New Jersey’s Good Side


My last post telling about our train commute to New York City from New Brunswick showed much of what is ugly about New Jersey. Many people only have the impression that they receive from the New Jersey Turnpike of the stretch between Newark Airport and New York City.  But New Jersey has some beautiful areas and in the interest of helping people see a more balanced picture I thought I would share some.

First, the Shore. Not the beach. In New Jersey we go to the Shore. Sunrise is awesome. You have your choice of active or quiet.

Cape May, the very southern tip of the State is located on a peninsula surrounded by water. The town has retained its Victorian era flavor and provides a great weekend destination.

In the southern part of the state there is a huge section called the Pine Barrens. The area is dotted with small towns and large areas of forests with recreational activities such as canoeing, off-roading and hiking.

Known as the Garden State because of its past history of farms feeding much of the New York area, agricultural use of land is located in the southern, western and northwestern sections of the state now.  Pick-your-own farms are located throughout the state where you can get fresh produce.

New Jersey was one of the original 13 Colonies and has a long history. There were Swedish settlements in the south and the Dutch and then English influence from the North.  New Brunswick is pretty representative with some old buildings remaining from the pre-Revolutionary War colonial period.

Finally, New Jersey’s northwest corner has hilly terrain as part of the Appalachian Mountain system. From small mountain lakes to wonderful hiking trails, the region offers wonderful outdoor recreational opportunities.

So, jokes aside about New Jersey, and I am one who is also guilty, saying I am proud to be FROM New Jersey, not IN New Jersey, the state is MOSTLY beautiful. Although most people visit New Jersey only as a way to get to New York City, consider spending some time there and you may be surprised.

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9 Responses to New Jersey’s Good Side

  1. Thank you for such a beautiful blog on New Jersey, looks like a wonderful spot to take a vacation. Thanks for sharing

  2. We were visiting my old high school friend last summer and went to the northwestern part of the state to check out some wineries and it reminded me that, thank goodness, the entire state was not like my town. There are beautiful areas…in most of the state!

  3. Gunta says:

    I hated crawling along the NJ Turnpike to get there, but spent a couple of lovely days on a lake near Browns Mill last fall. Some pretty country down in that area (as long as you stay away from the Pike!)

  4. The Turnpike, like any of the superhighways in the country, are for getting you from point A to point B and should NEVER be thought of as a view of America. To see the real world, people need to get on to the back roads.

  5. Gunta says:

    I learned that lesson on my many cross-country trips, but somehow in this instance I thought I’d make better time and avoid driving through the NYC area. HUGE mistake…. maybe I’ll know better next time. 😉

  6. Eric Murtaugh says:

    Jersey needs to do a better job of promoting itself. Everyone I’ve ever known who has either lived in Jersey, spent time in Jersey, or passed through Jersey gave the state a hard time. I was pleasantly surprised when I visited to see a side of Jersey I would’ve never thought existed had I believed the anti-hype. Excellent photos! The state should hire you as a tourism rep.

    Oh, and I completely agree with your observation on superhighways above. Could you imagine if everyone who visited California only spent time in traffic on the freeways surrounding LA? Not exactly a fair representation of California, that’s for sure.

  7. hahaha..tourism rep…if only you had heard how many times I tell people I am so glad I am not there LOL

  8. Eric Murtaugh says:

    But see, that would be part of the “joke” since everyone hates Jersey. “Oh, Jersey…that crappy state? You must go! There’s nothing quite like it anywhere in the world. Don’t forget to visit our beautiful turnpike!”

  9. I’m glad you found beauty on your trip. I enjoyed your post very much.

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