Have you ever thought what places to visit in New Jersey? If not, then this article will be very helpful if you decide to travel there. So, let’s start our virtual journey to the state of New Jersey which is located on an impressive peninsula surrounded by valleys of the rivers Delaware and Hudson. Despite the fact that New Jersey has the official name of the Garden State, its own gardens are nowhere to be found in the state. Only in the western regions there are the famous gardens which are situated near the hills. But the eastern part of the state is completely in the grip of industrial America. There are densely populated towns and suburbs of large cities.
NJ is divided into three regions: North, Central and South Jersey.
The state is often called “Little America”, because here you can meet successful symbiosis of the previously mentioned gardens and industrial agglomerations, resort towns and protected areas.
- Place to visit number 1: New Jersey Botanical Garden
- Place to visit number 2: Albert Einstein House in Princeton
- Place to visit number 3: Benjamin Franklin Bridge
- Place to visit number 4: The Newark Museum
- Place to visit number 5: Palisades Interstate Park
- Place to visit number 6: Wild Safari
- Place to visit number 7: Colgate Clock
The famous gardens of New Jersey are better known under the name of Skylands, located in the small town of Ringwood in the highlands. Not every tourist gets here and there is much that is worth seeing. This is a unique attraction and just a very nice and pleasant place. As a rule, Skylands are not overcrowded by visitors, that means that you can wander through the garden in silence and enjoy the unity with nature. The history of the botanical garden began in the 1920. It was Klarrens Mackenzie Lewis who broke here a real park. Surprisingly, this man was far from gardening – he worked as a stockbroker. To design the mansion, he hired a famous American architect John Russell Pope. Pope gravitated to the classic forms, but at the time of the design of private orders he used all his imagination and worked in a more free style. By the way, Pope designed a lot of sights there. For example, Palace in Washington DC, National Archives and the Scottish church.
Since the first days of existence of the Garden it was opened to the public. Interestingly that the Garden has not changed. Here you still can see a lot of:
- fine sculptures,
- benches for the visitors.
Changes can be traced only in flower compositions, which are updated annually. Today, the Garden belongs to the City Administration.
Skylands Botanical Garden is the manor of the incredible beauty. Here, attention is paid to each detail. For example, the main house is connected with a garden by the apple alley. If you arrive at Skylands in spring then you will remember this great fragrant for the whole life. In autumn the alley turns into a thin cobweb of small apples. Garden roses and lilac garden complement this stunning picture. Interestingly, Klarrens Mackenzie Lewis was not indifferent to the lilac bushes and brought them from all corners of the Earth. You can come here even only for the garden of peonies and magnolias that create fantastic beauty. There is a very rich collection of rare species of plants.
Interesting: The park is divided into 13 gardens that are a kind of plant collections. In total, the park area is ??4.5 square km.There is a rich collection of coniferous trees that is worth seeing.
For many years, this seemingly very ordinary house is visited by a huge number of tourists. Everyone wants to take a picture on the background of the building. What is so remarkable there? The fact that it is here famous Albert Einstein lived. However, it was difficult to get inside before, as the house was privately owned. But a few years ago, Princeton Historical Society has expressed a desire to organize a museum of the great physicist, so that everyone could see how a famous scientist lived. Princeton University students wanted to learn more about the scientist and his life too.
Of course, the exhibits are not many, but nevertheless, they are of great interest:
- favorite chair,
- music library,
At the sight of all this it seems that now the master of these things will come from the next room and smile at visitors.
In this house, Einstein spent the last 23 years until his death, from 1933 to 1955.
The locals remember much about Albert. For example, he was completely indifferent to clothes and sometimes didn’t even pay any attention to it. He could easily go out in pajamas or wear the same sandals all year round. This scientist was a true romantic and women always lost their heads.
It is worth noting that Einstein received great recognition in the United States. Residents of Princeton are very proud of the fact that the brilliant scientist lived next door to them. In this regard, even in some stores sometimes Einstein portraits can be found. For example, in expensive clothes shop “Landau” there is a separate area devoted to the scientist.
Einstein worked at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, which was created at the University for talented scientists. Interestingly, these scientists at Princeton were given a lifetime salary without any obligations. Albert was an opponent of materialism and this was the reason why he bought a modest white house with black shutters and door. Inside you also won’t see any luxury – there are only the most necessary items for living and working.
Interesting: By the way, Einstein always had a very ironic attitude toward his own personality and his work. For example, when he was asked to show the laboratory where he worked he just showed his pen.
One of the most famous bridges in the US is Benjamin Franklin Bridge. This landmark of New Jersey is admired by filmmakers. Benjamin Franklin Bridge can be seen in the following films:
- “Twelve Monkeys,”
- “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,”
- “Transformers 2”,
Bridge over the Delaware River is located between Philadelphia and Camden, named after the American politician and scientist.
The construction was established in 1926 and originally consisted of:
- six lanes for cars,
- two tram lines,
- two sidewalks for pedestrians.
26 years later the bridge was reconstructed and modernized with the replacement of the steel structure, instead of tramways two more lanes for cars were made. Today there are seven car lanes which are all separated from each other by imposing barriers.
Drivers must pay attention to the red and green signals on special platforms to see which bands are opened or closed on the contrary. If you move around on foot, then two special walking paths are marked for you. In addition, under the bridge there is a tunnel, too, where you can walk. Also on the bridge there are two paths for rail transport.
The length of the bridge is really impressive – 3 km, width – 40 m, height of span is 43 m. Thanks to the last parameter ships can safely pass on the Delaware. About 100 thousand of cars pass over the bridge every day.
Interesting: The entire structure is supported by two steel ropes. The diameter of each one is 76 cm, ropes consist of 18,666 wires.
Many tourists first go to the largest city in New Jersey – Newark. There are indeed many worthy cultural sites. Children clearly enjoy the local zoo and planetarium, and adults – the main museum of the city. Rich exposition of the Newark Museum will tell a lot of new and interesting things about art and science. Keep in mind that there are 80 museum galleries, and all of them can’t be enjoyed in one hour. Sports fans should certainly see the ice arena Prudential Center where they often go to various competitions. Here you can see the matches of the local ice hockey team. In addition, in Newark there is a performing arts center. There are a variety of concerts from classical to pop.
Without exaggeration one of the most striking sights of New Jersey is its Newark Museum. The museum is the largest one in the entire state and in Newark. It traces its history to 1909.
It appeared thanks to an ordinary librarian John Cotton Dana, who combined the first exhibits in a single exposure. At that time museum consisted of:
- Japanese silk collection,
- Porcelain collected by an American pharmacist.
First, all the exhibits were located on the fourth floor of the City Library. But in the 1920 thanks to philanthropist Louis Bamberger the Newark Museum got its own building.
Today the museum’s collection has increased significantly and now all the exposition occupies several buildings. Visitors can get acquainted with a variety of art objects. It presents the work of the Indians and the work of contemporary American painters. In addition, you can see the amazing exhibits of artists from Asia and Africa. One of the central halls is considered to be the Victorian Hall of Science. It is worthy to have a separate trip to the museum because its exhibition consists of 70 thousand of exhibits.
No less interesting there is a room devoted to the art of Tibet. Items presented in it were bought from the Christian missionaries at the beginning of the last century. Be sure to pay attention to the Buddhist shrine – altar that was consecrated by Dalai Lama.
Collections of the Newark Museum are very diverse and will be interesting to many tourists. In addition to the works of art there are exhibits that are related to the history of the Second World War. In particular, there are many items related to aviation history. In addition, the museum collection is constantly updated and then new facilities open. Several years ago, the priority of the Newark Museum was the art of Africa. The museum received very large financial grants and private donations for its especially for its development and replenishment.
If you are traveling with children, they will also enjoy the Newark Museum. It has its own zoo, which contains more than one hundred animals. And don’t forget to visit the planetarium named Dreyfus.
Interesting: The museum has a gift shop with a large variety of goods. Here you can buy not only commemorative trinkets but also jewelry, clothing and many other things. If you are tired, you can rest in a very cute cafe. By the way, on its territory, there is a free Wi-Fi zone.
If during the US trip you a little bit tired of the noisy cities and want to spend time in peace and harmony with nature, then you should visit the National Park which is located in New Jersey near the city of Newark. There is no:
- shopping malls.
You can enjoy nature! More than 7 million visitors come here each year. Interestingly, the landscape park was chosen not only by tourists but also by local people. Note that Palisades Interstate is a favorite vacation spot of the elite and senior officials. If you think that this is the most common wood, you are deeply mistaken.
Within the reserve you can find:
- high-class hotels,
- sports centers.
It is worth noting that these blessings of civilization in no way affect the general atmosphere of unity with nature.
History of Landscape Park Palisades Interstate began in 1900. It was at that time when the governor of New York and New Jersey began taking care of preserving the natural wealth of the country. To be precise, they were interested in the state of flora and fauna on the territory of the Palisades cliffs. A special commission was created for the sake of the idea of ??conservation and enhancement of natural resources, there were ten people – five members from each state. The first result of this work was summed up in 12 years – the Commission has presented a model of the park and the directions of its activity.
Do not forget to bring a camera. You will be able to take great shots at this scenic place. But be careful on the observation deck of the park and don’t climb even a low fence because the park is located on the rocky shore of the Hudson River.
Later in the Palisades Interstate the work on the restoration of forests began. In addition, 23 artificial ponds appeared there. However, the park was not closed. On its territory several camps for children were established in order to strengthen the health of schoolchildren. Today, Palisades Interstate has an impressive area which is 405 square km.
On the territory of the Palisades there are 24 parks and eight historic sites. There is also a National Historic Landmark – Reserved area. The area is very large, so it is better to take a tour. By the way, the excursion program in the park is vast.
Interesting: There are various conferences and international symposia are held in the park very often. Employees of the Palisades are working on the conservation of rare and endangered species of plants and animals every day. This park is especially beautiful in autumn.
The park regularly hosts free guided hikes. In addition, you can enjoy:
- natural areas for recreation.
United States is an ideal country in terms of entertainment for tourists of all ages. For children it is simply a huge number of different parks and attractions for every taste.
Almost in every state there are:
- water parks,
- roller coasters,
- natural areas for recreation.
It is interesting that in this country there are more than a thousand water parks. Many children’s entertainment are quite capable to enthrall even tourists of not a school age. For example, the safari park Wild Safari in Jackson just cannot leave you indifferent. It is the largest safari park in the world, animals from all climatic zones are collected here. The park has an impressive size of 350 acres! It naturally contains 1,200 species of animals that are mainly from Africa and Australia. All of them are free to roam.
This park is a part of a huge entertainment complex Six Flags Great Adventure which was opened in 1974 by the American restaurateur Warner LeRoy. In total, this park has 11 thematic areas. Interestingly that for a long time Leroy hatched a plan to build a complex and as a result he was able to realize his dream for two years. The company “Hardwick Industries» was engaged in the construction of a safari park which had already carried out similar work in Canada and Europe.
As a rule, all visitors, young and old come to the indescribable delight while looking at the animals. In the safari park this can be done at very close range, while sitting in the car. Some animals are happy to communicate with people – look in the car window, show a special interest in video cameras. The cells contain only lions. Monkey cannot come close to visitors too. These animals were pestering tourists and park staff decided to isolate them.
Interesting: Do not forget your camera because many animals have fun posing for tourists. For a favourite treat, of course.
You can go the Wild Safari alone or with the tour group. As a rule, special tour includes:
- bus fare,
- English-speaking guide services,
Among the attractions of New Jersey one of the most memorable and recognizable can be called a giant clock. Octagonal model in the center of New Jersey City appeared a long time ago in 1924. The chimes are located on the banks of the Hudson River, in front of Manhattan. It is interesting that until that time there had already been a similar clock that was built in 1906 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the world famous company Colgate. The author was the engineer Warren Day. The previous clock was donated by residents of the State of Indiana. Since then, thousands of tourists all over the world had memorable pictures on the background of this huge clock. By the way, the size of the sight is impressive – 50 feet in diameter, length of the arrows are 25 and 20 feet. This is one of the biggest clocks in the world. The frame is made of structural steel, a special stainless steel alloy was used for the arrows. Near a tourist attraction you can see an impressive inscription Colgate which size is 20 feet, so that there is no doubt which company owned the clock. By the way, it has long been the hallmark of Jersey City.
Some meticulous Americans have become interested in how exact this clock is. To dispel any doubts of citizens, precision of the clock was checked at the Naval Observatory in Washington. By the way, to complete the work of this clock “Colgate” required 28 volt batteries that must be constantly recharged.
Near to the Colgate Clock there is another interesting sight – a hundred meters away you can see Tower Goldman Sachs. It is the tallest skyscraper in New Jersey.
Clock looks great in the evening when the lights turn on. To make Colgate perfectly visible from afar 1600 light bulbs are used! From the urban coastline they can be seen for 20 miles. Interestingly, the clock is made in the shape of an octagon with an ulterior motive. It looked as a soap of this company. Initially the company “Colgate” produced only scented soaps, candles and starch. Later it mastered the production of perfumes, essences and toothpaste.
The same clock but a smaller copy is set in the “Colgate” office in the building in Washington, DC. In 1985 the eight-story office was moved to a different location, so the building was demolished behind the clock. Today chimes remind locals about the time when the various factories were situated along the coastline.
Interesting: In the middle of the 20th century the company “Colgate” faced the problem of poor sales due to oversaturation of the market toothpastes. Days and nights the factory management together with consultants were thinking how to boost sales. However, the owners swept aside all ideas and suggestions. One of the desperate managers went into the shop and asked the first worker. Without thinking, worker replied that the only thing that needs to be done is to increase the diameter of the hole from which the paste comes out by 20 percent, and, therefore, sales will increase by exactly 20 percent. This turned out to be the right decision – this tube is not enough for two weeks, but only for eight days.
As you can see the State of New Jersey is rich in attractions, so be prepared for an interesting, saturated journey. Places are worth visiting, though all of them are scattered in different areas of the state. Most of all New Jersey corresponds to the name that is associated with it, – “Garden State.” Only a few industrial cities distract from this image.