New Jersey’s Most Scenic Routes

scenic road with trees

Are you feeling bored? Want to break the monotony to experience something new and different for a change? Our great state of New Jersey has tons of scenic routes to explore! Grab your keys and hit the road!

Phila to Shore  Interstate  North NJ to NYC

Philadelphia to Jersey Shore Routes

ROUTE 55

Drive Time: 45 mins
Distance: 37.5 miles

Planning a weekend trip from Philly to Atlantic City? Sometimes, the AC Expressway can be packed. Rt. 55 offers a more scenic alternative. Also known as Veteran’s Memorial Highway, Rt. 55 gives you a glimpse at some of New Jersey’s more rural terrain and wetlands.

If you’re traveling down Rt. 55, there are plenty of places to pull over and grab a bite to eat. Enjoy a Texas Weiner at old school eatery, Jim’s Lunch — and possibly spot MLB player and Millville native, Mike Trout. Pick up something out-of-the-ordinary from LaMonica Fine Foods, or grab a delicious roadside breakfast at Pegasus 1 Restaurant.

 

Stops Along the Way

Photo credit: @csmithereens, @wheatonarts, @csmithereens

ROUTE 30 (White Horse Pike)

Drive Time – 1 hr 1 minute
Distance – 59.4 miles

Rt. 30 (also known as the White Horse Pike) offers an alternate route between Philadelphia and Atlantic City. Rt. 30 takes you over beautiful Newton Lake, home to several New Jersey wildlife trails.

Wine lovers, rejoice! A trip down Rt. 30 offers plenty of opportunities to visit and pick up offerings from several local wineries, such as Amalthea Cellars and the Sharrott Winery. Beer lovers have the option to (responsibly) enjoy a pint at Flying Fish Brewery, while fans of non-alcoholic beverages will thrill to a visit to Treehouse Coffee and The Pop Shop USA — a retro-style soda fountain.

 

Stops Along the Way

Photo credit: @lad16, @sarrahlikefarrah

ROUTE 539

Drive Time – 45 minutes
Distance – 36.1 miles

Adventurous types will enjoy this “secret” back route to the Jersey Shore, following along the Oswego River. Rt. 539 is peppered with historic churches and farms along the way. Motorists also get a glimpse at the beauty of Cedar Lake and Emerald Lake on this lesser-traveled road.

From down-home treats to outdoor action, Rt. 539 has something for everyone. Pull off and enjoy one of the world famous pies from Emery Berry Farms or get in some fun at the New Egypt Speedway or Cousins Paintball Park.

 

Stops Along the Way

Photo credit: @jessicapatrick9400, @danielle_dey, @delrizia | Food pictured – Ninuzzo Trattoria

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Interstate Routes

CANAL ROAD

Drive Time – 38 minutes
Distance – 22.3 miles

It’s not the Autobahn, but Canal Rd. offers a great stretch of road for drivers who enjoy putting the pedal-to-the-metal. Canal Rd. starts out along the Delaware Riverfront and, true to its name, offers a gorgeous drive along the Delaware Raritan Canal. The road briefly turns into Rt. 603 (better known as Kingston Rocky Hill Rd.) before it ends.

From historic sites to pastoral farms, Canal Rd. offers drivers a gander at some of New Jersey’s most diverse sights. Visit historic Rockingham, where George Washington headquartered his troops during the Revolutionary War. Or enjoy fresh, local food from Eno Terra in Kingston, NJ or Griggstown Fram in Somerset County.

 

Stops Along the Way

Photo credit: James Simmons of RE/MAX Greater Princeton

ROUTE 29 – ROUTE 519

Drive Time – 1:40
Distance – 74.4 miles

The drive between Rt. 29 and Rt. 519 winds along the Delaware Water Gap and takes drivers past countless parks, including the Mercer County Wildlife Center that cares for sick or injured wild birds and animals.

This strip of highway is home to a number of fun roadside attractions the New Jersey State House Museum to the Frenchtown Roller Rink. There are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat, from more upscale fare from the Lovin’ Oven to satisfying your cravings for a good hot dog or frozen yogurt, you’ll find something to enjoy along this route.

 

Stops Along the Way

Photo credit: James Simmons of RE/MAX Greater Princeton, Carol Ann Suddeath of RE/MAX Pinnacle

ROUTE 542

Drive Time – 31 minutes
Distance – 22.2 miles

The Pine Barrens are synonymous with New Jersey. Whether the “Pineys” conjure images of the Jersey Devil or natural beauty, Rt. 542 takes drivers on a scenic drive through this massive forest that spans seven counties. Make sure to gas up before you drive along Rt. 542 as there aren’t many stops along the way on this scenic route.

When the opportunity presents itself to pull off of Rt. 542, take it and enjoy a bite to eat at the Lower Bank Tavern, or pay a visit to the historic Batsto Village that dates back to colonial times. A number of resorts and campgrounds are tucked away off this stretch of road, too.

 

Stops Along the Way

Photo credit: Thomas Leone of RE/Max Preferred – Sewell, @gregoryhample, @christiaan_michael

ROUTE 519 (Belvidere Road)

Drive Time – 19 minutes
Distance – 10.9 miles

Rt. 519 goes by many names, most notably Belvidere Rd. and “the Land of Make Believe.” Parts of the iconic horror film, “Friday the 13th” were shot in Hope, NJ right off this stretch of road.

Rt. 519 is packed with plenty of fun, quirky sites to see. Swing by Charlie’s Pool Room, voted the nation’s most eccentric eatery or enjjoy a beverage at the Ship Inn, New Jersey’s first brewpub. Family-friendly fare abounds along Rt. 519 in all seasons, too! From Wyckoff’s Tree Farm in winter to the Warren County Farmer’s Fair Balloon Festival in Summer, there’s always something exciting to experience.

 

Stops Along the Way

Photo credit: @milford_oyster_house, @chelseacostaney | Food pictured – Milford Oyster House

ROUTE 553 – ROUTE 49

Drive Time – 34 mins
Distance – 27.7 miles

Consider this route, the extra scenic route. While it’s not the most direct path down to the shore, these two roads have a ton to offer for the happy traveler. Rt. 533 (sometimes called Back Neck Road) skirts along the southeast coast of New Jersey and stretches to the very end of the state. This route provides easy passage from Port Norris to Seabreeze and affords a scenic look at some of the state’s most beautiful bodies of water as you drive along the Cohansey River and past the Cedar Lake Dam.

 

Stops Along the Way

Photo credit: @br1tt3, @lisagalee, @krislynn27

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North Jersey to New York

ROUTE 46

Drive Time – 1:13
Distance – 65.8 miles

Rt. 46 stretches across the Northwest tip of New Jersey. Although this East-West highway is completely located in the state of New Jersey, it offers access to key spots in the Tri-State area, such as the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania and the New Jersey Turnpike’s exit into the Bronx in New York.

Rt. 46 has a little something for everyone. Music lovers will enjoy a trip to Robbie’s Music City — a massive instrument warehouse, while sports fans can check out the Yogi Berra Museum. Make a pilgrimage to local Irish pub favorite, the Quiet Man, or visit Sun Noodle New Jersey, a world-renowned ramen lab!

 

Stops Along the Way

Photo credit: @shellymorningstar, @ninjafatt | Food pictured – Legal Beans

9 WEST

Drive Time – 43 minutes
Distance – 29.4 miles

US 9 West offers drivers a nice option for cruising along the New Jersey coastline and the Hudson River. From Cape May, US 9 West runs North parallel to the Garden State Parkway and through the Atlantic City suburbs. From there, it joins briefly to cross the Mullica River estuary in the Pine Barrens. It terminates at I-95 leading into Manhattan.

Satisfy your love of history, nature, and your sweet tooth along U.S. 9 West. See the Women’s Federation Monument, a tribute built in the late ’20s to local women who helped preserve the Palisades. Enjoy the great outdoors at Greenbrook Nature Sanctuary or catch some waves along Haverstraw Beach. And don’t forget to indulge a bit with some tasty treats from either Chocalaterie or Jillypie’s Creations, an awesome hole-in-the-wall
sweets shop!

 

Stops Along the Way

Photo credit: @smiljanagram, @meowlife

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Allie DeCastro

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