Summer Escapes at the Jersey Shore
New Jersey may be a small state but what it lacks in size it makes up for in fun-filled attractions. From casual visitors to the everyday New Jerseyan, there are a tremendous variety of places to visit and things to do in the garden state. Sandwiched between New York and Pennsylvania, New Jersey often serves as a stopping point and those who stop in will find much to keep their attention.
The Jersey Shore
And no Iâ€™m not talking about MTVâ€™s hit series. New Jersey has a very lengthy coastline that extends from Sandy Hook all the way to Cape May and the state of Delaware in the south.Â Visitors can check out the whimsical houses dotted with inlets in upscale Rumson to whale watching in Avalon. And at the southern tip you will find Wildwood, known for a boardwalk filled with carnival games and an amusement park and Cape May, home to dozens of restored Victorian houses painted with vivacious colors. Eating fresh is a staple in the garden state with hundreds of farms offering fresh produce. From peach and cherry picking in early summer, tomatoes and sweet corn in late summer and apples in the fall, every season surely has an array of Jersey fresh produce.
Island Beach State Park
At the southern end of Seaside Heights is Island Beach State Park with sand dunes, saltwater marshes, fresh water bogs and maritime forests. You can enjoy swimming, fishing, horseback riding, canoeing, biking and miles of nature trails during your visit to the park. However, make sure you arrive early, especially during the busy summer months as the gates are closed to the park once all the parking spaces are filled.
Hidden between Toms River and Barnegat Bay, Cattus Island County Park is yet another jewel of unspoiled natural beauty offering miles of trails surrounded by the natural splendor of coastal New Jersey. Cattus Island is home to the Cooper Environmental Center, where you can find displays and collections of snakes and reptiles. There are several workshops available year round including environmental education, hiking and birding for those who want to learn more about New Jerseyâ€™s natural world. One of the latest additions to the park is a butterfly garden where you can explore the Monarch, Black Swallowtail, Tiger Swallowtail, Red Admiral and Painted Lady. You will also learn what plants they are attracted to.
Affordable Day Trips in New Jersey
With the rocky economy the word â€œvacationâ€ doesnâ€™t have to be an afterthought. Here are some affordable day trips that you can still enjoy without stressing the pocket. Living in the garden state can be a luxury and is a state where you can find a variety of things to; from window shopping to a visit on the beach, all within an hour driving distance from one another.
Rutgers Gardens, Rutgers University
Rutgers Gardens have many things to brag about with a farmers market open throughout the warmer months, a lake-side cabin, miles of trails, a beautiful stream and fantastic views of the Raritan River perfect for a place to bask in the sun. For more information visit the universityâ€™s events page at www.rutgers.edu.
Point Pleasant can be rather impressive with an extensive boardwalk, clean shorelines, fishing and boating. Jenkinsonâ€™s boardwalk offers an arcade, aquarium and a patio that you can enjoy a picnic lunch or walk around and soak up the atmosphere.
Princeton University is at the heart of this beautiful town with a fantastic library and art museum. In addition there are beautiful homes that lead into small restaurants and store fronts that are perfect for window shopping or just taking a nice walk on a warm day.
Atlantic City and Cape May
Now for many people going â€œDown the Shoreâ€ is the greatest summer escape. But southern Jersey offers much more than just casinos, surf, saltwater taffy and the boardwalk, there are some amazing natural splendors that can be enjoyed all year round. You can take advantage of all Atlantic City has to offer and still spend most of your time outside. Despite the endless resorts, the beach is fabulous offering a clean, safe and pleasant alternative to the hustle and bustle of the casinos. The boardwalk offers souvenirs, saltwater taffy, carnival rides and corn dogs. You can also enjoy Garden Pier, at the northern end of the boardwalk, the Atlantic City Art Center and the Atlantic City Historical Museum. At Cape May Point State Park visitors can enjoy a walk on the beach, the boardwalk, a nature trail through the nearby marsh, the wetlands area and the parkâ€™s lighthouse with a panoramic view of Cape May; and donâ€™t forget to visit the museum and gift shop at its base. In downtown Cape May you can visit the Nature Center where you can view numerous species of birds, reptiles, mammals and fish. Take some time and walk through the wonderful streets lined with shops and enjoy a great meal at one of many marvelous restaurants.
Tuckerton Seaport offers ASA certified sailing classes, kayak tours, wooden boat building courses and demonstrations of traditions and folk arts of the people who live, work and play along Barnegat Bay. The seaport is also home to the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve Interpretive Center where its visitors can get education, information and engage in the ongoing study of the unique marine environment.
Historic Smithville and Village Greene, located in the southern part of New Jersey, is a wonderful place to shop and stroll. You can take in the views, cafes, restaurants and shoppes. From a train ride and paddle boat rentals to Tomasello Winery, Smithville is a perfect place to start a family tradition. Visit www.smithvillenj.com for more information and to view their monthly events.
Triple Brook Family Camping Resort
Located in Hope, NJ, take an adventurous weekend getaway and stay on a 250 acre farm in the beautiful Kittatinny Mountains. The resort offers two swimming pools, heated whirlpool, fishing, boat rentals and farm animals, as well as, a childrenâ€™s playground with tennis courts, basketball, volleyball, shuffleboard, horseshoes and mini golf. There are also wonderful hiking trails.
To find out more of what New Jersey has to offer visit www.funnewjersey.com, your source for the best New Jersey entertainment. We want to hear from you; if you have a fun unique place you like to visit in the garden state email me a firstname.lastname@example.org.