NJ hidden gems: 12 spots visitors, even locals might not know
As a resident of the great state of New Jersey, I often hear the same complaints from out-of-towners: it's too crowded, it's too industrial, it's just a suburb of New York City.
But I'm here to tell you that there's so much more to the Garden State than meets the eye.
If you're willing to venture off the beaten path, you'll find some truly remarkable and unique places that even many locals don't know about.
New Jersey is a state that is often overshadowed by its neighbor, New York.
However, there are many hidden gems in New Jersey that are worth exploring.
Here are a few places that out-of-towners (and even locals) might not know about:
A unique attraction that offers underground mine tours and a museum filled with rare minerals and fossils. It's a great place to learn about the state's mining history and see some truly impressive geological specimens.
A must-visit for anyone who loves classic arcade games. It features over 200 pinball machines and arcade games from the past six decades, as well as a collection of rare and one-of-a-kind machines.
A nature lover's paradise. It offers hiking trails, bird watching, and environmental education programs, as well as a variety of special events throughout the year.
A great place to learn about the state's railroading history. It offers train rides and exhibits.
A must-visit for fans of the legendary inventor or history buffs in general. The park includes Edison's laboratory and workshop, where he conducted many of his famous experiments.
It's home to over 200 species of animals from around the world. The zoo also features a carousel, a miniature train and a playground.
A 42-acre sculpture park featuring the works of over 270 contemporary artists. The park also offers art workshops, tours, and special events.
A popular spot for families with young children. The zoo has over 550 animals and also features a playground and picnic areas.
A professional theater that offers a diverse range of performances, including drama, comedy, and musicals.
A fascinating look at the Earth's history. The museum has a collection of over 60,000 specimens, including fossils, rocks, and minerals.
It's the largest museum in the state and has a wide range of collections, including American art, Tibetan art, and natural science.
The Pine Barrens is a unique and vast preserve that covers more than a million acres of land. It is home to many rare and endangered species, as well as beautiful forests, bogs, and rivers. Visitors can hike, bike, or canoe through the wilderness, or visit historic towns like Batsto Village and Smithville.
These are just a few of the hidden gems in New Jersey that out-of-towners might not know about. And some people who have lived here for years may not know about , either!
Whether you are looking for outdoor adventure, history, or culture, there is something for everyone in New Jersey. Some are just well-kept secrets.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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