You can’t argue with the fact that Jersey gets a bad reputation. But, that should come as no surprise when you’ve got shows like “The Jersey Shore”. I’d be a millionaire if I had a dime for every time someone outside the tri state area asked me “is that really what NJ is like”? I usually reply, “of course, we get up in the morning and eat some steroids, then spike up our hair with glue, go get a spray tan, and end the night by pumping our fists in the air at a nightclub until 2am”.
Sadly, I’m only half joking. Many people do live that lifestyle in NJ. But, not everyone here is mentally challenged. NJ is the most densely populated state and it is full of amazing and talented people. Many big name stars came from New Jersey. We’ve got Michael Douglas, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, and Bruce Springsteen just to name a few.
OK, enough about the people. What’s the landscape like? Well, that’s a mixed bag too. Like any state, NJ has its less glamorous parts. If you find yourself driving to or from Newark Airport, you’ll pass many factories and abandoned buildings along the way. Suddenly, you’ll ask your friend if he had rotten eggs and burnt rubber for breakfast because that is most likely the aroma that will be tantalizing your nostrils.
Many people think of NJ as one big highway or just a place they have to drive through to get to their destination. But, what many people don’t know is that NJ has a plethora of playgrounds for outdoor recreational activities like paddling, fishing, hiking, and biking. You don’t have to spend a fortune at some overrated, far-away place to enjoy the outdoors. NJ is a bird lover’s paradise, with more different types of birds per square inch than any other state.
New Jersey’s landscape consists of everything from mountains to farm land to mixed pine and oak forests to sandy beaches. Along the Jersey shore, you will find beautiful lighthouses, rugged peninsulas, and charming beach communities. The rest of NJ offers miles of trails to hike and tons of lakes and rivers to fish and paddle.
All it takes is knowing where and when to go and which places are worth the trip. I plan to talk about my favorite places in this greatly diverse state and I hope my suggestions can benefit you if you live in NJ or plan on visiting! It is truly a unique place. And, I promise it doesn’t smell that bad.