The Garden State
New Jersey is in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Most of New Jersey has a moderate climate with cold winters and warm, humid summers. The state is known for the Jersey Shore, Cape May and the exciting boardwalk and casinos of Atlantic City. Historical sites (Battleship New Jersey, the Revolutionary war battlefield), gardens and mountains make it a desirable and fun destination for all. To travel around the state, you will need to rent a car, book a bus or train ticket. For more information visit: visitnj.org.
Jump to: Historical Sites & Tourist Attractions | Arts & Culture | Sports & Recreation | Outdoor Activities | Food | Local Festivals | Housing Resources | Transportation | Health & Safety | Help Your Community
Add some local history to your cultural exchange experience by visiting a nearby historical site or tourist attraction when living and working in the U.S.
Morristown National Historic Park is the site of several Revolutionary War historical locations, including Ford Mansion and Washington’s Headquarters. The park also holds educational events and programs about life during the war.
New Jersey State Museum has multiple collections of artifacts and art, including fine art, cultural history, natural history and archeology collections. A planetarium is also located at the State Museum.
Princeton Battlefield State Park is the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War under General George Washington. The park is now home to a museum, monument and nature trails for visitors to enjoy.
Thomas Edison National Historic Park in West Orange is the site of Edison’s former home and laboratory, where visitors can now see his library, stockroom, machine shops and music room.
The Walt Whitman House is the restored home of “America’s Poet” and where Whitman once hosted famous authors like Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker. Today, visitors must take a guided tour to see the home.
Jersey Shore Area
The Jersey Shore region is a popular destination during the summer and features many tourist attractions, including Wildwood, Atlantic City, the Steel Pier Amusement Park, and the many beaches and boardwalks that line the coast.
Take a guided Cape May Trolley Tour to see the Cape May Historic District, considered Americans "first seaside resort."
The Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum is located in the Cape May Airport and features aircrafts, interactive exhibits and special displays with memorabilia dating back to the 1940s.
Jersey City as seen from Manhattan. Photo by Matthew Graves.
The United States offers a wide variety of cultural learning opportunities through the arts. Dance, music, theater, opera, art museums and festivals are just some of the options available to international visitors who wish to learn more about the U.S. and its culture.
Art & Cultural Museums
Newark Museum is the largest museum in New Jersey. It has collections of American art, contemporary art and art from Asia, Africa and the ancient world. Art workshops, educational programs, lectures and events like Jazz in the Garden also take place at the museum. Details are available at
New Jersey State Museum is home to a spacious planetarium and various collections and exhibitions that explore the natural and cultural diversity of New Jersey, past and present.
Other art and cultural museums in New Jersey include:
- Grounds for Sculpture
- The Hunterdon Art Museum
- Montclair Art Museum
- Museum of Russian Art
- New Jersey Museum of Contemporary Art
- Princeton University Art Museum
- Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University
New Jersey Performing Arts Center is a community-based cultural center in Newark that has featured top pop artists, famous orchestras, comedians, jazz legends and many more local, national and international performers.
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performs throughout the state and is based at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
Other performing arts venues in New Jersey include:
- Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City
- Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown
- Newark Symphony Hall, Newark
- New Jersey State Opera, Princeton
- Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn
- The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, Madison
- Spring Lake Theatre Company, Spring Lake
- The Surflight Theater, Beach Haven
Browse a full list of theaters and concert halls in New Jersey.
Many Americans are passionate about sports – and not just baseball and football! Get a glimpse into this part of American culture by watching or participating in a favorite U.S. sport or recreational activity in your local area.
Professional sports teams that play in New Jersey include:
- New Jersey Devils (hockey)
- New York Giants (football)
- New York Jets (football)
- New York Red Bulls (soccer)
Tickets to professional sporting events can be found on the team website above, and often at one of the following third-party websites:
- Ticket Exchange by Ticketmaster to buy or sell tickets from season ticket holders and fans.
- StubHub for tickets and last-minute deals.
Minor League Sports
Watching semi-professional and minor league sports games in New Jersey can be a great way to see American sports without paying high prices.
- Camden Riversharks (baseball)
- Lakewood Blue Claws (basebell)
- Newark Bears (baseball)
- New Jersey Jackals (baseball)
- Somerset Patriots (baseball)
- Trenton Thunder (baseball)
- Trenton Titans (hockey)
Beach in Brigantine, New Jersey. Photo by Bookfan.
The United States is home to a variety of landscapes and climates to suit all types of outdoor activities. The courageous traveler can find extreme sports and outdoor adventure tours, while others may want to keep both feet on the ground in a national park or forest. Whatever your interests, take advantage of the many outdoor activities available during your time in the United States.
Bass River State Forest is located in Burlington County and is named after the Bass River. Outdoor activities at Bass River State Forest include boating, fishing and swimming on Lake Absegami, hiking, camping and hunting.
Skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing are available at multiple resorts in New Jersey, including the Mountain Creek, Campgaw Mountain, High Point Cross Country Ski Center and Hidden Valley Club. Beginner lessons, ski and snowboard rentals and other outdoor activities like tubing are often available too.
The New Jersey section of the Delaware River is a popular spot in summer for outdoor activities like tubing, canoeing, kayaking and rafting.
Jersey Shore Area
Enjoy one of the many beaches along the Jersey Shore and fun activities like beach volleyball, cycling, swimming, boating, fishing and more!
Cape May is a popular vacation spot for NJ residents and it’s also a National Historic Landmark. The beach is one of the main attractions in Cape May, but other outdoor activities include biking, golfing, fishing, kayaking, sailing, tennis, whale and dolphin watching and even beach yoga.
Go on a boat tour to see whales and dolphins with the Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center.
One of the best ways to experience cultural exchange is through food and cooking. Visitors will enjoy exploring the regional specialties and local cuisine during their time in the United States.
New Jersey cuisine is greatly influenced by the food of its neighbors, New York and Philadelphia, but it has its own local specialties too, like Italian hot dogs and pork roll. Ethnic groups have also made their mark, including populations of Italian, Cuban, Indian, Spanish, Korean and Brazilian immigrants. The state of New Jersey is also home to fresh produce like tomatoes, corn, blueberries and cranberries.
Find a community farmers’ market in New Jersey for fresh fruit and vegetables and local handmade products.
- Jersey Shore Restaurant Week, April
- Toms River Food Fest, May
- Montclair Food and Wine Festival, June,
- Red, White and Blueberry Festival, Hammonton, June
- Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, July
- Festival of the Sea, Point Pleasant Beach, September
For a unique and local perspective on American cultural, be sure to check out festivals and events near your cultural exchange program location. These events are a fun and interesting way to interact with locals and to learn more about American culture by experiencing it firsthand.
The Garden State Film Festival was created in honor of the film cameras and projectors invented by Thomas Edison in Menlo Park, NJ. The festival shows screens, shorts, animated films and feature-length films from local and independent filmmakers.
Crawfish Fest in Augusta is a celebration of New Orleans food and music. Held in May/June, the Crawfish fest includes food, live performances, camping and craft vendors.
Other local festivals in New Jersey include:
- Jazzfest, Morristown, June
- Rocks, Ribs and Bridges, Vernon, June
- Chowderfest Weekend, Long Beach Island, September
- Endless Arts, Newark, October
Jersey Shore Area
- Cape May Spring Festival, April-May
- Cape May Music Festival, May-June
- Jersey Shore Music Festival, July
- Annual Cape May Food and Wine Festival, September
- Atlantic City festivals and events
Find more local events and festivals in New Jersey.
Houses on Beach Avenue in Cape May, New Jersey. Photo by Smallbones.
Employers may be able to assist with housing during your time in the United States, but this is not always possible for all participants. When looking for housing during your cultural exchange program, consider the cost of the accommodation, the distance to your work place and the amount of time you will be in the United States.
It's also important to avoid fraudulent housing. It is highly recommended that you secure short-term housing upon arrival (e.g. in a hostel) and conduct your housing search once you are in the U.S. Never give your financial information to a stranger over the Internet. Browse the Housing Information guides for InterExchange participants below for more tips and advice.
General Housing Information
- Housing information for Work and Travel USA participants
- Housing information for Career Training USA interns and trainees
New Jersey Housing Resources
Some examples of housing and accommodation resources for New Jersey participants include:
- Craigslist - New Jersey
- Craigslist - Jersey Shore
- American Homestay Agency
- Hostelling International
NJ Transit train in Middletown, New Jersey. Photo by Adam E. Moreira.
Public transportation options can be hit or miss, depending on your location in the United States. Buses are a common transportation option for short and long-term travel in the U.S., while some areas will also have trains, subways and other options. Visit the American Public Transportation Association website for a complete list of public transportation options in your local community.
Public Transportation in New Jersey
New Jersey Transit operates train, bus and light rail systems around New Jersey and to points in Philadelphia and New York.
New Jersey Transit - Jersey Shore includes information on summer transit services from New York and transportation in the Jersey Shore area.
PATH trains connect New Jersey to New York City.
Amtrak trains serve several locations in New Jersey, including Trenton, Newark, Hammonton and Atlantic City.
Academy Bus provides commuter bus service between New Jersey and New York.
Greyhound buses travel to many bus stations in New Jersey and to other locations throughout the United States.
Megabus travels between New Jersey locations like New Brunswick, Princeton, Ridgewood and Secaucus to New York City and, from Secaucus, to Albany.
Peter Pan Bus also provides bus travel in New Jersey and throughout the Northeast United States.
Participants in New Jersey can use the following resources in case of an emergency or extreme weather event in their area:
Emergency Management Agencies
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) www.fema.gov and www.ready.gov
- New Jersey FEMA updates on Twitter @femaregion2
Barnegat Lighthouse in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Photo by Andrew Bossi.
Interact with others and expand your skill set by volunteering in your local community. Volunteer organizations are often looking for short-term volunteers or for individuals to help with a single event, making it a great option for InterExchange participants who wish to add to their cultural exchange experience during their time in the United States.
Jersey Cares connects volunteers with organizations for one-time projects, short-term opportunities or on-going volunteer assignments.
If you love to get outdoors, help build and maintain hiking trails with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference.
The Community Food Bank of New Jersey needs volunteers for activities like helping in the thrift shop, sorting food items, stocking shelves and other helpful tasks. Find out how to volunteer by visiting www.njfoodbank.org/how-to-help/volunteer.
Volunteer Connect NJ promotes volunteering in Central Jersey by listing volunteer opportunities on their website and helping to match volunteers with the right organization.
Find multiple volunteer organizations in New Jersey by visiting Volunteer New Jersey.