With waterparks and revolutionary history, the Statue of Liberty, and theme parks about construction. New Jersey is a phantasmagoria of family entertainment:
A walk through the iconic Liberty State Park is like stepping into a movie. Look out on the Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island in one of the most spectacular city parks on the planet. A two-mile promenade leads to an Interpretive Center with views of the Hudson River and outdoor performance venues where you can often catch a show. Skate, cycle, or canoe on the river.
Come splash with your family at Sahara Sam's Oasis, a waterpark featuring indoor and outdoor slides and arcades, plus a café and other attractions. Hike to Batsto Village, a historic town listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Alternatively, go swimming and boating at Bass River State Forest. Nearby, you can visit Diggerland, a quirky and entertaining adventure theme park.
Step back in time to the American Revolution at this 3,000-acre park comprising sweeping hills and vibrant forests. The park has a special history, with one of the largest battles in America's history having taken place here. Your family will be fascinated by the Revolutionary War farmhouse and annual battle reenactments. A large playground and horseback riding trails welcome little ones in the summer, while sledding and skiing are popular in the winter.
From sunny mountaintops with state-wide views to unexplored trails through the state's most secret parkland, here are the best parks for hiking in New Jersey:
In southern New Jersey, Penn State Forest sprawls for 3,300 acres of wilderness. Hikers of all capabilities are thrilled by stepping into unexplored stretches and unusual landscapes, such as an old cranberry bog. A huge lake and whispering woodland offer some of the best hikes in New Jersey.
Sunrise Mountain affords views of the gleaming peaks of the Appalachian trail, well worth the ascent up its steep faces. While you can drive to the pavilion on top of the mountain, the views on the hiking trail make the effort of the climb worth it.
Sequestered in the southwest of the state, Parvin State Park erupts with a display of flowers each spring and summer. Teeming with wildlife, the park is home to flowering laurel, dogwood, and magnolia. Its scented pine forests whisper in the breeze, and wild azalea and 200 other flowering plants unfurl everywhere you look. Boat on Thundergust and Parvin Lakes, or hike to the edge of the Pine Barrens.
New Jersey is wild enough to satisfy the most ardent thrillseekers. Here are the best state parks to slake your thirst for adventure:
From the pinnacle of High Point Monument, almost 2,000 feet above sea level, uninterrupted panoramas of three states meet the eye. Spot the Delaware River winding at the border with Delaware. Ride horseback through these mountain foothills, mountain bike, or go fishing or hunting in the park in season. Canoe on the lake, or cross-country ski in the wintertime.
Year round, there's something exciting to enjoy in Belleplain. 21,000 acres boast ice fishing, skiing, and picnic areas. Come swimming, boating, and canoeing on the lake, or follow guided trails through the forest to spectacular views and thrilling sightings of native wildlife.
Visit Island Beach State Park, a barrier island nestled near the shoreline and ringed by ten miles of sandy beaches. Hike its bluffs and look out on Barnegat Bay, or explore verdant forests and marshes. The island is home to more than 400 bird species and many more animals. Boat and hike out to Barnegat Lighthouse on the opposite side of the inlet.