Are you happy living in New Jersey?

I am and could never see myself leaving. Despite the survey that says more people are leaving New Jersey than are moving in, those that are living here are quite happy. In fact, according to WalletHub, New Jersey came in fifth of the 2022 most happiest states to live in.

We were behind Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, and Utah. According to WalletHub, we have the lowest suicide rate in the nation, we also ranked second in the work environment category. It has the third lowest separation and divorce rate in the United States and it has the fifth lowest share of adult depression.

But happiness in New Jersey is so much more than statistics or a survey. New Jersey is one of the few states in the Union where you can have it all.

You get all four seasons. You get the colors changing on the trees in the fall. We've got an incredible shoreline with the best beaches, each different from the others. We've got mountains, farms, tomatoes, corn and blueberries.

Photo by Andre Ouellet on Unsplash
Photo by Andre Ouellet on Unsplash

We've got incredible diversity, which gives us the best food no matter what you're craving.

Our music scene is second to none especially when you think about all the great singers who have come out of here like Frank Sinatra, Franke Valli, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi just to name a few.

I could go on and on, but why should I take up all the space? I polled my social media following as well as my New Jersey 101.5 radio audience asking "What makes you happy living in New Jersey?"

Jerry Rubino
Living close to NYC but not IN NYC

photo: Joey Pedras/Unsplash
photo: Joey Pedras/Unsplash

Lenny DePiano
The music scene. As a working musician, there aren’t many other states where you can get booked a year out and make decent money … Most other states are ‘Pay to Play situations… Aside from that retiring in NJ and living comfortably (unless you’re a 6 or 7-figure income person) is impossible.

Anthony Barberio
The fact New York’s football teams actually play here

Cindy Zwicker
Being near water where ever you are in South Jersey! The shopping the restaurants and yes the sound of seagulls.

Eric Barash
The best vacation destination anywhere is Beach Haven.

Justin Morris

Brick Beach III
Brick Beach III (Jen Ursillo, Townsquare Media NJ)

Chrissy Bigs
The food !! We have lived in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Tennessee and Virginia nothing beats NJ food. My coworker is going to AC for a convention I told him you need to have bagel and pizza you will be spoiled

Annette Georgios
Location. Not far from the beach. NY. And Philly.

Nancy Fecca
Not having to worry about where I am going to park my car! Moved from South Philly where you could get blocked in by double parkers.

James Kellerman
New jersey is honestly one of the nicest places to live. But it's unaffordable for most people.

Jonathan Newman
The beach and ocean in AC.

Bill Kress
Great diversity!

Judie Duncan
Living in Woodstown! Small town living at its finest!

Russell Souders
Not having to pay the bridge tolls to get to it...

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

You can now listen to Steve Trevelise — On Demand! Discover more about New Jersey’s personalities and what makes the Garden State interesting . Download the Steve Trevelise show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

New Jersey's smallest towns by population

New Jersey's least populated municipalities, according to the 2020 Census. This list excludes Pine Valley, which would have been the third-smallest with 21 residents but voted to merge into Pine Hill at the start of 2022.

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