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Autumn in New Jersey

Updated on September 12, 2014

Autumn in New Jersey

New Jersey - Not Just the Jersey Shore

Autumn in New Jersey is all about festivals, special events and a glorious riot of fall foliage. Most people think New Jersey is all about the Jersey Shore. At present, Atlantic City is in a major state of evolution. Formerly, it was second only to Las Vegas in the number of US casinos. But, Atlantic City's evolution is proving that casinos are not the only reason to enjoy an autumn getaway in this amazing shore town. The beauty of a visit to Atlantic City in autumn is the reduction in crowds that, in summer, pack the famous boardwalk. Although, Atlantic City isn't a ghost town in autumn or winter, the fall is the very best time to breathe in the tang of salt air, stroll along the boardwalk under a great blue dome of sky and feed upon the seaside atmosphere with gusto. And, speaking of food,Jersey shore towns, like Atlantic City, are home to the most diverse cuisines, in addition to iconic seaside cuisines that are brimming with ocean freshness. Whether visitors choose a tucked away food spot for a romantic evening with the sound of waves crashing or one of the popular eateries along the coast, Jersey chefs are world class and ready to tempt the most discerning palates.

Things to Look Forward to in a New Jersey Autumn

Avid antique hunters know autumn is the best time of the year in New Jersey to find first edition books, rare art and hundreds of other antiques. Northwestern New Jersey, in towns like Stockton, Lambertville and Hopewell, are rife with antiques from estate sales. Hopewell is also the site of a famous photographic gallery just off Route 518. Photogs can visit the gallery on a Sunday afternoon and be stunned by the magnitude of photographic skill, talent and experience clearly visible in gallery photos on display and for sale. Go east to Morris County and enjoy an old fashioned Country Fair and Harvest festival at the Fosterfields Living Historical Farm. Harvest festivals are a big part of autumn in New Jersey and can be found in nearly every county. There's also a Fall Harvest Festival in Princeton at the famous Terhune Orchards. This festival runs every weekend from mid-September to the first week of November.

On the Banks of the Raritan River

The Raritan River is the site of annual regattas and music festivals. In autumn, the banks of the Raritan are the site of the Raritan River Fest in Boyd Park. The famed folk singer, Pete Seeger once sailed down on the good ship Clearwater to the first Fest back in 1980. Each year thereafter, a broad range of musicians converge to perform a diverse selection of musical offerings.

In Central New Jersey, visitors are kept busy with a calendar loaded with film and music festivals and events. The city of Rahway is hosting its first Bands and Brews festival with more than a dozen indie brewers on hand to ply patrons with their latest, newest brews.

Further south, Keansburg boardwalk remains open in autumn to celebrate Oktoberfest, with its German food and German beers. Patrons enjoy participating in the Stein Hoisting Competition. In Seaside Heights, the annual September Boardwalk Clown Strollers event is family fun at its best. The biggest New Jersey zoos, museums and amusement parks prepare their autumn schedules to compliment the season with programs of interest to adults and children.

Autumn Programs on New Jersey College Campuses

It's important to check out the autumn programs at New Jersey colleges. Princeton, Rutgers, Rowan and smaller community colleges all provide excellent fall music, art and general interest events. The city of Princeton also opens the autumn season with cuisine served in 4-Star restaurants to visitors and locals who love to peruse the the galleries, shops and related university activities that take place most weekends.

New Jersey's State Parks

New Jersey's collection of state parks are open year round. In autumn, these parks are the perfect place to find a little quiet and solitude. Stroll amid through the forested parks amid the red, orange and gold oaks and maples. Most of these state parks have a cultural center. Cheesequake Park in Central Jersey, offers a kayaking view of the scenic Cheesequake Creek in Middlesex County. Many of the parks offering fishing, hiking and camping for the outdoors types. For fishermen, autumn in New Jersey is the time of the year to make that big catch.

Local Fun and Fests

New Jersey people revel in the glory of autumn by celebrating with harvest home festivals. Nearly every local New Jersey town has a special event like pig roasts, corn husking contests, Blues and Jazz Festivals and a number of charity events with food, music and games for adults and children. This is also the time of year when massive yard and church-sponsored White Elephant sales abound. Autumn is the perfect time to attend flea markets. The two biggest in New Jersey are located in Englishtown and Collingswood. New Jersey is home to sixty-two flea markets. Others are located in Columbus, Belvidere, Lambertville, Berlin, Neshanic Station, Morris and Manahawkin to name just a few.

For the Rail Fans

Railroading and rail fans are big in New Jersey. There are a number of clubs with avid railroad lovers and photographers like the United Railroad Historical Society. In autumn in New Jersey, the railroad fans come out for events that adults and children can enjoy. The biggest full scale train display is at the Whippany Railway Museum. There are fun rides in Ringoes, Flemington and Farmingdale, at the New Jersery Museum of Transportation. Model train lovers can find much to enjoy at events held in Rocky Hill, Somerset and Raritan Center annually.

Landmark Sites Are Fun Visits in Autumn

New Jerseyans take pride in the number of landmarks like the Edison Tower, the Barnegat Lighthouse, Lucy the Elephant, the train stations in Spring Lake and Vineland and romantic Victorian Era station in Fanwood. For lovers of architecture, there are many tours available of estates of the Robber Barons of the 1800s, haunted cemeteries, homes and buildings. These are located throughout the state. New Jersey is also one of the battleground states of the Revolutionary and Civil War. George Washington's troops stayed in what is now the Forsgate Country Club. There are several troop and battle sites in Kingston and Monmouth County, as well as in western New Jersey.

A Chill in the Air and Busy New Jerseyans

Although the weather may send out a slight chill and temperatures may drop in September and October in New Jersey, visitors and residents take full advantage of the weekend fun and activities. There's always a new event or restaurant that needs looking into. Getting around New Jersey by train, bus or car is relatively easy in autumn, especially after the summer beach crowds return from whence they came. Although, it isn't unusual to see New Jersey beaches dotted with hardy swimmers until the first or second week of October.


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