Today, while walking around one of the many picturesque towns in New Jersey, I thought about how my home state has such a bad reputation. Most recently, we were named to have "The most dangerous city in the U.S." We also have one of the most corrupt state governments, and of course, are home to lots of mobsters (ala The Sopranos).
What you might not know about New Jersey, if you have never visited here before, are the many beautiful and wonderful things about my home state. Here are a few facts about "The Garden State:"
- On the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the scenic Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area offers nature lovers 70,000 acres and 37 riverfront miles to explore. Created by the Delaware River, the Delaware Water Gap channel cuts through the Kittatinny Mountains - nearly 1,400 feet deep and 900 feet wide at water level.
- Island Beach State has more than 3,000 acres of pristine beaches, sand dunes, marshes, bogs, and nature trails, you can swim, picnic, hike, fish, or bird-watch to your heart's content.
- Attend the Cranberry Festival in one of the country's cranberry capitals - Chatsworth in Burlington County. You'll gain a whole new appreciation for passing the cranberries at Thanksgiving!
- Here's another reason why they call New Jersey "The Garden State"! Go to Leaming's Run Gardens & Colonial Farm in Swainton and see the largest annual garden in the nation. This is a beautiful 30-acre palette of flowers in every color of the rainbow. The garden is really humming in August as hummingbirds flock to the 25 gardens to sip nectar. For more relaxation, walk among the native plants, trees, and flowers at the Old Hickory Arboretum & Display Gardens.
- In the late 18th century, an "Underground Railroad" network of safe havens was established to help African-Americans travel north to find freedom from slavery in the southern states. One of the "stops" on this "railroad" was a town in Camden County called Lawnside, the first African-American community to be incorporated as a municipality.
For more information on the history of Clinton, you can check it out here!