The visitor’s guide to South Jersey, according to locals
I grew up in Somerset County and didn’t spend much time in South Jersey. But I recently visited Historic Smithville and started to get a taste of what South Jersey had to offer.
I reached out to some locals on Facebook and shared with them that I am trying to get to know South Jersey better and I asked them for suggestions of places to check out. They came back with loads of ideas!
One of the top suggestions was Basto’s Village, which dates back to 1766. One local, Beth Haviland said, “Batsto is a great place to learn about the Pine Barrens and bog ore that was throughout the Barrens and used to make cannonballs.”
Basto’s Village is located in Wharton State Forest, along with other locations that were recommended, including Atsion Lake.
The Red Bank Battlefields was also a popular recommendation. The attack on Fort Mercer also known as the Battle of Red Bank occurred during the Revolutionary War and was a huge victory for Americans. The site still has the trenches and cannons used by American soldiers.
Next time you are planning a trip to South Jersey, make sure to check out these recommendations:
East Point Lighthouse
Cheryl Ann Leonard
In the fall there's a lighthouse challenge where you can visit all of the lighthouses in New Jersey starting at Sandy Hook and working your way all the way to Cape May. It's a great two-day trip if you take your time and enjoy the lighthouses and life-saving stations.
East Point Lighthouse for the very best sunset ever
Wharton State Forest has a ton of old buildings that are preserved.
Beth Bullen Haviland
Batsto is a great place to learn about the pine barrens and bog ore that was throughout the barrens and used to make cannonballs.
Look up images of Batso... I love walking around and taking fun pics. I work in Haddonfield. That's a great place also.
Atsion Lake. The water is cedar red in color!
Haddonfield/Collingswood is worth the walk around.
As a native, Haddonfield has lots of HISTORY and shops.
Dinosaur park in Haddonfield, Kings highway in Haddonfield has historic markers at every mile going up to Elizabeth Haddon's house.
Downtown Haddonfield is great
Haddonfield, Collingswood, Redbank Battlefield
Red Bank Battlefield
Wheaton Arts Village in Millville is a great afternoon.
Blueberry Hill trail in Gibbsboro has an old Air Force base at the top of the hill.
Cape May Point lighthouse.... WWII bunker, tower, sunken concrete ship.
Mullica Hill is a cool little town with antique shops, etc.
Rancocas Woods Events and Shops
Korrine Morris Rudderow
Rancocas Woods on the 4th Saturday of any month
Rancocas Woods has a lot of craft fairs and some nice stores
Lake Worth park is an old park in Lindenwold that use to have concerts, the speakers are still up in the trees and old signs are all over the woods.
Bordentown and Princeton have nice main streets. Cowtown Rodeo very unique experience
If you want “real” South Jersey (according to us!) come to Atlantic and Cape May counties! So many gems. Nature reserve in Egg Harbor Township (you won’t believe how beautiful it is)
Stone Harbor/Avalon and Sea Isle are all such great beach towns to visit; Brigantine farmers market in the summer (Brigantine overall is fantastic)' Wildwood and Ocean City boardwalk as always a good time, and we have some awesome campgrounds and beaches!
Cindy Gardner Massey
After Smithville be sure to go to Leeds Point, which is a little down the street from Smithville. You may see the Jersey devil. Also, you should have dinner at Oyster Creek. It's a famous restaurant. A little further down on Route 9 you can drive the Brigantine Wildlife or called Refuge Forsythe Wildlife which is not on the beach but off of Route 9 in Leeds Point.
Bordentown is charming — shops, bars, restaurants.
In Burlington City — lots of antique shops, great spots to eat, Promenade on the Delaware. Events all summer long - but check out the Wood Street Fair on Sept. 10.
Johnson’s Farm — 2 locations, lots of activities.
Laurita Winery & many others… you can do a wine trail. Lots of great wineries.
I'm in Pilesgrove and there are wineries and several animal rescues. Freedom and Funny Farm are the two I can think of.
Noyse Museum of Art is pretty cool and also near the Forsythe Wildlife Refuge. I think the refuge has an 8-mile auto trail and a bunch of other bike/walking trails.
Debbie Simons McGee
Edwin Forsythe wildlife refuge. You'll enjoy the wildlife and hiking trails.
Island Beach State Park
Lucy the Elephant in Margate
Cape May Washington mall
Teresa A Finn
Cape May Zoo: It's free. Google "Medford lakes NJ" — gorgeous. I love Cherry Hill and so close to Philly.
Best wings are at Pic-A-Lilli Inn in Tabernacle
Rosalie Francis Tassone
Medford NJ and Pitman have cute little main streets
Estell Manor Park
Randi Rosen- Kamen
Grounds for Sculpture In Hamilton Twp. (Mercer) and eat at Rat's Restaurant
Fort Mott in Salem County.
Ocean Grove — especially in Summer when the tents are up! Lovely!
Amber Danielle Worley
If you like really old towns, go to Greenwich, NJ
Morning Glori Farmette is an alpaca farm. The owners and alpacas are super friendly. They offer alpaca walks, picnics, you can even have the alpacas come to your house/location. They offer other services… check out their website, Facebook & Instagram. You will not be disappointed!!
Camden City: Battleship NJ, Rutgers U. Camden Campus, Wiggins Waterfront Park, Harleigh Cemetery (Walt Whitman is buried there), Adventure Aquarium, Pomona Hall (Camden County Historical Society), Walt Whitman House.
Donna Alu Cooper
I'm in South Jersey and need to check out some of these places! Many small towns will have their summer concerts, food trucks, festivals and street fairs coming up! Also, many county and state parks are great for walking, biking, hiking and taking photos. And don't forget the shore!