New & Old Jersey: Secrets of the New Jersey Road Trip

New Jersey has a bit of a reputation, but to be honest it doesn’t really care what anyone thinks. It knows how beautiful and unique it is, and if you don’t want to take the time to find out for yourself, well, that’s your problem. However, if you’re up for a good time and you're ready to explore one of the most culturally and geographically diverse states in the country, then pack your bags and hop in the car because there are few places more suited for a weekend roadtrip than New Jersey.

If you're not a Jersey local, definitely brush up on the New Jersey driving laws by taking a driving test online before you hit the road. There are some unusual rules. For instance, in New Jersey, it's against the law to pass another car without warning them. Don't let a ticket spoil your experience exploring the Garden State.

From historic wonders to one-of-kind nightlife, here are just a few places you’ll want to see.

Asbury Park

New Jersey has 1,800 miles of shoreline, and the undisputed capital of the coast is Asbury Park. The area went through a serious industrial depression in the '80s and '90s (chronicled in many a Bruce Springsteen song) but has made quite a comeback in the past decade thanks to a revitalized beachfront and an increased focus on tourism. Despite the modern updates, Asbury Park truly captures the spirit of a bygone era. Whether it’s the famous Asbury Park Boardwalk or the Paramount Theater Convention Hall, the heart of early 20th century still beats loudly here, as does the heart of New Jersey’s music scene. Stop at the historic concert venue, The Stone Pony, and the Silverball Museum, which has a huge collection of pinball machines that you can still play for a quarter. When you’re hungry, head two miles south to Neptune, NJ, to try the world famous pizza at Pete and Elda’s Bar.

Hoboken & Jersey City

If the only thing you know about New Jersey is that it’s that place across the river from New York City, you’d be pretty mistaken. However, there is a lot going on just across the Hudson. The historic city of Hoboken is famous for its bar and restaurant scene, not to mention its unparalleled views of the NYC skyline. There are several options for high-end dining, but we suggest going old school with a giant rib-eye from Arthur’s on Washington Street. If you’re looking to continue your quest for the best pizza in New Jersey, try Benny Tudino’s, where the slices are so big they practically need their own pizza box. When you’re full, head down to Jersey City to check out the Liberty Science Center.

The Pine Barrens

Made famous by an episode of "The Sopranos," the Pine Barrens contain over a million acres of undisturbed wilderness in southern New Jersey. The Pinelands Reserves (as it is officially known) is home to no less than four state forests and two National Wild and Scenic Rivers. Nature lovers could spend weeks exploring the region, but roadtrippers should definitely consider a little canoeing on the Great Egg Harbor River. But be careful--the Pine Barrens are said to be home to the legendary creature, the Jersey Devil.

Atlantic CIty

What makes New Jersey so special is the way the past, present and future seem to all be happening at once, and that’s no place that is more evident than in Atlantic City. From the modern stylings of the Borgata Hotel and Casino to the old school feel of the boardwalk, Atlantic City remains a one-of-a-kind experience worth having. Fans of the TV show "Boardwalk Empire" will be surprised to find many of the locations still standing, including the Absecon Lighthouse, Lucy the Elephant, and Dock’s Oysterhouse. You can even still buy salt water taffy at James Salt Water Taffy, which has been continuously owned and operated since 1880.



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