scenic drives in new jersey

Best Scenic Drives in New Jersey

While New Jersey is better known for its sprawling metropolises, there are many wild places throughout the state that provide a beautiful escape from the city. At New Jersey State Auto, one of our favorite ways to enjoy New Jersey’s scenery is through the window of a car. If you have a new vehicle that you want to break in, or if you just need some quiet time away, taking a scenic drive can be a great way to reset and relax. 

We at New Jersey State Auto have a few favorite spots that we think all of our neighbors should know about. These make for stunning scenic drives whether you’re a Jersey native or a visitor. Keep reading to learn more about some of New Jersey’s best scenic drives.

Delaware River Scenic Byway

The Delaware River Scenic Byway is one of New Jersey’s eight officially recognized scenic byways and is a fantastic place to start the list. New Jersey is one of the original 13 states and has a long history, amply reflected along this route. This byway forms part of New Jersey 29 and is 34 miles long, making it an easy day’s drive.

One of the center points of the Delaware Scenic Byway is “Washington’s Crossing.” This area played a pivotal role in the Revolutionary War and marks the place where Washington crossed the Delaware river on the way to one of his most famous victories at the Battle of Trenton. This battle is widely credited with saving the revolutionary cause in the winter of 1776.

As you would expect, the route winds through a range of historic towns, starting in Trenton and ending in Frenchtown. Other towns along the route include Titusville, West Amwell, Lambertville, Delaware Township, Stockton, Raven Rock, Byram, Kingwood, and Milford. While driving through these towns, you’ll see a wide range of picturesque historical architecture from the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. If you want to take a break from your drive, there are many activities to pursue in the area, including kayaking, hiking, fishing, biking, and more.

Pine Barrens Scenic Byway

The Pine Barrens Scenic Byway is another nationally recognized route that winds its way through some of New Jersey’s wildest areas. The pine barrens are the largest remaining example of an ecosystem that used to extend along much of the coastal Northeast. Despite the fact that it’s close to some of the biggest cities in the United States, the pine barrens have remained fairly wild throughout their history and now provide a fantastic way to explore rural New Jersey.

The Pine Barrens Scenic Byway is one of the longer scenic routes in New Jersey, coming in at 130 miles. This makes it a great way to spend an entire day or even a couple of days if you want to take it slow. The route starts in Hammonton in Wharton State Forest and winds through Tuckerton. This historic town features a working historic maritime village called Tuckerton Seaport and Baymen’s Museum and a range of great dining, shopping, and sightseeing opportunities. 

While you’re on the Pine Barrens Scenic Byway, you can also explore Batsto Village. This is another historic landmark that marks an industrial center from the revolutionary period. The village includes a mansion, saw mill, general store, and post office, as well as other historic buildings. Aside from these attractions, the pine barrens offer plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching, hiking, swimming, and biking. If you want a taste of wild and historic New Jersey, take a trip through the pine barrens next time you need to get away.

Palisades Scenic Byway

The Palisades Scenic Byway is a magnificent route that winds through a section of the Palisades Interstate Park, shared by New Jersey and New York. Like the routes we’ve already mentioned, Palisades Scenic Byway intersects directly with the early history of New Jersey, which is sometimes called the “Cockpit of the Revolution.” Unlike the routes above, however, the Palisades route offers stunning views of New Jersey’s coastal landscapes along the Hudson River. 

The Palisades Scenic byway is relatively short, only measuring approximately 19.1 miles. Despite this, the route gives drivers and adventurers access to over 2,500 acres of parkland. As you drive, you’ll be able to explore the cliffs and forests of the Hudson River that lie directly across the bay from New York City. The route is also home to a variety of charming, historic towns, including Rocky Hill, Kingston, Griggstown, Millstone, and East Millstone. These communities offer plenty of opportunities for recreation, shopping, dining, and more.

If you’re in the mood for more history, the route hosts two major sites of interest: the Fort Lee Historic Park and the Rockingham State Historic Site. Fort Lee is a treat for history buffs and stands on the site of a fortress from the Revolutionary War period. It includes a visitor center with relics from the era, a reconstructed campsite from the war, reenactments and fantastic views across the Harbor. The Rockingham State Historic Site is the location of George Washington’s final headquarters during the Revolution and offers guided tours.

Well, there you have it. That’s our quick roundup of some of our favorite scenic drives throughout the state. However, New Jersey has so many gorgeous places to drive that it’s impossible to list them all. If you’re a local resident and would like to share your favorite place to drive in the area, be sure to drop us a line. We’ll consider your suggestion and try to fit it onto our list. 

If you want to take scenic drives but are looking to update your vehicle before you hit the road, New Jersey State Auto is your one-stop-shop for high-quality used vehicles. Our capable staff at New Jersey State Auto can help you find a pre-owned vehicle that matches your preferences and aligns with your budget. That way, you can focus on what really matters: enjoying the open road.