For whatever reason, New Jersey sometimes has a bad reputation. It’s often overshadowed by its neighbors, and it’s not usually on the top of people’s ‘must travel’ lists. But when you take a look at New Jersey, you’ll be pleasantly surprised – it’s got anything any traveler could ever want. Cities, towns, four glorious seasons, excellent food and drink, and endless things to do – if New Jersey isn’t on your travel radar, here are ten reasons to start thinking about adding it.
There Are Actual Good Beaches
Despite what MTV has taught us, there are other beaches in New Jersey besides the Jersey Shore. There are places like Cape May, Ocean Grove, Avalon, and many others. From quaint seaside towns to more glamorous resort towns, New Jersey beaches are diverse and plentiful. The state has 130 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline, so to think that the Jersey Shore is the only beach experience it has to offer would be a huge mistake.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Autumn Is Everything You Always Imagined It Would Be
When thinking of the most perfect, picturesque town in autumn, you’re probably picturing a small, New Jersey town. New Jersey is the sort of place where the leaves turn gold and red, people go apple picking and spend a day at the pumpkin patch, and you’ll never be too far from a cup of hot cider. New Jersey is a perfect place to experience autumn, with picture perfect towns like Princeton, Lambertville, and Collingswood.
There Are Really Cool Kite And Balloon Festivals
One hot air balloon festival would be reason enough to visit New Jersey, but along with a giant annual balloon festival, NJ is also home to the International Kite Festival. The Wildwoods International Kite Festival is the largest festival of its kind in North America, and the sky is littered with kite makers’ stunning creations. If you are more interested in balloons, the Annual QuickChek’s Festival of Ballooning will celebrate its 35th year in 2017, with a three-day celebration of balloons, games, food, and more.
Despite What You May Think, There Are Waterfalls
Waterfalls may not be your first thought when you think of New Jersey, but why not? The state is full of them – places like Great Falls in Paterson, NJ are absolutely worth a visit. One of the USA’s highest waterfalls, Great Falls is 77 feet high and a National Historic Landmark. There are also hiking trails and viewpoints surrounding them, so it couldn’t be easier to visit.
There Are Stunning Views Of Manhattan
One of the problems of being in Manhattan is that you can’t actually see its iconic skyline. You’re stuck in the madness, and it can be hard to find perspective. But just across the river in places like Jersey City and Hoboken, you can have epic views of Manhattan, all while enjoying the quiet of being outside of it. New Jersey is so close, just a quick train or car ride, making it a perfect destination for when you need to escape.
It’s Home To Some Music Legends
Just because it’s not New York, Los Angeles, or Nashville doesn’t mean New Jersey can’t have its own music scene, and it’s true that some of the most legendary musicians in history have called NJ home. The town of Hoboken (just across the river from NYC) is practically a shrine to Frank Sinatra, with museums and longtime locals who may have known him. And don’t forget: Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi were both born and raised in NJ, and Whitney Houston also called it home.
There’s History You Probably Didn’t Know About
New Jersey played an integral role in the Revolutionary War, and there are hundreds of historic homes to see. There are also lots of towns set up to experience life as it was lived in the 19th century – places like Allaire Village, Red Mill Museum Village, and Howell Living History Farm (where you can even make ice cream the old-fashioned way) offer tours and interactive experiences.
The World’s Largest Theme Park Is Here
Maybe you haven’t been to a theme park in years, or maybe you think you’ve grown out of them, but you really can’t be sure before you’ve been to Six Flags Great Adventure. Located in Jackson, New Jersey, Six Flags Great Adventure is the largest theme park on Earth. It was opened in 1974, contains a waterpark, a roller coaster with the ‘tallest and fastest drop in the world’ (it’s tied for the #1 spot with a roller coaster in California), and a new ‘4D’ coaster that opened in 2016. Thrill seekers, look no further.
The Diners Are Legendary
While every state probably has a diner or two, New Jersey has more diners per capita than any other state in the US. It’s been called ‘the diner capital of the world’ – an honorable distinction. Who doesn’t love the thought of cheesy fries, giant pancakes, and omelettes made with a dozen eggs never being more than five miles away? And while there are tons of choices, Summit Diner (the oldest in the state) is an excellent choice.
Overall, There Are Major Changes And Improvements Happening
For years, New Jersey has had a bit of a rough reputation, but recently, action has been initiated to make major improvements. Ashbury Park, for example (in 2000, Bruce Springsteen described it as a town of boarded-up windows and empty streets), was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy but is now being majorly revived. It was named one of the top ten places to travel to in 2016 by Travel and Leisure, and it’s only getting better and better. Similarly, Newark Airport is undergoing a $120 million transformation, hopefully improving it forever.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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