourist season.
New Jersey Travel Seasons
Visiting New Jersey from January through March
If you’re a fan of colder temperatures, or simply don’t mind them, then you’ll love visiting from January through March. This is the height of winter, but be forewarned – sometimes we get a lot of snow and you’ll need a winter coat. If you don’t have to drive in it, though, you’ll love watching the snow fall from the window of your hotel.
- ❄️ Ice Skating – Enjoy ice-skating at a few different venues, including the outdoor rink in Newport, Newport Skates.
- ❄️ Sledding – One of our favorite activities right after a big snowstorm is to grab a sled and go down the nearest hill!
- ❄️ Skiing – Visit any of the ski resorts New Jersey has to offer, such as Mountain Creek in Vernon, NJ.
🚗 Where to Rent a Car: It’s no fun waiting for public transportation out in the cold! Check out Discover Cars for a reliable car to get around. I suggest an SUV, just in case the weather gets dicey.
Visiting New Jersey in April and May
April through May is spring in New Jersey and is the beginning of good conditions for being outdoors. Make sure to bring a light jacket as the evening sets in, and carry an umbrella. April has unpredictable weather, which includes frequent rain showers.
Some highlights of spring in New Jersey are:
- 🌸 Cherry Blossom Festival – April means it’s time for Essex County’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival held in Branch Brook Park! These beautiful pink and white flowers only bloom for a few short weeks before they fall. Take advantage and see them as soon as you can.
- 🌸 Food Truck Festivals – Spring is just the beginning of many food truck festivals. Try local New Jersey foods from a variety of vendors all over the state.
- 🌸 Farmer’s Markets – After a brief interruption during the cold months, our many farmer’s markets open up again. They sell amazing produce and baked goods from all over the Garden State.
👉 Pro Tip: For those unpredictable showers, I recommend this inverted umbrella. I hate using umbrellas, but this one is amazing won’t get you all wet when you close it.
Visiting New Jersey June through August
June through August is summer in New Jersey and brings with it long, sunshiney days. Tourism season is in full swing and you’ll see both locals and tourists enjoying the festivals, boardwalks, beaches, and events. Of course, a busier season means more crowds and higher accommodation rates, so it’s something to consider.
Some highlights of summer in New Jersey are:
- 🏖️ Beach Season – Summer in New Jersey means it’s time for the beach! As soon as Memorial Day Weekend passes, crowds flock to beaches in Ocean City, Asbury Park, and more. It’s definitely the most popular time of year to visit Atlantic City.
- 🏖️ Hot Air Balloon Festival – The Festival of Ballooning in Readington, NJ is a good time for all ages. Watch the colorful balloons take flight amidst local performances.
- 🏖️ Water Parks – The summer heat and humidity can get pretty brutal sometimes, which sends people running to the nearest body of water. Besides the beaches, we love a good water park. Hurricane Harbor, part of the Six Flags Great Adventure family, is one of my favorites.
Visiting New Jersey in September and October
Summer starts to wane in New Jersey when September hits, as kids go back to school and the temperatures start to drop. However, from a local’s perspective, this can still be a great season to visit.
Though the temperatures aren’t quite as high as they were in the summer, early September still does have a lot of perfect days for hitting the beach, and late September and October are great for experiencing harvest festivals.
Some highlights of fall in New Jersey are:
- 🎃 Fright Fest at Six Flags – As Halloween nears, many people flock to spooky events across the state. A fan favorite is Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure. If you love Halloween, then you definitely don’t want to miss Fright Fest. Hopefully, you don’t scare too easily…
- 🎃 Harvest Festivals – Fall in New Jersey means it’s time for harvest season, and apple-picking, pumpkin-picking, and hayrides become available. The scorching heat of the summer has usually died down by this time, but the weather is still warm enough to enjoy some great outdoor activities.
🗽 Read Next: When is the Best Time to Visit New York City?
Visiting New Jersey in November and December
As the holiday season gets on its way, the temperatures start to drop and seasonal festivities ramp up. If you like getting into the holiday spirit, then you’ll find these activities to be plentiful in New Jersey.
Given that the temperatures often drop to just around freezing, this season is great for indoor adventures. Visit New Jersey’s largest mall, the American Dream Mall, which is also the second-largest mall in the United States. Enjoy an almost endless variety of activities – and even get your holiday shopping done early.
- 🎄 Christmas Tree Lighting – There are a variety of Christmas tree lighting ceremonies all over the state. From Little Falls in Northern NJ to Wildwood Crest in the south, these ceremonies are abundant.
- 🎄 Go Shopping – Take advantage of the sales and get your holiday shopping done early.
New Jersey Weather and Climate
Fun fact about New Jersey: it has 5 climate regions.
For example, areas at higher elevations experience colder winters with higher snowfall amounts. These include areas in the mountains and those closer to Pennsylvania. Also, areas closer to the water are in general about 5 – 10° cooler than areas that are more inland.
The beginning of spring is announced with more frequent rain showers, but the temperatures hover around 50°F – 65°F, making them more tolerable than the brutal winter. As spring continues, the weather improves
FAQs About When to Visit New Jersey
Which month is the hottest in New Jersey?
August is the hottest and most humid month in New Jersey and is also the most common month for thunderstorms.
What are the summer months in New Jersey?
The summer months in New Jersey are June, July, and August. Summer in New Jersey begins on June 20th and ends in late September around the same time.
What months are cold in New Jersey?
Cold weather in New Jersey begins in late October, although the coldest months are January and February when temperatures often drop below zero. It doesn’t start to get warmer until late March.
Does New Jersey have good weather?
While temperatures do fluctuate per season, in general, New Jersey weather is predictable and has plenty of good weather days.
At the end of the day, when you come to visit the Garden State depends entirely on what you’d like to do and experience. We have fun every time of the year, and I hope that you’ll join us soon!
Want to explore more of New Jersey? Check out my guide to New Jersey for a quick look at some of the best adventures we have to offer!
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