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Things to Do in New Jersey

New Jersey

Shopping, yes; the theater or museum, not so much

According to its tourism boosters, New Jersey is a small state that offers lots to do.  So what are the state’s best activities?  The Monmouth University/New Jersey Monthly Poll decided to ask those who should know best – Garden State residents.

The poll asked residents to rate New Jersey as a place to participate in 14 different activities.  And in what probably comes as a surprise to no one, shopping comes out on top.  Fully 9-in-10 New Jerseyans (90%) say the state is a good place to shop.  This includes 44% who rate the state as an “excellent” place for shoppers.

More than 3-in-4 residents also say the state is a good place for having a picnic (81%), taking a weekend getaway (79%), going apple picking or visiting a farm (78%), visiting a historical site (78%), or attending a concert (77%).

The next tier of activities worth doing in New Jersey include going to an amusement park (74%), taking a hike (72%), canoeing or boating (69%), taking a drive in the country (66%), and going to a ball game (65%).

Rounding out the list are visiting a museum (57%), strolling through a downtown area (56%), and attending a play or live theater (56%).

“While shopping malls are ubiquitous, the Garden State does live up to its name with many residents saying it is a great place for outdoor activities such as apple picking or going on a picnic,” commented Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

This poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute by telephone with a random sample of 400 New Jersey adults July 16-19, 2007.  This sample has a margin of error of ±  5.0 percent.  The poll was conducted in conjunction with the October 2007 issue of New Jersey Monthly  magazine.


The questions referred to in this release are as follows:

(* Some rows may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

1. I’m going to read you some activities people can do in New Jersey.  For each one, please tell me if New Jersey is an excellent, good, only fair, or poor place to do this?



GoodOnly fairPoor

Don’t know

 Go shopping 44%46%5%4%1%
 Have a picnic 30%51%11%4%3%
 Have a weekend getaway 31%48%12%7%2%
 Go apple picking or visit a farm 39%39%12%7%3%
 Visit a historical site 30%48%14%4%3%
 Attend a concert 30%47%12%6%5%
 Go to an amusement park 27%47%15%5%5%
 Take a hike 26%46%14%13%2%
 Go canoeing or boating 25%44%14%8%8%
 Take a drive in the country 22%44%18%12%4%
 Go to a ball game 23%42%21%12%2%
 Go to a museum 19%38%28%12%2%
 Stroll through a downtown area 20%36%28%15%1%
 Go to a play or live theater 17%39%30%11%3%

Results for this poll are based on telephone interviews conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute on July 16-19, 2007 with a statewide random sample of 400 adult residents.  For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 5.0 percentage points.  Sampling error increases as the sample size decreases, so statements based on various population subgroups, such as separate figures reported by gender or party identification, are subject to more error than are statements based on the total sample.  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.