The Garden State is best known these days for the abundance of reality TV shows set in New Jersey. And while The Real Housewives Of New Jersey and Jersey Shore do reflect life on the east coast to some extent, there’s a lot more to do than just partying and shopping – although there’s plenty of opportunities to do these. The state has some of the richest history in the USA, ranging from colonial-era buildings to sites associated with battles from the American War of Independence. With hundreds of miles of beaches and some of the biggest theme parks in the world, you won’t run out of things to do when you book a hotel in New Jersey!
Atlantic City — Atlantic City, known as Las Vegas-on-Sea, is the party capital of New Jersey and home to a dozen casinos. If you don’t fancy spinning a roulette wheel, you can stroll along the famous Boardwalk, a six mile stretch along the beach with all sorts of attractions, amusements and beachside hotels. The Absecon Lighthouse gives you a stunning view across the city if you can muster the energy to climb all 228 steps.
Newark — The largest city in New Jersey, Newark is where most travellers arrive in the Garden State. This was once known as New York’s tougher big brother – The Sopranos is set near the city – but is now famous for its museums, theatre and contemporary dance. Add some great architecture and top hotels, and you’ve got a great place to start a holiday.
Cape May — For a family holiday, Cape May is the place to book a hotel in New Jersey. The town was founded in 1620 on a peninsula and the hundreds of Victorian houses give it a completely different feel to other parts of New Jersey. Find nature, watch whales and spot birds in this delightfully green and leafy seaside resort.
Jersey Shore — The Shore is perhaps the most popular places to book a hotel in north-eastern USA. The boardwalks stretch for miles through the shore towns that dot the coastline and you’ll find water parks, theme parks and penny arcades on every sea front. There are 127 miles of beaches from Sandy Hook to Cape May so pack a bucket and spade.
At the northern end of Jersey Shore, the Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area offers a wonderful glimpse of the natural beauty of Jersey, with the oldest lighthouse in the USA and clean white sand dunes. At the southern tip, Cape May Point State Park has walking trails and the perfectly preserved old town. In between are the riotous, fun-filled thrills and excitement of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk and Steel Pier, and some perfect beaches. But it’s also worth heading inland to Princeton to see America’s Ivy League university, and great museums at Hoboken, Batsto Village and the Old Barracks Museum.
After rolling the dice in Atlantic City, strolling the boardwalks, trying your luck in the arcades and trying the pier-side rides, you’ll have only scratched the surface of New Jersey’s attractions. The beaches include some pristine stretches of white sand, and the nature trails are just begging to be walked. Afterwards you can drive a dragster, watch some American football, canoe along the coast and check out a concert in Newark – and don’t forget to leave time to go shopping. Jersey malls are packed with shops of all kinds and the historic towns have some excellent antique shops, flea markets and farmers' markets.