Eleven Fun Ways to Explore NJ by Boat

With over 4,100 freshwater ponds, rivers, and streams in NJ and over 130 miles of white sandy beaches along the New Jersey coast of the Atlantic Ocean, there is no shortage of opportunities to enjoy getting wet.  There is lots of fun for all ages whether you are looking for a peaceful sail, a day of fishing, or an exhilarating speed boat ride. There is something so relaxing about spending a day on the water.  The whole family can enjoy a variety of ways paddle your way throughout New Jersey.   

  1. Visit one of the world’s most famous landmarks – the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Statue Cruises offers departures throughout the day from both New York and New Jersey for the convenience of out-of-town visitors and local residents alike. Get your Statue of Liberty tickets there at the guaranteed lowest price.

  2. Rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboat at one of the many lakes throughout NJ (Lake Lefferts in Matawan, Turkey Swamp Park in Freehold, Manasquan Reservoir at the Visitors Center,  Griggstown Canoe & Kayak Rental on the D&R Canal, or launch your own from Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park)

  3. Take a guided nature pontoon boat ride on the Manasquan Reservoir.  Board at the Environmental Center

  4. Head out for a ½ day or full day fishing expedition.  Chartered fishing boats leave from Belmar or Atlantic Highlands. 

  5. Take a Paddleboat Cruise and enjoy a delicious meal on the River Lady in Toms River.
    River Lady

  6. Turn the family into pirates for a day and soak Pirate Pete with water cannons at the Jersey Shore Pirate Adventure on the Metedeconk River in Brick.

  7. Head to the City of Water Day on Saturday July 12 between 10am - 4pm held on Governors Island and Maxwell Park in Hoboken, NJ.   They will have waterfront activities fair, free ferry rides, free boat tours, great food, and on the water activities, and more.

  8. Head to the Bayshore Center at Bivalve and go sailing on a tall ship.  It is home to the Schooner A.J. Meerwald, New Jersey’s official Tall Ship.  On July 19th and Aug 16th, they have a Summer Saturday Series ‘By the Bay’ from 11:00-4:00.  These will be special family-oriented open houses at the Center with music, games, educational activities and specials in the Oyster Cracker Cafe.

  9. Go to NJBoating.org to find a ramp close to you to launch your own boat.  Or you can rent one a one of the many places in Toms River or Seaside Heights.  They have wave runners, jet skis, skiffs, or pontoon boats.  Or learn how to sail.  Instructional courses and boats are available to rent at Nelson’s Sailing Center.

  10. Head out to see whales and dolphins on the Cape May Whale Watcher.  They do cruises March through December in the Cape May, Wildwood, Stone Harbor, and Atlantic City area.
    Cape May Whale Watcher

  11. Take a ride on the full blown Cyclone in Ocean City. The Cyclone is a 70 feet speedboat with 2800 HP turbocharged engines that takes you on a wild ride.

Contributed by Sarah Graves, NJ Mom Squad Team

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