The waterfront city of Camden offers an abundance of restaurants, historic centers, and family-friendly attractions.
Widely known in Camden County as the Adventure Aquarium, this city is a haven for both new and regular tourists.
It borders the state of New Jersey from the Delaware River, with the city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania on the other side.
It has a waterfront sidewalk, ideal for some sightseeing and strolls.
Incorporated in 1828, the city was a famous industrial and commercial leader.
Among its known manufactured products include ships, linoleum, patent drugs, and terra cotta items.
Since then, Camden has also proven itself a worthy travel destination with unique museums and galleries and budget-friendly activities.
To get you started on your trip, here are 15 free things to do in Camden, New Jersey:
Appreciate the Riverfront View at RCA Pier
Within Water Street, RCA Pier is a standout Camden park, ideal for fitness enthusiasts.
This park showcases Victor Talking Machine Company's old pier.
On top of that, the park offers a beautiful mixture of paved trails, grassy lawns, and exuberant plants and shrubbery.
People also come by RCA Pier for its public art display and fresh waterfront vistas of the Delaware River.
RCA Pier is on Water Street.
Visit Walt Whitman's House Historic Site
Literature students and history buffs would love one of Camden's famous attractions, Walt Whitman's House Historic Site.
This home, once owned by the revered poet until his death, has a Greek-revival style architecture.
Constructed in 1848, it offers a peek into the poet's lifestyle, handwritten letters, and personal belongings.
At the front door is his preserved death notice, nailed on the wood.
Several photographs date back to the 19th century, featuring Whitman's most treasured memories.
Whether you are a fan of Walt Whitman's works or not, you'll find there's something to learn about compassion, creativity, and culture that America's "Poet of Democracy" has always shared with the world, in life and death.
Group tours are available for a limited number of people, so call the site ahead to reserve a spot.
You can find Walt Whitman's House Historic Site along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, which went by the name ickle St. back in Whitman's days.
View the Exhibits at Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts
If you have time for art exploration, Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts is a good stop.
In 1997, this center served as a separate branch of the Rutgers–Camden Campus.
It features art exhibitions, performances, and community programs within Camden County.
Fortunately for everyone, this center doesn't have an admission fee!
From fine arts and museum tours to poetry competitions to public art installations, this center has it all.
Students, adults, and anyone interested to join is always welcome to come by to see the gallery's exhibitions, both temporary and permanent.
Drive along Linden Street to reach Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts.
Pay Respects at Walt Whitman’s Tomb
Camden never fails to shine a spotlight on the history-changer Walt Whitman.
Just as the city celebrates his life at his historic home, Walt Whitman’s Tomb is a commemoration of his legacy even in death.
His final resting place sits on a hillside, flanked on each side with granite stones.
The site is both serene and cultural.
Its design is from the classical European tomb, which adds a hauntingly beautiful effect.
Walt Whitman’s Tomb is in Harleigh Cemetery on Haddon Avenue.
To discover the poet's life and heritage, head to Walt Whitman's House Historic Site, about two miles away.
Listen to Live Music at Camden Night Gardens
One of the best ways to celebrate Camden and its vibrant community is to join its public events and festivals.
One of the more notable events this city offers is Camden Night Gardens.
This nighttime festival is the ultimate kick-off event for the summer season.
Started in 2014, it aims to refurbish long-forgotten spaces along the waterfront of Camden, including abandoned lots.
Included in the program lineup are BMX shows, design showcases, and local band performances.
Join the celebration at Camden Night Gardens every May on Cooper's Poynt Waterfront Park.
Admire the Mural at Esperanza Community Garden
Alongside parks and historic establishments, Camden also boasts community gardens, and Esperanza Community Garden is among the popular ones.
Created in 2011, the community garden started as a farming property for the residents to use for free.
Now, it's also a beautification project with a breathtaking mural.
Stop by Esperanza Community Garden on North 6th Street.
Stroll along the Promenade at Wiggins Waterfront Park
Spanning over 50 acres, Wiggins Waterfront Park is an ideal choice for tranquil outdoor recreation.
This park, sitting next to the Delaware River, has a promenade, an outdoor stage, and a marina.
Many come by this site for long, peaceful walks along the riverfront.
The combination of stunning water vistas and the refreshing sea breeze is enough reason to visit this place.
If you come by, be sure to check out the marina and watch the sky turn orange during sunset while at the promenade.
Wiggins Waterfront Park is on Riverside Drive and MLK Boulevard.
Watch the Fireworks Show at Freedom Festival
Freedom Festival is one of Camden's points of pride.
This annual festival is the city's iteration of the traditional 4th of July celebration with free activities for everyone!
Hosted by Wiggins Park, the event invites local and international artists to come and play.
Throughout the night, you get to jam and dance with friends, loved ones, and other attendees.
From electric rock to pop, the music variety is endless!
After a night of music, Freedom Festival culminates its festivities with a spectacular fireworks show at the Delaware River.
The celebration takes place on Riverside Drive.
Join a Free Workshop at Camden FireWorks
Camden FireWorks is your best bet for a glimpse into Camden's art scene.
Opened in 2016, this art gallery stands at a then-firehouse that fell into disrepair some years ago.
Also an independent gallery, this tourist attraction showcases diverse art forms.
Over the years, it has also made a name for itself as a studio rental place.
If you’re after a free activity, you may want to check out the gallery’s workshops.
One of its common admissions-free workshops is the Firehouse Quilting Guild, where you'll learn about textile quilting.
Don’t miss out on the fun every Saturday for this particular open studio workshop.
Camden FireWorks is on Broadway Street.
Take a Picture of the Jersey Joe Walcott Statue
Camden doesn't shy away from showcasing its prominent past and current residents.
One of the household names in the city is Jersey Joe Walcott.
He was a world-renowned boxer who was also the oldest to receive the World Heavyweight Title.
As a way to keep his legacy alive, Camden and Camden County Historical Society helped erect the Jersey Joe Walcott Statue.
Designed by Carl LeVotch, the bronze sculpture stands at eight feet on a pedestal.
It depicts the boxer himself with his gloves and a replica of The Champion's ring belt.
As a source of inspiration for the people of Camden, the Jersey Joe Walcott Statue is accessible to everyone at Wiggins Park's promenade on Riverside Drive.
Take a Break by the Benches at Pyne Poynt Park
For a bit of relaxation, you can never go wrong with a visit to Pyne Poynt Park.
Extending to over 15 acres, this park has amenities for the whole family.
For the little ones, there's a variety of play structures in the rubble-covered playground space.
There's also a fenced baseball field for those practicing their aim or intending to play a few rounds of catch with loved ones.
This riverside park between Erie, 6th, and 7th Streets also features two basketball courts.
When you feel worn out after a day's worth of exploring and playing, Pyne Poynt Park's benches and picnic areas are great spots to admire the greenery of the park.
Spot Public Art and Murals All over Camden
When you're in Camden, nothing is more exciting than going on an art-hunting expedition all over its downtown district.
Its public art displays and installations are worth discovering.
Start your art adventure at Farnham Park on Baird Boulevard to see the Invincible Cat.
This once-temporary public art piece stands 8 feet tall and 36 feet long, depicting a black panther that also serves as Camden High School's animal mascot.
Continue your journey to Broadway and Pine Street, where the Uniform City mural is up for everyone to see.
Other murals you can see are the Von Nieda Park Mini Pitch on Pierce Avenue and the 20-foot We Live Here mural on Ancona Street.
Learn about Camden through the perspective of its residents at the photographic portrait art, Camden is Bright, Not Blight, on Elm Street.
There's more you can explore and spot on your own while driving or walking across Camden, so keep your eyes peeled!
Enjoy the Romantic Atmosphere and Scenery at Phoenix Park
Phoenix Park offers a more secluded and romantic atmosphere than the rest of Camden's city parks.
Spanning five acres, it is a picturesque getaway complete with wildflowers and a view of Philadelphia from across the Delaware River.
More than that, Phoenix Park also acts as a stormwater filter that eases the flooding over Camden during huge storms.
With a romantic partner, make your date more memorable by watching the sunset from the park's grassy lawn.
The wildflower gardens are also an ideal photo-op spot.
You can find Phoenix Park on Jefferson Street.
Other Things to Do Nearby
If you've toured all around Camden already but still want to explore some more, below are other activities in nearby cities that you can do for free!
Sign up for a Tour at the Indian King Tavern Museum
Within the city of Haddonfield, the Indian King Tavern Museum takes you on a trip back in time to the ale-drinking streets of the city.
Acquired in 1903, this historic site hosted law-revising meetings and state court passes.
Years later, the once-tavern has become a National Historic Site.
You can come by this museum during its operating hours for a free tour, or better yet, call ahead to reserve a spot.
It will only take about 15 minutes to reach the Indian King Tavern Museum on Kings Highway East from Camden.
See the Dinosaur Statue in Downtown Haddonfield
Did you know that it was in Haddonfield that the first dinosaur discovery in America happened?
It was in 1858.
It was in this city too that the first complete dinosaur skeleton was displayed to the public.
The Dinosaur Statue, erected in 2003, stands at the original dinosaur discovery site, which is at the end of Maple Avenue.
Standing at an impressive height of 8 feet and a length of 18 feet, the dinosaur welcomes residents and visitors into downtown Haddonfield.
The dinosaur, a Hadrosaurus foulkii, is a herbivorous animal.
To get a glimpse of the Dinosaur Statue, you'll only need to drive 14 minutes northwest of Camden.
Within Camden, there is always room to have fun, meet with friends and family, and go on educational and recreational excursions.
The city's plethora of historical, cultural, and artistic sites is enough for a fun-filled vacation.
If you're traveling with a limited budget, the city has your back with these free things to do in Camden, New Jersey.