Camp among expansive vistas, shaded pine forests, and endless stretches of white sand beaches...New Jersey is where it's at.
There's no question that New Jersey lives up to its nickname "The Garden State." The clear lakes, pine forests, waterfalls, and Atlantic beaches draw families from across the East Coast. Whether you're pitching a tent in the dense Pinelands or tubing down the Delaware River, it's easy to forget that New York City is right next door. Campers love the state's balance of thrilling adventures and family-friendly activities. Explore one of the state parks to enjoy kayaking, fishing, hiking, horseback riding or whitewater rafting. If you prefer glamping, New Jersey has you covered. Choose from dozens of lakeside RV parks and camping resorts—complete with aquatic parks, mini golf, and game rooms. Want to kick back on the famous white-sand beaches? Just follow the shoreline in either direction from Atlantic City. The Jersey Shore boasts 130 miles of pristine coastline dotted with historic lighthouses. If the waves are calling your name, grab your surfboard or rent a kiteboard to catch some surf. Keep driving south, and eventually, you hit Cape May, the state's southernmost point. This place is popular year round. Here you can fish off the pier, comb the beach for shells, or kayak the Cape May Wetlands State Natural Area. Speaking of paddling, you can't miss the Great Egg Harbor River near Ocean City. While canoeing through unspoiled wetlands, keep your eyes peeled for warblers and hawks. If you're more stoked to hike, head up north to Wawayanda State Park in the Skylands Region. Strap on some good hiking boots, and explore the 20-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail. High Point State Park is another must-see in this rolling mountain region. Hike to a 1,800-foot elevation for panoramic views of three states The New York metro area definitely has a more urban feel, but the Gateway Region still has its natural treasures. One of them is the Paterson Great Falls, a national landmark with roaring cascades. New Jersey state parks offer mostly rustic tent sites and RV sites with basics like picnic tables and fire rings. You can also hunker down in a cabin, lean-to, or yurt. Remember to make your reservation with plenty of time to spare—the parks are popular in the summer months. To beat the crowds and the heat, plan your trip for spring or early summer.