There are plenty of things to do and see in New Jersey. You can head to the beaches of the Jersey Shore or tour Liberty State Park for a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline or hit up one of the many amusement parks. 

But what about going for a scenic drive?

New Jersey isn’t always thought of as a place full of beautiful views but that just means you haven’t spent time on State Route 49 yet. New Jersey’s State Route 49 shows you a different side of the state going through scenic wooded areas and quaint small towns. 

It’s well worth the trip. 

Here, we’re going to highlight what’s so special about State Route 49 in New Jersey. 

The Route

State Route 49 runs East to West across the lower part of South Jersey. The route is about 50 miles long. It starts in a place called Pennsville Township which is right off the New Jersey Turnpike and runs to Upper Township in Cape May County, just across the river from Wilmington, Delaware.

The road that State Route 49 runs along today was first mapped out in the 1920s. Then, in the 1950s it was upgraded to its current route. While there have been numerous plans over the years to turn the route into a freeway, they haven’t panned out. So, today State Route 49 is a small two-lane road that winds its way through many rural areas.

Things to See Along State Route 49

For a large stretch along New Jersey’s State Route 49 the road winds through the Peaslee Wildlife Management Area. At over 25,000 acres it’s a protected region that’s important to migrating birds. There are a few designated parking spots where you can step out of the car and take a mini hike or catch a few birds, especially in the spring.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Cohanzick Zoo (@cohanzickzoo) on

In Bridgeton, you can check out the Cohanzick Zoo. It’s open daily from 9 am throughout most of the year. While it’s smaller than your typical zoo, it also offers free admission which attracts a lot of families. Be sure to check out the tiger talk events while you’re there.

For a bit of history, stop by the Salem County Historical Society. This little museum is open Tuesday-Saturdays and has a small admission fee. Here you can check out a bunch of historic artifacts including a log cabin and rooms dating back to the 1700s. It’s a great stopping point near the end of the route.

As State Route 49 comes to its end in Pennsville, get out and stroll through Riverview Beach Park. Here, you’ll have great views of the Delaware River. From the 1840s to the 1960s, this area was known to attract visitors from all over the area as one of the premier amusement destinations in the region. Today it’s a nice green local recreation space.

Enjoy the Drive

The best part of any road trip is just sitting back and enjoying where the road takes you. Along State Route 49 in New Jersey, you have plenty of options.