Sometimes the beauty of our state is so surreal, it almost seems like we are living in a fairy tale. Okay, that may be going a bit too far, but we are a beautiful state with some magical sites. We have enchanting castles, magical waterfalls, bewitching forests, and other charming spots straight out of a story book.
1. Storybook Land, Egg Harbor Township
This unique amusement park is pure magic for children and adults alike, allowing visitors to literally walk through their favorite fairy tales. Head down the rabbit hole, visit Mother Goose, and enjoy family-friendly rides along the way.
2. Lambert Castle, Paterson
This lovely castle overlooks Garret Mountain Reservation and was once known as "Belle Vista." The name is fitting as it means beautiful view. A magnificent estate, a princess would be proud to call this home. Open to visitors, you'll find a small museum inside.
3. Silver Spray Falls, Walpack Township
Also known as Hidden Falls, I half expect fairies to be flying around the mossy rocks.
4. Women's Federation Monument, Alpine
High atop the Palisades Cliffs sits this magnificent monument. A perfect picnic spot, perhaps Rapunzel will poke out her head and let down her hair.
5. Land of Make Believe, Hope
Another amusement park, this whimsical spot also offers water slides for summer fun. The Middle Earth Theater (in right of photo) stages interactive productions, making you part of the show.
6. Luna Parc, Montague
This weird and whimsical work of art is the private home and studio space of Ricky Boscarino. Generally closed to the public, it is occasionally available to tour.
7. Wharton State Forest, Hammonton
It's so peaceful here, but I'm almost sure Red Riding Hood is about to stroll through.
8. Fairy Tale Forest, Oak Ridge
This once popular amusement park has had a tumultuous history. It's gone through several reincarnations but is set to reopen again. If you have any updates, please share in the comments!
9. Rat's Restaurant, Hamilton
Located on the the gorgeous Grounds for Sculpture, Rat's was inspired by the paintings of Claude Monet. You'll feel as if you're in a fairy tale while dining in this chic French restaurant.
10. Sister Mary Grace Burns Arboretum, Lakewood
These twisted trees could easily be part of some haunted forest.
11. Hacklebarney State Park, Long Valley
You'll find woodland creatures, small waterfalls, a swimming hole, and possibly garden gnomes at this picturesque park.
12. Kips Castle, Montclair
The 9000-square-foot castle was built in the early 1900s to replicate a medieval Norman castle. The majestic fortress belongs in a fairy tale.
13. East Point Light, Heislerville
If there isn't a fairy tale involving a lighthouse, there should be, and it should be based on this wondrous place.
14. Gingerbread Castle, Hamburg
Gingerbread Castle was a popular fairy tale attraction from the 1930s to the 1980s. It has since been abandoned but local residents are fighting to have it restored to its former glory.
The fairy tale-themed attractions are my favorite, but all of these spots help to make our state a wonderland. What other attractions (natural or man-made) would you add to this list?