There’s plenty to do in Atlantic City, but if you’ve got a day to spare, head to these nearby towns to experience all the best adventures South Jersey has to offer.
At the southernmost tip of New Jersey, just a 40-minute drive from Atlantic City, is one of the most charming towns on the East Coast. Cape May is a village trapped in time – a massive fire in the mid-19th century discouraged new developers, so today there are still hundreds of spectacular Victorian mansions lining the streets.
If you’re traveling with kids, the Cape May Zoo is a must-see attraction. It’s consistently ranked among the best zoos in the country, and best of all, it’s completely free. Donations of a few dollars are definitely encouraged, though.
From the zoo, it’s just a short drive to Historic Cold Spring Village, where re-enactors give you a glimpse into life in the late 1700s. Cold Spring hosts events and festivals throughout the year, which are definitely worth checking out.
Hands on History starts today at Historic Cold Spring Village! Saturday & Sunday, July 29 and 30 from 10am-4:30pm. Children will be given a “Pastport” at the start of their Village trip, which can be stamped at the buildings they visit after completing a take-home craft or activity, like writing with a quill pen, carding wool or churning butter. Pastports can be redeemed at the Country Store for a free treat! Other family-friendly activities include games and live entertainment from traditional local musician Mary Roth. This event is generously sponsored by PNC Bank! #HistoricColdSpringVillage #ColdSpring #CapeMay #HandsOnHistory
You’d probably guess that the oldest running weekly rodeo in the country is somewhere in Texas, right? Wrong! It’s in Pilesgrove, NJ.
The Cowtown Rodeo has been putting on a show every Saturday night from May through September since 1929. The family-run affair features bull riding, steer wrestling, saddle broc riding, bareback riding, roping and barrel racing. If cowboys and cowgirls aren’t your thing, there’s also a sprawling farmer’s market on the rodeo grounds.
Cowtown Rodeo, 780 Harding Highway, Pilesgrove, NJ, USA +1 856 769 3200
The quaint village of Smithville offers a dose of historical charm and a full day of shopping. More than 60 tiny shops line the town’s square and winding streets, offering everything from artisanal peanut butter to wine tastings and American Indian crafts and gifts. You’ll be busy window shopping all day long.
When you’re done shopping, grab some grub from one of Smithville’s endless number of delicious eateries and take a seat on one of the benches or picnic tables that dot the village square.
If you’ve got little ones, they’ll love climbing aboard a paddleboat in Smithville’s lake, taking a train ride around the village or climbing aboard the carousel. There are always friendly ducks and chickens hanging around, ensuring you’ll never hear the dreaded, “I’m bored!”