Camden (New Jersey)
Camden is a city in Camden County, New Jersey. Located just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Camden is a former industrial boom-town that has fallen onto hard times. Decades of disinvestment and government mismanagement have contributed to Camden's sky-high crime rate, and many of the city's neighborhoods are hotbeds of gang- and drug-related violence. However, the government has, in recent years, begun developing the Delaware River waterfront, which is now a popular and well-traveled tourist destination offering grand views of the Philadelphia skyline and a multitude of activities for adults and children alike. Headlines about violence and crime in Camden may dissuade many tourists to the Philadelphia area from visiting, but a one-day trip to the waterfront may be well worth the trip.
Nearly all attractions in Camden are located along the Camden waterfront, which offers family-friendly activities and scenic views of Philadelphia across the Delaware River. The downtown area contains the Rutgers University-Camden campus and the city's small central business district. The Camden waterfront and downtown areas are considered safe and are patrolled by police. Although the rest of Camden is plagued by urban blight, poverty, and gang-related drug violence, you will be safe as long as you stay in the waterfront and downtown areas and take sensible precautions.
- New Jersey Transit handles bus routes into the city.
- Megabus, . Direct service to Camden from Pittsburgh, State College, and Harrisburg. Many more cities have service to Philadelphia just across the river.
From Philadelphia, take the Ben Franklin Bridge or Walt Whitman Bridge to New Jersey. Camden is directly across from Philadelphia.
From New York and Northern New Jersey, take the Turnpike to Route 73 North (Exit 4). Take I-295 South to Exit 26. Follow the signs for I-676 and Camden.
From Delaware, take the Delaware Memorial Bridge to New Jersey. Take I-295 North to Exit 26. Follow the directions from New York and Northern New Jersey.
The nearest major airport is the Philadelphia International Airport, which is about 20 minutes away. From the airport, you may either take a cab (which will be costly), or use public transportation. By train, take the SEPTA Airport Line to the Market East Station, then travel five blocks to the 8th and Market PATCO station. From there, take the PATCO Hi-Speed Line into Camden.
The PATCO Hi-Speed Line is a rail line that operates between Center City Philadelphia and Lindenwold, New Jersey. The train operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Fares are determined by distance traveled.
The River LINE is a light rail line that operates between Trenton and Camden. Trains run every 15 minutes during rush hour, every half hour at other times. Trains run until 1AM on Saturday and midnight on other days.
The RiverLink Ferry From May through September, the RiverLink Ferry is the most entertaining way of crossing the Delaware River when visiting the Camden Waterfront and historic Penn's Landing. Enjoy the scenic view atop the open deck of the double-decker Ferry or take cover inside the sheltered cabin. It's also a great location for a private party. The ferry runs between Penn's Landing in Center City Philadelphia and the Camden waterfront. Boats run hourly between the two points. Express service to the Susquehanna Bank Center is available when events are held there, and ferries run until 30 minutes after the event ends.
RiverLink Ferry 215-925-LINK www.riverlinkferry.org
This is the easiest way to get around Camden. There is ample parking in the waterfront area, which were all of the day time attractions are located.
Most of the worthwhile attractions in Camden are clustered in the Riverfront and Rutgers University areas, so walking is an option, once parked and decided on where you will visit. It is vey nice to walk around the waterfront,especially on a beautiful day.
Fortuna Taxi Service 1435 River Ave, #B, Camden, NJ 1-856-757-9590
Fortuna Taxi Service 2817 Sherman Ave, Camden, NJ 1-856-365-8373
Independent Cab 1437 Haddon Ave, Camden, NJ 1-856-966-3233
Gonzalez Cab Incorporated 792 N 30th St, Camden, NJ (856) 338-1743
By public transportation
There are bus lines operated by New Jersey Transit that run throughout Camden. The RiverLine runs near the waterfront. The Walter Rand Transportation Center is a big transit hub, from where you can get the PATCO train to Philadelphia, as well as the RiverLine.
USS Battleship New Jersey Museum Be sure to march aboard the USS New Jersey Battleship & Museum, the U.S. Navy’s most decorated battleship, and pay tribute to the thousands of soldiers that fought for our nation’s freedom.
Discover the dangerous and exciting life of a sailor as you take a guided tour aboard the “Big J.” Hear tales of its missions in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War and Persian Gulf War, then experience combat firsthand as you engage the new 4-D Flight Simulator, a jaw-dropping ride that lets you fly your own Seahawk plane into a dog fight with the enemy and land on the water next to the battleship.
Then, tour the radar and sonar-tracking stations featuring dramatic videos of actual Tomahawk missile launches. To recover from all of the fighting, plan to spend the night on board the ship as part of the overnight encampment program.
62 Battleship Place Camden, NJ 08103 1-856-966-1652
Walt Whitman House The only house famed poet Walt Whitman ever owned is a National Historic Landmark. The small house, now a museum dedicated to the legacy of this great American poet, contains a giant collection of original letters, personal belongings, photographs and furnishings. Not far from the house is historic Harleigh Cemetery, Whitman's final resting place.
Walt Whitman House 328 Mickle Blvd. Camden, NJ 08103 856-964-5383
Wiggins Park and Marina Located between the Adventure Aquarium and the Battleship, Wiggins Park & Marina features a 50-slip marina, a promenade along the Delaware River and outdoor concerts on its Riverstage to serve as the perfect location for summer strolls and barbeques, or views of the River and Philadelphia skyline year round.
A hot spot for free concerts and Waterfront festivals, including the annual Sunset Jazz Series, boaters can also dock boats up to 30 feet long for the day, week, month or season.
Adventure Aquarium You may just forget once you dive into the Adventure Aquarium — the most exciting underwater experience you can have without growing gills! Once you enter, you're in their world now! You’ll find yourself surrounded by over two-dozen sharks in the new 550,000-gallon Shark Realm. Then, dive into the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean in the new 4-D Theater - presented by PSE&G - and come face-to-teeth with some of the most amazing underwater creatures known to man!
With nearly double its previous exhibit space and a host of new creatures from land, air and sea, Adventure Aquarium will lead you through an underwater world complete with the West African River Experience (home to the only two hippos inside an aquarium and a free-flight aviary), a 40-foot, walk-through shark tunnel and the Jules Verne Gallery, where you will discover all kinds of exotic and wonderful animals.
'Campbell's Field' Home of the Camden Riversharks minor league baseball team When the kids yell “take me out to the ball game,” head over to the state-of-the-art Campbell’s Field, home of the Camden Riversharks minor league baseball team.
Now in its 6th season, the whole family can enjoy major fun at a minor price in a dynamic setting voted “Park of the Year” two years running by Baseball America. Thrill in the exciting action in one of the 6,500 seats that make you feel like you hit a home run! Take the kids into the Utz Fun Zone or a trip around the bases after the game; then check out the fireworks show that lights up the night sky after every Friday night home game!
Camden Children's Garden The Camden Children’s Garden is not just a kid-sized fantasyland; it is a giggle-fest just waiting to happen!
Explore this special place where the young and young at heart play and discover the natural world. Hop aboard the miniature train for a ride through The Storybook Garden, find a flurry of activity inside the Butterfly House, take a spin on the Carousel and explore the Dinosaur Garden, where you'll find an Apatosaurus made of car parts or dig in a sandpit for old dinosaur bones.
Camden Children’s Garden 3 Riverside Drive Camden, NJ 08103 856-365-TREE www.camdenchildrensgarden.org
Rutgers - Camden Center for the Arts Contains fine art exhibits 3rd Street, between Cooper and Pearl Streets
Susquehanna Bank Center Hosts live entertainment and concerts, including such big-name bands as Earth, Wind and Fire. Headlining the hottest acts in music, the Susquehana Bank Center is a 25,000-seat outdoor amphitheater that features eye-popping views of the Philadelphia skyline.
During the summer, it serves as the perfect place to spread out a blanket under the stars for evening concerts featuring the latest and greatest musicians on tour. During the fall and winter months, the Susquehana Bank Center transforms into an enclosed, climate-controlled, 1,600–7,000 seat theater featuring concerts, Broadway productions and family-friendly entertainment.
Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center 101 Cooper Street, Camden, NJ 08103 1-856-964-8300
Eat and drink
There is food available at the Aquarium and at the Tweeter Center. Some other places are the following:
Market Street Pizzeria 1 Market Street (856)541-4100 Family friendly Pizzeria and Italian Bistro. On the entrance side of the Victor Lofts. It is such a popular place for Rutgers students, surrounding businesses and Aquarium visitors. Their Pizzas are made with Grandee cheese. Special pizzas are really special. Not cheap but reasonable.
Market Gourmet 1 Market Street (856)361 7006 At the victor Lofts, One of the most popular location for Rutgers students and residents. when you enter you feel like, you are in a Wawa, but their hoagies amd products are way better. Great grocery selection. Very friendly people. Seating and Wifi available. Their Nescafe cafe hot drinks are worth to try.
Cooper Court Cooper Hospital/University Medical Center Haddon Ave & Mickle Blvd 1-800-8-COOPER (1-800-826-6737) The chicken caesar salad is wonderful.
Crossroads Cafe 2 Riverside Dr (856) 365-1770 This is across the street from the Aquarium and has a nice cafeteria style selection.
George's Restaurant 223 Market St (856) 757-0015 This is a nice little place to eat.
Hank's Bar & Grille 201 Market Street (856) 541-6651 A friendly place with two bars and a dining room. If you are in town after 7PM Monday through Thursday, check the nightly specials. Call about the free buffet on Fridays.
Shirley's Brass Rail 425 Market Street (856) 963-3888 Shirley's is not too far from the Post Office, the Court House, and Rutgers. The cheese steak with onions is great.
Corrine's Place 1254 Haddon Ave. (856) 541-4894 Corrine's has great soul food.
There really are not any nice places to stay within the city. Your best bet is to stay in the local area. Camden is close to Cherry Hill and Philadelphia and is convenient to NJ Turnpike Exits 3 and 4. Some nearby hotels/motels include the following:
Days Inn Cherry Hill 525 Route 38 E Cherry Hill, NJ 08003 1-856-663-0100 Fax: 856-663-6449
Hillside Inn SR 38 & Cuthbert Blvd. Cherry Hill, NJ 08003 Phone: 1-856-663-8210
Crowne Plaza Hotel Philadelphia-Cherry Hill 2349 West Marlton Pike Cherry Hill, NJ 08003 Phone: 1-856-665-6666 Fax: 1-856-662-3676
Holiday Inn Cherry Hill Route 70 & Sayer Avenue Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 Phone: 1-856-663-5300 Fax: 1-856-662-2913
Holiday Inn Runnemede 109 Ninth Avenue Runnemede, NJ 08078 Phone: 1-856-939-4200 Fax: 1-856-939-3761
Americas Best Value Inn 2389 Route 70 West Cherry Hill, NJ 08003 Phone: 1-856-317-1900 Fax: 1-856-317-0800
Quality Inn Philadelphia / Gloucester City, NJ 1200 Crescent Boulevard Gloucester City, NJ 08030 Phone: 1-856-456-7400 Fax: 1-856-456-0213
While Camden is getting better safety-wise, it is still one of the most crime-ridden cities in the United States, being ranked number one in murders and robberies according to CQ Press's 2009 City Crime rankings. In 2008, the city of only 71,000 people had 54 murders. Don't wander past the riverfront and Rutgers areas along with the block of the Susquehanna Bank Center. During the day, the riverfront and downtown areas are safe, provided that you don't flash your valuables. The Rutgers and Camden police are also highly present. Approach them if you have any concerns. However, do NOT wander around alone at night. It is DANGEROUS. The downtown area is nearly empty after the Court House, Rutgers University, and other major businesses close down for the evenings. Keep in mind that the drug trade fuels a lot of Camden's crime. Even if you don't experience violent crime at night, policemen will be curious about why a tourist is wandering alone on the streets and you may be subjected to questioning.
The city is one of the poorest in the country. Unemployment is over 17%, and the poverty rate 38.6%.
The historic, large city of Philadelphia is right across the river from Camden. Just take the Ben Franklin bridge or the PATCO high-speed line to get into Philadelphia.
|Routes through Camden|
|Harrisburg ← Philadelphia ←||W E||→ becomes → Runnemede → Atlantic City|
|Lancaster ← Philadelphia ←||W E||→ Pennsauken → Jct E → Atlantic City|
|END ← Philadelphia ←||NW SE||→ Haddonfield → Lindenwold|
|END ←||SW NE||→ Pennsauken → Trenton|