Top 10 Hidden Gems in New Jersey – 2024 List

Arsenii Anderson
Hidden Gems NJ

Many things have make New Jersey well-known. Some know it for its horticultural wonders, while others know it through popular NJ online casinos with a land-based establishment somewhere on the iconic AC boardwalk.

Despite having close to millions of residents and travelers each year, some visit-worthy spots are still left undiscovered. If you’re trying to dig deeper into New Jersey and want something that’s not mainstream, you should check out some of these hidden gems in NJ!

Below find list of all the hidden NJ gems we’ve meticulously picked for you, as well as convenient map so you can play your next Garden State trip.

Must-Visit NJ Hidden Gems 2024

As travelers, we know how nice it is to have something anti-mainstream on our itineraries. Sometimes, the most popular spots are too crowded with tourists, and if you’re looking for must-visit New Jersey hidden gems, here are some of our best picks.

Princeton Swinging Bridge

AddressDelaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail, Princeton, NJ
How to get thereStop at the Princeton Battlefield State Park (where you can also park your car), turn off Mercer Road, and walk past Clarke House Museum. Follow the mowed grass trail for around 1.3 miles into the woods

If you love nature and want to be physically active during your travel, visiting the Princeton Swinging Bridge is a must. The trails are beginner-friendly, the path is well-maintained, and you can expect to feel rewarded once you arrive.

The Swinging bridge (or the suspension bridge) is a much-loved destination for families, as kids love walking on the swinging bridge. It’s stunning during fall, and you can admire the foliage surrounding the bridge better. Although some might think it might be too hard to find the bridge, the trail is easy to follow. You can stroll to the bridge and enjoy the singing birds along your way.

Luna Parc

Address22 Degroat Rd, Sandyston, NJ 07827
Entrance fee$5
Open hourCheck the website for scheduled days

Luna Parc is one artsy and quirky destination you shouldn’t pass if you’re looking for hidden gems in New Jersey. As you step through Luna Parc’s gates, you’ll find a colorful house encrusted with vibrant glass, tile, metal, and concrete set abstractly. Like a house from a children’s fantasy book, it sits in the middle of the peaceful wood.

The main building isn’t the only amusement you can see; there are multiple displays and other buildings. The designer himself often takes visitors for tours, but Luna Parc is only open on specific dates, and the schedule will be posted on the website.

Gardner’s Basin

Address800 N New Hampshire Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Entrance fee$6 – $10 (for the aquarium); free for ages 3 and under
Open hour10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

When someone mentions Atlantic City, many quickly think about the renowned Atlantic City casinos lining up on the boardwalk. However, not far from the boardwalk is a place full of history and entertainment.

The Gardner’s Basin is across the Coast Guard station and the state marina. You can enjoy fishing, boat rides for sunset watching, and end your day with a delectable meal in one of the dining spots. The Gardner’s Basin also has parasailing if you visit in summer. The primary offering is The Atlantic City Aquarium, which has many special events ready to welcome guests.

Valley Shepherd Creamery

Address50 Fairmount Road, Long Valley, NJ 07853
Entrance fee$8.50 to $21.95 (farm tour)
Open hourScheduled

Many of us are looking for a quiet place when we’re looking for secret spots in NJ. If that’s true for you, the Valley Shepherd Creamery will be perfect for your next destination.

The place is in Long Valley and offers a trip where you can meet their lambs and taste their dairy products. You can learn how they farm their sheep and see how they make their cheese, yogurt, and butter. You can also sample them or bring some dairy products home for your family and friends!

Van Slyke Castle Ruins

AddressWanaque, NJ 07465
Entrance feeFree
How to get thereThrough Ramapo State Forest’s hiking trails or Rye Cliff Road (by car)

Princeton Swinging Bridge may require you to hike a little bit and sweat before you can see the reward. However, Van Slyke Castle Ruins will be more challenging to reach. If you love outdoor activities and would like to hike while searching for one of the unique places in New Jersey, you mustn’t skip the castle.

If you want to see the gorgeous tower and castle without breaking too much sweat, you can take your car around Ramapo Lake. You’ll find another trail that’s easier to hike. You can park in the upper parking lot and then head to the Ramapo Lake hiking trails.

Skylands Manor

Address50 Fairmount Road, Long Valley, NJ 07853
Entrance fee$8.50 to $21.95 (farm tour)
Open hourScheduled

Skylands Manor in the Ringwood State Park will awe you with its architectural style. The designer, John Russell Pope, also designed the National Gallery of Art and the National Archive. He uses the 1920s Tudor Revival and Gothic style to make the mansion look like it has been standing for centuries.

Not only is the building gorgeous, but you’ll find the mansion surrounded by gardens that serve a different look every time the season changes. If you’re lucky, you might find a tour on the ground floor on some Sundays, where you’ll learn about the manor’s history and architectural style.

White Manna

Address358 River Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601
Open hour
  • Monday-Saturday: 10:30 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Sunday: 11.00 AM to 5.00 PM

We haven’t discussed where to eat if you want a hidden gem in NJ. One of the best places to eat is White Manna, a burger restaurant that consistently won the title of America’s favorite burger. Not only will you satisfy your hunger there, but it’s a whole experience.

The first White Manna restaurant was opened in Hackensack in 1946, but now there’s one in Jersey City. Although both are equally as good, the Hackensack White Manna is the OG restaurant that retains its classic design with a constant long line apparent on its front door.

The King Spa

Address321 Commercial Ave, Palisades Park, NJ 07650
Open hour9:00 AM to 2:00 AM

Are you looking for some unique things to do in NJ? The King Spa is one of the hidden gems that can offer an unforgettable experience. The Kings Spa offers a Korean spa experience with a Korean food restaurant, juice bars, and multiple types of spa rooms.

You can experience a dry sauna, get chilled in the ice room, bath and wet sauna, aroma lounge, and many more. The Kings Spa has multiple floors, all dedicated to giving you a healing experience for your body and mind. There’s also the 24k gold Egyptian pyramid sauna room for those feeling luxurious!

Grover’s Mill Coffee House

Address295 Princeton Hightstown Road, West Windsor, NJ, 08550
Open hour
  • Monday-Saturday: 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Sunday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

The Grover’s Mill Coffee House is one of the unique places to go in NJ that coffee drinkers will appreciate. It offers an experience of enjoying a cup of aromatic and delicious coffee surrounded by artworks that decorate the shop.

These artworks were creative depictions of the unforgettable event of the time when a radio show convinced many in New Jersey that aliens had decided to attack Grover’s Mill. They’re arts, so you may devise another creative scenario of what the aliens are about to do as you slowly enjoy Grover Mill’s classic cup of coffee.

Yankee Doodle Tap Room

Address10 Palmer Square, Princeton, NJ 08542
Open hour7:00 AM – 10:00 PM

If Grover’s Mill Coffee House is a coffee-lovers haven, the Yankee Doodle Tap Room is for you who love tasting beers. It’s also one of NJ hidden gems offering refreshments and a unique experience.

As the Yankee Doodle Tap Room is located inside the historic Nassau Inn, you’ll be able to enjoy an English pub-style architecture that has been maintained since 1756. The tavern serves 19 beers on tap and several food choices. One of the most iconic things about the Yankee Doodle Tap Room is the Norman Rockwell mural, standing 13 feet wide.


What is New Jersey known for?

Many know New Jersey for its farmlands and iconic boardwalks. The state is also known for having many historical sites and countless places with stories.

What unique activities can I find in New Jersey?

There are many unique things to do in New Jersey. You can take some inspiration from our list above, like bonding with the lambs at Valley Shepherd Creamery or drinking a cup of coffee while admiring alien drawings at Grover’s Mill Coffee Shop.

What can I do in Atlantic City, NJ?

Although Atlantic City is most known for its casinos, there’s more to Atlantic City than gambling. You can visit the Gardner’s Basin to fish or watch the sunset on the boats.

Are there any hidden gems in New Jersey for family trips?

The Princeton Swinging Bridge is fitting for family trips. The hiking trails are easy to follow, and the path is well-maintained. Kids will have fun crossing the gently swaying bridge.

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