Best Year Ever Bucket List
By Madison Russ

We’ve got the ultimate SJ bucket list that will keep you moving all year long. Here are 51 must-see and must-go places in SJ:

  1. Take a dip with the sharks and rays at Adventure Aquarium in Camden. Getting in the same water as a bunch of sharks might sound crazy, but for those brave souls wanting a one-of-a-kind experience, Adventure Aquarium offers this truly unique (and educational) encounter.
  2. Skate hand-in-hand at the Winter Fest Ice Rink at Cooper River.
  3. Solve a mystery during Cape May’s annual Sherlock Holmes Weekend.
  4. Tap into something sweet during the Annual Maple Sugaring event held at Rancocas Nature Center. Not only will you get to sample some of this sweet, sticky treat, but you can cozy up around a campfire and learn all about sugar maple trees, too.
  5. Go to a paranormal investigation at the Absecon Light House. The paranormal investigations are held a few times throughout the year. The state’s tallest lighthouse is said to be home to some ghostly keepers and was even featured on SyFy’s “Ghost Hunters.”
  6. Try not to shudder taking a tour of the Burlington County Prison Museum. The prison, built in 1811, has had its fair share of executions and is said to be haunted.
  7. Celebrate the unlovable lima bean at the annual West Cape May Lima Bean Festival. The town celebrates the more lovable strawberry and Jersey tomato, too.
  8. Sleep like a sailor on the Battleship NJ. Spend a night on the legendary Battleship New Jersey, a floating museum on the Camden Waterfront. Don’t miss your spot in the “chow line” before you take a tour of this massive ship and hit your bunk for a little shuteye.
  9. Make it your first rodeo at Cowtown (the oldest weekly running rodeo in the country).
  10. Take a selfie with Haddy, the 8-foot statue of the Hadrosaurus Foulkii dinosaur in downtown Haddonfield. Nearby is the site where the world’s first complete set of dinosaur bones was discovered in 1838.
  11. Catch a double feature at the Delsea Drive-In in Vineland. It’s one of the last drive-ins in the country.
  12. Explore Grounds For Sculpture park by moonlight.
  13. Enjoy your coffee over music at the Perkins Center for the Arts.
  14. Catch a show at the Broadway Theatre (in Pitman, of course).
  15. Visit sea mammals that are on the mend. Tour the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, one of the only facilities of its kind in the entire state.
  16. Travel away to Wonderland and Little Red Riding Hood’s House at Storybook Land.
  17. Take the Cape May- Lewes Ferry to Delaware (then take it back again).
  18. Spend a winter day on your favorite beach then bundle up and take a night stroll on the boardwalk.
  19. Spread out a picnic blanket and enjoy a free concert when it’s warm at Knight Park in Collingswood.
  20. Find the oversized Adirondack chairs at Franklin Parker Preserve in the Pinelands.
  21. Toast to women’s rights activist Alice Paul at one of historic Paulsdale’s events.
  22. Journey through Wharton State Forest by kayak and spend the night on the Mullica River.
  23. Make your own handmade pasta at In My Grandmother’s Kitchen in Merchantville.
  24. Make a splash at the Polar Bear Plunge. The annual plunge has become a staple in Shore towns including Sea Isle City, Wildwood and Ocean City. Those brave enough to take the chilly dip in the ocean have plenty to celebrate afterward.
  25. Tour Indian King Tavern, where the forefathers declared New Jersey an independent state.
  26. Bring your best binoculars to Palmyra Cove to do a little birding.
  27. See one-of-a-kind memorabilia at the African-American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey.
  28. Check out rare artifacts from the Sindia wreckage at the Ocean City Historical Museum.
  29. Grab a page-turner at the annual Katz JCC Festival of Arts, Books and Culture (and get your book signed by awesome authors, too).
  30. Take an evening to relax and enjoy a classical concert by Symphony in C.
  31. Cuddle some lovable farm friends at Funny Farm Animal Sanctuary.
  32. Bike along The Old Bog Trail in Whitesbog.
  33. Sit in the cockpit like a real pilot at the Air Victory Museum. Climb in and grab the control stick to find out what flying this early jetfighter would have felt like.
  34. Stroll through the apple orchard at the historic Barclay Farmstead Museum.
  35. Take a walk on the wild side at Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge. Check out the “Slither on Inn” reptile room or hike the one-mile trail around Cedar Run Lake to see the animals in the wildlife housing area.
  36. Have a fun-filled, free trip to the Cape May County Zoo.
  37. Pick fresh blueberries during the summer at your neighborhood farm.
  38. Hit the SJ wine trail and support our local wineries.
  39. Locally source your own clam dinner. Island Beach Nature Programs offers self-guided clamming in Barnegat Bay. You’ll need a permit to take any of them home for dinner, otherwise you can sign out a clam rake at the park and hit the bay.
  40. Take a “Hump Day Hike” in the spring through Rancocas State Park.
  41. Watch the annual basset hound-only “Doo-Dah Parade” in Ocean City.
  42. Grab a growler and fill up at one of the many breweries in SJ.
  43. Enjoy breakfast in the sky on Morey’s Pier’s giant Ferris Wheel.
  44. Visit the Greenwich Tea Burner monument. Just like Boston, residents of the little SJ town of Greenwich held their own “tea party” in the river to protest British taxation.
  45. Hike the Batona Trail.
  46. Take a hayride to remember at Johnson’s Corner Farm in Medford.
  47. Take a scenic drive down Route 542 from New Gretna to Hammonton.
  48. Explore the Pine Barrens without leaving the car, and see historical Batsto Village, which has been operating since the 1700s.
  49. Stop to smell the flowers (literally) at the Camden Children’s Garden.
  50. Walk the grounds after a snowfall at Historic Cold Spring Village.
  51. Explore the remains of Hampton Furnace and hike through cranberry bogs in the Pine Barrens.
January 2018
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One Comment

  1. Jane Sharp says:

    This is a great list, and I’m definitely going to add to try many of them. But you forgot a great activity-curling! Jersey Pinelands Curling Club is the only place to curl in South Jersey. We offer Intro to Curls and Leagues year round at the Igloo in Mt. Laurel. The Olympics are just around the corner so come check us out!


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