1. City accessibility
Not that I really ever want to leave NJ, but if I do, I have plenty of options. I live about an hour from New York City, an hour from Philadelphia, and less than two hours from Atlantic City. Baltimore, Boston, and Washington, D.C. are all close enough for a long weekend trip. You can’t beat the East Coast in that sense.
I’m not talking about the cast of Jersey Shore… most of them aren’t even from the Garden State. Famous figures are practically bred here. Demigod Bruce Springsteen, legend Bon Jovi, screen icon Meryl Streep, renowned singer Whitney Houston, hilarious actor Jason Alexander, moon-walking astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Forbes Magazine’s Steve Forbes…I could go on all day. You’re welcome, world.
3. Roller coasters and rides
Disney World has nothing on us. Rides on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, Atlantic City, or Wildwood overlooking the ocean are where tons of us hold their best childhood memories. Looking for bigger thrills? We have that too—it’s called Six Flags Great Adventure. It is home to Kingda Ka, the world’s tallest and second fastest roller coaster; El Toro, one of the best wooden roller coasters ever made; and a safari adventure featuring animals from all over the world. Hear that, Mickey?
We have all four and tons of activities to fill them. Summer is filled with trips to the beach or in lawn seats at concerts at PNC or Susquehanna Bank Center. Autumn is for cheering on the Jets and Giants (Giants stadium is in East Rutherford, NJ), Fright Fest at Six Flags, and flea markets. We’re not far from numerous ski mountains for winter fun. We spend the spring enjoying nature hikes and St. Patrick’s Day parades.
New Jersey has 130 miles of coastline. From crowded boardwalks to quiet hidden gems and everywhere in between, every resident has their favorite spots for soaking up the sun, surfing, fishing, and so much more. We’re happy to share our shore with out-of-towners — thanks to you, we have jobs we love checking beach badges, lifeguarding, bartending, and waitressing.
Those things Dunkin Donuts calls bagels are anything but, and I feel very sorry for people who haven’t gotten to experience the glory of a fresh, warm bagel. Also, pork roll, egg, and cheese — those who leave the state for college ache for it until winter break.
Similarly to bagels, California Pizza Kitchen, Domino’s, and all those other pizza chains are an embarrassment to God’s edible gift to mankind. Find a good family-owned pizzeria and wonder how you ever ate anything else.
8. 24-hour diners
I guess we could just say New Jersey has the best food in general. If you’ve never experienced a diner at 4 AM after a night out, you haven’t really lived.
New York has the buildings, but we get the view. It’s the perfect scene for a jog in Hoboken or watching the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks.
From ‘Beat the Clock’ at Bar A in Belmar to the late night clubs in Atlantic City, no one parties harder than NJ natives. Look no farther than beach bars for the best place to enjoy a summer night after a day on the beach. Then spend the next day recovering next to the pool.
11. Pumping Gas
Yeah, we don’t have to do that.
Every kid has rounded up their group of friends and taken a Weird New Jersey trip. From the Devil’s Tree in Bernards Township to Mount Misery Road in Pemberton, everyone has had something they can’t quite explain happen to them while venturing to these eerie spots. We also have our own Devil. So that’s pretty cool.
You can knock someone from New Jersey down, but you can bet they are going to get back up. As a state, we’ve endured some testing times in recent years. We were hit by Hurricane Irene in 2011 then Hurricane Sandy a year later. Even now the remnants of the damage are noticeable, but the resiliency of those who lost so much and the giving of strangers prove that we truly are stronger than the storm.
You can spot someone from New Jersey a mile away and we like it that way. We speak our minds. We don’t take crap from anyone. We can take a joke and dish them out too. Most of all, we know everyone likes to make jokes about our amazing state, but they know nothing.