Nestled between the busy regions of New York and Pennsylvania, New Jersey is a must-visit destination. Despite its quaint size, this state offers everything fun and exciting for the perfect summer getaway. Stay at one of numerous waterfront vacation rentals in New Jersey for summer fun on the beach, or check out luxurious lofts in big cities like Atlantic City and Newark. Take a look at the most noteworthy cities and towns to take a summer vacation in New Jersey.

1. Atlantic City

A popular summer destination, Atlantic City is a city of bright lights, sandy beaches, and lots to do. Book your vacation rental here and you will have enough activities to fill your entire trip without having to drive out of town. Summer is the perfect time to relax on the beach or go for a swim. The city’s iconic Boardwalk takes you on a stroll along the ocean, a perfect way to spend a summer evening with your significant other.

Of course, the city is known for its casinos, but there are also several family-friendly sites here. Take your kids to see the Absecon Lighthouse, New Jersey’s tallest lighthouse. Join Atlantic City Cruises for a ride on the water and a chance to see dolphins.Conclude your day at the Rainforest Cafe, or at any one of the other family-friendly restaurants in town.

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2. Newark

Love the arts? If so, Newark may be the destination for you. The Newark Museum features a wide array of both historic art as well as exhibits devoted to the natural sciences. Here you can spend an afternoon going from a room full of artifacts from ancient Egypt and the Mediterranean to an exhibit about the science of bird migration. A planetarium at the museum puts on shows for the entire family. If you prefer to stay outdoors in the warm summer air, then try Newark Walks, which takes you past several city landmarks.

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3. Wildwood

If you are looking for wild rides and plenty of action, then plan on staying in Wildwood. Several beaches, theme parks, and water parks fill this popular resort town. Hop aboard a thrilling roller coaster at Morey’s Piers, or make a splash on over dozen water slides at Splash Zone Water Park.

Wildwood offers many events during the summer, including many live outdoor concerts. With over five miles of beaches, this summer haven is great for beach picnics and fun in the ocean.

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4. Jersey City

Jersey City is another big city destination. Across the water from Manhattan, it is home to the Liberty Science Center. Aquariums, a theater, hands-on exhibits, and live animals make this a great stop for old and young visitors alike. You can even hop aboard a ferry to Liberty Island to experience the Statue of Liberty up close. Be sure to grab a drink at Brightside Tavern. This Jersey City staple also hosts live music for select occasions.

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5. Princeton

The home of renowned Princeton University, the city of Princeton offers a lot of cultural opportunities. The Princeton University Art Museum houses over 90,000 pieces spanning thousands of years. Take a stroll past art from Byzantium, Africa, Europe, as well as works by American masters. Why not also take a walk or bike ride along the streets of the university? The campus features gorgeous architecture. Be sure to also stop by one of the many shops at the Princeton Shopping Center and Palmer Square to grab some gifts to take back to your vacation rental.

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6. Cape May

A highlight of this small town is the Cape May County Zoo, home to lions, giraffes, and other animals large and small. Programs for kids are also available. Adults can venture over to Willow Creek Winery to sample different varieties, as well as compete in a game of golf at Cape May National Golf Club. Additionally, Cape May Food Tours offer a tasty way to explore the city and sample local dishes and snacks, including delicious fudge.

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7. Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a city of parks, making it a great getaway if you plan to spend most of your summer vacation outside. Dozens of parks provide green space for you to relax and your kids to run around,. Some parks also include lakes for fishing. Sites such as the Boxwood Hall State Historic Site give this town a historic flavor. Food options range from Al Santillo’s Brick Oven Pizza to the tasty seafood dishes at Valenca.

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8. Trenton

A vacation rental in Trenton puts you in the historic capital city of New Jersey. The impressive state house is a must-see in this city, as is the Old Barracks Museum, which preserves barracks from the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Trenton is also home to many historic houses.

Try out Trenton culinary favorites such as the Blue Danube Restaurant, which offers delicious dishes from Poland, Hungary, and other eastern European counties. Pierogies, sauerbraten, and weiner schnitzel are among the many foreign dishes you can try here.

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9. Hoboken

Hoboken is a picturesque city with Victorian houses and old-town charm. It is a delightful city to walk around. If you have the time and energy, embark on a 2-hour walking tour that features fascinating points of interest. Pier A Park gives you great views of Manhattan in the distance. Be sure to catch one of the periodic concerts or festivals that happen here during the summer. A major historical point of interest in this city is Frank Sinatra’s birthplace. While the house no longer stands, a marker lets fans experience being in the same place as the legendary singer.

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10. Seaside Heights

Casino Pier and Breakwater Beach are two perfect summer stops in Seaside Heights. Rides include the thrilling Hydrus Roller Coaster and fast-spinning Disc’O. The water park lets you beat the heat with a water pool and water slides.

Vacation rentals in Seaside Heights put you within stone’s throw of great beaches. For a fun dining experience, take the family to the Sawmill. This restaurant lets you experience delicious pizza, pasta, and burgers while enjoying scenic views of the ocean from your table.

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