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9 Must-See New Jersey Roadside Attractions
New Jersey is home to a wide range of impressive attractions, and a selection of these prove to be truly unique, fun, and completely off beat. Check out Lucy the Elephant, the Hindenburg Crash Site, and even Fun Time America.
1. Fun Time America
Since 1995, Fun Time America has been thrilling families with a range of amusement park-style fun across its 40,000 square feet. Visit Cliffwood in the Gateway region – just minutes from nearby Hazlet – and check out this excellent site. As an indoor amusement park, you'll be guaranteed a good time no matter the time of year. Swing by the U.S.A Cafe for lunch, then get back to it!
2. Paterson Great Falls NHP
Many people forget just how majestic New Jersey's outdoor landscape can be. Amid all the hustle and bustle, don't pass on your chance to explore the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. This site preserves one of the country's largest waterfalls, features a slew of hiking trails, and is a short drive from Ramsey in the Skylands region.
3. New Jersey State Museum
The next time you're cruising through Trenton, be sure to swing by the New Jersey State Museum. Established in 1895, the NJ State Museum is home to its own 150-seat planetarium, and a 380-seat auditorium. Check out the Civil War Flag Collection of New Jersey. The drive in from nearby Bordentown is swift.
4. Rutgers Gardens
Plan a visit to East Brunswick for the spring or summer and make sure to explore the very lush and very popular Rutgers Gardens. Across its 50 acres, you'll find 11 different botanical garden collections. This site is open every day of the year, and you can find it on the campus of Rutgers University.
5. Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
Few destinations in New Jersey offer as much racing fun for visitors and locals alike as the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Found in Englishtown, a short drive from both East Brunswik and Monmouth Junction, this racing site NHRA events throughout the year.
6. Lucy The Elephant
At six stories high, and having treated the Jersey Shore to years of delights, Lucy the Elephant is a must-visit during your next stay in Atlantic City. You can find Lucy the Elephant – which is actually a novelty structure in the shape of an elephant – within Lucy Park in the city of Margate.
Constructed in 1881 by James V. Lafferty, Lucy the Elephant is one of the most beloved and iconic tourist attractions along the shore. Guided tours are available within Lucy the Elephant, where you'll explore the many spiral staircases until you reach the top, where you'll find unmatched views of Margate, the Jersey Shore, and the Atlantic Ocean.
7. World's Largest Light Bulb
Though technically known as the Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum, most will know this impressive New Jersey attraction as the World's Tallest Light Bulb. Make your way to the Gateway region of NJ and head for the city of Edison, where you'll find this landmark and memorial within Edison State Park.
The Edison Memorial Tower stretches to a height of 131 feet, and at the very top you can see a sphere that, itself, stands at 14 feet 8 inches – this sphere is known, endearingly, as the worlds largest light bulb. Make the short drive in from nearby South Plainfield and tour this historic and important landmark in NJ.
8. Crash Site Of The Hindenburg
When it crashed in 1937, the Hindenburg was a modern marvel of science and engineering. Today, airships of the sort have faded in style, but you can still check out the site where it crashed. Head for the Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station near Lakewood to see for yourself.
9. Giant Steel Hockey Player
As you embark upon your next trek through New Jersey, be sure to include some time spent in Newark. Here, you'll want to pay a visit to the Prudential Center, where, if you've got a keen eye, can spot the Giant Steel Hockey Player. Nicknamed The Iron Man by locals, this art installation stands at 22 feet tall and weighs in at 6,000 pounds.
The enormous hockey player is the work of New Jersey-born artist Jon Krawczyk. It was installed in 2009, and is a tribute to the local favorite hockey team the New Jersey Devils, who play all home games at the Prudential Center. Make a whole day of it in Newark – visit during the fall, see the Giant Steel Hockey Player, and then catch the Devils take the ice.