Navigating Popular Sites of the American Revolution
New Jersey in Conflict
New Jersey is full of adventure. From the vast forests of the Pinelands to the bustling suburbs across from New York City, New Jersey's culture reflects its geography and the historic moments that have unfolded because of it. One historic period remains well known to not only New Jersey, but all of America-- the era of the Revolutionary War.
New Jersey is known as the Crossroads of the American Revolution. More major battles were fought here, and General George Washington and his Continental army spent more time in New Jersey, than any other place. Visitors are welcome to relive and retrace the major sites that preserve the importance of the monumental battles that changed the course of the war. Covering sites in South, Central, and Northern New Jersey, the itinerary gives insight to Princeton Battlefield, Morristown National Historical Park, Fort Lee Historic Park, and other nearby sites and restaurants that capture New Jersey’s rich history.
To experience New Jersey is to journey through it. Grab your friends, your family, and embark on a three-day campaign to eat, play, and explore New Jersey's Revolutionary roots!
Ten Crucial Days
Begin your day at Washington Crossing State Park, situated on the banks of the Delaware River which commemorates the location of a pivotal event in the American Revolution, General George Washington’s clandestine crossing of the river on Christmas Day 1776. Head upriver to the Old Barracks Museum, built in 1758 to accommodate British soldiers during the French and Indian war and where Washington won a stunning victory over British and Hessian troops following his crossing of the Delaware. End your day at the Princeton Battlefield where one of the fiercest battles of its size transpired. Coming at the end of the Ten Crucial Days, the Battle of Princeton gave Washington his first victory against British Regulars on the field.
Start at what is known as America’s first National Historic Landmark, the Morristown National Historical Park. Step into the George Washington Headquarters Museum to browse special exhibits featuring artifacts from the American Revolution and then take a guided tour of the Ford Mansion where Washington made his headquarters during the winter encampment of 1779. Then drive to the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center to hike the short distance to see a full scale replica of the log huts Continental Soldiers lived in during the winter encampment.
End your day of sightseeing by grabbing a bite to eat in Downtown Morristown.
The Palisades and Beyond
Get an early start at Fort Lee Historic Park, a 33-acre cliff-top park with scenic overlooks, a reconstructed revolutionary war encampment, and a visitor center. Fort Lee, along with Fort Washington on the eastern shore, was meant to keep the British from advancing up the Hudson River during the American Revolution. Next, head to Historic New Bridge Landing, strategically situated at the narrows of the Hackensack River, it preserves a scenic fragment of the New Jersey Dutch countryside and its compelling role in the Revolutionary War as Washington’s encampment during his retreat across the Hackensack in 1776. Keep heading West and arrive at Dey Mansion where guests are transported back to the colonial era as they walk through the front door. The Mansion served as Washington’s headquarters during the summer and fall of 1780 and played a significant role during the American Revolution.
Ready to dine and relax? Sample Passaic County’s ethnic culinary scene.
There’s more to see and do: Extend your stay and add these stops
Monmouth Battlefield State Park was the largest single-day battle of the Revolutionary War with nearly 25,000 men (and women) involved. The park preserves and interprets a rural eighteenth-century landscape of hilly farmland and hedgerows on which the battle was waged. The Proprietary House is the only remaining official royal governor’s mansion still standing in the original thirteen colonies. It was home to William Franklin, New Jersey’s last Royal Governor and son of Benjamin Franklin.
New Jersey history is everywhere, hidden away on quiet back roads, right out in plain sight, in urban areas, country towns and villages, and along the Jersey shore. Historic sites across the state tell intriguing stories of New Jersey’s diverse, inventive, creative, and revolutionary people. History is alive and waiting for you. View Additional Resources