13 Award-Winning Places to Visit in New Jersey This Year

  • The Reeds at Shelter Haven in Stone Harbor, New Jersey
    The Reeds at Shelter Haven, Stone Harbor

The Reeds at Shelter Haven, Stone Harbor 
With its luxurious rooms, summertime beach service, outdoor yoga sessions and plunge pool, it's no wonder The Reeds at Shelter Haven was the New Jersey pick for The Best Hotel or Resort in Every State by Conde Nast Traveler for 2019. When you visit, be sure to check out the ultra-plush treatment suites and spa services at The Salt Spa, the hotel's brand-new spa, open May 2019.

Jersey City
This bustling city just minutes from Manhattan has long been a must-visit spot for foodies. New Jersey Monthly rounded up the 28 Best New Restaurants in New Jersey for 2019, and two of Jersey City's newest spots made the list. Enjoy seasonal, upscale Italian fare at Corto, where the menu touts fresh pastas, gourmet meat dishes and delectable charcuterie to start. Or take in the breathtaking city views from the panoramic windows at Hudson & Co. while you enjoy coal-fired pizzas, juicy steaks and specialty cocktails. 

Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, East Rutherford
Amusement park enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting the opening of this massive indoor theme park, slated to open fall 2019 at the American Dream shopping mall, being built next to the Meadowlands Sports Complex and MetLife Stadium. This 8-acre, glass-domed amusement park made the list of Top 10 Thrill Rides and Attractions Coming to U.S. Theme Parks in 2019 by the Los Angeles Times. 

Rust, Hopatcong
Soy vermouth braised short ribs, short rib Bolognese, grilled bone-in pork loin and house dry-aged ribeye is on the menu at Hopatcong's Rust, a gastropub with a focus on high-quality meats, which made the 2019 list of The 29 new N.J. Restaurants You Need to Try This Spring, rounded up by NJ.com.

Wildwood
Named one of the 25 Best Family Beach Vacations to Take with the Kids in the USA by TripAdvisor in 2019, Wildwoods is an ideal spot to visit this summer with the kids on vacation. Enjoy miles of free beaches, as well as scenic boardwalks, fun amusement park rides and lots of family-friendly hotels and restaurants to make for an easy escape. 

Atlantic City
When you’re coming to New Jersey, Atlantic City is a must, which is probably why it made the No. 5 spot on on the Travel + Leisure’s 2015 list of America’s Favorite Towns. Aside from numerous casinos, lively nightclubs and the world-renowned boardwalk, Atlantic City is also the spot for discovering iconic eateries and the best people watching around.

The Asbury Hotel, Asbury
Voted the Best New Hotel in the U.S. for 2016 by USA Today 10 Best, The Asbury is making waves for its breathtaking ocean views, modern designs and trendy gathering places, such as the outdoor beer garden, rooftop patio and pool. Book one of the stylish guest rooms for a weekend getaway.

Pine Barrens
Dubbed one of the Most Haunted Places in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler, this vast expanse of wilderness covers more than one million acres, and it’s home to a number of ghost towns left over from colonial-era industrial areas. Rumor has it the Pine Barrens is also home to the Jersey Devil, a winged, hooved creature born in 1735.

Icona Diamond Beach, Wildwood
Situated on one of the few private beaches in New Jersey and boasting amenities like upscale restaurants, plush suites and relaxing spa treatments, it’s easy to see why this luxury hotel, Icona Diamond Beach was named No. 7 on the Best Hotel in the U.S. by 2017 TripAdvisor Reader’s Choice Awards.

Ocean City Beach
Thanks to its family-friendly events, beautiful boardwalk and numerous amusement piers, Ocean City Beach earned the title Best Beach in America in 2016 by Coastal Living.

Donkey’s Place, Camden
The next time you’re in the mood for a sandwich, you can’t go wrong at Donkey’s Place in Camden, which New York Post dubbed as having one of the Best Sandwiches in America. Order its famous cheesesteak: a poppy seed bun piled with steak, caramelized onions and American cheese.

Point Pleasant Beach
Named one of the Best Beaches in New Jersey by Travel + Leisure, Point Pleasant Beach is a must-visit spot for families due to its plethora of kid-friendly attractions nearby. We’re talking ice cream stores, arcades, rides and even an aquarium.

Cape May
Crowned one of the 25 Best Beach Towns in America by Thrillist, Cape May is a National Historic Landmark filled with historic sites, quiet beaches and a lighthouse dating back to 1859. Cape May also was named No. 15 for America’s Favorite Towns by Travel + Leisure, which cited its incredible Victorian architecture and swoon-worthy home décor shops. Looking for ideas for your next vacation? Make it a great one with these top-rated hotspots around New Jersey. From the best beaches to the most haunted places, discover these “Best of Destinations.”