NJ bucket list: 9 places you’ve got to get to this summer
It’s a fact. People tend to take their own state for granted.
If you live in the west, you don’t even care about the mountains anymore. If you live in Florida, you forget how beautiful some of your beaches are. And if you live in New Jersey, anything that is just a stone’s throw away tends to get pushed into the back of our minds.
But anytime we ask our listeners what they are most proud of when it comes to sheer aesthetics here in the state, everyone has an outstanding answer. That’s why one day, we asked our listeners this question: If you had visitors from another state, what would you NEED them to see?
Or if there’s something that you still have not gone to visit here in this state, what is the bucket list item that even YOU need to check off?
Yes, with a state that only takes a couple of hours to drive through, believe it or not, there are people in the north who have never seen things in the south and vice versa. So, whatever you do, knock these six off your list ASAP. They are truly exquisite, worth a trip to, and all sights that New Jersey should be very proud to show off.
The Wolverton Inn
This Stockton, NJ destination makes every single list, every single time. And, it looks like I finally have to knock this one off because I have not been there yet. It has that beautiful blend of architectural history that’s so typical to New Jersey and yet we tend to take for granted. Nestled on 10 park-like acres, it is surrounded by 300 acres of preserved farmland and forest. It’s so much more than a bed and breakfast and is with a trip to wander its gardens even if you’re not staying.
The Cowtown Rodeo
The Cowtown Rodeo is the largest indoor rodeo in the country and a great place for family and friends to hang out. Starting back in 1929, Cowtown Rodeo has stood the test of time ... it’s like a blend of the old West and New Jersey that you just won’t find anywhere else. Its website calls it “a taste of western ranching that is an integral part of American history." And it’s such an apt description. It’s also the longest-running weekly professional rodeo in the USA.
It’s such a Jersey thing. Northlandz kind of just happened. Northlands is a labor of love for a family who began it on weekends and turned it from a hobby to a world-class destination. It’s now the world`s largest railroad miniature along with the art, music, and doll displays. It has with one of the largest indoor model railway stations in the country. It delights everyone who sees it and needs to be included on any bucket list.
Anytime anyone has anything negative to say about New Jersey, it should be required that you show them a picture of this most beautiful spot in New Jersey.
Obviously, High Point is the “High Point” of New Jersey and brings the most magnificent views that can be had just about anywhere else in New Jersey. Anyone who thinks of New Jersey as flat and ugly just needs to see High Point to change their mind. The vistas of High Point State Park actually bring to mind some of the more mountainous regions of the United States the people flock to, but High Point has all the amazing views a short car ride away.
I know it sounds simple, but yes there are plenty of people who live in New Jersey all around who have never been to Cape May. Think about that.
When you think about the rich history of Cape May, remember that visitors to New Jersey rush there to see what all the hype is about. Because it’s so close to us, some of us here in New Jersey might even take it for granted, but when was the last time you were there?
If you have visitors in from another state, trust me they will be amazed by the quaint vibe and the stunning architecture that abound in Cape May. It’s a showplace and deserves to be shown. Cape May is everything they say and more, a showcase of the most gorgeous Victoriana this country has to offer.
Anytime you think that there are portions of the Appalachian Trail here in New Jersey, (and a lot of people don’t), you have to remember that these are some of the most picturesque and beautiful pieces of acreage here in the state. If I had a visitor in for the summer, I would surely make a trip to Mount Tammany, the pride of Hardyston Township right here in New Jersey. The first time I ever drove into the area, I literally had to stop for a moment and take a breath. It’s one of those places that really makes you appreciate the rare beauty that New Jersey actually possesses. You can almost feel like you’re out west and you won’t believe it till you see it
Grounds for Sculpture
I know you’ve been hearing about Grounds for Sculpture for 1 million years and that you have been saying you’re going to get there. But the bottom line is this: It is New Jersey’s own, and is something that you will never see anywhere else in the country. It’s a privately owned collection, which makes it so much more special. And it’s the kind of art that is guaranteed to be enjoyed by every single person in any single age group. The setting is idyllic, sweet, romantic and beautiful and we should be very, very proud to have it here in New Jersey. If you’re reading this and you have not been there yet, get there, now. Or at least by the end of the summer.
No one knows why it is that we have not been appreciated for the fine wines we grow here in the state of New Jersey, but our “time for wine” has certainly come. There are so many wineries that you could pick as a bucket list stop in New Jersey. But Laurita Winery always tends to land on everyone’s list of most favorite most coveted and most proud to own. Laurita Winery gives you a little taste of why we are in fact the Garden State and should be so proud it. We’ve come into our own in terms of winemaking and Laurita‘s absolutely shows that off.
Centrally located, jampacked, and filled with every single thing that is special about New Jersey, the Point Pleasant's boardwalk isn’t just another boardwalk. It is everything that exemplifies New Jersey. Are there other beautiful boardwalks with rides in New Jersey? Yes. But hands-down, when it comes to every single thing that every single New Jersey and one side of a summer destination, especially location, point pleasant wins it every time.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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