Sussex County is situated in the heart of northern New Jersey. It beckons with its rich history, captivating natural beauty, and a multitude of attractions that draw thousands of visitors each year.
This enchanting county, steeped in history and graced with picturesque landscapes, offers a delightful blend of outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and historical gems.
Sussex County’s history dates back to the early 18th century, when it was established as one of New Jersey’s original counties.
The area played a pivotal role in the American Revolution, and remnants of this era can still be explored today. The county’s heritage is proudly preserved in its well-preserved villages, historic sites, and museums.
Annually, Sussex County welcomes a significant number of tourists, with over a million visitors flocking to its attractions and events. This influx of tourists can be attributed to the county’s diverse offerings.
From the panoramic views at High Point State Park to the immersive experiences at historical sites like Waterloo Village, there’s something for everyone.
Sussex County enjoys four distinct seasons, each with its unique charm. Spring is ideal for hiking and exploring, while summer welcomes boating and lakeside picnics. Fall enchants with its vibrant foliage, and winter offers snow sports and cozy fireside dining.
The best time to visit depends on your preferred activities, but overall, spring and fall tend to be favored for mild weather and fewer crowds.
With its blend of history, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities, Sussex County is a popular tourist destination that continues to captivate the hearts of all who visit.
From natural wonders to historical sites, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this charming corner of the state. In this article, we’ll explore the 12 most fun things to do in Sussex County, NJ.
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1. High Point State Park
High Point State Park is a must-visit destination in Sussex County. At 1,803 feet above sea level, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of three states—New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
High Point State Park is a renowned destination in New Jersey. The park is home to the High Point Monument, a 220-foot tall obelisk built in honor of war veterans. It’s an iconic landmark that visitors can climb for panoramic vistas.
High Point State Park was created in the 1920s to preserve this natural beauty. It was part of a movement to protect scenic areas across the United States.
The park offers various recreational activities like hiking, picnicking, and swimming in Lake Marcia. There are also camping facilities for those who want to spend more time in the park’s serene surroundings.
Whether you’re interested in history, hiking, or simply enjoying breathtaking views, High Point State Park has something to offer for everyone. It’s a must-visit spot in New Jersey.
1480 NJ-23, Sussex, NJ 07461, United States
2. Sussex County Sunflower Maze
The Sussex County Sunflower Maze is a vibrant summer attraction that draws visitors with its stunning fields of sunflowers. This enchanting maze provides a joyful experience for families and nature enthusiasts.
The Sussex County Sunflower Maze was established to offer people a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of sunflowers and connect with nature. It’s a relatively recent addition to the region’s attractions, having opened its doors in the 2010s.
The maze covers several acres and is a popular spot for taking photos, enjoying leisurely walks, and appreciating the natural world. It usually blooms from mid-summer to early fall, offering a picturesque setting for visitors during this time.
Visitors can wander through the maze, surrounded by the vibrant yellow and green hues of the sunflowers. It’s an excellent place for picnics, family outings, or simply enjoying the serenity of the countryside and experience new things to do in Sussex County.
The Sussex County Sunflower Maze has become an annual tradition for many, providing a cheerful and picturesque escape in the heart of New Jersey during the warmer months.
101 Co Rd 645, Sandyston, NJ 07826, United States
3. Waterloo Village
Waterloo Village is a historic site that offers visitors a glimpse into 19th-century rural life in the United States. This well-preserved village is a living history museum and a captivating destination.
Waterloo Village was established in the 19th century. It was once a bustling canal town along the Morris Canal. It played a vital role in transporting goods across New Jersey during the 1800s.
The village features restored buildings, including a working gristmill, a blacksmith shop, and a general store, all of which provide insight into the daily lives of the people who lived here centuries ago.
Visitors can take a scenic boat ride along the Morris Canal, which offers a unique perspective on the area’s history. The village hosts various events and educational programs throughout the year, allowing guests to experience history firsthand.
With its picturesque setting, historic charm, and educational opportunities, it offers to experience charming things to do in Sussex County. Waterloo Village is a hidden gem offering an enriching experience for history buffs and curious travelers alike.
Waterloo Rd, Stanhope, NJ 07874, United States
4. Sterling Hill Mining Museum
The Sterling Hill Mining Museum is a fascinating attraction that offers a deep dive into the world of mining and minerals. It’s a captivating destination for those interested in geology and the history of mining.
Sterling Hill’s mining history dates back to the late 18th century, and it became a vital source of zinc and other minerals during the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum itself was established to preserve this rich mining heritage.
Visitors to the museum can explore underground mine tunnels, where they can see firsthand the challenging conditions faced by miners. One of the highlights is the display of fluorescent minerals, which glow brilliantly under ultraviolet light.
Sterling Hill Mining Museum also boasts an extensive collection of mining artifacts, equipment, and geological specimens. It offers educational programs and tours that provide valuable insights into the region’s geological history and the mining industry’s impact on New Jersey.
The Sterling Hill Mining Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone curious about the fascinating world of mining and minerals and try some new things to do in Sussex County.
30 Plant St, Ogdensburg, NJ 07439, United States
5. Lake Hopatcong
Lake Hopatcong is the state’s largest freshwater lake and a popular destination for recreational activities and relaxation. It has a rich history and offers visitors a beautiful natural setting.
The lake was originally created as a result of a dam constructed on the Musconetcong River in the 1820s. Its name, “Hopatcong,” is derived from the Lenni Lenape Native American word “huppakong,” meaning “stone water.”
Lake Hopatcong is a hub for water-based activities like boating, fishing, and swimming. It boasts several marinas and public beaches, making it a great spot for water enthusiasts.
The lake covers approximately 2,650 acres and has a shoreline that stretches over 40 miles, providing plenty of opportunities for lakeside picnics and scenic walks.
Throughout the year, the lake hosts various events, including boat parades and fishing tournaments. It’s a favorite destination for both locals and tourists, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Lake Hopatcong’s natural beauty, coupled with its recreational offerings, makes it a delightful spot to unwind and enjoy outdoor things to do in Sussex County, New Jersey.
NJ 07822, United States
6. Ventimiglia Vineyards
Ventimiglia Vineyards is a charming winery known for producing high-quality wines in a serene countryside setting.
Ventimiglia Vineyards was established in the early 2000s. It is a relatively young winery. However, it has quickly gained a reputation for its dedication to producing fine wines in the tradition of old-world winemaking.
The winery is family-owned and operated, with a strong commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly practices in its vineyard management. Visitors can enjoy tastings of a variety of wines, including reds, whites, and blends, all made from locally grown grapes.
Ventimiglia Vineyards has a cozy tasting room, which offers a warm and inviting atmosphere. It’s a popular spot for wine enthusiasts and those looking to relax and savor the flavors of the region.
Throughout the year, the vineyard hosts events and wine-related activities, making it a delightful destination for both wine connoisseurs and casual visitors seeking a taste of New Jersey’s burgeoning wine scene.
101 Layton Rd, Wantage, NJ 07461, United States
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7. Franklin Mineral Museum
The Franklin Mineral Museum is a fascinating attraction dedicated to showcasing the rich mineralogical heritage of the region.
The Franklin Mineral Museum was founded in 1964. It is located in an area renowned for its abundance of unique and colorful minerals. It serves as a hub for both scientific research and public education regarding minerals and mining.
The museum boasts an impressive collection of over 5,000 mineral specimens from around the world. Among its highlights are fluorescent minerals that emit vibrant colors under ultraviolet light.
Visitors can explore exhibits that detail the geological history of the Franklin-Ogdensburg ore bodies, which are known for their exceptional mineral diversity.
The Franklin Mineral Museum also offers educational programs and guided tours. This makes it an engaging and informative destination to experience new things to do in Sussex County for visitors of all ages.
It plays a crucial role in preserving the geological heritage of New Jersey, and is a must-visit for those interested in the fascinating world of minerals.
32 Evans St, Franklin, NJ 07416, United States
8. The Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council
The Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council is a cultural organization dedicated to promoting and preserving the arts and heritage of the region.
The council was established in 1973, with the mission of fostering and supporting various forms of artistic expression and cultural heritage. It has been instrumental in bringing art and cultural programs to Sussex County.
The council provides a platform for local artists to showcase their work and offers art-related events and programs throughout the year. It plays a vital role in preserving the county’s historical and artistic legacy.
One of its key initiatives is the promotion of local artists through art exhibitions, workshops, and educational programs. The council’s efforts have enriched the cultural scene in Sussex County, making it a vibrant hub for the arts.
The Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council is committed to nurturing creativity and preserving the heritage of the region, making it an essential organization for cultural enrichment.
133 Spring St, Newton, NJ 07860, United States
9. Sussex County Fair
The Sussex County Fair, held annually in Augusta, New Jersey, is a beloved event that celebrates the agricultural heritage and community spirit of the region.
The fair dates back to 1919 when it was first organized as an agricultural exposition. Over the years, it has grown into one of the largest agricultural fairs in New Jersey, showcasing the talents, skills, and products of the local community.
The Sussex County Fair features a wide range of attractions, including thrilling rides, live entertainment, animal exhibits, and agricultural competitions.
It’s a place where visitors can enjoy fair food, carnival games, and engage in family-friendly fun things to do in Sussex County.
The fair often hosts special events like demolition derbies, tractor pulls, and fireworks displays, adding excitement and entertainment to the festivities. It also provides a platform for local farmers and artisans to showcase their products and talents.
The Sussex County Fair is a cherished tradition that brings together people of all ages to celebrate the region’s agricultural heritage and enjoy a week of wholesome entertainment. It continues to be a highlight of the summer for many in Augusta, New Jersey.
37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ 07822, United States
10. Kittatinny Valley State Park
Kittatinny Valley State Park is a picturesque state park known for its natural beauty and recreational opportunities.
The park was established in the 1970s, with the primary goal of preserving the region’s natural resources and providing outdoor recreational activities. It encompasses more than 5,600 acres of rolling hills, forests, wetlands, and lakes.
Kittatinny Valley State Park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, birdwatching, and picnicking. Its serene lakes are perfect for kayaking and canoeing, and the park has designated areas for swimming.
The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, making it a popular spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers. It’s not uncommon to spot deer, waterfowl, and other wildlife species while exploring the park’s trails and waterways.
Kittatinny Valley State Park also hosts educational programs and events, making it an ideal destination for families and nature lovers looking to connect with the great outdoors. It remains a treasured natural gem in New Jersey.
199 Goodale Rd, Newton, NJ 07860, United States
11. Lusscroft Farm
Lusscroft Farm is a historic site that offers a glimpse into the agricultural history of the region. Lusscroft Farm was originally established in the early 20th century.
It was the dream of James Turner, a philanthropist who aimed to promote scientific farming and support agriculture. The farm served as a place for research and experimentation in agricultural practices.
Today, Lusscroft Farm is part of High Point State Park and is operated as an agricultural education center. Visitors can explore the beautifully preserved farmstead, which includes barns, a farmhouse, and other historic structures.
The farm hosts educational programs and events focused on agriculture and environmental conservation. It’s a popular spot for school field trips and family outings, providing an opportunity for visitors to learn about farming practices and rural life in the early 20th century.
Lusscroft Farm is not only a historical treasure but also a living testament to the region’s agricultural heritage, making it a valuable destination to enjoy new things to do in Sussex County.
50 Neilson Rd, Wantage, NJ 07461, United States
12. Newton Theatre
The Newton Theatre is a historic performing arts venue that has been a center for entertainment and culture in the region for many decades.
The theatre originally opened its doors in 1924 during the era of silent films. Over the years, it has undergone several renovations and restorations, preserving its classic architecture and charm while adapting to modern entertainment needs.
The Newton Theatre has hosted a wide range of events, including live performances by renowned musicians, comedians, and theatrical productions. It has a seating capacity of over 600, providing an intimate and engaging experience for audiences.
The theatre is known for its excellent acoustics and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, ensuring that every performance is a memorable one.
The Newton Theatre is committed to community engagement and often hosts educational programs, workshops, and events to try out new things to do in Sussex County for all ages.
With its rich history and ongoing commitment to the arts, the Newton Theatre continues to be a cultural hub and a cherished institution in Newton, New Jersey.
234 Spring St, Newton, NJ 07860, United States
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From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, Sussex County, New Jersey, has something to offer every traveler.
Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, historical insights, or simply a relaxing day by the lake, this charming county has it all. Plan your visit today and discover the 12 most fun things to do in Sussex County, NJ!