Weekend getaways in New Jersey are beyond plentiful. From beautiful beach towns to picturesque mountain spots, the Garden State has a perfect getaway for everyone.
As a New Jersey local, I know the best spots that are home to awesome things to do in New Jersey. Whether you’re traveling with the kids or with that special someone, this list will guide you to the most epic weekend getaways here in NJ. Let’s dive in!
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21 Best New Jersey Weekend Getaways
Cape May is one of the top destinations in New Jersey for a weekend trip. Its calm pace and many options for fine dining make it a great choice for a romantic getaway. There are also plenty of things to do in Cape May, including family-friendly activities.
Whale watching is one of the most popular activities here, while the historic district is great for history lovers, featuring beautiful Victorian homes. There’s also the elegant Congress Hall – a beautiful boutique hotel within the Historic District and a very popular place to stay in Cape May.
Just a few miles from Cape May, Wildwood is another one of the most popular spots for weekend getaways in New Jersey. This is especially the case during the summer when it becomes more of an active vacation spot and there are activities available for all ages.
Wildwood is known for being a resort city and is home to long and gorgeous sandy beaches. In fact, the beaches here are the widest on the cape. While here, take a walk on the boardwalk and stop in at the restaurants, waterparks, and shops.
Whether you’re a young couple looking for a new view, or a family of four looking to entertain the kids, there’s literally something for everyone.
Great views of the Atlantic Ocean and fun in the sun. That’s just some of what Ocean City has to offer. This is yet another great stop in Cape May County for summer fun with the family.
Ocean City has great boardwalk activities including an amusement park. The beaches are clean and well-kept, earning them a place on the list of the best beaches in New Jersey!
There are a variety of water sports that you can enjoy as well. If you want to venture away from the beaches, you can also go to the park and enjoy a day on a few of the many trails available.
Atlantic City, named America’s Playground, is a hot spot for weekend getaways year-round. It features a host of activities and there are some unique places to stay in Atlantic City. One such is the popular luxury hotel, The Borgata, which draws in thousands of guests every year.
Especially during warm weather, there are endless fun things to do and see in Atlantic City. The boardwalk is filled with a flurry of activity – from restaurants to casinos and classic boardwalk fare. If you want to get a little more laid back, then pay a visit to the Marina District and take in some waterfront dining. Additionally, the Downtown area has The Walk which is popular for some discount and outlet shopping.
Nestled within Hamilton Township is a small area known as Mays Landing. It’s technically part of Hamilton Township but with just over 2000 residents, has a charm all its own. Because of how quiet it is, this is a weekend getaway best suited for mature individuals such as retirees.
Mays Landing has a small, close-knit population full of friendly residents. There are nice restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating, depending on the time of the year you visit New Jersey.
Activities include an Animal Sanctuary, beautiful parks, and a few nice wineries (including Balic Winery). While it isn’t a bustling venture for the weekend, it’s a nice place to just sit back and relax.
This small, unique town is crowned the blueberry capital of the world. Bursting with rustic charm, Hammonton makes a great weekend getaway for those who love a small-town feel. Coming from the rigors of city life to a serene scene like this definitely feels nice.
Here you can engage in activities such as visiting wineries and vineyards. You can also view fine art at the museum, or get some golfing in. They even have paintball, if you want to do something a little more exciting.
Asbury Park’s beautiful beaches and lively boardwalk make this a popular spot for daytrippers and weekenders alike. The beaches and boardwalk are clean and inviting. The area has a relaxed vibe that visitors of all ages enjoy. Here you can find some of the best views of the Jersey Shore around.
For entertainment, stop in at the lively Stone Pony which often features live music. Asbury Park also has a host of venues and restaurants that offer great food and service. One of my personal favorites is the Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten. It’s got great food, a great beer selection, and two levels of indoor and outdoor seating.
Reminiscent of Cape May, Ocean Grove is also known for its Victorian-style homes. This peaceful beach town makes for a great weekend getaway. Those who want great views of the beach, but without a lot of fuss will love it. Ocean Grove also features The Great Auditorium – a popular venue that hosts religious services and choral events that many enjoy.
This classic beach town has a beautiful boardwalk, great views of the ocean, and a laid-back feel. It’s a dry town too, so no alcohol is served here. This makes it particularly appealing to families, and perhaps less appealing to the younger, more lively crowd.
It’s a great place to come and relax and enjoy evening strolls along the boardwalk as the sun sets.
Also known as the “Greenwich Village of the Garden State” what draws visitors to Red Bank is its dedication to arts and culture. Here, you’ll find great live music, theater performances, art galleries, and trendy restaurants and breweries.
What I love about Red Bank is its diversity, while still giving that relaxing vibe. It offers great restaurants, nightlife, and proximity to the beaches. Red Bank is one of the best towns in New Jersey and a great place for weekenders of all ages. Younger couples and singles going on a weekend trip with friends may find it particularly enjoyable.
Visitors love the Broadwalk, which is the hub of shopping, dining, and entertainment. It’s a great place to visit year-round, but Spring and Summer are the best. This allows you to fully enjoy the many outdoor activities that the town has to offer.
The Atlantic Highlands is a small, unassuming Victorian-era town by the shore. It’s the type of place you can truly relax and get away from the rigors of city life. Waterfront views, especially at the Marina, make it a great romantic getaway, and its proximity to Manhattan makes it a great big-city retreat.
While here, I recommend heading up to the Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook where you’ll get some amazing views of Sandy Hook Beach. Then, in the evening, head over to First Avenue Playhouse Dessert Theatre where you can take in a local show while noshing on some of the best cakes in the land.
Nearby Sandy Hook Beach is a great place to stop if you want some time on the beach, although it doesn’t have a boardwalk. This makes it a perfect place to catch some rays at the beach, without the busy boardwalk life.
Long Beach Island
Long Beach Island is otherwise affectionately known as LBI to locals and is one of the nicest summer weekend getaways in New Jersey.
As its name indicates, it’s an island in the Atlantic Ocean. LBI is praised for its gorgeous white sandy beaches and peaceful towns and is also one of the few beach destinations without a large boardwalk. However, the Beach Haven section does have a small boardwalk with ice cream and bike rentals, if that’s more your speed.
Surf City and the Island Beach State Park are two popular parts of Long Beach Island. You’ll find water sports, stunning views of the ocean, and a relaxed vibe that visitors of all ages will enjoy.
For those who want more excitement out of their weekend getaway, come to Seaside Heights. The amusement park and boardwalk here have a long-standing reputation for being popular with the younger crowds. Growing up, this was the go-to place every weekend during the summer.
You have your typical boardwalk fare, along with some great rides and a fun atmosphere. It can get quieter during the early Fall when everyone is back in school. But, what we affectionately call “Seaside” isn’t a place to just lay back and enjoy the waves – though you can. With so much to do, it’s a great place to bring rowdy kids to run off their energy.
One of the best places to live in New Jersey, Princeton has become very popular because of the Ivy League college, Princeton University. Having been around for over 276 years, it makes this educational institution a national historic landmark.
The gothic architecture draws in history buffs, as do the art museums. When it comes to recreation, visiting the town’s many golf courses is a popular activity here. Due to its peaceful nature, this is a popular weekend getaway for mature couples as well as families.
To get even more out of your trip to Princeton, try a walking tour that shows you some of Princeton’s amazing architecture.
Do you have a special love for antiques? Then you’ll definitely want to pay Lambertville a visit.
Known as the antique capital of New Jersey, you’ll find a high concentration of antique shops and quaint boutiques in the shopping centers. Lambertville is also home to a variety of amazing restaurants. They range from quaint cafes to upscale venues with gourmet treats.
Another key trait of this town is the bridge that connects Lambertville to New Hope, Pennsylvania. You get spectacular views of the Delaware River from this bridge. This is a perfect weekend getaway if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and revel in small-town charm.
Vernon is one of those places that’s great to visit year-round. In the Spring and Summer, there are gorgeous, lush parks. There’s also a water park, which is perfect for cooling down on hot summer days.
Then in the winter, there are great places to ski! Usually, you have to venture to the Poconos or upstate New York for good skiing. But Vernon has it right here in the Garden State! It’s the perfect place to ski and then cozy up with a loved one at the end of a day on the slopes.
Add to that a host of cozy restaurants, and this makes Vernon one of the top places for a romantic getaway.
Surburbia with a touch of the city mixed in. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting this area on a few occasions, mainly for dinner. You can find gourmet dining at a variety of restaurants.
The highly-rated Committed Pig is a popular stop for burgers, or you can get a taste of the local cuisine with a walking and beer-tasting tour – every foodie’s dream come true!
For a family-friendly activity, stop into the Fosterfields Historical Farm. Here you can feed chickens and get a feel for farm life. The parks here are beautiful too, perfect for a picnic.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
The Delaware Water Gap is a perfect weekend getaway for outdoor lovers, especially if you feel like roughing it in the woods for a few days. It’s to be noted though, camping is only allowed in specific areas and at certain times. Check ahead of time to confirm that you can do so.
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is also home to great hiking trails and beautiful views of the scenic Delaware River. The trails going through the Delaware Water Gap are home to some gorgeous New Jersey waterfalls – some of the state’s best natural wonders.
Montclair is a very nice town in Essex County that makes for a great New Jersey weekend getaway. One reason it’s so special is that it provides a great mix of city life and relaxed suburbia.
Bloomfield Avenue is the main road that runs through most of Montclair, and it hosts the majority of the town’s attractions. Here you can find great activities such as Paint and Sip as well as art exhibitions. There are a wide variety of restaurants available in a variety of cuisines and for every budget.
As for dessert, don’t forget to grab some delicious frozen yogurt at Let’s Yo! They have so many flavors and change them seasonally, giving your pallet a variety of flavors to choose from. Montclair is a great place to visit year-round.
West Orange is not only one of the best weekend getaways in New Jersey but also made Travel Lemming’s annual list of the best places to travel in 2023!
I love this town because it has a great variety of family-friendly activities that I can enjoy with my daughter. The Turtle Back Zoo and Regatta Playground are two of our favorite spots. The South Mountain reservation runs through West Orange. Here you’ll find a lot of great picnic areas and hiking trails so you can enjoy the natural world.
There are also great dining options in West Orange. Places like the upscale Highlawn offer exquisite gourmet meals. McLoone’s Boathouse also offers great casual fare with a waterfront view.
Jersey City is a large metropolitan area with various sections to explore. The most popular area for weekenders and visitors is the Newport waterfront area. This is also my favorite area to visit in Jersey City as upscale hotels, restaurants, and bars abound.
For a quick trip across the Hudson, go to Exchange Place. From there, visit the Paulus Hook Ferry Terminal for a relaxing, scenic Ferry ride. For more beautiful views, enjoy a nice walk at Liberty State Park. Warmer weather is best for taking it all in, so be sure to visit in the late Spring or early Summer months.
Just a few minutes away from Jersey City is upscale Hoboken. This thriving and bustling metropolitan area is popular with those who love great nightlife without having to cross the Hudson. Hoboken is home to some amazing restaurants and bars – Insomnia Cookies is a must-go while you’re here.
Hoboken has very few hotels, one such is the W Hoboken. This hotel offers great modern amenities. These include in-room dining, a spa, and even balconies in certain suites. Hoboken is lively, with superb views of the Hudson River and the NYC Skyline. Here you’ll also find Carlos’ Bakery – home of the legendary Cake Boss.
🚗 Traffic and parking are a big downside to visiting Hoboken. Roads can be congested, and finding parking is nearly impossible. Fortunately, Hoboken is quite walkable. If you need to go further, it’s best to use rideshare services like Uber or Lyft.
From beautiful beaches to serene small towns and lively cities – New Jersey has a little something for everyone. While you’re here, don’t forget to try some of the most delicious New Jersey foods!
(Featured Image Credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock)
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