Popular website named this NJ’s biggest tourist trap

Tourist traps. Every state has them, including New Jersey.

You know those places that are built for the sole purpose of getting people from out of town to part with their hard earned money as they spend their hard earned money just being out of town.

Those places where if you’re a local you know to avoid – and then you go on vacation and you’re the one coming home with a Niagara Falls snow globe, a $39 t-shirt from Daytona Beach or Hersheypark miniature license plate with your child’s name on it.

What do you think is the biggest tourist trap in New Jersey?

Is it Lucy the elephant in Margate? No.

Google Street View

Google Street View

The largest light bulb in the world at Edison? Negative.

A place that will take you to see the Statue of Liberty? Incorrect.

View of the Statue of Liberty from New Jersey – Photo: Google Maps

View of the Statue of Liberty from New Jersey – Photo: Google Maps

The editors of BestLife recently compiled a list of each state’s biggest tourist traps, and what they picked for New Jersey caught me a little off guard.

But first, let’s look at the surrounding states to see what we’re up against.


The Keystone State’s biggest tourist trap is the Haines Shoe House in York.

Large shoe house in York PA – Photo: Vrbo

Large shoe house in York PA – Photo: Vrbo

Do you remember the story of the little old woman who lived in a shoe? So someone actually built a house in the shape of a shoe in York, Pennsylvania, and you can walk into it.

New York

You probably guessed it’s Times Square for New York.

From being harassed by crooks to creepy costumed characters, overwhelming neon lights and way too many people, Times Square looks better on TV and smells better too.

New Jersey’s Biggest Tourist Trap

According to BestLife, Garden State’s biggest tourist trap is the Ocean City Boardwalk.

Photo: Chris Coleman

Photo: Chris Coleman

Now, I don’t necessarily disagree with that choice, however, why they chose it is kinda dumb as far as I’m concerned.

They say,

Jersey Shore has quite the reputation, thanks to MTV, so its role as a tourist destination only makes sense. Like many other parts of the East Coast, Jersey is full of promenades, which often become tourist traps.

Can we stop it with the jerseyshore references, please? I mean come on. Move on.

But they continue

But one of the biggest and most popular promenades is still considered a very good place despite being very touristy. Ocean City’s boardwalk was named the best in the state by NJ.com. Even with all the trappings of others, Ocean City is apparently still the right mix of locals and tourists – overpriced snacks, silly t-shirts, etc.

And for that, I believe they are right.

GaleForce at Playland in Ocean City NJ – Photo: Chris Coleman

GaleForce at Playland in Ocean City NJ – Photo: Chris Coleman

Look at it this way: Ocean City bills itself as “America’s Greatest Family Resort,” attracting millions of people every summer. And those millions of people have no problem dropping a hundred dollars (or more) on transportation tickets, $29 for a pepperoni pizza, a weekend rental that costs the same as a mortgage payment – and let’s not forget the beach markers. And the beach chairs. And the umbrella. And $15 sunscreen.

Ocean City Boardwalk

Ocean City Boardwalk (Chris Coleman, Townsquare Media NJ)

Other states

If you want to be a real tourist, you might want to check out these gems:

  • Illinois: Super Museum (a huge museum dedicated to Superman)
  • Indiana: the largest paintball in the world
  • Kansas: Dorothy House (The Wizard of Oz)

Be sure to check out BestLife’s comprehensive list of the country’s biggest tourist traps.

Here’s what makes Ocean City so special

You told us about the place or thing that makes Ocean City, NJ special to you

Delicious restaurants in Ocean City, New Jersey open off-season

About Jean R. Manzer

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