The Most Beautiful Scenic Drives in New Jersey

Posted on: October 19th, 2020 by

We have some beautiful roads in New Jersey. I’ve admired the changing fall foliage as I’ve driven along the Garden State Parkway. I’ve parked along the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge wildlife drive and stared at the herons in awe. I’ve pulled over in the scenic spots on Route 295 to watch boats sail along the Delaware River. I’ve always wanted to see what other beautiful scenic drives in New Jersey exist, these past few weeks I did just that. With less sports to shuttle my boys around to, I made more time to go out in search of our prettiest roads in New Jersey.

Chevy made our exploration of beautiful New Jersey roads easier. We recently were given a week to test drive the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer. Not only that, Chevy bought our family tickets to a Halloween experience in North Jersey. The newer wheels and tickets provided for a great excuse to drive through North Jersey’s stunning scenic drives. After school and on a Sunday (I took for myself) I drove the trailblazer through amazing South Jersey scenic routes.

The fall months are the perfect time to go for a drive on New Jersey’s scenic roads. The roads haven’t turned icy just yet, and the weather is cool enough to keep the windows open! But really you can enjoy these stunning roads in New Jersey nearly anytime of the year. Pack a lunch and a picnic basket full of food and stop somewhere for a nice picnic as you enjoy the sights or try out a new restaurant to support a local business.

Fall is the perfect time to head out with your family for a short drive and take in all of the fall sights, smells, changing leaves, and sounds! These NJ scenic drives would be a great day trip, or you can make a whole weekend trip out of it! (For information on planning a weekend staycation in an RV read Take a Staycation with an RV Rental in New Jersey.)

2021 Chevy Trailblazer in front of a painted silo on the beautiful NJ scenic drive of Route 23 in Lafayette NJ.

The Most Beautiful Scenic Drives in New Jersey

If you’re looking for a great place to go on your next scenic drive, here are New Jersey’s most beautiful scenic drives. Our list is based on our own experience and the recommendations of others: friends, fans, and our sources on the website. Where possible we will give you as much detail as possible, such as

  • How long will the scenic ride be?
  • Where’s the best place to start and end your ride along the New Jersey scenic route.
  • Where you can find bathrooms, because you know kids.
  • Where to find places to eat, because kids are always hungry.
  • Where to find the most beautiful spots for family photos
  • Where you can get out and stretch your legs… because if I know anything as a mom, I know kids don’t want to stay in the car for a long period of time and they want a reason to look forward to being in a car.

North Jersey’s most gorgeous roads

Route 15

NJ Route 15 connects Dover, in Morris County, to US 206 near Augusta in Sussex County. It was formerly known as the Union Turnpike. It’s 19.5 miles through North Jersey with stunning views of farms, streams, and the Sussex airport fields. It starts in Dover and ends in Frankford Township.

We took Route 15 on our way up to High Point State Park. As you travel up and down the mountains and around the curves you’ll not only get great views of the area but also fall foliage reaching its peak if you visit before fall ends.

Cars drive around Route 15 one of the scenic drives in New Jersey

Route 23

Route 23 was another awe-inspiring scenic drive in New Jersey we took as we headed to High Point State Park and Skylands Stadium. It’s one of the oldest NJ state highways and it was just gorgeous. Estimates say it’s three hundred years old. It’s just over 52 miles from Montague Township to Verona Township, but we only took a small portion of it.

A farm scene is painted on a silo on the NJ scenic route 23 in lafayette.JPG
So pretty I had to go back by this route again just to get a picture.

As you drive through this North Jersey scenic route you’ll wind your way through forests and farmlands. You can learn more about Route 23 in this site dedicate do it.

2021 Chevy Trailblazer parked along a hiking trail at High Point State Park with boy with binoculars
Ready to hike to the monument, High Point State Park is right off of Route 23.

Delaware River Scenic Byway

This scenic drive will take you along two of New Jersey’s scenic byways. Head along the Delaware River for beautiful fall foliage and historic towns such as Raven Rock and ending in Frenchtown. If you are hoping for some water views, this is a must-do drive!

Route 519, Known by some as the Land of Make Believe Highway

You won’t find as much scenery as you will traveling down Route 519! You start at the top of New Jersey in Rosemont. The twists and turns down the Jersey roads lead you through horse farms, vineyards, and more for a lovely fall drive. As much as you may get caught up in the beautiful views be careful with all those curvy paths.

  • Length of roadway: 89 miles
  • Great scenic points:
    • Newfoundland Train Station
    • Old Red Mill in Clinton
  • Touristy spots & great places to hang out:
    • Land of Make Believe
  • End Points: Wantage Township to Delaware Township
The Chevy 2021 Trailblazer works nicely with Apple Play to show GPS maps.
The Chevy 2021 Trailblazer works nicely with Apple Play to show GPS maps. It comes in real handy if you’re searching for scenic routes in New Jersey that you’re not familiar with.

Route 521

While you won’t have quite the same experience as Route 519, this is still a great road if you are looking for lots of loops! This route is full of state parks, lakes, and other natural scenery as you travel from Montague to Hope! One stop you must take while on route is by the Stillwater General Store in Middleville. This is the state’s oldest general store and opened back in 1876!

  • Length of roadway: 43 miles
  • Great scenic points:
    • Parkway scenic overlooks include Rockefeller Lookout, Alpine Lookout and the popular State Line Lookout
  • Restrooms: Details coming soon.
  • Where to eat: Boathouse Restaurant
  • Touristy spots & great places to hang out:
    • Stillwater General Store
  • End Points: Montague Township to Hope Township

Palisades Scenic Byway

This route starts in Fort Lee and can take either 9 – 11 miles to drive, depending on which way you take. What you’ll find along this short drive through Bergen County is a vast 2,500-acre space of parkland that leads you up to the New York state border. You have a breathtaking view of Manhattan in the distance and many great stopping places for hiking and fall foliage viewing. The Parkway itself is a roadway within a park that offers many of the perks a park offers, trails, picnic areas, scenic overlooks.

  • Length of roadway: 13 miles in New Jersey
  • End Points: Fort Lee, New Jersey at the George Washington Bridge to the New York state line in Alpine, New Jersey.
  • Great scenic points:
    • Parkway scenic overlooks include Rockefeller Lookout, Alpine Lookout and the popular State Line Lookout
  • Restrooms: Details coming soon.
  • Where to eat: Details coming soon.
  • Touristy spots & great places to hang out:
    • Ross Dock Picnic Area
    • Englewood Picnic Area and Boat Basin
    • Undercliff Picnic Area

Learn more and get the route map.

Other pretty roads to travel in North Jersey

  • Old Mine Road, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
  • Route 29, Washington Crossing State Park to Frenchtown
  • The Pulaski Skyway, Jersey City to Newark

Picturesque roads to drive in Central Jersey

Garden State Parkway

While you will find multiple toll booths along this route, it’s still a breathtaking drive during the fall months. This New Jersey scenic drive begins with exit 0 in Cape May and stretches up New Jersey and ends at exit 50 in Tuckerton. The Garden State Parkway actually runs up to exit 172 in Montvale. It’s a scenic route in New Jersey that extends from South Jersey to North Jersey.

You can see the changing fall foliage anywhere along the route, but the best scenic views along the Garden State Parkway are between 0 and exit 54. Along the this 50 mile stretch you’ll be able to get plenty of views of the Atlantic Ocean, and you can even make a stop at Strathmore, one of the states’ free public beaches, for a short fall beach stroll.

Additionally, there is another stretch of the Garden State Parkway in North Jersey that I found particularly breathtaking when we were headed toward Sussex County. As we traveled through the 130’s mile markers, there was one stunning stone bridge after another. There was no good area to pull over and take pictures but I think our readers would certainly enjoy viewing them.

  • Length of roadway: Just over 172 miles
  • End Points:
    • 0 in Cape May
    • 172 in Montvale
  • Great scenic points:
    • Between mile marker 48 and 50, there are marinas underneath the bridge
    • In the 140’s there are stone archways and bridges, no place to stop though.
    • Stone archways every mile between mile markers 133 and 137.
  • Restrooms: The Garden State Parkway has rest stops at about mile marker 40, 76, 100, 123, 133, 142, 153, and 171.
  • Where to eat: There are eateries and fast food options at each rest stop.
  • Touristy spots & great places to hang out:
    • Exit 11 Cape May County Park and Zoo.

Route 295

I know, I know. Route 295 is a big highway that is often times congested. But perhaps give it another look the next time you have to take it. Northbound on Route 295 is a scenic overlook with a small parking lot. Off the lot there is a 1.6 mile walking trail through the Abbott Marshlands and along the Crosswicks Creek. Get the trial map here.

Boy stands at top of stairs off of hiking trail on Route 95.JPG

Southbound on Route 295 there’s another pull off scenic overlook with a parking lot where you can take in majestic views of the Delaware River.

A view of the Delaware River from the Route 295 South Scenic overlook in New Jersey.

Both lots are located at approximate mileposts 58.2 to 58.5 and are connected by an overhead walkway, where you could potentially walk over Route 295 for a look down below at the roadway or out at the water.

NJ's scenic route 295 has a covered walkway bridge that connects the scenic overlooks.
You can walk over this scenic portion of NJ’s Route 295.

The most breathtaking roads in South Jersey

Ocean Drive – The most beautiful of the scenic drives in New Jersey

I will be honest I had never heard about Ocean Drive till I started researching New Jersey scenic routes. And while I haven’t driven every route on this list, Ocean Drive is the most beautiful route I have driven in New Jersey. It is stunning!!!

Some have Ocean Drive starting in Cape May and ending in Atlantic City. I took my drive by picking it up in Wildwood and going as far as Longport. I drove the whole way in the Chevy Trailblazer. It took me about 2-3 hours, because there is a 25 mile speed limit most of the way. With all the breathtaking spots along the way a trip down or up Ocean Drive can be a New Jersey day trip in itself.

  • Length of roadway: 50 miles. It took us about 2-3 hours to travel it.
  • Great scenic points:
    • Sea Isle City – there are access points to the beach
    • Stone Harbor – there are access points to the ocean
    • Avalon – Avalon marina
    • Ocean City – Corson’s Inlet State Park
    • Longport bridges – There are parking lots at each of end of the beach to get amazing views of the water.
  • Restrooms: I can not recall passing any Wawas or locations where there were restrooms. Your best bet is to either stop at a restaurant or come prepared. Read Portable Potties Help Kids Pee & Poop Outside to help you be prepared.
  • Where to eat: There are restaurants in Sea Isle City, right on Ocean Drive.
Ocean Drive bridges has multiple pull off points where you can view the water.
  • Touristy spots & great places to hang out:
    • Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary
    • Sea Isle City shoppes along Ocean Drive
    • Noah’s Arc at Ocean City Tabernacle Church – There’s nothing to do there, but you can get a fun picture of your kids with their replica of Noah’s arc.
    • Corson’s Inlet State Park
    • At the base of the bridge leaving Ocean City, there is a small parking lot with access to a beach and a few swings.
  • End Points:
    • Ocean Drive begins in Wildwood with a bridge
    • Ocean Drive runs into Longport

Even though it was rainy, I still think I was able to get in some beautiful photos. One thing I loved about Ocean Drive is how many spots there are where you and the kids can get out and enjoy the scenic surroundings.

I expected just a beautiful ride along the ocean. I was surprised by the number of different nature-like settings I found along the way.

A turtle statue greets visitors to the Sea Isle City Excursion Pier.
If you stop in Sea Isle City walk down towards the water and take a picture with this turtle.

One thing to note about Ocean Drive, I’ve read sources that say the roadway is marked with signs with images of a gull. I didn’t find that to be true. I stayed on Ocean Drive for the most part by staying straight. The road does change names as you travel north. If you need to, use your GPS, but you should not need it most of the way.

Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary

You can’t miss this bird sanctuary along Ocean Drive. The small building with the painted window and doorway will immediately catch your attention. There are benches as well as trails available for bird watching. If it weren’t for the rain I definitely would have parked the Trailblazer a little longer and waited to see what birds would be visiting. Learn more about the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary.

The stone harbor bird sanctuary is one of the stunning stops you can make along Ocean Drive a scenic drive in New Jersey.

Avalon Marina

The next stop that caused me to pull over was the Avalon Marina. Here, you can view the water from your car or get out and take a little stroll along a short boardwalk like trail.

After Avalon, I crossed into Sea Isle City. There’s a large parking lot where you can pull off for lunch or a little shopping. Like Stone Harbor, every block is right along the ocean. What makes Sea Isle City a bit more fabulous is how you can easily access the beach. Take advantage of streetside parking and take a climb up the steps and down to the beach. Even if you miss it at one block there will be another set of stairs or a path at the next block. There was even a stretch of roadway where the beach was right there, you didn’t need to go down a side street.

One of many beach access points in Sea Isle City along the scenic Ocean drive in New Jersey.

Ocean City

I crossed another bridge before approaching Corson’s Inlet State Park. I had not visited this New Jersey State Park with this route before, but I am so glad I did. This stretch of Ocean Drive provided more great views of the Ocean and sites of unique stone sculptures created by visitors.

Ocean Drive stone sculptures between the bridge and Corson's Inslet State park.
These stone sculptures, created by visiting hikers, are a unique site along Ocean Drive, between the bridge and Corson’s Inlet State Park.

Just before leaving Ocean City, I passed this replica Noah’s Arc in Ocean City at the Ocean City Tabernacle Church. Then, at the base of the bridge, possibly called the Garden Parkway, there was a small lot. Definitely, stop if you have kids. You can take a little walk down to another stretch of beach, underneath the bridge, or just take a few minutes to push them on the swings.

A replica of Noah's Arc at Ocean City Tabernacle Church.

The next stretch of Ocean Drive will have you crossing a series of bridges from Ocean City into Longport. Yes, there are tolls, but most accept EZ Pass. Each one has at least one parking lot on each side, giving you even more opportunities to enjoy breathtaking views or dig your toes in the sand.

A view of the beach near the bridge leaving Ocean City.
At the base of the bridge entering/leaving Ocean City is a toll booth. This beach is accessible from the parking lot adjacent to the toll booth. There are even 2 swings before you walk down to the beach.

Route 542

This drive starts in New Gretna and takes you down a quiet area in New Jersey all the way to Hammonton. Also known as Batsto Wilderness Route, Route 542 is an incredible drive if you’re looking to get back in touch with nature! You can make a stop at Wading River, drive along the Mullica River, or head to Batsto Village for some historical sites. It’s a great way to explore the Pine Barrens without needing to worry about ticks or the Jersey Devil as you might need to if you were hiking.

  • Length of roadway: 20 miles. It took us about 30 – 35 minutes to travel it.
  • Great scenic points: Crowley’s Landing and a canoe access point on the Mullica River
  • Restrooms: Crowley’s Landing has a small building with clean restrooms. Batsto Village has restrooms on the outside of the building.
  • Where to eat: There were two small restaurants we passed. You could pack a picnic and eat at one of the tables at Crowley’s Landing or Batsto Village.
Historic Batsto Village NJ
Historic Batsto Village
  • Touristy spots & great places to hang out: Crowley’s Landing, Historic Batsto Village (Read more about Batsto Village.)
  • End Points:
    • CR 542 begins at an intersection with Route 54 in Hammonton, Atlantic County, NJ. Though you could easily start or end at the intersection of Route 30 and CR 542 in Hammonton.
    • CR 542 start at the Lower Bank Tavern in Egg Harbor City.

We started at the Lower Bank Tavern in Egg Harbor City and took this New Jersey scenic route till it met up with Route 30 in Hammonton.

Highlights include views of the Mullica River from Crowley’s Landing or just beyond/ahead of that there’s a small dirt pull off for canoe access. After you drive through the Wharton Forest and pass Batsto Village, be prepared to see fields of blueberries and vineyards. Some blueberry farms maybe open and selling blueberries.

A metallic red 2021 Chevy Trailblazer sits along the mullica river at Crowley's Landing on Route 42 one of Southern New Jersey's most scenic routes.
Crowley’s Landing offers plenty of room to park your Chevy or other vehicle and just take in the views of the Mullica River.

CR 563

We haven’t made it to Route 563, but it’s on my list to hit next. When it comes to scenic views in New Jersey, it’s said you will be hard-pressed to find one that you can beat on CR 563! This country road is 43 miles and starts in Margate City and ends in Woodland Township. While it does take you through a few suburban areas, you’ll find a mostly rural drive with heavily forested pine areas.

  • Additional details coming soon.

Weymouth Road/ Route 559

I haven’t seen Weymouth Road in Atlantic County on any list of beautiful New Jersey scenic routes, but as I drove it to reach the starting point of Route 542, I knew I had to include it.

Weymouth Road is a picturesque route that is it’s own fall foliage tour of New Jersey. As you drive down it is like driving through a tunnel of trees that are arching over you. The leaves haven’t yet fallen and boast of majestic shades of red, orange, and green.

Sadly, as beautiful as it is, I did not see any places I could safely pull off to take any pictures of it. You’ll just have to trust me until you drive it yourself.

  • Length of roadway: 10 miles
  • End Points:
    • Intersection of Route 30 & Weymouth Road/Route 559 in Hammonton
    • Weymouth Road/Route 559 & Route 616/Mill Street in Mays Landing

While Weymouth Road is longer than the route we travelled, we started at the intersection of Mizpah Road and Weymouth Road and headed north. We took it until it ends and merges into Route 30. If you take the full route I expect you could also get great views of Lake Lenape.

Route 40/Harding Highway

Route 40, the Harding Highway, is known by some South Jersey locals as the ‘better’ way to get from the Mays Landing area to the Delaware Memorial Bridge. It’s mostly a one-lane each way toll free road way through South Jersey.

  • Length of roadway: about 65 miles.
  • Great scenic points:
    • Saw Mill Park in Richland
  • Restrooms: You’ll periodically pass newer Wawa gas stations that have bathrooms inside.
  • Where to eat:
    • Purple Penguin, ice cream place in Buena
    • Cherry on Top, ice cream place in Mullica Hill
    • Lake House Restaurant
    • Pole Tavern Diner
    • Deepwater Diner
    • Smokeology in Richland
    • Cracker Barrel in Pennsville
  • Touristy spots & great places to hang out:
    • Saw Mill Park in Richland
    • Patcong Valley Model Railroad Club (when open)
    • Richland Railroad
    • Salem County Fairgrounds
    • Cowtown Rodeo
    • For the adults, Belleview Winery in Buena, Wagon House Winery, Auburn Road Winery
  • End Points:
    • Route 40 starts in front of the Hamilton Mall
    • Route 40 ends on the New Jersey side of the Delaware Memorial Bridge

The first section of Route 40 in Mays Landing can be a little boring. It starts in front of the Hamilton Mall and is mostly residential. You do pass a little bit of the Greater Egg Harbor River when you pass Gaskill Park and the Mays Landing library. It’s a bit of a bottleneck area where traffic is always backed up. But that delay to get through the intersection can provide you with great views of the river.

The Chevy 2021 Trailblazer works nicely with Apple Play to show GPS maps.

If you have time pull off into the little parking lot and take in the beauty of the surroundings. That’s the best spot to view the Greater Egg Harbor River and Lake Lenape because as you make the turn on Route 40 traffic is usually moving too quickly to view the other side of the lake on your right.

After you pass Lake Lenape Route 40 gets a little boring again until you cross Jefferson Avenue. Start looking out for a large rooster sculpture accompanied by two small wooden chickens. It’s a fun little distraction for the kids to see.

One must-stop location along Route 40 is in Richland. First, there is the fabulous Saw Mill Park. Visible from the road, but you have to see it upclose is the tree monument. This magnificent tree has all kinds of unique carvings that tell the story of the area.

Saw Mill Park Trains Zoom Background

Right next to Saw Mill Park is the Patcong Valley Model Railroad Club. While the indoor model trains aren’t open year-round the outside wooden trains are. They are too adorable to resist. Behind the Patcong Valley Model Railroad Club building is an old train no longer in use. Between the playground of wooden trains and the real thing you can get plenty of family pictures with trains.

Saw Mill Park Red Train Zoom background

As you continue down Route 40 you’ll pass through lots of farmland, wineries, and other areas.

Route 206

Route 206 starts in Hammonton and run north through Trenton, Princeton and Lawrenceville, then Pluckemin, Peapack, Chester, Andover and further. Not only will you pass gorgeous homes, streetside markets, bountiful farms and woods with changing foliage, you’ll also pass the blooming gardens of Morven Museum & Garden. You will have to get out and visit because the gardens are out back.

  • Length of roadway: over 130 miles.
  • Great scenic points:
    • Atsion Lake
    • There is a larger than life size gorilla at a gas station.
    • The Princeton Battle Monument, The Princeton Bell, The Princeton Methodist Church
    • Princeton
  • Restrooms: There are Wawas with gas stations and restrooms along the way.
  • Where to eat: There are various fast food, convenience stores, diners, and restaurants along the way.
  • Touristy spots & great places to hang out:
    • Atsion Lake
    • Historic Smithville Park
    • County Fairgrounds
    • Adults may enjoy the Valenzo Winery
    • Morven Museum & Garden
  • End Points:
    • Route 206 starts in Hammonton at the intersection of Route 30/White Horse Pike
    • Route 206 ends in New Jersey at the Milford-Montague Toll Bridge before it crosses the Delaware River into Dingman township, Pennsylvania.
The Princeton Battle Monument
The Princeton Battle Monument has carvings on each side. There is parking off of Route 2016 to get out for a closer look.

On our exploration of Route 206, we started in Hammonton and turned off Dunns Mill Road in Bordentown towards our destination in Princeton. We were taking it on the way to Morven Garden and Museum.

The County Fairgrounds are one of the more picturesque settings on scenic route 206 in New Jersey.

Route 9

I’ve seen Route 9 on a few lists of South Jersey beautiful roads. I am not so sure I agree. It runs from Toms River to Cape May. It’s a road I’ve traveled often and I hadn’t remembered it being especially breathtaking. On my final day with the Chevy Trailblazer, I gave it another look. I started on Route 9 in Absecon and drove it till the end in Cape May. Other than an occasional bridge or golf course, I didn’t find anything particularly scenic on that stretch of Route 9.

That being said if you like unique spots or attractions there are 3 along Route 9 that I would recommend visiting if you’re going to be in the South Jersey area.

Cape May County Park & Zoo

The Cape May County Park & Zoo is one of NJ’s only zoos with free admission and is open year-round. Not only is it free, but the zoo offers a large variety of animals from all over the world, including over 500 animals representing 250 species. It’s a favorite among locals and visitors to the area. Even better right out front of the zoo are playgrounds where your kids can run and play before continuing your drive along NJ’s scenic routes. Learn more at the Cape May County Park & Zoo website.

Big Zebra at cape may zoo photo credit Jersey family fun
A zebra grazing at the Cape May County Zoo.

Historic Cold Spring Village

Historic Cold Spring Village is an open air living history museum for kids and adults to explore the roots of South Jersey from the industries that supported the area and its families to how they lived, worked, and went to school. Cold Spring Village is open during the spring-summer season with family-friendly events going on nearly every weekend. You can buy your tickets to Cold Spring Village online or at the door. 

Kids can get locked up at Historic Cold Spring Village on Route 9 in Cape May.
Lock up the kids at Historic Cold Spring Village in Cape May, off of Route 9.

Winterwood Gift & Christmas Shoppe

I was driving along Route 9 South in Rio Grande, in search of scenic drives, when I discovered this Christmas store from the road. I’m so happy I pulled over to check out Winterwood Gift & Christmas Shoppe. You should see the amazing photo props they have outside in the back. What a fabulous spot for fun family photos!

Not only that but inside they have every kind of themed Christmas ornament you could imagine. Plus if you love the Jersey Shore you can find lots of beachy Christmas decor.

For more fun things to do in Cape May read our guide to Things to Do in Cape May with Kids.

Other pretty roads to travel in South Jersey

  • Route 49, Deepwater to Tuckahoe
  • Route 553/Back Neck Road, Port Norris to Sea Breeze
  • Route 539, Allentown to Tuckerton

A different kind of beautiful road in Atlantic City

There are nearly 70 Atlantic City murals along the streets of Atlantic City. For a different kind of scenic drive give Atlantic City a try. We show you pictures and help you take a self guided Atlantic City murals tour from your car or bike.

A note about Route 55

I didn’t really want to include Route 55 on a list of scenic routes in New Jersey, but I felt I had to. I had seen Route 55 listed on some on other lists. I don’t regularly travel this road. However, our best opportunity to give it a drive was on our way home from the Morven Garden and Museum in Princeton. We took Route 55 from Route 42 in Deptford to ###, before getting off onto Route 40.

Route 55 has the potential to be one of the beautiful scenic drives in New Jersey. There are tall trees that insulate it from the surrounding communities. It can feel like your driving through the country, only you’re on a highway. Sadly there was such an abundance of litter. We saw everything from cardboard boxes and empty milk cartons to chairs and streams of plastic wrap. In all my travels, I have never seen a South Jersey road with so much trash along the side of the road. If you have another reason to travel 55, by all means go ahead, but I wouldn’t travel it just for the drive.

Beautiful Roads to Nowhere in New Jersey

We couldn’t create a list of beautiful scenic drives in New Jersey without including some amazing roads that might not take you anywhere, but are truly worth seeing and visiting. They are a destination in themselves.

Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Drive

The Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Drive is one of my go to destinations when I just need to get away from it all without going to far from home. Located in Galloway, New Jersey not only does the refuge offer a picturesque wildlife drive, but it also offers a few different hiking trails from less than a mile in length to nearly 4 miles.

A teen looks out the window for wildlife on the Forsythe Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Drive in Galloway NJ.

The Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Drive is an 8 mile self-guided tour of saltwater marsh, freshwater habitat, and upland forest. The trail is a treasure trove of birds, a bird watcher’s paradise. Observation towers are located at Gull Pond and Turtle Cove and there are pull off spots along the trail. The trail is a loop around the Forsythe Wildlife Refuge.

There are no places along the way that sell food. There are restroom facilities located in an outdoor building near the hiking trails and parking lot.

For the best views of wildlife visit the pathway in the early evening hours. Please note there are no lights along the path and there is a small fee to enter. It’s a must visit South Jersey scenic route. Learn more about the Forsythe Wildlife Refuge.

Great Bay Boulevard, Little Egg Harbor

Not far from the Tuckerton Seaport, and right off of Route 9, is Great Bay Boulvard. It’s a gorgeous and quaint scenic road in Ocean County we only recently discovered.

Along the beginning of Great Bay Boulevard scenic route there is an inlet with boats and houses

Great Bay Boulevard is a 4-mile, narrow two-lane road that seems to go on forever in a good way. It was to be a way to connect the shore to Atlantic City. Now, it’s a stunning drive through salt marshes, of the Mullica River where it meets the Little Egg Inlet to the Atlantic Ocean, with multiple places for bird watching, turtle watching, and fishing.

The roadway starts in a residential area of Little Egg Harbor. You’ll have beautiful views the first moments on the road. The farther down the road you go the more stunning it gets. There’s a small pier for fishing. Further down starts the refuge.

Turtle garden on Great Bay Boulevard in Little Egg Harbor.

Go further and you’ll come upon the Great Bay Terrapin Habitat Enhancement Project. There is a sandy lot for parking. You can get out and fish or observe the turtles. May – July is when the turtles are nesting.

You’ll pass over a few one-lane wooden bridges as you travel down Great Bay Boulevard. When you reach the Rutgers University Marine Field Station, you’ve reached the end. There is a small circular dirt area. We found some cars parked there so they could get out and do some more bird watching.

A fishing pier on Great Bay Boulevard in Little Egg Harbor.

There are no places along the way that sell food nor are there restroom facilities. Read more about Great Bay Boulevard.

Birds can be seen along Great Bay Boulevard a scenic drive in NJ.

As you can see, there are plenty of places you can go while making your way around the state of New Jersey! While some places will lead you to the far edges of the state, there are so many beautiful places to stop in between! Hopefully, this guide to beautiful New Jersey scenic roads will help you plan out your next family trip or make a fun day trip for your family to take this fall.

Make sure to bookmark and pin this page. There are so many beautiful scenic drives in New Jersey. I feel like we’ve just started to scratch the surface. We’ll be adding more to this list as we discover and experience more of NJ’s prettiest roads. Where should we explore next?

Scenic drives in New Jersey - Great Bay Boulevard turtle crossing sign.

For more ideas on fun things to do in New Jersey visit these articles

Posted in: All, Things to do in Central Jersey, Things to do in New Jersey, Things to do in North Jersey, Things to do in South Jersey

Jennifer Auer is the hyperlocal mom blogger who runs Jersey Family Fun. From New Jersey, this mom of 3 boys just can’t sit still! Her husband likes to say she’s a work-at-home mom who never stays home. Jennifer started traveling as a child and hasn’t stopped since. Instead of letting her husband and boys slow her down, she brings them along! As her boys transition from tweens to teens there’s still so many places she wants to discover with them both across the U.S. and internationally. She has been a Jersey Girl for 35+ years, and a Jersey Mom for 15+ years and a New Jersey mom blogger for 10 years, although she'd much rather be referred to as an influencer or just by name. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Bryant University in Rhode Island.

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