There's more to the Jersey Shore than sand, waves and large crowds. New Jersey also offers some amazing opportunities to experience nature and to learn about different species of wildlife in their natural habitats nestled along the coastline. Here in the Garden State you'll find great marine and nature centers, bird observatories and recreational areas that offer tours, guides and other fun activities for the whole family!


  • Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge

    800 Creek Road Oceanville, NJ 08231 | 609-652-1665

    The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge is a network of lands and waters that manages and protects more than 47,000 acres of southern New Jersey coastal habitats. The Refuge provides outstanding recreational activities such as fishing, wildlife observation, photography and environmental education. Join the Edwin B. Forsythe for their Grand Reopening on Saturday, May 18 from 8AM - Noon for bird walks, children's activities, the archery open house and much more! Get more information about the Refuge and other events on Facebook!

  • Marine Mammal Stranding Center

    3625 Brigantine Blvd., Brigantine, NJ 08203 | 609-266-0538

    Dedicated to the response and rehabilitation of marine mammals and sea turtles, the Museum at Brigantine’s Marine Mammal Stranding Center offers educational displays of whales, sea turtles, and other various sea creatures and plant life. Visitors can learn about the research and rehabilitation of their favorite marine mammals at this great museum located at this Atlantic County shore community.
  • Cape May Bird Observatory

    600 N Delsea Drive Cape May Ct Hse, NJ 08210 | 609-861-0700

    Founded in 1976 by New Jersey Audubon, Cape May Bird Observatory is a leader in research, environmental education, bird conservation, and recreational birding activities. A great day trip for the whole family, the Cape May Bird Observatory houses several species of birds and provides hands-on learning experiences about birds and other wildlife. Don't miss the "Cape MayGration" Shore Bird and Horseshoe Crab Festival May 16 - 19th! Get an inside look at the Cape May Bird Observatory through the CMBO View From The Cape blog and by following the Cape May Bird Observatory on Facebook!

    While you're in Cape May, be sure to bring the kids to visit the Cape May Nature Center, where visitors can experience nature hands-on with exhibits, activities, an observatory deck, wildlife meadows and much more!
  • Allaire Nature Center

    4265 Atlantic Ave. Wall Township, NJ 07727 | 732-938-2003

    As large areas of Monmouth County's Allaire State Park have been left in their natural state, the park's Nature Center offers adventures, tours and educational programs for visitors each year. The flood plain of the Manasquan River bisects the park and provides an excellent habitat for unique plants and wildlife. Grab the family and head to the park on a nice day for a nature hike to see over 200 species of wild flowers, trees, shrubs and more.
  • Wetlands Institute

    1075 Stone Harbor Blvd. Stone Harbor, NJ 08247 | 609-368-1211

    Situated overlooking 6,000 acres of pristine coastal wetlands, the Wetlands Institute hosts over 40,000 visitors each year who go to explore and learn the exciting facts about wildlife in the salt marsh environment. In the Summer, the Wetlands Institute offers complete guided tours, as well as back bay boat rides, kayaking, live animal shows, family entertainment and guided beach and dune walks. Get information about exciting Wetlands Institute activities by visiting their events page and stay updated with the Wetlands Institute on Facebook!
  • Manasquan Revervoir Environmental Center

    331 Georgia Tavern Road, Howell 07731 | 732-751-9453

    The Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center provides discovery and learning experiences related to wetlands ecology, wildlife and habitat protection. Through interactive exhibits, multimedia presentations, educational activities and wildlife observation areas, visitors gain an understanding of the importance of water in our world. Check out the abundant list of free nature programs and activities held by the Environmental Center on the weekends!