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The 10 Best Things to Do in the Delaware River Area

The 10 Best Things to Do in the Delaware River Area

Whether you are a history, architecture, nature buff, you will find plenty to entertain and charm you in the Delaware River region of New Jersey, the area in western New Jersey, along the beautiful and historic Delaware River that borders Pennsylvania.

The Trenton State House

The Trenton State House, the third-oldest state house in continuous use in the country (built in 1790), has recently been renovated and is open for tours. Its design is unusual among state capitol buildings in that it is not modeled after the United States Capitol, but rather consists of two parallel structures connected by the dome-capped rotunda, resembling the letter H.

Old Barracks Museum

Stop in to the Old Barracks Museum, just a few blocks away from Trenton State House. The museum stands just as it did 200 years ago, when it housed British troops during the Revolutionary War. It is the only remaining colonial barracks in New Jersey, the last of five barracks authorized by the colonial legislature in 1758 to house soldiers during the French and Indian War.

Walt Whitman House

For lovers of history, nature and literature, the Walt Whitman House in Camden offers the famous American poets manuscripts, photographs and memorabilia. Constructed in 1848, the modest, wood-framed structure is where Whitman hosted visitors from around the world and completed his last comprehensive volume of poetry before his death in 1892.

Batsto Village

This community, within Washington Township in Burlington County, is located in the south central Pine Barrens. Listed on the New Jersey National Register of Historic Places, it is named after the Batso Iron Works Company that was built there in 1766. Today, the area holds more than 40 sites, including the Batsto Mansion, a sawmill, a general store, a carriage horse and stable and an ice and milk house.

The Adventure Aquarium

Located in Camden, New Jersey—and considered one of the best aquariums in the country—the Adventure Aquarium offers more than 8,500 aquatic species. Counted among its accolades is housing the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, the fact that it’s the only aquarium in the world with hippos and being only one of six facilities in the United States to have Little Blue penguins as permanent residents. The aquarium also offers the longest “Shark Bridge” in the world, a V-shaped rope suspension bridge just inches over the “Shark Realm.”

The C.A. Nothnagle Log House

The C. A. Nothnagle Log House is one of the oldest surviving log houses in the United States, built circa 1638 by Finnish settlers. No nails were used in the construction of the cabin; hardwood pegs were used as fasteners, and people lived in the cabin until 1918. The house is part of the National Register of Historic Places and is still privately owned, but the cabin is open for tours by appointment through the current owners, Harry and Doris Rink, who live in the adjoining structure.

Grounds for Sculpture

“The first time I visited the Grounds for Sculpture, I felt like I was immersed somewhere in-between the  pages of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and a breathtaking Impressionist painting of the countryside.” Lois Levine, former Editor.

This stunning sculpture park and museum, located in Hamilton, New Jersey, was founded in 1992 by American artist John Seward Johnson ll. Among its highlights are the Amazing Marilyn sculpture, the 26-foot tall sculpture of Marilyn Monroe, captured in her white billowing dress above a subway grate from the famous scene in the movie “The Seven Year Itch;” the sculpture of a picnic party based on Edouard Manet’s “Déjeuner Sur L’Herbe;” and “Were You Invited?” inspired by French Impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir’s “The Luncheon of the Boating Party” where visitors can actually step into the scene and mingle with the diners at the table.

The Blockbuster Sony Entertainment Center

This indoor/outdoor theater complex in Camden is a year-round facility; during the summer months is features a lawn with video screens and computerized sound enhancement, along with a clear view of the Philadelphia skyline and the Delaware River. In the fall and winter it converts to a full-enclosed climate-controlled, flexible-capacity theater for up to 7,000 people, offering concerts, Broadway theatrical productions and family entertainment. John Legend, Rod Steward and Green Day are just a few of the superstars who have performed there.

Trenton War Memorial

Built in 1930 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, the Trenton War Memorial was designed with a combination of Renaissance, Art Deco and Italian Renaissance Revival styles. It was officially opened in 1932 as a community center dedicated to the memory of the soldiers and sailors from Mercer County who dies in World War I. The 1,807-seat, fully-equipped theater also includes several staterooms for official meetings and conferences.

The Pine Barrens

Known to New Jerseyans as “the Pines,” this heavily forested area is some 1.1 million acres of coastal plain that stretches across more than seven counties of New Jersey. The name refers to the area’s sandy, acidic, nutrient-poor soil, but the unique ecology of the Pine Barrens offers a diverse spectrum of plant life, including orchids and carnivorous plants. The Pinelands Reserve contains several state forests and also includes the National Wild and Scenic Rivers. Activities include hiking wooded trails, cycling, canoeing, kayaking and fishing along the many campgrounds and rivers.