New Jersey is often overshadowed by its neighboring states, but it is a hidden gem that offers many unique and interesting things to do. From stunning natural landscapes to fascinating museums, there is no shortage of places to explore in the Garden State and if you are planning to visit the east coast then it is worth adding to your itinerary. So whether you are leaving New York on a cruise or hiking the Appalachian Trail, here are a few of the underrated gems in Jersey that will make you want to make a detour.

Princeton University Art Museum

The Princeton University Art Museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. This museum features an impressive collection of over 100,000 works of art from around the world, spanning from ancient to contemporary times. The museum is located on the world-renowned Princeton University campus, making it easily accessible to visitors.

One of the most notable features of the museum is its collection of Asian art, which includes works from China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Visitors can also explore the museum's extensive collections of European and American art, which include paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.

Aside from its impressive collections, the Princeton University Art Museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions and special events throughout the year, making it a dynamic and engaging destination for art lovers. And with its location just a short drive from New York, it makes the perfect addition to a weekend in the city.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is a natural wonder that is often overlooked by visitors to New Jersey. This vast park spans over 70,000 acres and features stunning waterfalls, scenic vistas, and diverse wildlife.

Visitors can explore the park's many hiking trails, which range from easy strolls to challenging climbs. You can even access a section of the Appalachian Trail, which passes through the park on its journey from Georgia to Maine.

In addition to hiking, visitors can also go camping, fishing, swimming, and kayaking in the Delaware River, which runs through the park. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is a true oasis of natural beauty and tranquility, and a must-visit for anyone seeking outdoor adventure.

Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture is a captivating art park located in Hamilton, New Jersey that is a must-visit for art lovers. This 42-acre park features over 270 sculptures by both American and international artists, set amidst beautifully landscaped gardens and ponds.

Visitors can stroll through the park at their leisure, taking in the stunning works of art and the peaceful surroundings. The sculptures range from whimsical to thought-provoking, and there is something for everyone to enjoy.

In addition to its outdoor art installations, Grounds for Sculpture also features a variety of indoor galleries and exhibitions, as well as a restaurant and gift shop. It is a truly unique and inspiring destination that is not to be missed.

Cape May

This charming seaside town is located at the southern tip of New Jersey and is known for its Victorian architecture, pristine beaches, and vibrant arts scene.

It is a historic place with a bunch of fascinating attractions, including the Cape May Lighthouse, the Emlen Physick Estate, and the Washington Street Mall. The town also hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Cape May Music Festival and the Cape May Food & Wine Celebration.

Of course, no visit to Cape May would be complete without a visit to the beach. The town boasts several miles of pristine coastline, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing.

The Sterling Hill Mining Museum

The Sterling Hill Mining Museum is a fascinating destination for history buffs and science enthusiasts alike. This museum is located in Ogdensburg, New Jersey, and is dedicated to the history and science of mining in the United States.

The museum's exhibits include interactive displays, historical artifacts, and a tour of an actual underground mine. The mine also hosts a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year, making it a great destination for families and school groups.

Island Beach State Park

This gorgeous hidden gem is situated on a picturesque barrier island just off the Jersey coast and features miles of unspoiled beaches, dunes, and wetlands, as well as diverse wildlife and stunning natural beauty.

You can explore the park on foot, by bike, or by car, taking in the breathtaking views and the peaceful surroundings. The park also offers a variety of recreational activities, including fishing, swimming, and birdwatching.

Island Beach State Park is a true oasis of natural beauty and tranquility, and a must-visit for anyone seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.