Imagine it: a breeze of water blowing on your face, the sun kissing your skin, making you relaxed and happy.
If you’re lucky enough to have – or know a friend who has – a boat, this is the kind of summer afternoon you can have any day of the week. For the rest of us, getting out on the water takes a bit more effort.
We did the work on the ground – so the effort is much easier.
From crabbing on cruises to hydrobiking on Hopatcong Lake, there’s plenty to do this summer on the water, and with the hot weather this summer it’s more tempting than ever.
Here are eight places to get out on the water and enjoy a beautiful summer day.
Learn the best way to catch little blue-clawed crabs and their crispy cousins on a 3-hour Crab 101 tour on the Skimmer Cruise. The boat has a touch tank with easy to handle crabs that visitors can play with every Monday in July and August.
All necessary bait and tools will be provided. Visitors can book online. The cruise will depart from the South Jersey Marina.
Admission costs $ 40 per adult, from 13 years old, and $ 28 for children from 3 to 12 years old.
Go: 1231 Route 109, Cape May; 609-884-3100, Salt Marsh Safari – Cruises (skimmer.com).
Pedal on Hopatcong Lake
Grab a friend and see some of the lake’s historic landmarks and islands while burning calories on 30- or 60-minute hydrobike or pedal rides with the Lake Hopatcong Adventure Company.
Experienced professionals will guide visitors and ensure fun and safety. You must be 5 feet or more to participate, and all minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and have a signed waiver from a parent or guardian.
Tour guides take visitors to see an eagle’s nest on Halsey Island and under the Brady Bridge, said Patty Cinelli, director of the Lake Hopatcong Adventure Company.
“They love it, they come back saying ‘Yeah, we’re gonna do it again. I will try paddleboarding next time I want to kayak, ”Cinelli said.
Coast Guard approved life jackets are provided and comfortable, closed-toe shoes are recommended. Water shoes are available for purchase on the site. The cost is $ 25 for 30 minutes and $ 35 for an hour.
Snacks and drinks are available for purchase on site, and hydrobikes and cranksets come with cup holders.
Go: 37 Nolans Point Park Road, Lake Hopatcong; 973-663-1944, Water tours of Hopatcong Lake | Hopatcong Lake Adventure Company (lhadventureco.com)
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See a battleship
Learn about the battleship New Jersey on her self-guided “Fire Power” tour which features an exhibit tracing the ship’s 48 years of service and downtime.
Guides are available for questions and conversations in the captain’s quarters. For a limited time on Saturdays and Sundays, the tour also includes access to fire room two and engine room two and the ability to load bags of powder, hoist a projectile into an elevator and pull a trigger to simulate a 16 inch gun shot.
Tours start at 11 am every day of the week. Last guests are allowed overseas at 4 p.m., but the tour itinerary closes at 6 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase online and guests should be screened in the visitor center before boarding and maintain social distancing. The main deck is accessible to people with disabilities and fully immunized adults are not required to wear a face cover.
Admission for adults is $ 25; veterans, children aged 5 to 11, and people over 62 are $ 20 and children under 5 are $ 5.
Go: 62 Battleship Place, Camden; 856-966-1652, Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial Tickets
A snack to whet your appetite
The famous River Hot Dog Man does no ceremony. In fact, most of the customers who buy his hot dogs, cheeseburgers, veggie burgers, nachos and cheese, water, lemonade and Pepsi arrive at the counter wet. Customers line up in the water a foot deep to place their orders and pay with soggy bills.
No surprise, since this snack bar is located in the middle of the Delaware River.
“It’s pretty unique,” Yuuji Crance, director of operations for Delaware River Tubing, told northjersey.com and The Record in 2017. (Crance is a partner of Hot Dog Man, who happens to be his father, Greg Crance .) Since 2003, this unusual attraction just off Tinicum, Pennsylvania, 12 miles north of New Hope, has served tubers, kayakers, and other water enthusiasts who descend the Delaware in the afternoons. lazy summer.
“There are 15 picnic tables; some are on land, some in a foot of water, so you can eat in the water,” Crance said.
The restaurant is in the middle of the river where people can taste food and enjoy great hits.
“It’s a pretty crazy story,” Crance said. “The point is, we’re here because we love it. We’re basically a family business.”
Visitors can grab a tube and get a free meal package.
Go: Halfway to the Delaware River; riverhotdogman.com.
Cape May Dolphin, Bird & Whale Watching
Get a glimpse of the whales New Jersey’s southernmost point at Cape May. In the Cape May Whale Watching and Research Center for 2.5 hours ‘Around Cape May Whale, Dolphin & Bird Watch’, visitors can venture into Cape May Inlet and encounter wildlife all around. passing historical monuments every weekday at 10 a.m.
Experienced naturalists will identify birds and marine animals throughout the journey while visitors can explore the onboard touch tank with creatures from the central regional habitat and a marine debris station for hands-on learning.
People can make a reservation online. Adults are $ 42 and children ages 7 to 12 are $ 32. Those 6 and under are free for each adult, an additional child is $ 14. Boarding begins 30 minutes before the departure time. Parking is free.
Tickets are non-refundable and people can only reschedule up to 24 hours before booking. A well stocked gallery with snacks, pizza, ice cream, hot dogs and drinks is available.
Go: 1231 Route 109 (South Jersey Marina), Cape May; 609-898-0055, Dolphin & Birds Cruise Around Cape May | Cape May Whale Watching and Research Center
Paddle the Prairies
Want to follow your own route and observe the local wildlife, while getting some exercise? The Hackensack Riverkeeper organization offers plenty of opportunities to get out and paddle through the Meadowlands in their fleet of kayaks and canoes.
Visitors can hire boats at the Laurel Hill Paddling Center in Secaucus or the Overpeck County Park in Leonia.
If you’re wary of solo boating or want expert insight as you stroll through the swamp, there are two-hour guided tours available as well. At a leisurely pace, paddlers learn about local wildlife and natural history; if you are more interested in sightseeing, a paddle at high tide works better than a ride at low tide, which the Riverkeeper says is more ideal for wildlife viewing.
The Lauren Paddling Center is open Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the last boats leaving at 3 p.m. There are also moonlight paddles for adults and guided paddle tours on Sundays. Although the suggested fees vary from $ 15 to $ 25 per passenger or paddler per four hours, they are all based on donations and fund organizations, which seek to preserve the river and the local ecosystem.
The Overpeck Park Paddling Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. Two-hour kayak and canoe donation rates range from $ 10 to $ 20 per paddler or passenger. Paddle boards are also available for $ 25 per two hours.
Go: 231 Main Street, Hackensack; 201-403-1992, hackensackriverkeeper.org.
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Take the ferry to Staten Island
A port crossing on the famous Staten Island Ferry is one of those quintessential New York experiences, one that every New Jersey resident should have.
It doesn’t matter if Staten Island is your destination or the trip itself is the destination, sit back, relax, and enjoy a 25-minute ride.
The free ferry ride, which operates daily, offers stunning views of the harbor, Manhattan skyline, and the Statue of Liberty.
Rides are available every 15 to 20 minutes on weekdays during rush hour from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. On weekends, a service is provided every 30 minutes. Visitors can enter from either the St. George Gerry Terminal or the Whitehall Ferry Terminal.
A metro card is required to take the ferry.
The ferry will take visitors to St. George on Staten Island, a pedestrianized neighborhood of Victorian homes, bars and restaurants.
In accordance with public safety guidelines, the ferry requires passengers to wear masks and social distancing.
Go: St. George Ferry Terminal or Whitehall Ferry Terminal; 212-639-9675, siferry.com.
Go on an eco-cruise
Cruise through New Jersey’s prairie swamps, the lower reaches of the Hackensack River, and New York Harbor on a Hackensack Riverkeeper eco-cruise.
Reservations can be made by calling Captain Hugh Carola at 201-403-1992. Only seven people are allowed on a boat at a time due to COVID-19 safety protocols.
Families can choose the Meadowlands Discovery Ride on the Hackensack River, which visits Mill Creek Marsh, Kingsland Creek and the Berry’s Creek Canal. Or opt for the “Sailing in Bergen” route through the southern Meadowlands to the heart of Hackensack, where the boat will pass the ruins of ancient docks and you will learn about the maritime history of the region. On the way back, visitors will see a WWII submarine wrecked during Storm Sandy in 2012.
The third option is “Round the Bay Tour,” which takes visitors across the Hackensack River to explore New York Harbor, where the boat will pass hundreds of warships, Kearny Point and more.
There is a suggested donation of $ 25 per person, but you can pay whatever you want.
Go: 231 Main Street, Hackensack; 201-403-1992, Eco-Croisières – Hackensack Riverkeeper.