A scenic overlook at State Line Lookout in Palisades Interstate Park, New Jersey

19 Best Scenic Drives in New Jersey

Published by Sasha Yanshin on July 11 2023

New Jersey's coastline, often referred to as the Jersey Shore, is famous for its beautiful beaches, vibrant boardwalks, and summer resort towns, and there are so many amazing scenic drives to take in all these sightseeing opportunities and so much more. It's easy to see why millions of people visit here each year!

New Jersey's awash with exquisite and exciting landscapes, with super stop offs to surprise and delight. From country roads to cityscapes, spooky drives to sandy shores, you can be sure of something for everyone as you explore spectacular New Jersey.

Whatever road trip you have in mind we have a scenic route for you. Keep reading to see all about the best scenic drives in New Jersey and the best things to see along the way.

Road tripRating
1. Pulaski Skyway
5 miles, 10 minutes
2. Clinton Road
10 miles, 15 minutes
3. Palisades Scenic Byway
10 miles, 15 minutes
4. Henry Hudson Drive
10 miles, 30 minutes
5.Route 563
15 miles, 20 minutes
6. Western Highlands Scenic Byway
20 miles, 25 minutes
7. Country Road 519
20 miles, 30 minutes
8. Route 542/Pine Barrens Byway
20 miles, 30 minutes
9. Warren Heritage Scenic Byway
20 miles, 35 minutes
10. Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway
25 miles, 55 minutes
11. Route 29/Delaware River Scenic Byway
30 miles, 45 minutes
12. Upper Freehold Historic Farmland Scenic Byway
30 miles, 50 minutes
13. Old Mine Road
30 miles, 1 hour 15 minutes
14. Route 539
45 miles, 50 minutes
15. Ocean Drive
45 miles, 2 hours
16. Drive around High Point State Park
50 miles, 2 hours 15 minutes
17. Route 513
65 miles, 1 hour 55 minutes
18. Bayshore Heritage Byway
80 miles, 1 hour 45 minutes
19. Garden State Parkway
170 miles, 2 hours 30 minutes

1. Pulaski Skyway

10 minutes (5 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: More of a cityscape than a scenic view compared to the other journeys, The Pulaski Skyway provides elevated views across the city skyline and the Passaic and Hackensack Rivers.

It can be an interesting and unique way to best see the industrial landscapes on this renowned road.

Packed with historical significance, it was one of the first major highway projects in the United States. Constructed in the early 20th century, traveling on the Pulaski Skyway allows you to experience a piece of transportation history.

Sunrise over the calm waters and surrounding forests at The Hackensack River, New Jersey, USA
Head out on the pretty waters of Hackensack River for some calm canoeing in stunning surroundings.
John T Callery/Shutterstock.com

How to get there: Super short passage heading northeast on US-1/US-9 towards New Jersey and over the Hackensack River.

Scenic stops/overlooks: Designed for commuting, it doesn't offer specific areas for stopping or sightseeing, so you won't be able to stop along this short journey.

However, you can enjoy views of the surrounding urban landscape from the higher vantage point as you head over (great for your car passengers particularly), and parks and viewpoints close to the Pulaski Skyway.

Our highlights: The bridge itself is often considered as a local's secret, with the domineering steel cantilever bridge an iconic site in the area and piece of treasured architecture.

Skyway Golf Course is sure to be one of the most picturesque around. As you tee off you can enjoy views of Pulaski Skyway throughout this golf course with Pulaski Skyway in the distance.

Leonard Gordon Park, also known as Mosquito Park, is a public park at the end of the route, teeming with walking paths and playgrounds, and ideal for the whole family.

Fancy seeing the views from the water? Then you can take a trip along the Hackensack River by kayak or canoe, paddling along its scenic waters with the impressive Pulaski Pathway in the distance.

Close to the end of this Pulaski Skyway, Lincoln Park overlooks the Skyway and is teeming with outdoor recreation, baseball, basketball and track, as well as plenty of space for leisurely strolls with impressive views.

Where to stay: Around 20 minutes from the end of the Pulaski Skyway, you arrive at the Jersey City waterfront, with plenty of accommodation options, including Hyatt Regency Jersey City.

This hotel offers great waterfront and Manhattan skyline views, or check out the quirky bee farm on this hotel's rooftop deck.

Book a table at Vu Restaurant on-site for delicious contemporary American cuisine, with views of the Hudson River and Statue of Liberty.

Bonus: Pulaski Skyway features in the renowned ‘The Sopranos', seen in background shots when Tony Soprano is driving, and also ‘Analyze That' starring Robert De Niro.

Our travel tips: To travel over the Pulaski Skyway is free, with no tolls in place.

It can get busy during peak times, so heading over early in the morning will see less congestion, plus gives you a good start to the day for exploring New Jersey.

Plenty of the scenic parks and grounds are free if you fancy stopping and admiring the Pulaski Skyway from afar once you reach New Jersey, but if you want to play a round of golf at the Skyway Golf Course, then plan ahead and you can make savings.

2. Clinton Road

15 minutes (10 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: Possibly the creepiest route to take, Clinton Road is known for its numerous legends and ghost stories, which have contributed to its reputation as one of the most haunted roads in the United States.

Tales of paranormal activity, including sightings of strange creatures and mysterious occurrences. These legends have made Clinton Road a popular destination for paranormal enthusiasts and thrill-seekers.

Despite its haunted reputation, Clinton Road is known for its scenic beauty. It passes through heavily wooded areas, streams and rivers, with picturesque views along the way.

Turquoise and white rowing boats tied to the dock on lake at Wawayanda State Park
When you travel Clinton Road make sure to stop off at the scenic sights of Wawayanda State Park along the way.
Ezume Images/Shutterstock.com

How to get there: This straightforward journey starts at Newfoundland, heading north on Clinton Road towards Paterson Hamburg Turnpike, reaching Hewitt after around 15 minutes.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Terrace Pond - Found near the northern end of Clinton Road, Terrace Pond offers a tranquil setting with a picturesque pond surrounded by lush forests and rocky terrain. It's a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers.
  • Clinton Reservoir - This reservoir provides a lovely backdrop with calm waters and tree-lined shores. You can find a pull-off area along the road where you can stop and take in the scenic views.
  • Clinton Road Woodlands – Stretches of scenic wooded area are throughout this short drive – particularly pretty in fall. However, the road itself is known for its narrow and winding nature, so it's important to keep an eye on other vehicles while enjoying the scenery.

Our highlights: The Clinton Furnace is a historic iron furnace near the Southern end of Clinton Road. Built in the 19th century, it was used to produce iron during the Industrial Revolution. Today, the ruins of the furnace are a reminder of the area's industrial past.

Explore the Abram S. Hewitt State Forest, which is named after the town's namesake. This forest offers opportunities for hiking and wildlife spotting, and you can even camp overnight. Several popular trails include Bearfort Ridge and the Appalachian Trail section.

A short journey from Hewitt, past Upper Greenwood Lake leads you to Wawayanda State Park, is a scenic site worth exploring. Here you can enjoy miles of hiking trails, and beautiful natural landscapes.

Bonus: The road's haunted reputation has led to it being featured in books, documentaries, and even inspired a horror movie titled ‘Clinton Road'.

Our travel tips: As a public road it is accessible to drivers without the need for toll payment. Weekdays and outside of peak summer are generally quieter times to travel this route, and during the daytime, you can see all the surrounding scenery.

However, if the road's haunted reputation adds to the excitement for you, traveling during dusk or nighttime might enhance the experience!

3. Palisades Scenic Byway

15 minutes (10 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: The Palisades Scenic Byway runs parallel to the Hudson River, providing breathtaking views of the river and the iconic Palisades cliffs.

The Palisades Scenic Byway is also packed with recreational opportunities, where along with a pretty drive, you can stop off to hike, bike, jet-ski and boat along the Hudson River.

New Jersey and New York state line lookout over the Palisade cliffs and the Hudson river in the summer
The view of the Hudson River from the Palisades cliffs is breathtaking. Make the trek and you won't be disappointed.
Jim Bogosian/Shutterstock.com

How to get there: From Fort Lee, head north along Palisades Interstate Parkway where you will shortly arrive at Palisades - although not before a stop or two to check out the incredible lookouts along the way!

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Ross Dock Picnic Area – Great views of the Hudson River and the surrounding landscapes. The picnic area is at a prime spot along the Palisades cliffs, allowing you to enjoy panoramic vistas of the river and the New York City skyline.
  • Rockefeller Lookout Alpine Lookout - Spectacular views of the Hudson River and the surrounding landscapes. From these vantage points, you can take in the vistas of the river, Palisades cliffs, and the lush forests.
  • State Line Lookout – Near the New Jersey and New York state border, it acts as a scenic rest stop and the chance to stretch your legs before the end of the road trip.

Our highlights: As you head off make a visit to Fort Lee Historic Park Visitor Center to learn more about the history of the area, the American Revolution, and the significance of the Palisades cliffs in the region's history.

Englewood Boat Basin is great if you're interested in boating or simply enjoy waterfront views. This marina offers a serene setting to watch boats sail by and take in the beauty of the Hudson River.

A short distance from the end of this route is Palisades Interstate Park. This expansive park stretches along the Palisades cliffs and offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and scenic overlooks.

Scattered with well-maintained trails that wind through forests, meadows, and wetlands is Tenafly Nature Center, and you get the chance to wildlife spot in this pretty and peaceful surroundings. A hidden gem to head to.

Where to stay: Around 5 minutes from Palisades, continuing along Palisades Interstate Parkway, leads you to the impressive Residence Inn by Marriott Orangeburg.

Close to many great places to explore, including Depot Square and Snowden Avenue Park just a short drive away, this modern and stylish hotel boasts an indoor pool and a fitness center.

Make sure to check in advance as guests at can enjoy free appetizers and drinks on certain days – a great perk to enjoy!

Bonus: The stunning views of the Hudson River and the Palisades cliffs attract plenty of filmmakers and TV shows that have used the Palisades Scenic Byway include ‘The Sopranos', ‘War of the Worlds', ‘The Purple Rose of Cairo' and ‘Blue Valentine'.

Our travel tips: Take this route and you'll have different experiences throughout the year, with the changing seasons bringing their own unique beauty. From the vibrant colors of autumn to the greenery of spring, the lookouts allow you to see these natural transformations.

4. Henry Hudson Drive

30 minutes (10 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: Referred to as the ‘River Road' by many, the Henry Hudson Drive is part of the Palisades Interstate Park, running alongside the Hudson River which delivers stunning views of the river and the Palisades cliffs.

Conveniently close to New York City, if you fancy escaping from the city, or visiting the Big Apple afterwards, this is a great scenic drive either side of those adventures. It really offers a chance to experience the natural beauty just outside the bustling city.

Palisade Interstate Park with views across Hudson River and New York landscape, New Jersey
Visit Palisades Interstate Park and you can enjoy incredible views over the Hudson River and city skyline.

How to get there: From Edgewater, head southeast along Henry Hudson Drive, passing Hudson Park and Alpine Marina before reaching Alpine. A super straightforward and scenic journey.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Ross Dock Picnic Area - Within Palisades Interstate Park this is not only picnic facilities but also scenic views of the Hudson River. From the picnic tables or the nearby shoreline, you can enjoy views of the New York City skyline in the distance.
  • Hudson Park – Beautiful waterfront setting this park features a paved promenade and walkways along the waterfront, or if you fancy something more energetic head to the playgrounds and splash pads – fun for all the family.
  • Palisades Interstate Park – Part of this impressive park, there are various scenic overlooks to stop at to enjoy the views of the Hudson River and the Palisades cliffs.

Our highlights: Head to the Englewood Boat Basin for a scenic overlook of the Hudson River. Watch boats sail by and take in the beauty of the river, which is typically peaceful and a haven away from the busier outlooks.

Set within Palisades Interstate Park, the Kearney House is a historic 18th-century stone house that provides a glimpse into the area's colonial past.

A short journey towards Norwood, the interesting Women's Federation Monument site is dedicated to the women who played a crucial role in creating and preserving the park.

Where to stay: Located in Englewood and only 4.8 km to New York through the George Washington Bridge is the great Crowne Plaza Englewood, an IHG Hotel.

Plenty of attractions close by, including Wave Hill, Bronx Zoo and Veteran's Memorial Park close by, and a gorgeous indoor swimming pool, spa and jacuzzi to enjoy after a busy day or two sightseeing.

Make sure to reserve a table at the Blue City Grille Restaurant & Bar, serving up great American Cuisine morning throughout the day.

Bonus: Henry Hudson, who was the first European to sail up the river, is why the route has this name, however it took a long 300 years from his voyage to make the name change!

Our travel tips: Whilst there is a toll on Henry Hudson Bridge, this is over the water, and so this stretch of the route is free to pass

Spring and fall are great times to make this trip, with the blooming flowers and bold autumn leaves both making this is a beautiful time to travel. However, with so much to explore throughout this route, you can be sure whatever season, it'll be a pretty and memorable trip.

5. Route 563

20 minutes (15 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: The road is known for its serene and rural outlook, passing forests, farmlands and rolling hills as you travel towards Browns Mills.

As well as a scenic short tour, County Route 563 takes drivers to many spots which you can explore via hiking, biking, fishing and boating.

Aerial shot of the featherbed branch in the Pine barrens, in New Jersey, USA
Journey Route 563 and your scenic tour will take you through the heart of the Pine Barrens.
Patrick Tappe/Shutterstock.com

How to get there: From Egg Harbor City head northeast on Lovers Lane towards County Road 542, before joining County Road 563. It is then an easy journey along County Road 563 to Browns Mills.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Evans Bridge - Historic landmark along Route 563, known for its picturesque architecture and scenic crossing over the waterway.
  • Beaver Branch – A tranquil tributary that meanders alongside Route 563, adding to the beauty of the drive and ideal for wildlife spotting.
  • Franklin Parker Preserve – Near Route 563, offers nature enthusiasts a chance to explore thousands of acres of pristine wilderness, with plenty of hiking trails to enjoy to get the best views.

Our highlights: Start your trip with a visit to Storyland Amusement Park. With plenty of entertainment and rides it is sure to keep you and the whole family entertained.

Only a few minutes into the journey, head out to the famous Washington Turnpike, taken by General George Washington and his troops during the Revolutionary War. Head here to enjoy walking, hiking and picnicking in this pretty scenic spot.

The expansive Brendan T. Byrne State Forest is full of scenic vistas and overlooks throughout its trails.

Near Browns Mills, Mirror Lake also offers a serene setting with its calm waters. There are viewpoints and picnic areas where you can stop and enjoy its beauty.

Where to stay: Around 20 minutes from the end of this route, Hill Top Motel can be found in Wrightstown.

A short drive to other popular attractions including Township Park and Mill Creek Park, this motel has a lovely outdoor area and gardens to enjoy relaxing after a days driving and exploring.

Bonus: Also known as ‘Green Bank-Chatsworth Road' in parts, it passes through the heart of the Pine Barrens, with rare plants, such as the carnivorous pitcher plant and the vibrant blueberry plant.

Our travel tips: It is free to travel this stretch of road, but make sure to be on the lookout for Terrapin turtles while you're driving past the marshes.

Driving along this road during autumn offers breathtaking views of colorful foliage, making it an ideal destination for extra special scenic drives.

6. Western Highlands Scenic Byway

25 minutes (20 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: The Western Highlands Scenic Byway shows off the stunning beauty of New Jersey's western highlands, taking you through rolling hills, lush forests and serene lakes.

A gateway to so many outdoor activities and recreation, you can enjoy hiking, biking, fishing and boating along this byway, so make the most of it with plenty of stop-offs as you journey through.

The entrance to the hiking trail into grasslands to the Blacks Creek site at Maple Grange Park in Vernon, New Jersey
Stop off at the pretty Maple Grange Park as you travel Western Highlands Scenic Byway. It's a great place for a meander and refreshments.

How to get there: Starting from Vernon Township, head northeast on Stockholm Vernon Road towards Old NJ-23, passing the beautiful Hamburg Mountain Wildlife Area.

Once you arrive at Vernon Township, turn left onto NJ-94 and then right onto Sand Hill Road, where you follow the byway along NJ-94 towards Warwick.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Mountain Creek Resort - During the summer months, you can enjoy activities such as hiking, mountain biking or how about the water slides and pools – fun for all!
  • Pinwheel Vista – Make sure to take a pit stop here and hike to the summit of the Pinwheel Vista. Well worth the effort to enjoy incredible views.

Our highlights: Hamburg Mountain Wildlife Management Area spans around 3,500 acres, and there are many trails for hiking and exploring the natural surroundings.

Make a visit to Treescape Aerial Adventure Park, where you can wander high in the trees at this nature preserve, with zip lines, rope ladders and obstacles to tackle along this overhead scenic adventure.

Cute playgrounds and walking trails greet you at Maple Grange Park and are dotted throughout this parkland. Take the mile paved walk, which is great for a leg stretch and lunch.

Where to stay: Close to many top sites such as Cicerale Park and lots of top ski spots if you are looking to hit the slopes is Appalachian Motel.

There is free parking on site, so no need to worry about your car as you settle here for a day or two, and a pretty garden to sit and reflect after a busy day exploring.

Bonus: Lots of myths circulate this area. ‘Jersey Devil', a mythical creature, is said to live in the Pine Barrens, a character that creates mystery and intrigue to the region.

Our travel tips: As it stands, there is no fee to make this scenic and interesting journey.

Visit in winter and make sure to stop off at Mountain Creek Resort. The resort features a ski area with multiple slopes, terrain parks, and snow tubing. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced skier, you can hit the slopes.

7. County Road 519

30 minutes (20 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: This is the oldest county road you can take, and in total covers around 88 miles. The section from Great Meadows to Phillipsburg passes barns, farms and vineyards.

The area surrounding County Road 519 is rich in history, where you can get a glimpse into the region's past visiting the old stone houses, churches and farmland.

Weaving highway through fall foliage of Jenny Jump State Forest in New Jersey
The beautiful scenic woodlands across Jenny Jump State Forest are certainly worth a visit, with beautiful scenery and mysterious history.
Andrew F. Kazmierski/Shutterstock.com

How to get there: From Great Meadows, head south on County Road 519/Hope Bridgeville Road, passing Beaver Brook Wildlife Management Area and over Pequest River, shortly after turning left onto Belvidere Road.

Continue along County Road 519/Uniontown Road where you will pass Harmony and Upper Stewartsville before arriving at your destination in Phillipsburg.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Beaver Brook Wildlife Management Area – Spanning over 3,000 acres, this wildlife-rich area is ideal for hiking enthusiasts, who can enjoy scenic walks through forests, meadows, and wetlands during a stop-off.
  • Oxford Furnace Lake – A short detour from Brookfield, you'll find Oxford Furnace Lake. This peaceful lake offers a serene setting for picnicking, fishing, or simply enjoying the waterside.
  • Pohatcong Mountain Overlook - While not directly on County Road 519 it's around a 20-minute drive from Upper Stewartsville and gives breathtaking views of Delaware River Valley and the towns below. Well worth the detour.

Our highlights: Jenny Jump State Forest near Hope, at the very start of the trip, is a scenic woodland retreat known for its views, hiking trails, and intriguing legend of Jenny Jump, who is said to haunt the forest after fleeing Native Americans and jumping from a cliff.

Delaware River Railroad Excursions train ride allows you to enjoy the beautiful landscapes along the Delaware River. The train has themed excursions throughout the year, including fall foliage rides, holiday trains, and special events, all enjoyed by vintage coaches.

A great opportunity to step back in time is a visit to Warren County Historical and Genealogical Society. Get a glimpse into Warren County history at these grounds.

Another popular historical stop-off is Van Nest Hoff Vannatta Farmstead. This farmstead dates back to the mid-18th century and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It provides insight into the daily lives of early settlers in Warren County.

Thirsty after all that history? Several vineyards are dotted along this journey. Little Ridge Vineyards specializes in producing handcrafted wines from locally grown grapes, and do excellent tours and tastings.

Where to stay: A 15-minute drive from Phillipsburg, you will find Hampton Inn Easton along US-22 west and then PA-248, a great location just off the highway, and close to top sites including several parks and popular Dutch Springs Aqua Park just a short drive away.

Stay here and you can enjoy the year-round indoor swimming pool, and state-of-art fitness center. With several restaurants and diners close by, and delicious continental breakfast included, you will also be well fed before you head back onto the road.

Bonus: County Road 519 has a long history dating back to the colonial era. It was originally a dirt road used by early settlers to navigate the rural landscape.

Our travel tips: County Road 519 is a public road maintained by the local county government and does not have toll plazas or toll charges.

This pretty short journey is ok to complete year-round, however, to enjoy the stop-offs, particularly vineyards, head in the warmer weather and you can take advantage of the sunshine and samples. It's also worth booking any tours in advance as it can get busy.

8. Route 542/Pine Barrens Byway

30 minutes (20 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: In the heart of the Pine Barrens, a vast forested area spanning several counties in southern New Jersey, this route starts in Hammonton and stretches into Bass River Township.

A picturesque drive through the unique Pine Barrens, you will pass long stretches of forests and lakes along this 20-mile section.

The Pine Barrens Byway allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and head into the depths of nature. It really is a pretty and tranquil drive.

View of the General Store and surrounding parkland in Batsto village, New Jersey
Feel like you are stepping into a bygone era with a visit to Basto Village, with historic buildings showcasing the area's history.
Harry B. Lamb/Shutterstock.com

How to get there: Heading away from Hammonton, take Nesco Road and County Road 542, passing Washington and Wading River before arriving shortly after at Bass River.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Batsto Lake Overlook - Within the Batsto Village Historic Site, the Batsto Lake Overlook offers a panoramic view of Batsto Lake. It's a perfect spot to appreciate the beauty of the lake and the surrounding woodlands.
  • Crowley Landing – Ideal for a leg stretch and lunch this pretty waterfront has picnic tables dotted along the waterfront and boat launches if you fancy an afternoon out on the water.
  • Wading River - A popular spot for canoeing and kayaking. Rent a kayak or bring your own and explore the tranquil waters surrounded by the scenic beauty of the Pine Barrens.

Our highlights: As you travel this route you get the chance to visit the historic sites including Batsto Village. These well-preserved historic buildings are interesting and you can learn about the region's industrial past. Visit the Batsto Mansion, the blacksmith shop, and the general store for a glimpse into the area's history.

Bass River State Forest offers several hiking trails that allow you to explore the Pine Barrens. The 1.5-mile Holly Trail is a popular choice, leading you through a scenic Atlantic white cedar swamp.

The Pine Barrens is renowned for its wildlife, including many species that are unique to the region. Wildlife enthusiasts can enjoy trying to spot white-tailed deer, red foxes, and the elusive Pine Barrens tree frog as you pass through.

Wading River is home to several hiking trails that wind through the Pine Barrens. Some local favorites include the Batona Trail and the Penn Branch Trail.

Where to stay: Around 15 minutes from destination Bass River, Holiday Inn Manahawkin/Long Beach Island, an IHG Hotel is just off US-9 in Manahawkin/Stafford Township, with top attractions close by like Heritage Park and Manahawkin Lake Park.

Make the most of the indoor swimming pool, a hot tub, and fitness center, which are the perfect way to unwind after a busy day. Afterwards visit The Mainland Kitchen & Pub. Ideal for pre-dinner drinks, pull up a beach chair and grab a drink, before heading to dinner.

Bonus: The Jersey Devil is a mythical creature said to inhabit the Pine Barrens, with tales dating back to the early 18th century, of this winged creature with hooves and a horse-like head.

Our travel tips: This scenic road trip winds through the Pine Barrens region of New Jersey, offering a picturesque drive without any toll booths or fee.

You can be sure of a super picturesque trip if you make it during spring or fall when the flora colors are stunning.

If you fancy a visit to Bass River State Forest, it's open from 8am to 7pm everyday, and for the 2023 season, it's free to visit.

9. Warren Heritage Scenic Byway

35 minutes (20 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: Warren Heritage Scenic Byway (Route 57) is a byway traveling between Greenwich Township and Hackettstown, with tons of outdoor recreation and stunning views of the natural beauty that Warren County has to offer.

Pass several quaint towns and villages, each with its own unique character and charm on the way, with towns such as Belvidere and Washington. Exploring these towns, you can understand more about the region's past and culture.

A wooden footbridge over Roaring Rocks stream in Warren County New Jersey.
Take time out to hike through the lush woodlands of Roaring Rock Park when you journey Warren Heritage Scenic Byway.
Andrew F. Kazmierski/Shutterstock.com

How to get there: From Greenwich Township take the NJ-57 east passing New Village and Washington, and then Anderson, with this super scenic journey fairly straightforward.

After passing Point Mountain North Section take Rockport Road, which then follows up towards High Street before reaching Hackettstown.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Merrill Creek Reservoir – A short distance from Greenwich Township, you can detour to Merrill Creek Reservoir, which offers scenic overlooks and walking trails.
  • Roaring Rock Park – Just on the fringes of Washington this beautiful setting is packed with walking trails, and a great stop year-round. There are several bridges over the creek that offer great picture opportunities.
  • Anderson Mountain Reservation – Short journey from Anderson town is this nature reserve, surrounded in lush forests and landscapes. A great spot for taking in the areas views, and wandering the plentiful hiking trails.

Our highlights: Make sure to visit Shippen Manor in Oxford, where this well-preserved historic mansion a must-see. A short detour from Washington, head here and take a guided tour of the estate, stroll through the gardens, and learn about the area's heritage.

While not directly on the byway, Schooley's Mountain County Park is near to Hackettstown and definitely worth the journey. The park features hiking trails that lead to viewpoints where you can take in panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside.

Not quite had your fix of historic houses? Then head to Rutherfurd Hall in Hackettstown. This stunning example of Georgian Revival architecture is a visual treat both inside and outside.

Where to stay: A short journey from Hackettstown and just off the highway so easy to jump on and off is the Holiday Inn Budd Lake - Rockaway Area, an IHG Hotel close to many pretty parks, including Common Park and Riverside Park.

This well-located hotel also has a great terrace, so make the most of sitting back and relaxing in the courtyard or take a dip in the indoor swimming pool and hot tub.

Bonus: If you continue a short journey from Hackettstown, then you will come across ‘The Shades of Death Road'. This stretch of road has gained a reputation for its intriguing and somewhat eerie name, with legends suggesting its connection to ghostly sightings…!

Our travel tips: This scenic and interesting journey is free to take on, and is a beautiful trip throughout the year. However, the vibrant colors in fall and blooming flowers in spring both make for particularly pretty times to travel.

If you fancy a visit to Shippen Manor, then make sure you head there on the first and second Sundays from May to December and enjoy a free tour.

10. Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway

45 minutes (25 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: This journey is renowned for its views of the picturesque landscapes of the Millstone River Valley and rolling hills, farmlands and waterways that you pass along the way.

Along this route you can enjoy many activities whilst taking in the scenic sights, with many hiking paths and lookouts on this route.

The Millstone Valley Byway is rich in history and passes through a region that played a significant role in the American Revolutionary War and early industrial development of the United States. You can be sure of plenty of informative, historical stop-offs.

Late summer blooms of goldenrod across parkland at Six Mile Run State Park in Franklin, New Jersey.
If you want to keep on the move then a visit to Six Mile Run Park is a must. Packed with plenty of outdoor activities, it also has lovely parklands to enjoy if you fancy a rest instead.
Thomas Kloc/Shutterstock.com

How to get there: From Hillsborough Township, head south Main Street and Millstone River Road. This route takes you down the west side of the Millstone River past Griggstown Causeway and down to Reeve Road.

Continuing on River Road you pass Masonic Lodge, before then heading NJ-27 north, passing Kingston and Rockingham Historic Site.

Head onto Canal Road and you'll pass Griggstown Causeway before arriving at Six Mile Run Park – plenty of chance here for biking, hiking and horse-riding. Before arriving back at East Millstone and completing the loop.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Princeton Highlands Canal – Stop off at The Princeton Highlands Canal, offering a tranquil waterway that winds through picturesque landscapes. A chance for boating and fishing
  • Van Horne Park – Nestled along the Millstone River, Van Horne Park is a charming overlook with walking trails, picnic areas, and scenic views.
  • Autumn Hill Reserve - A preserved natural area known for its scenic hiking trails, wildlife, and stunning views.

Our highlights: Kingston is a historic village that served as the capital of New Jersey for a short period during the Revolutionary War. It features well-preserved colonial buildings and offers a glimpse into the region's past.

Take a visit to Rockingham Historic Site. General George Washington's final Revolutionary War headquarters, this site in Kingston showcases the restored Rockingham house and offers guided tours.

Or for those wanting to keep on the move stop off at Six Mile Run Park. A vast park spanning over 3,000 acres in Franklin Township, and a great place to head to for a spot of hiking, biking, horseback riding, and fishing.

Charming, quaint, East Millstone hamlet is located near the Millstone River and known for the East Millstone Baptist Church, which dates back to the early 19th century.

Where to stay: Staying for a day or two? Then make sure to book a stay at Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Bridgewater Branchburg/Somerville, just a short drive from John Basilone Memorial Field, The Children's Museum and Garden State Convention Center.

Modern and bright rooms and lounges to relax in., and on-site fitness center if you want to stay on the move, you can also enjoy a delicious full English breakfast before heading off on your way.

Bonus: During this route you'll pass through Griggstown, which is famous for its ‘Griggstown Cow Parade', a display of creatively decorated life-size fiberglass cows throughout the village. Each cow is uniquely painted by local artists.

Our travel tips: There are no tolls along this route.

Before you set off, go to the visitor center in Griggstown Village. This is open from April to October on weekend afternoons and is a great place to plan your trip or hire out any equipment like canoes & kayaks.

11. Route 29/Delaware River Scenic Byway

45 minutes (30 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: As you drive this winding riverside road, you will be able to enjoy beautiful views along with Revolutionary War-era architecture with this route packed with history, charm and stunning parkland.

The beautiful Route 29, known as River Road at points and Delaware River Scenic Byway, enjoys forest views as soon as you head out of Trenton.

Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve fountain shack in late autumn,, surrounded by lilypads in the lake and forests, New Jersey
Stop in at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve as you travel Delaware River Scenic Byway and you can be sure of a stunning visit.

How to get there: Beginning the journey at state capital of New Jersey, Trenton, this straight road takes you on NJ-29, running alongside the beautiful Delaware River.

This route travels past Washington Crossing, Stockton, Lumberville and Point Pleasant as you make the fairly short trip alongside the Delaware River to Frenchtown.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Washington Crossing State Park – Enjoy tours across this legendary Revolutionary War site, with historical tours and nature trails.
  • Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve – Spanning 134-acres, this botanical garden is packed with native flora and ideal for afternoon meander.
  • The Lambertville - New Hope Bridge connects New Jersey and Pennsylvania and the bridge is a great spot to enjoy panoramic views of the river and the charming towns of Lambertville in New Jersey, and New Hope in Pennsylvania.
  • Bulls Island Recreation Area – Part of the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, here you can enjoy hiking trails and picnic areas in the midst of Delaware River beauty.

Our highlights: New Hope Railroad is a top attraction at New Hope, about halfway along this road trip. Feel like you are stepping back in time at these historic trains that have been around on this railroad since 1891.

Once you arrive make sure to step over the impressive historic Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Bridge across Delaware River crossing New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Frenchtown's Riverside Park is also a lovely spot to unwind and enjoy the outdoors. The park offers picnic areas, benches, and a gazebo, making it a perfect place for a leisurely picnic in peace and quiet.

Fancy something high energy? Then a local favorite is the charming Frenchtown Roller Rink. Around since 1977 you can dance the night away under the neon lights.

Where to stay: Located right off NJ-29 for easy access on and off the highway is Woolverton Inn, close to popular sites including Virginia Forrest Recreation Area and Canal Park.

This beautiful house and grounds is very tranquil and features a pretty terrace for enjoying breakfast and coffee – the full English breakfast options are said to be delicious.

Make sure to relax in the garden after a busy day, enjoying the views of this traditional and picturesque inn.

Bonus: Route 29 has been featured in several films, including the recognized 1997 film ‘The Rainmaker', directed by Francis Ford Coppola, where some scenes were filmed along the road.

Our travel tips: This state highway following the course of the Delaware River is toll-free, although if you cross over the Delaware River to explore, be aware you may need to pay charges to cross.

A great time to travel Route 29 and the Delaware River Scenic Byway is fall, when the colors are stunning. This makes for some stunning pictures whatever the time of day.

Many flock through this route from Memorial Day through Labor Day, so visiting late fall avoids some of the crowds then too.

12. Upper Freehold Historic Farmland Scenic Byway

50 minutes (30 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: This journey passes through an area steeped in history. Along the route, you can discover historic farms, barns, and landmarks that are a mix of serene pastures and charming rural vistas.

It is renowned for its scenery, recreational and cultural sites and is a beautiful route to travel and learn more about New Jersey's history.

The old grist blue mill and grounds at Historic Walnford in New Jersey
As you travel along Upper Freehold Historic Farmland Scenic Byway, you are inundated with historic buildings and interesting surroundings, such as old mills dotted across Historic Walnford.
Andrew F. Kazmierski/Shutterstock.com

How to get there: This loop starts at Allenstown, heading southwest before taking Allentown Davis Station and down Holmes Mill Road passing Cream Ridge Golf Course grounds.

From here, you can visit both Crosswicks Creek Park and Historic Walnford before circling back and visiting Polhemustown, before traveling along Polhemustown Road, Walnford Road and Hill Road south.

From here you'll be nearly at the second section of Crosswicks Creek Park before taking NJ-27, passing Cream Ridge and weaving up to Clayton Park using Trenton Lakewood Road. Stone Tavern and Coxs Corner are then seen ahead of arriving back at the start.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Heritage Park – A cherished recreational area that showcases the natural beauty of Upper Freehold. With its well-maintained trails, serene ponds, and lush greenery, the park provides a tranquil escape for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
  • Crosswicks Creek - The byway crosses over Crosswicks Creek at various points, offering glimpses of the serene waterway. You can find scenic spots near the bridges or pull-offs to enjoy the scenery.
  • Clayton Park – A scenic stop-off within the open meadows, wooded areas, and picturesque streams. It provides a serene setting for walking and picnicking.

Our highlights: Historic Walnford is a must-visit, and offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the region's agricultural and industrial past through its well-preserved buildings, including a 19th-century gristmill, farmhouse, and barns.

A golf fan? Then book a round at Cream Ridge Golf Course. This picturesque and well-regarded course offers players an enjoyable day with stunning surroundings.

If horses are more to your liking, then The Horse Park of New Jersey is a premier equestrian facility, with sprawling grounds and beautiful trails. It serves as a hub for horse-related activities and events, attracting riders and spectators alike.

If you fancy something less energetic, then head to Screamin Hill Brewery. A popular destination in Upper Freehold it is known for its handcrafted beers brewed with locally.

Where to stay: A great place to stay is the fabulous Hampton Inn and Suites Robbinsville, just off the highway and close to outdoor spaces Byron Johnson Park and Drialo Park, and a short drive to Princeton Battlefield.

This great hotel offers a lush indoor pool for taking a dip, and lovely outdoor seating area for some downtime. Make sure to stay for the yummy, well-rated, American breakfast before you set back off.

Bonus: The Upper Freehold Historic Farmland Scenic Byway was featured in the 2008 film ‘The Happening', directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Several scenes of this thriller were filmed along the scenic byway.

Our travel tips: With no tolls you can enjoy access to the picturesque farmland and historic sites of Upper Freehold without any cost.

If you are planning to visit The Horse Park of New Jersey then there are lots of events throughout the year. The popular annual ‘Jersey Classic Horse Show' is held in July, but there are many across the year so make sure to check out the local fixtures.

13. Old Mine Road

1 hour 15 minutes (30 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: If you fancy a scenic drive that is off the beaten track, then a tour down Old Mine Road is just for you.

This drive is packed with incredible views, taking you away from the tolls and traffic of the Turnpike and alongside lakes, creeks and forests. Some describe it as New Jersey's loneliest road, and it could also be seen as one of the most scenic.

One of the best things about Old Mine Road is that it is one of the oldest continuously used roads in the USA following the ancient Native American trail. Traveling along Old Mine Road allows you to experience the rich history in this area.

A scenic view of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area between New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
A highlight of traveling Old Mine Road are the views and scenery across Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Andrew F. Kazmierski/Shutterstock.com

How to get there: From Montague, head west on Old Mine Road, with this pretty straight road tracking all the way down to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

From here you continue to follow Old Mine Road before shortly after reaching Hardwick Township.

Please note that this road in parts may be closed during certain times or certain days, so always plan this journey ahead.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Flatbrookville Overlook – A short distance from Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, this overlook provides picturesque views of the Flat Brook and the surrounding wooded areas.
  • Van Campens Glen Overlook – This stop-off showcases the picturesque Van Campens Glen, a beautiful waterfall and hiking trail. From the overlook, you can glimpse the gushing water and lush greenery of the glen.
  • Turtle Beach Overlook - This overlook provides views of the serene Delaware River and its scenic shoreline. It's a peaceful spot to stop off for a leg stretch.
  • Kittatinny Point - Located towards the end of Old Mine Road journey, Kittatinny Point offers stunning views of the Delaware River and the Kittatinny Mountain Range. It's a popular spot for picnicking, relaxing, and enjoying the scenic beauty of the area.

Our highlights: Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is renowned for its stunning beauty, stop off here to admire the rolling hills, meandering rivers, and picturesque waterfalls.

Found in Dingmans Ferry, Dingmans Falls is the second-highest waterfall in Pennsylvania, at 130 feet. The waterfall is nestled within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, accessible via a short and scenic trail. This really is a must-see natural wonder.

Afterwards head to Dingmans Ferry Historic District. Enjoy an interesting visit to this area to understand more about the region's past found along The Old Mine Road.

Where to stay: Around 20 minutes from towards the southern end of the Delaware Water Gap you can head to Camelback Resort in Tannersville for a great stay.

Ideally located if you are off skiing, with ski-to-door available with Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains just on the doorstep.

Check out the swimming pool and water slides with an afternoon of water fun at the resort before heading for food. With six restaurants on-site serving delicious American and Italian cuisine, you are spoilt for choice.

Bonus: The road is over 350 years old! Just think about the centuries of footsteps, wagons, and carriages that have traveled along this historic road

Our travel tips: Please note that parts of this route are closed in winter.

There are no fees to travel Old Mine Road, making it a great scenic option to take, and particularly lovely in the fall, with the changing leaves making it extra special.

Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area is free to visit, however, from April to October, you might need to pay amenity fees to take part in some of the activities here, such as boating and swimming.

14. Route 539

50 minutes (45 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: Route 539 passes through picturesque countryside, providing scenic views of farmland, forests, and charming rural landscapes.

As well as scenic sights, this route is packed with historic sites, landmarks and original buildings you can stop off and explore along the way.

Tall pine trees surrounding calm waters across Wharton State Forest
Follow Route 539 and you can enjoy stop offs at incredible sites, including Wharton State Forest, which is packed with scenic overlooks and vistas.
Zhiwei Huang/Shutterstock.com

How to get there: As you head away from Allentown, head southwest on Maiden Lane towards Waker Avenue taking County Road 539 south.

Following this straight route, you will pass Polhemustown and Hornerstown before passing scenic spots Cedar Glen Lakes, Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area and lush forests most of the drive.

After crossing the Garden State Parkway intersection, you will then arrive at Tuckerton.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area - A vast expanse of protected land you can stop at various designated parking areas, to enjoy the scenic viewpoints overlooking forests, wetlands, and open fields.
  • Cedar Glen Lakes – Perfect stop off for those seeking a tranquil lakeside retreat, with a serene setting and the chance to go fishing, boating, and enjoy the walking trails.
  • Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area – Spanning over 32,000 acres, this is a huge area to go exploring. Head along Hidden Lake Trail for a short loop to a hidden gem of a pretty lake.
  • Brendan T. Byrne State Forest – Around halfway along the journey, you can detour along NJ-72 towards Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. Here there are miles of hiking trails, including the popular Batona Trail with unrivaled views.

Our highlights: Whitesbog Village is in a beautiful setting and is recognized as the birthplace of the commercial blueberry industry. Exploring the village allows you to step back in time and learn about the history of cranberry and blueberry farming in the region. Interesting and tasty!

Take a short detour from Hornerstown along Monmouth Road and enjoy the thrill and spills of the popular Six Flags Great Adventure Park. A great way to kick-start your trip.

With a rich history dating back to the 18th century New Egypt features well-preserved historic buildings and structures, including the New Egypt Historic District. Stroll around this charming and architecturally impressive site.

Also take time to visit Bass River State Forest to enjoy ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Hiking trails wind through the forest, and with Lake Absegami on the doorstep you can also enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing fun.

Close to Tuckerton, Wharton State Forest offers scenic overlooks and vistas. The forest covers a vast area with diverse landscapes, including the iconic Pine Barrens. The Batsto River and Batsto Lake are particularly picturesque and a photographer's dream.

Where to stay: After visiting Tuckerton head 30 minutes towards Long Beach and you can enjoy a night or two in the pretty beachfront Windward at the Beach.

Enjoy a coffee or aperitif sitting on the large wrap-around terrace before taking advantage of the free beach passes you can while away an afternoon or more on the sandy shores.

You can also head to some of the local attractions, including Veteran's Memorial Park and Bi-centennial Park just a short walk away.

Bonus: As you travel Route 539 keep an eye out for the ‘Painted Rock', a large boulder that takes on different images, pictures and slogans over time – but no one knows the painter responsible!

Our travel tips: There are no toll fees to make this trip and many of the stop-offs are also fee-free. However, parking charges and extras (if you fancy boating) will involve some cost and licenses.

Fall is a great time to make this journey, with the surrounding forests really make this trip ‘pop'. Spring, when the roads and attractions are also less hectic, is a great time to travel.

15. Ocean Drive

2 hours (45 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: This route is a great way to see New Jersey's incredible coastline stretching from Atlantic City to Cape May.

People say that to guide the way you need to ‘follow the gull', and there indeed gull signs en route, however you'll not want to stray far anyway from the coastline views.

Ocean Drive provides access to various beaches along the New Jersey coastline, where you can stop and enjoy the sandy shores and top swimming spots.

View of attractions and bright lights on The Steel Pier boardwalk at Atlantic City, New Jersey
Let your hair down with a visit to the bright lights and attractions of Atlantic City at the very start of this journey.
ESB Professional/Shutterstock.com

How to get there: Leaving the bright lights of Atlantic City, take Atlantic Avenue, where you will pass Margate City, Ocean City and Sea Isle City, all bursting with top sights and ocean views.

From here Ocean Drive continues down the coastline passing Stone Harbour and the Wildwoods before after arriving at Cape May.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Stone Harbor Point – Close to Middle Township, this spot offers scenic vistas of the dunes, beach, and ocean. It's a popular spot for birdwatching and enjoying coastline views.
  • Ocean View – Take a short detour to Sea Isle City, a particularly scenic stop. Pristine sandy beaches along the Atlantic Ocean are ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles at this picturesque coastal setting.
  • Cape May Point State Park – Once you arrive in Cape May this site offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. Check out Cape May Lighthouse, you can take in panoramic views of the coastline.

Our highlights: Make the most of Atlantic City before you head off. If you are looking to drink, dance, gamble or take in a show, this is the place for you! Prepare to be greeted by endless entertainment and fun – there really is something for everyone.

Ocean City is great for family fun. A dry town it's less about partying and more about wholesome entertainment. Play a round of mini-golf or visit the pier for rides.

Make sure to also head to Stone Harbor. You'll find fantastic shops, delicious dining options and a small, local museum that's worth a visit. Don't forget to stop and relax at the beach - you'll find this area a bit more relaxed than Cape May and Wildwood.

Cape May Lighthouse also offers tons to do in this charming town at the end of the journey. Visit the Cape May Lighthouse and as well as a tour you might also get a chance to whale watch from afar. Afterwards head to the local shops and places to eat.

Where to stay: The beachfront La Mer Beachfront Resort property enjoys an ocean view from each hotel room balcony.

Delicious Pier House restaurant on-site serves up great American and Mediterranean dishes, with a seasonal swimming pool to enjoy a dip with glorious ocean views.

Bonus: A popular filming location for films and TV shows, this scenic coastal road has been featured in several top shows including 1998 film ‘City of Angels' starring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan.

Our travel tips: The five toll bridges on Ocean Drive charge $2.00 for cars which can be paid in cash or with E-ZPass, so make sure to keep your pass or wallet topped up.

As with any shoreline journey it's best made when the weather is good. Whilst it'll be busier, in spring and summer, and even early fall, you can enjoy the nicer weather for beach stops en route.

16. Drive around High Point State Park

2 hours 15 minutes (50 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: High Point State Park is located in the Kittatinny Mountains of New Jersey, offering breathtaking panoramic views. As you drive across the Appalachian National Scenic Trail you can enjoy the beautiful forests, hills, and valleys.

The High Point Monument commemorates the highest point in New Jersey and serves as a memorial to war veterans, with plenty of historic sites to visit during the journey loop.

Byways weaving through High Point State Park in autumn, with fall foliage surrounding the byway
The scenic drive around High Point State Park is particularly beautiful in the autumn.
Bruce Goerlitz Photo/Shutterstock.com

How to get there: Starting from Culver Fire Tower head south east, passing Sunrise Mountain Overlook and towards Sawmill Lake Campground.

Take Monument Road to NJ-23 N in Wantage and you'll shortly pass High point Monument for amazing views. Before then dipping back south to visit Montague.

Before the end of the journey, you'll get to visit Sussex County Sunflower Maze before arriving at Buttermilk Falls.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Sunrise Mountain Overlook – The Sunrise Mountain Overlook at High Point State Park offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape, especially during the early morning hours when the sun paints the sky with vibrant hues.
  • High Point State Park - A magnificent natural destination, encompassing acres of pristine forests, rolling hills, picturesque lakes, and an abundance of recreational opportunities for visitors to enjoy.
  • High Point Monument – The towering High Point Monument stands proudly at the highest point in New Jersey, serving as a tribute to veterans and providing an awe-inspiring view of the Kittatinny Mountains and the sprawling countryside below.

Our highlights: The Appalachian Mountains Trail is a must. Make sure to head along the white trail, the largest one in the park. This very famous trail takes you through the Appalachian Mountains and is sure to leave lasting memories.

The Sussex County Sunflower Maze is a delightful attraction where visitors can wander through rows of vibrant sunflowers.

High Point Golf Club offers golf enthusiasts a challenging and scenic course set against the backdrop of the park's views – what a course!

Make sure to visit Buttermilk Falls. Cascading down a rocky cliff this really is a spectacle.

Where to stay: Set in a great location close to the High Point State Park, with picturesque scenery of Pocono Mountains, the Hampton Inn Matamoras, is an ideal place to stay.

Charming and traditional décor, this is a delightful hotel to spend a night or two. Hungry? A variety of bistros, pizzerias and restaurants are just a short drive away.

Bonus: The Appalachian Trail is a nearly 2,200-mile hiking trail, so if you get a taste of it here, you can always keep going and going!

Our travel tips: Although it is fee free to make this impressive loop, you will need to pay to get into the park when you arrive. Entrance fees are charged from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

Fall is particularly pretty, with the changing leaves and woodlands, or head in summer and you can make the very most of all the trails and stops along the way.

17. Route 513

1 hour 55 minutes (65 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: Head along Route 513 and you can be sure of a journey through pretty woods, water fronts, preserves and interesting small towns to stop at and enjoy the views.

Route 513 connects several historic towns and villages, each with its own unique character and charm. Places like Chester and Clinton are known for their well-preserved architecture and quaint downtown areas, and well worth a stop off along the way.

Historic Red Mill in on the river with woodland backdrop, in summer, Clinton, New Jersey
Discover more about Clinton's historic past with a visit to the well-preserved Red Mill history museum.

How to get there: From West Milford head south-west turning into Union Valley Road and then picking up County Road 513.

This straightforward journey passes Newfoundland, Farny State Park and Rockaway, before arriving at Black River Wildlife Management Area near Chester and a great place to explore.

From here continue along County Road 513 towards historic towns High Bridge and Clinton, before shortly after arriving at Frenchtown.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Black River Wildlife Management Area – Spread over 3,000 acres this impressive parkland alongside Black River has plenty of hiking trails. It's a protected spot for wildlife conservation, and plenty of opportunity to spot wildlife whilst you walk.
  • Voorhees State Park - Near Glen Gardner, Voorhees State Park offers a scenic overlook known as the ‘Vista', with panoramic views of This is a particularly popular spot for photographers.
  • High Bridge Reservoir - As Route 513 passes through the town of High Bridge, you can catch glimpses of the High Bridge Reservoir, offering a scenic backdrop as you drive through the area.
  • Round Valley Recreation Area - While not directly along Route 513, Round Valley Recreation Area is a short detour. The reservoir and surrounding mountains are breathtaking, and there are designated spots you can stop to enjoy the vistas.

Our highlights: A well-preserved historic gristmill dating back to the early 19th century, The Red Mill shows Clinton's industrial past and serves as a living history museum. Found along the South Branch of the Raritan River, it is also has a pretty backdrop to appreciate.

Frenchtown is known for its vibrant arts scene and unique boutiques. This is a great town to explore and meander through the numerous art galleries and shops.

The town of Chester along Route 513 features a picturesque downtown area with charming historic buildings and quaint shops. Walk along its streets to best see the well-preserved architecture and small-town feel.

Frenchtown Railroad Arch Bridge is also worth a visit. This historic iron truss bridge spans the Delaware River, with intricate lattice design. A lesser visited attraction, head here to wander round and enjoy some peace and views.

Where to stay: If you travel around 15 minutes from Frenchtown to Stockton, you will find the exceptional Woolverton Inn.

A short drive to many top sites such as Virginia Forrest Recreation Area, Canal Park and Pat Livezey Park you can have a packed day exploring before heading back to the beautiful terrace and garden, which are ideal to unwind in.

The next morning enjoy a delicious breakfast, with great Full English option available, a great way to start the day!

Bonus: The journey is popular for traveling to the annual ‘Great Pumpkin Carve' event in the town of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. While the event takes place just across the state line, Route 513 is a convenient route for visitors traveling from the New Jersey side.

Our travel tips: This scenic and interesting route is free to travel through as you head down Route 513.

Fall is a very scenic time to take this trip, however, if you fancy all the outdoor recreation along the way, then nearby parks and outdoor spots are best visited during the spring and summer, when its busier but more enjoyable to take part.

18. Bayshore Heritage Byway

Via Route 49

1 hour 45 minutes (80 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: The Bayshore Heritage Byway showcases the natural beauty of New Jersey's Bayshore region, offering stunning vistas of the Raritan Bay and the surrounding landscapes.

The Bayshore region is steeped in history. Along the byway you'll encounter historic sites, museums, and landmarks that tell the story of the area's maritime past, including its role in shipping.

View of the Cape May County Park and Zoo entrance, Cape May County, New Jersey
Spend a day enjoying a visit to Cape May County Park and Zoo, getting close to the wild animals and strolling the grounds.

How to get there: From Cape May head along Pittsburgh Avenue and NJ-109 north to Garden State Parkway in Lower Township, following towards Upper Township.

From here pick up NJ-55 in Millville from NJ-49, before the US-40 W leads you to Mannington Township.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Cape May County Park East – A sprawling park offering walking trails, picnic areas, sports fields, and a nature center.
  • Beaver Swamp - A picturesque wetland area known for its diverse wildlife it provides a habitat for various bird species and is a popular spot for birdwatching and photography.
  • Peaslee Fish and Wildlife Management Area – Stop off here at this pretty conservation area that offers opportunities for hunting, fishing, and wildlife.
  • Union Lake Wildlife Management Area - A scenic natural area surrounding Union Lake, offering boating, fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Our highlights: Cape May County Park & Zoo is a free-entry zoo in Cape May Court House, home to various animals from around the world. Enjoy lions, giraffes, monkeys, and more while enjoying the park's serene setting.

If you want to try something more exhilarating, then visit Tree to Tree Cape May, an exciting adventure park offering aerial obstacle courses and zipline experiences, swinging through the lush tree canopy.

The Maurice River Bluffs Preserve natural area along the Maurice River, features hiking trails that wind through forests, wetlands, and bluffs. It offers stunning views of the river.

Or how about the Palace of Depression is a unique and eccentric structure located in Vineland. Built during the Great Depression, it was constructed using recycled materials and various unconventional objects.

Where to stay: Stop off at Millville for a night at Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Millville Vineland, and you can explore local sights, including South Vineland Park and Veteran's Memorial Park.

With a state-of-art fitness center and indoor pool you can relax in style, before heading to the pretty outdoor terrace and gardens before dinner, there are several dining options within walking distance to check out.

Bonus: The Bayshore Heritage Byway is home to one of the largest concentrations of historic lighthouses in the US, so fab for any maritime fans!

Our travel tips: Cape May Toll Plaza is en route, so make sure to show your E-ZPass as you travel past.

Make an early stop off at Huddocks, a great place to get a bite to eat with burgers and soft-serve renowned.

19. Garden State Parkway

2 hours 30 minutes (170 miles)

What makes this scenic drive special: Garden State Parkway is much more than a highway. It might not seem it but it's a super scenic route passing through the heart of New Jersey, with beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and coastline, and passing some of the best New Jersey attractions along the way.

Unlike other major roads, the Garden State Parkway has a ‘natural feel' about it, with the signage along the roadside aimed to blend in with the surroundings and be sympathetic to the surroundings.

Travel this route directly and it is a speedy way to journey the long length of the parkway from Cape May to Montvale – although in the summer you can expect a little longer on this popular route!

A boardwalk leading into the forest at Cheesequake State Park, New Jersey
Stop off for a stroll around Cheesequake State Park, with plenty of creeks and meadows to hike through and explore.

How to get there: A nod towards New Jersey's nickname, the ‘Garden State', The Garden State Parkway is an easy journey traveling the whole trip from Cape May to Montvale following the Garden State Parkway and its green and yellow circular signage.

Scenic stops/overlooks:

  • Bass River State Forest – Around a third of the way into the journey, this scenic stop spans 23,000 acres has over 20 miles of trails for hiking or biking, or make your way to Lake Absegami for a dip in the pretty waters.
  • Double Trouble State Park – Plenty of nature trails around this site, ideal for a leg stretch. The boggy grounds make it ideal for wildlife spotting, such as turtles and beavers.
  • Cheesequake State Park – So much to explore, packed with streams, creeks, lakes and meadows spanning 1,610 acres. Biking, hiking, swimming are all popular here. Found only 22 miles from Newark, you can be sure of a super scenic stop before heading towards the city. There is also a Service Plaza in Middlesex County where you can stop to refuel your vehicle and yourself, before continuing.

Our highlights: A short distance from Hockhockson along Highway-18 is Asbury Park. This vibrant coastal town is known for a lively boardwalk, beautiful beaches, and music scene. Make a visit to The Stone Pony, where renowned musicians like Bruce Springsteen began.

If you have time then make sure to visit Island Beach State Park, a barrier island along Jersey Shore just after Toms River, heading on Highway-37 and then along Shore Road. It is known for its natural beauty, dunes, and wildlife – a must for nature and beach lovers.

Once you arrive at Montvale, history buffs are going to enjoy visiting the beauty spot Woodcliff Lake, perfect for boating, fishing, and picnicking.

History fans will also like Montvale Train Station, a historic train station building that dates back to the late 19th century, and The Hermitage, a museum once home to landscape painter William Hayes Ward. Both are interesting and architecturally charming.

Where to stay: Ready to relax? Then just over two-thirds of the way along this journey is Asbury Ocean Club Hotel, close to lots of great attractions including Founder's Park and Asbury Park Boardwalk.

Feel like a celebrity staying at this stunning 5-star hotel, where you get beachfront views, swimming pools and first-class service. The outdoor terrace is the perfect spot for amazing ocean views while you sit back and relax, or visit on-site spa and fitness center.

Bonus: After lots of motorcycle accidents on this pathway from 1961 to 1975 all vehicles were banned from riding that stretch of road. If you were caught then you'd lose both $200 and 30 days of freedom!

Our travel tips: The longest highway in the state, passing 172 miles, has around 11 toll plazas, so make sure to bring plenty of cash along for the ride or a topped-up E-Z Pass.

Unpredictable weather can affect the opening of the Garden State Parkway in parts, so make sure to check ahead before traveling.

Summer months are the busiest times on the road, so if you fancy less traffic, then head in the shoulder months, where the surroundings will also be pretty in spring and fall colors.