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In New Jersey, the options for tourists are top-notch. You can hit the casinos or stroll the boardwalk in Atlantic City; take to the beach at Ocean City, Stone Harbor, or Wildwood; go Victorian in Cape May; or explore south-central New Jersey’s glassmaking heritage in Millville and Glassboro.
Prepare to be dazzled by the sights, sounds and high-rolling action in Atlantic City’s numerous casino resorts. “AC” fully earns its widespread reputation as the city that’s always turned on, and the constant excitement spills over into shopping venues such as Atlantic City Outlets-The Walk and Siganos Plaza, plus boardwalk-based retailers like Steel’s Fudge, James Salt Water Taffy, and Boardwalk Peanut Shoppe. Atlantic City’s circa 1870 boardwalk also sports arcades, a renovated 1929 concert hall, restaurants galore, and health spas. Be sure to try out the Steel Pier’s abundance of games, rides, lively entertainers, and food vendors. Even though the boardwalk’s hustle-bustle can be captivating, some AC visitors say the city’s best attraction is under the boardwalk, lounging about on the less frenzied, sandy beaches.
From Atlantic City, take Atlantic City Expressway west to Garden State Parkway (Rte 444) south, all the way to Cape May. Whoa - what’s your rush? Be sure to stop along the way at the following fun spots: In delightful Ocean City, you can take a look at thousands of shells from around the world at Ocean City’s Discovery Sea Shell Museum. For family amusements and water park slides, check out Gillian’s two Ocean City locations at Island and Wonderful Pier. If you’re interested in eateries and shops of all varieties, walk through Downtown Ocean City. Bird watchers catch great views of shorebirds at the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary and Wetlands Institute and Museum. Turtle tanks, an aquarium, and salt marsh safari are but a few of the highlights.
The town of Wildwood is the home of a jammin’, family-friendly boardwalk. And it’s also the site of the National Marbles Hall of Fame, a collection of mementos and trophies earned by the world’s top marble champions. The Hall of Fame is part of the George F. Boyer Historical Museum, a center that interprets Wildwood area history. Plan to visit Victorian Cape May’s colorful Historic District via trolley or on foot. Stop to see the Victorian House Museum and restored Cape May Lighthouse, originally constructed in 1859. Hop aboard the Seashore Lines Railroad for a train ride through town or sail away on a cruise to catch sightings of whales and dolphins.
From Cape May take US-9 north, then pick up NJ State Hwy 47 north to Millville, where glass production is a key factor in the past and present times of New Jersey’s south-central communities. The Glasstown Arts District showcases regional artistry, including prints, pottery, and glass creations. The Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts contains restaurants and retail establishments as well as the work of local artists and craftspeople. Millville’s cultural arts center at Wheaton Arts encompasses the T.J. Wheaton Glass Factory (in operation since 1888), the Museum of American Glass, and the Down Jersey Folk Life Center, where the rich creative traditions of southern New Jersey are celebrated. Another 20 miles north on Hwy 47, Glassboro’s Heritage Glass Museum displays glassblowing tools, glass objects, and related keepsakes dating from as far back as the 1700s.