New Jersey – On the Atlantic Boardwalks
The state of New Jersey is one of the smallest US states considering its area. Population-wise, however, its approximately 8.7 million
residents make New Jersey an important state on the East Coast. Most of the population lives in North Jersey, in the New York City metropolitan
region. Mid-state and South Jersey, however, has a very popular shoreline, which draws a lot of visitors, most notably from the Greater Philadelphia
region, bordering with Jersey in the southwest, across the Delaware River. Atlantic City, the Las Vegas of the East Coast, and Ocean City, are some of the major tourist destinations.
New Jersey, named after the British island located in the channel between England and continental Europe, was originally a Dutch colony, just like
New Netherland (New York) in the north. In the 1660s, the region was taken over by the British. New Jersey was among the 13 original colonies, ratifying
the US Constitution as the third state on December 18, 1787. During the American Revolution, Jersey had seen many troop movements, due to its strategic
location between the important cities New York and Philadelphia, and was consequently dubbed the “Crossroads of the Revolution.” New Jersey has always
been and still is an ethnically and religiously very diverse state, with high percentages of Jewish, Muslim, Asian and African-Americans. Among the
residents with European roots, Italians, Irish, Germans, and Polish are leading. Catholics are therefore not surprisingly the largest religious group
(37 %) in New Jersey. The largest cities are Newark and Jersey City, the former with a bit more, the latter with slightly less than 250,000 residents.
The New Jersey coastline is divided into two major sections, the Bay Shore and the Ocean Shore. The vast majority of beaches are located along the
ocean shoreline, from Long Branch in the north to The Wildwoods in the south. But on Cape May in the south, there are also some equally fine (and maybe
Allenhurst is a beach resort with a “hometown” feel. 19th-century architecture, smaller crowds than at the big beaches and some very fine beaches
make it an ideal place for a more quiet but not less relaxing stay. Asbury Park, once a mecca for rock fans, is today a popular target for a family
vacation. Magnificent boardwalks and a vibrant cultural scene thanks to the local Convention Center round the picture. On Long Beach Island, one can
find the second largest lighthouse in the US, Barnegat Lighthouse. Another popular destination on the island is Beach Haven, which hosts – aside from
long sandy beaches of course – major entertainment venues like Fantasy Island Amusement Park and Thundering Surf Water Park.
Cape May, on the southernmost tip of the Jersey shoreline, is an historic place which hosts one of the oldest and most popular beach area and arguably
the best dining in all New Jersey. This feature brought the cape the name “Restaurant Capital of New Jersey”. The narrow streets and alleys in the central
districts, in the Victorian houses visitors find cozy bed & breakfast inns and small hotels, where you almost think you are traveling through
time among the delicate Victorian furniture and decorations. Cape May Point, two miles away from the city, features the 157-foot tall lighthouse, which
has been guiding countless ships safely into the Delaware River Bay since 1859.
Ocean City, “America’s Greatest Family Resort”, which exists for more than 125 years now, offers eight miles of fine sandy beaches and countless
options for family activities, and – of course – the obligatory boardwalk. The Bayside Center displays classical ship models. And a trip down the famous
Ocean Drive (County Route 619), spanning the 40 miles from Atlantic City to Cape May Point, features some of the greatest scenic views on the East Coast.
Only a hop from Ocean City you can visit the historic village of Cold Spring. Here, one can witness first-hand how farmers and artisans used to live some
The little sister of Las Vegas on the East Coast, Atlantic City still houses some of the most popular casinos and nightclubs in the US. Names such as
the Borgata, the Caesars Atlantic, Harrah’s, the Trump Plaza or Bally’s are among the biggest casinos in Atlantic City. On top of all the gambling
facilities, Atlantic City also hosts the longest boardwalk in New Jersey. Excellent shopping and dining facilities are already present (and more are
developing) in and outside of the casinos. All major casinos run their own nightclubs and bars as well, which rank among the finest in the city.
Mercer County / Princeton
Inland, there are also great things to discover in New Jersey. The Princeton Battlefield State Park commemorates an important battle of the
Revolutionary War, after George Washington’s crucial decision to cross the frozen Delaware. In the midst of the old battle site towers the famous
Mercer Oak. Mercer County hosts many other great historic sites such as Nassau Hall, the old New Jersey State House with its characteristic golden
dome, or the many monuments and museums around the Trenton battlefield.
Princeton, home of one of the best American universities, and its picturesque and historic campus, is also located in Mercer County. Touring the
campus of this great Ivy League school is an absolute highlight. The campus abounds with historic buildings, such as the Richardson Auditorium. The
university’s art museum houses some great treasures. The Princeton Country Club has a magnificent and world-famous 18-hole golf course.
New Jersey is a state with many facets and with one of the most beautiful and popular shorelines on the East Coast with major attractions and
entertainment, making it a great destination for both young and old, families and singles. Whether in the historic streets of Cape May City or in one
of the modern casinos and night clubs in Atlantic City: all that is part of the Jersey experience