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7 Off The Beaten Path Things To Do In New Jersey

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New Jersey is an East Coast state located near the iconic New York City.

While it may not be as widely known as New York, there are still plenty of reasons to visit.

Here are seven off-the-beaten-path things to do the next time you find yourself in New Jersey in 2023.

Jersey City, New Jersey skyline

1. Check Out Passaic Falls

This stunning, 77-foot tall cascade is nestled near Paterson, New Jersey.

If they look familiar, the falls notably appeared on an episode of The Sopranos.

You can see them for yourself with a visit to Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park – as well as enjoy nature trails and fresh air!

Passaic Falls at Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park.

2. Relax In The New Jersey Botanical Garden

If you’re looking for a peaceful way to spend an afternoon, head out to the New Jersey Botanical Garden.

Located in Ringwood, the botanical garden spans over 1,000 acres and is home to countless species of plants.

Even better, admission to the garden is free, making this an activity that’s both fun and budget-friendly!

Flower in botanical garden.

3. Explore The Deserted Village Of Feltvile

The deserted village of Feltville was once a mill town.

Even at the height of its population, its size was fairly small – a little under 200 residents, but nowadays, it sits entirely empty.

Empty except for visitors, that is – you can see many of the original structures in the town up close and personal for yourself, as well as stop by the nearby visitor center (open on weekends) for more information.

Abandoned building in ghost town.

4. Go On A Tour At Sterling Hill Mining Museum

A deserted village isn’t the only place to experience a bit of the rich history of the state! The Sterling Hill Mining Museum offers tours of a former zinc mine.

The tours not only allow you to go inside the mine but also see a truly one-of-a-kind, glowing passageway called the Rainbow Tunnel.

Fluorescent zinc ore is exposed in this tunnel, creating a brightly colored, otherwordly walkway under the blacklights that line the passage.

The museum currently offers weekend tours and recommends getting there 15-30 minutes prior to the tour to purchase tickets.

Glowing rocks at Sterling Hill Mine.

5. Rent A Pedal Boat At Asbury Park

If you find yourself in Asbury Park, here’s the perfect option for a fun outing with friends – or even a date idea! At Asbury Park, you can rent a swan or dragon-shaped pedal boat and head out on the lake.

Rentals open Easter weekend, making this a perfect choice for an upcoming trip to New Jersey.

Two swan shaped boats on a lake.

6. Check Out Silverball Retro Arcade

Here’s another fun option in the Asbury Park area!

This retro arcade will have you feeling like you stepped back into the 80s. It’s home to dozens of classic arcade games, from pinball machines to Pac-Man.

Visiting will give you the opportunity to try your hand at playing some of these vintage games.

Close up shot of a vintage pinball machine

7. Visit Diggerland USA

Here’s one that kids and adults alike will love! This construction-themed amusement park offers a number of rides for a wide variety of ages, as well as a water park in the summer.

The park is located in Berlin Township, about an hour and thirty minutes from New York City – perfect for a day trip!

Tickets, as well as operating hours, can be found online.

Yellow construction equipment

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