Known as the Garden State, New Jersey is among the leaders in many forms of agricultural production. With something for everyone, New Jersey is home to sandy beaches, world-class casinos, arts and culture venues, 24-hour diners, coastal vineyards and endless shopping destinations. At the center of the Northeast Corridor, it borders New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware, and is mid-way between Boston and Washington, D.C.
One of the biggest draws for both locals and tourists is the Jersey Shore. With over 65 beaches and surrounding beach towns with resorts, hotels and rentable condos right on the water, summertime in New Jersey means going “down the shore.” Some popular shore towns are Sea Isle City, Cape May, Ocean City and Wildwood, where there is a boardwalk and amusement rides on the pier. Atlantic City is also part of the Jersey Shore, with not only beaches and resorts, but extravagant casinos, gourmet restaurants and high-end shopping. As the Las Vegas of the east, Atlantic City is a nonstop party right on the beach.
Surprising to many who have never been there, New Jersey has several wineries that are available for touring and tastings. The grapes and other fruits such as blueberries and cranberries that are used to make the wine are all locally grown, and many of New Jersey’s 30-plus wineries are nationally and internationally recognized. Hoboken, in Northern New Jersey, is situated just across the Hudson River from New York City, and is a collection of funky neighborhoods with several unique restaurants, music venues --it’s the birthplace of Frank Sinatra! -- and bars.
Along with getting the best of both New York and Philadelphia cuisine, New Jersey is famous for its fresh and locally grown produce, including tomatoes, sweet corn, cranberries and blueberries. For a fine-dining experience in Atlantic City, Dock’s Oyster House is a premier choice for seafood and steak (outside of the casinos). In the north-central town of Morristown, Guerriero’s Ristorante is an Italian BYO featuring house specialties like vitello pizzaiolo and calamari imbottiti.
For international travel, New Jersey is served by both Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to the north and Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to the south. There is also Atlantic City Airport (ACY), the regional hub for Spirit Airlines, which provides some domestic service. Although traveling throughout the state by car is recommended, New Jersey Transit provides rail and bus service, as well as Patco and SEPTA, for navigating the major regions of New Jersey and into Philadelphia.
New Jersey is characterized by a humid continental climate and has four distinct seasons. Summers are generally hot and humid, with an average high temperature ranging from 82 to 88° F (28 to 31° C). Winters are cold and can receive a moderate amount of snow, with average low temperatures ranging from 26 to 32° F (-3 to 0° C). The best time to visit New Jersey is from mid-spring through early autumn, when the weather tends to be beautiful and this vacation destination is at its best.