From being called a toxic wasteland to the armpit of America, everyone has jokes about New Jersey. Luckily we’ve got a good sense of humor, and we know better. Our state has so much to offer and we’re proud to call it home. Here are 16 reasons why New Jersey is the most underrated state in the US.
1. We have some of the best beaches in the country.
They may not be the warmest, but they are some of the cleanest (according to water quality tests) and most definitely gorgeous. Stone Harbor is pictured.
2. We're called the Garden State for a reason.
With over 700,000 acres of farmland, we are top producers of cranberries, peaches, blueberries, bell peppers, and many more fruits and veggies.
3. New Jersey is the diner capital of the world.
Where else can you easily get fries with gravy, chicken strips, and an omelet at 2 a.m.? There are so many great diners to choose from! According to NJ.com, Tops Diner in East Newark, Mastoris Diner in Bordentown, Mark Twain Diner in Union, Americana Diner in East Windsor, and Suburban Diner in Paramus are some of the most popular.
4. The movie industry got its start here.
And many movies are filmed here to this day including War of the Worlds, Goodfellas, and Big.
5. Shopping opportunities are endless!
We have more malls per square mile than any other state, and we also offer a wide range of luxury boutiques and budget friendly thrift shops. According to New Jersey Monthly, some of the most popular small businesses include The White Butterfly in Jackson, Village Tweed in Spring Lake, Restyle Renew in Denville, and Piazza Della Sole in Montclair. Short Hills Mall is pictured.
6. We're paradise sandwiched between sprawling cities.
We have easy access to two of the greatest cities in the world (New York and Philadelphia) without having to deal with the crime, constant chaos, and crowds all the time.
7. We never need to pump our own gas.
No freezing at the pump for us!
8. We're a cultural melting pot.
Which also means we offer some great ethnic cuisine! According to food critic Steven Shaw, some of the New York Area's best dining spots are in New Jersey! Some top picks are Cucharamama in Hoboken and Moksha in Edison.
9. We played a vital role in the Revolutionary War.
This country could still be a British colony if not for New Jersey. George Washington spent more time in New Jersey than anywhere else during the war (including the Ford Mansion, pictured). New Jersey's strategic location made it a center of Revolutionary War activity and dozens of important battles were fought here.
10. There is so much history to explore.
Writer Walt Whitman's home is pictured above, but it's only just the beginning. You can visit Thomas Edison's Menlo Park Lab, Victorian Cape May, or one of our many other historic homes, villages, and museums.
11. And so many great things were invented in our state.
Bubble wrap, Band-Aids, and bar codes all got their start here.
12. The art and entertainment scenes are incredible.
There are dozens of theaters, performing arts centers, music venues and galleries to enjoy. Hear a symphony, watch a play, see the ballet, or the biggest artists in concert. Enjoy the stunning Grounds for Sculpture, Wheaton Arts, or Wonder Bar - the possibilities are endless.
13. The musical talent is unmatchable.
Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Valli, Whitney Houston... I could keep going!
14. We have views like this.
If you're looking to enjoy mountain, woodland or waterfront views - we've got you covered. Mount Tammany is pictured.
15. And seasons like this.
This is Davidson's Mill in the fall, though it looks lovely year-round. Each season brings with it a special charm.
16. We have everything you could ever want, and nothing is too far away.
Hiking, biking, swimming, boating, fishing, skiing, surfing, fine dining, fantastic museums, big cities, small towns... Other states may offer some of the same things, but in New Jersey, you never need to travel far to find what you want.
Honestly, I could keep going – there is just so much to love about this state. Let me know what you love most in the comments!