As the year transitions from autumn to winter, New Jersey has plenty to offer visitors—from foodie festivals to seasonal sips and holiday kick-off events to even more fall fun. Here are 10 ways to enjoy your trip this month.
1. See the latest exhibits at a museum.
If the weather outside is chilly, head indoors for a day of art and culture. Visit Rutgers University’s New Brunswick campus to explore the Zimmerli Art Museum and view over 50,000 global works. Or unravel art and history across the centuries at the Newark Museum of Art. Know Before You Go: Advance reservations are required for the Newark Museum of Art—plan your visit and secure your timed tickets online.
2. Attend a foodie festival.
Fresh taste is on the menu during Jersey Shore Restaurant Week, November 5-14, 2021, when you can savor a three-course prix fixe meal at any participating eatery. The Great Food Expo invites you to shop, sip and sample your way through the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison at their November 6-7, 2021 event for all lovers of cuisine. Finally, whether you’re a full-time plant-based foodie or a Meatless Monday devotee, the New Jersey Vegan Food Festival—held November 13-14, 2021 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus—is the ideal spot to find vegan specialties from local sources and national brands.
3. Show some team spirit at a sports bar.
Whether you’re into football, basketball or hockey, when the game is on, make your way to the Asbury Ale House Sports Bar and Grille in Asbury Park, where a 110-inch projector, a multitude of TVs and more than 50 beers on tap keep the atmosphere lively. Or get in on the action playing out across massive panoramic video walls at the FanDuel Sportsbook in Bally’s Atlantic City.
4. Get your holiday shopping done early.
No matter who’s on your gift list, holiday shopping in New Jersey is a surefire way to make everyone happy. You’ll find brand-name gifts at shopping malls like the three-story Newport Centre in Jersey City, or score deals at The Mills at Jersey Gardens, an outlet mall in Elizabeth with more than 200 stores. You may also want to stroll local boutiques in quaint small towns like Cape May or Historic Smithville.
5. Sip and sample New Jersey wine at a local vineyard.
New Jersey is home to more than 50 wineries, from Columbia’s Brook Hollow Winery up north to Cape May Winery & Vineyard down south. Stop by the winery nearest you, or explore our New Jersey Beverage Trails to sample a variety of wines across the state and get into the spirit of the upcoming festive season with the holiday varietals offered by many local vineyards.
6. Listen to some live music.
There are so many places to experience performing arts in New Jersey. Fans of big band music will thrill to the sound of The Jazz Lobsters at their can’t-miss show on Sunday, November 21, 2021, hosted by the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts in Toms River. For alfresco concerts with live local bands, head to Willow Creek Winery & Farm in West Cape May for their weekly Fire Pit Friday and Fire Pit Saturday events. (Please note there are no Fire Pit shows scheduled for Friday, November 5, 2021 or Saturday, November 20, 2021.)
7. Visit a nearby farm to stock up for Thanksgiving dinner.
Go straight to the source to make your dinner this year by stopping by one of the many farms in New Jersey. Stock up on pumpkins for pie, grab a jug of fresh apple cider, pick out a farm-raised turkey for the main course and select a variety of fresh seasonal finds for your home décor.
8. Eat your way through a food hall.
As home to plenty of the hottest food trends, you can visit one of New Jersey’s food halls for a chance to experience a wide variety of cutting-edge culinary experiences, all while staying cozy under one roof. At District Kitchen in Jersey City, fill up on everything from ramen to poke bowls at individually-owned eateries. Or stop by Bell Market Social House + Eatery in Holmdel to take your pick from Japanese street food, artisanal pastries, innovative pizzas and more.
9. Explore a scenic state park.
There are so many ways to enjoy New Jersey’s national and state parks in every season—and fall is certainly no exception. Hike, bike or ride horseback at High Point State Park in Sussex, explore the natural area at Swartswood State Park in Swartswood or go fishing at Monksville Reservoir in Long Pond Ironworks State Park in Hewitt.
10. See the holiday lights and décor.
This is the start of the holiday season! In November, the charming seaside town of Cape May transforms into a Victorian holiday wonderland, with twinkling gas lamps, string lights, garlands, trolley rides, candlelight house tours and more. Be sure to stop by Cape May’s Congress Hall, the country’s oldest seaside resort, where the festive décor is certain to get you into the spirit of the season. In Clinton, attend the Winter Village at Red Mill Museum November 26-28, 2021, where you can discover artisan crafts and celebrate with food and drink in a festive outdoor venue that makes the season merry and bright.
To help plan your November visit—or getaway any month of the year—download our Official Travel Guide (it’s free!). Top Tip: Before you arrive at your chosen attraction or event, please be sure to visit their website or social media channels for last-minute details on hours of operation or any restrictions in place.