Best New Jersey Attraction (2017)


New Jersey, nicknamed the Garden State, is bordered almost entirely by water – the Atlantic to the east, Delaware Bay to the south and the Delaware River to the west. With 127 miles of beaches, the famed Jersey Shore certainly appeals, but the state also features pine forests, lush farmlands, mountain chains and the third-largest state park system in the nation. 

  • Silverball Museum

    Silverball Museum
    Asbury Park

    Located on the Asbury Park Boardwalk, the Silverball Museum maintains a collection of some 200 classic pinball machines manufactured between 1950 and today. Visitors also enjoy classic 80s video games, air hockey, skee ball and a cafe serving boardwalk treats.
    Photo courtesy of Rob DiCaterino / Flickr

  • Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial

    Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial

    In Camden, N.J., just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, sits our nation's largest and most decorated battleship, the USS New Jersey. Fully-restored, this battleship-turned-museum welcomes visitors of all ages to climb ladders, crawl through passageways and experience things just as the crew did when it was operational.
    Photo courtesy of Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial

  • Grounds For Sculpture

    Grounds For Sculpture

    Occupying the former New Jersey fairgrounds, the 42-acre Grounds for Sculpture maintains an ever-evolving collection of contemporary outdoor sculptures, as well as rotating exhibitions in six indoor galleries. 
    Photo courtesy of John Donges / Flickr

  • Wildwoods Boardwalk

    Wildwoods Boardwalk

    The boardwalk in Wildwoods, N.J. stretches for 38 blocks and is packed with shops, restaurants, bars, water parks and an amusement pier with some 100 rides and attractions.
    Photo courtesy of Greater Wildwoods Tourism Authority

  • Pier 13

    Pier 13

    At the heart of one of New Jersey's most vibrant cities sits Pier 13, extending into the Hudson River with views of the New York City skyline. This backyard of Hoboken features food trucks, water sports and a full event calendar with everything from concerts to movie nights.
    Photo courtesy of Bill Benzon / Flickr

  • NJ Audubon Cape May Bird Observatory

    NJ Audubon Cape May Bird Observatory
    Cape May

    Cape May is all about migration, and it has a reputation as one of the best migration observation spots on the east coast for good reason. In autumn, Cape May Point becomes a prime hawk migration site where the birds are nearly always visible. Fall is also a great time to spot migrating songbirds, while the focus shifts to shorebirds in spring.
    Photo courtesy of fishhawk / Flickr

  • Lucy the Elephant

    Lucy the Elephant

    One of the state's quirkier attractions, Lucy the Elephant was built in 1881 by a local real estate developer hoping to attract potential buyers to his land. Standing six stories tall and weighing 90 tons, Lucy is a National Historic Landmark, the world's largest elephant and one of America's oldest roadside attractions
    Photo courtesy of Adam Moss / Flickr

  • Cape May County Park & Zoo

    Cape May County Park & Zoo
    Cape May

    At the Cape May County Park & Zoo, travelers can observe some 250 species of animals, including red pandas, flamingos, lions, giraffes and snow leopards. Highlights include a raised boardwalk through the African savanna, a reptile house, aviary and numerous picnic areas, playgrounds and recreational trails in the surrounding park. 
    Photo courtesy of Jim, the Photographer / Flickr

  • Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park

    Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park

    In 1791 the town of Paterson was established as the nation's first planned industrial city. The mills powered by the Great Falls and the Passaic River would power the production of cotton, silk, paper, airplanes and locomotives. The history of this town that helped change the face of America comes alive on self-guided tours and ranger-led programs.
    Photo courtesy of NPS Photo

  • Thomas Edison National Historical Park

    Thomas Edison National Historical Park
    West Orange

    At Thomas Edison National Historical Park, visitors can explore the home and laboratory of America's greatest inventor. A highlight of the park is the Black Maria, the world's first motion picture studio.
    Photo courtesy of NPS Photo

We asked a panel of New Jersey travel writers to nominate their favorite state attractions, and for the past four weeks, our readers have been voting for their favorites. The results are in!

The top 10 winners in the category Best New Jersey Attraction are as follows:

  1. Silverball Museum - Asbury Park
  2. Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial - Camden
  3. Grounds For Sculpture - Hamilton
  4. Wildwoods Boardwalk - Wildwoods
  5. Pier 13 - Hoboken
  6. NJ Audubon Cape May Bird Observatory - Cape May
  7. Lucy the Elephant - Margate
  8. Cape May County Park & Zoo - Cape May
  9. Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park - Paterson
  10. Thomas Edison National Historical Park - West Orange

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Marla Cimini (USA TODAY) and Stephanie Vermillion (The Wanderlost Way) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in New Jersey.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions.

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Marla Cimini

Marla Cimini

Marla Cimini

Stephanie Vermillion

Stephanie Vermillion

Stephanie Vermillion