Despite its small size, New Jersey is filled with some of the best scenery. New Jersey scenic drives are filled with winding roads, miles of diverse landscapes, and picturesque towns. You can explore all of them and more in just a few short hours or spend a day or two enjoying everything they offer.
New Jersey has many designated scenic byways, but there are also countless country roads that offer just as many breathtaking views. Whilst there are many more than we can list here, we’ve selected the top scenic drives in New Jersey that are an excellent addition to any NJ road trip or are just a fun way to spend a weekend afternoon.
5 Scenic Drives in New Jersey
Rhode Island Scenic Drives: Warren Heritage Scenic Byway – Route 57
- Distance: 19 miles
- Time needed: 38 minutes/1 day
The Warren Heritage Scenic Byway offers something for everyone along its historic route. It has breathtaking views of the mountains and rivers, thrilling activities, and historical and cultural treasures. You can travel the road in just under 40 minutes, but we recommend spending a whole day appreciating all there is to see.
This scenic New Jersey drive begins in Hackettstown, where you can take a relaxing stroll through Hackkettstown Riverfront Park before continuing on. Allamuchy Mountain State Park is also just 3 miles north and gives you a beautiful view of Saxton Falls (off Willow Grove Road). From there, travel on to such high-interest points as Edison Concrete Mile. Thomas Edison started this famous cement plant, which ended up supplying all of the concrete for the original Yankee Stadium!
There are also plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities along this byway. You can paddle on the peaceful waters of the Morris Canal or stroll along its banks. You can also access the Wild and Scenic Musconetcong River, a popular local fishing spot, from the byway.
Famous mountain ranges along your route include Scotts Mountain, Pohotcong Mountain, and Point Mountain. There are also plenty of chances to go hiking, bird-watching, canoeing, biking, and more.
Pro Tip: Farm stands and markets abound along your route. Stop and savor the fresh-picked goodies and snacks!
When to go: Late spring, summer, and early fall are the best times to travel along the Warren Heritage Scenic Byway.
Rhode Island Scenic Drives: Delaware River Scenic Byway– Route 29
- Distance: 32.8 miles
- Time needed: 1 hour/1 day
The Delaware River Scenic Byway features some of the most beautiful scenic places in New Jersey, and it has also played a significant role in the shaping of America as well. This 32-mile stretch of roadway begins at the Route 29 tunnel in Trenton and ends at the Uhlerstown-Frenchtown Bridge in Frenchtown. Spend a few hours or the whole day exploring historic riverside towns, scenic landscapes, forests, and cliffs.
Perhaps the most interesting stop along this historic New Jersey drive is Washington’s Crossing, where George Washington and his soldiers famously crossed the freezing waters of New Jersey’s West Coast. Tranquil riverside towns like Titusville, Byram, Frenchtown, and Milford reflect the area’s rich history through 17th, 18th, and 19th-century architecture. Each charming hamlet offers unique shopping experiences, museums, and other sightseeing opportunities.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring the lower Delaware River portion of the byway, which was designated as a National Wild and Scenic River in 2000. If you travel north of Trenton, you can see several impressive views of the Delaware River, and there are also three state parks where you can take in some of the best sights in New Jersey.
When to go: Enjoy traveling along the Delaware River Scenic Byway year-round. In addition, there are many fun and entertaining festivals during different seasons for all to enjoy.
Rhode Island Scenic Drives: Route 15 – NJ Route 15, US 206
- Distance: 19.2 miles
- Time needed: 1 hour/1 day
Route 15 gets our pick as one of the most fun roads to drive on in NJ for several reasons: the relaxing views along the way. Spend an hour admiring the tranquil scenery filled with sustainable farmlands, wineries, and streams.
Route 15 might be short, but it’s a beautiful drive to take during the fall. You can admire the foliage as you travel through the countryside. Your drive begins in Dover and ends in Frankford Township. Stop along the way for wine tasting, stroll along the shores of Lake Hopatcong, or savor a delicious meal at one of the local restaurants.
When to go: We recommend going on this road trip in the fall when the leaves are at their most vibrant.
Rhode Island Scenic Drives: Upper Freehold Historic Farmland Byway
- Distance: 28 miles
- Time needed: 49 minutes/1 day
The Upper Freehold Historic Farmland Byway offers some of the best views in New Jersey, with beautifully preserved historic homes, farms, and other colonial architecture along your route. Wind your way down peaceful country lanes and enjoy the lovely natural surroundings that rise to meet you. You can easily make this drive in a few hours, making it the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon.
This byway’s charming towns are full of character and hold many events and festivals throughout the year. History buffs will enjoy visiting the Allentown and Imlaystown historic districts. Allentown offers a truly authentic experience with one-of-a-kind shops, tours, and restaurants.
Pro Tip: It’s also a convenient halfway point if you’re on a trip to Atlantic City. Stop for a bite to eat, shop, or for a quick stroll.
There are also plenty of opportunities for you to experience nature along the byway. Open landscapes and wildlife areas are ideal for hiking, birdwatching, horseback riding, fishing, and sightseeing. Conines Mill Pond is a popular local fishing hole where you can catch largemouth bass, yellow bullhead, and other species.
When to go: There are many fun things to do along this scenic byway all year long, including the Halloween parade, Memorial Day parade, Fall festival, and carriage rides in winter in Allentown.
Rhode Island Scenic Drives: Palisades Scenic Byway
- Distance: 19.1 miles
- Time needed: 30 minutes/1 day
If you’re on the lookout for breathtaking scenery you can experience in less than a half hour, the Palisades Scenic Byway is for you. It offers impressive views of the Palisades Cliffs and the New York City Skyline, and there are also many recreational activities for families along the way.
Begin your drive at the State Line Lookout, which offers one of the most stunning scenic overlooks in New Jersey. You can pull off the road to experience the highest point on the Palisades Cliffs. Many believe this is the best place to view the New York City skyline, and it’s also great for birdwatching, sightseeing, hiking, and skiing in the winter. Grab a souvenir at the gift shop along your route before continuing on.
The Alpine area is another pretty spot to get out and explore. Pack a picnic lunch, go crabbing along the riverfront, and visit the historic Kearney House. The Alpine Lookout is another sightseeing opportunity as well.
The Rockefeller Lookout in Englewood Cliffs is another area of breathtaking scenery where you can look over the Hudson River to Manhattan. Finish your drive by visiting Fort Lee Historic Park, which is full of Revolutionary War-era artifacts and more.
When to go: With such an emphasis on outdoor activities, we suggest traveling along the Palisades Scenic Byway during late spring, summer, and early fall.
Extend Your Driving Adventures on the East Coast
If you’re looking for more adventures behind the wheel, you may want to check out next:
- 5 Spectacular Pennsylvania Scenic Drives
- Incredible Delaware Scenic Drives
- Utterly Unmissable New York Scenic Drives
- Where to Catch the Best Sunflower Farms in New Jersey
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