5 Free Things To Do in NJ this Summer
Adventuring is our jam, but sometimes we’re guilty of keeping it hyper-local to the city, especially on the blog. So we’re excited to be able to share this Jersey-centric summer list with you, courtesy of fellow adventurer Kendall, of Buttons and Blossoms!
New Jersey is simply peak amazing during the summer. It has everything from the beach, to the mountains, to sweet small towns. But I’m not going to lie: New Jersey can be expensive. However, a budget savvy lady can always find a good deal if she knows where to look. And it gets even easier in the summer.
My Top 5 Free Things to Make Sure You Have the Best NJ Summer
Go down the Shore, duh. There is nothing that screams “summer in New Jersey!” more than visiting one of its iconic beaches. Now, not all the beaches in New Jersey are free. Daily passes are usually from $6-8 a day. However, there are several beaches that are completely free. Wildwood is the ultimate free beach with a killer boardwalk to keep you entertained. If you’re looking for a calmer experience, Cape May’s beaches are also free and the sweet Victorian town is worth taking a stroll through. Atlantic City also has free beaches and usually free or inexpensive parking at any of the casino parking garages.
Visit a state park. There is so much more to New Jersey than highways. It has some gorgeous and varied parks that are almost all free. My personal favorite is Washington’s Crossing State Park in Titusville. It has both history (it’s where that guy, George Washington, crossed the Delaware to defeat the British) and beautiful views of the Delaware River. I also love it because you cross the Delaware yourself to the coordinating park on the Pennsylvania side. Another great park is High Point Park in far North Jersey that has some of the most amazing panoramic views of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
Visit Duke Farms. If there is one free place I can’t say enough about, it’s Duke Farms. Located in Hillsborough, this multi-acre park is the former estate of James Buchanan Duke, a wealthy New Jersey businessman. All of its buildings and surrounding property were converted in 2012 into a completely free park, open to visitors year round. You can hike or bike its trails, learn more about environmental conservation and attend a program. You will definitely want to visit the Great Meadow, a huge field with the most gorgeous wildflowers. (Read more about my recent visit on buttons & blossoms here!)
Ride your bike on the Delaware and Raritan canal trail. If you like exercise with a view, you’re going to want to bike your way along the Delaware and Raritan canal trail. This seventy-seven mile bike path spans from Trenton to New Brunswick running along the Delaware River. It runs through several small riverside towns like Lambertville and Frenchtown, which are great places to stop for a bite or a little shopping. Don’t have a bike? No problem! There are inexpensive places to rent bikes along the way, or you can always walk it.
See what Jersey Fresh really means. New Jersey is called the Garden State for a reason. Its extensive network of farms provides some of the best produce in the region. Do a little Google search for “New Jersey pick-your-own farm” and you’ll find plenty of farms across the state that will let you grab your own fresh fruits and veggies. Of course, it’s not a free all-you-can-eat fresh foods fest, you will have to pay for it. But it’s a fun, uniquely NJ thing to do. Also along those lines are New Jersey’s many farmers’ markets. Browsing and sampling is always free!
New Jersey is definitely at its best (and cheapest!) in the summer and this list is just the beginning. Many of New Jersey’s awesome small towns offer free things like movie nights and festivals, so be sure to check out the local town websites. I’m telling you, you have to cross the river and see why I love New Jersey.
BRB, heading to the great outdoors in Jersey ASAP…
You can always count on Kendall for great OOTD posts, so make sure you follow those and all of her adventures on instagram!
*Photos courtesy of Kendall of Buttons and Blossoms*