New Jersey’s pristine beaches, exciting roller coasters, thrilling water parks and iconic boardwalks are the perfect place to spend your Fourth of July. You’ll also find plenty of fun events, parades, and ceremonies to celebrate the holiday at these magnificent towns throughout the state. If you’re looking to experience some fascinating history on your Fourth of July vacation, you’ve also found the right place. From American Revolutionary War stories to farming history to unique architecture, New Jersey is rich in historic places and sites so your family vacation can be a combination of education and fun. Pick a great vacation rental that’s centrally located so you can visit more than just one of our 10 best 4th of July family vacations in New Jersey!

1. Hammonton

sunlight on the lake
Source: Flickr / Hammonton Photography

Hammonton may be the “Blueberry Capital of the World,” but it is so much more than that. It’s also home to local boutiques, quaint eateries and agricultural gems, such as mom-and-pop farms and award-winning vineyards. Every June, they host The Red, White and Blueberry Festival featuring blueberry pie eating contests, rides, a car show and live music, and events continue in July for Independence Day with fireworks and other events at Lake Park. The day starts with an Interfaith Prayer Service 9 a.m. at Hammonton Lake Park in front of the Kiwanis Pavilion. If that’s too early for you, join the parade at noon downtown. Then celebrate with live music, food vendors and games at Lake Park starting at 4 p.m. Bring lawn chairs and relax because the fireworks start at Lake Park at 9:30 pm.

2. Cape May

boat on the sand

You’ll love the charming town of Cape May with its exemplary fine dining scene, historic bed-and-breakfasts, picturesque coastline, or the 600-plus Victorian buildings. The entire city is a Historic National Landmark! Experience the grandeur of the 1800’s at Emlen Physick Estate, an 18-room mansion built by the famous architect, Frank Furness. Take the house tour to see how the wealthy lived back in the day. Cape May’s Independence Day Parade usually takes place on the Saturday closest to July 4th. The parade begins at 1 pm and runs along Beach Avenue. The fireworks launch across from Congress Hall, from a barge a quarter-mile offshore. You’ll get a great of the show from the beach, promenade, or a vacation rental facing Beach Avenue.

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3. Wildwood

roller coaster ride

There are more than enough things to jam pack your vacation to Wildwood with fun. Splash in the ocean, stroll the Boardwalk or visit one of the family-friendly amusement parks such as Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks, Ocean Oasis Waterpark & Beach Club and Splash Zone Waterpark. Then, learn about the advancement of aviation at the NASW Aviation Museum. You’ll see WWII aircraft and engines, learn about the science of flight, and interact with hands-on exhibits. The free fireworks show starts at 10 pm on the beach at Pine Avenue, but you’ll get a great view from anywhere on the Wildwoods Boardwalk.

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4. Paterson

mountain trees at dawn
Source: Flickr / Kurt Wagner

Explore the marvelous attractions at Paterson like the historic Lambert Castle, the impressive waterfall at Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park and the fascinating Paterson Museum. You might want to plan an extended weekend because Patterson is pulling out all the stops. Celebrate on Saturday and Sunday with amusement rides, live music, inflatables, reptile show, magicians, face painting, and much more. Fireworks will take place at 8:30 p.m. on both nights.

5. Millville

Source: Flickr / Neil Halin

The city of Millville is well-known for its art museums, galleries and artist studios that will appeal to the creative in everyone. The waterfront on the Maurice River was historically a center for glass production, and the Glasstown Arts District is filled with galleries and shops. Wheaton Arts is a center for traditional hand-crafted arts including glass and folk art. If not everyone is an art lover, Millville also has plenty of attractions for everyone in the family. The motor enthusiasts of the family will love the New Jersey Motorsports Park and Millville Army Air Museum.

6. Jersey Shore

jersey shore
Source: Flickr/Andrea Noren

Jersey Shore might have become popular nationwide thanks to the reality show of the same name, but it’s so much more than fake tans and fist pumping. Its charming beach towns are perfect for a long weekend. Soak in some sun at Point Pleasant Beach or Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park while the kids let loose on the playground.? Of course, no visit to Jersey Shore is complete without a visit to the boardwalk. Try Asbury Park Boardwalk, Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, or the world-famous Atlantic City Boardwalk. The biggest Independence Day celebration on the Jersey Shore (and all of New Jersey!) is Oceanfest at Long Branch. This all-day family friendly festival is more than just a music or food festival, craft sale or street fair. It brings together the most memorable sights and sounds of the summer and caps it off with the most spectacular fireworks display you’ll see anywhere along the Jersey coast.

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7. Fort Lee

new jersey
Source: Flickr/Michael Crosio

You can’t celebrate our country’s independence without learning a little bit about our country’s’ history. Teach your kids something they won’t learn in school at the 33-acre Fort Lee Historic Park and Visitor Center. Its Revolutionary War encampment will give you a first-hand look into American history along with gorgeous overlooks of the Hudson River. After your history lesson, visit Monmouth Battlefield State Park in Manalapan, where you can explore the battlefield and see a restored 1700s farmhouse. Then, at the Hancock House in Hancock’s Bridge, see the 1734 house, which also was the site of a British-led massacre during the war. Then celebrate the 4th at Williams Stadium with music, children’s activities, and fireworks at 9:45 p.m. Admission is free!

8. Farmingdale

new jersey
Source: Flickr/George Pankewytch

Step back in time and see how the working class lived at the Historic Village at Allaire Village in Farmingdale. This living history museum features a pattern-making shop, blacksmith shop, mills and more. The kids will love the antique steam trains on the Pine Creek Railroad. The Manasquan River winds through the park is the answer for any outdoor loving families. It attracts canoeists, fisherman, hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders, and provides a habitat for over 200 species of wildflowers, trees, and plants as well as birds and other wildlife.

9. Brown Mills

4th of july
Source: Flickr/Peter Miller

During the early 20th century, Whitesbog Village in Browns Mills was the largest cranberry farm in New Jersey. Today it’s a National and State Historic Site offering a historic village, nature tours, and special events. Whitesbog includes the village and the surrounding 3,000 acres of cranberry bogs, blueberry fields, reservoirs, sugar sand roads, and Pine Barrens forests. Explore the village on your own, attend a scheduled program or sign up for a guided tour.

10. Little Falls

new jersey
Source: Flickr/Doug Kerr

What’s more American than baseball? Learn all about this iconic, all-American pastime at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Little Falls. It highlights not only important moments in baseball history but also the extraordinary life of one of America’s most beloved sports figures. Be sure to leave plenty of time to enjoy the Little Falls 4th of July Street Fair. The street will be transformed into a giant town block party with merchandise vendors, crafters, kiddie rides, great food, Pony rides, and entertainment all day long.