Earlier this week, I shared 12 reasons why the entire country should be thankful for
New Jersey. Long after the list was finished, reasons the country should love our state kept popping into my head. Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Whitney Houston, Frank Sinatra… And of course condensed soup and the first modern submarine both came out of New Jersey.
People from all over the country have reasons to appreciate our state, but we’re luckiest of all – we actually get to live here. There are countless reasons to be thankful for living in New Jersey, here are 15 of them:
1. The diners.
In no other state is it so easy to grab great food at all hours of the day.
2. The beaches.
The beach, the shore, whatever you call it, we have miles of incredible coastline.
3. The mountains.
Drive just a short while north from the shore and you’ll find magnificent mountains for hiking, biking, skiing, snowboarding or horseback riding.
4. The lakes.
If ocean beaches aren’t your thing, head to the lake for some serene swimming, sunbathing, or whatever floats your boat.
5. The state parks and forests.
Wharton State Forest, shown, is just one of many gorgeous state parks. From Allaire to Waywayanda, our preserved lands are perfect places to connect with nature. We also have some great national and local parks!
6. The history.
From our vital role in the Revolutionary War to all of the incredible inventions that have come out of this state, we have a lot to learn and a lot to be proud of. Pictured is the Ford Mansion in Morristown, once headquarters to George Washington.
7. The diversity.
From ecological diversity to cultural diversity, we’re a big, beautiful melting pot. It's never hard to find a unique festival or delicious ethnic cuisine.
8. The food.
Speaking of cuisine, New Jersey has some of the best bagels, pizza, and pork roll (taylor ham) around. As the Garden State, we've also got plenty of fresh fruits and veggies.
9. The location.
We're conveniently located between two major cities - New York and Philadelphia. We can enjoy the big city life whenever we want, AND we get to come home to Jersey. Sure, the cities are great, but sometimes you need a break.
10. The entertainment.
We don't need to head out of the state for fun, it's all right here. We have numerous theaters, concert venues, museums, galleries and outdoor activities at our fingertips. The PNC Bank Arts Center is pictured.
11. The seasons.
Each of our four seasons is fantastic in its own way. The shot above features fall foliage views from Allamuchy State Park.
12. The small towns.
Our cities have a lot to offer, but our small towns are the heart of our state. From Clinton to Collingswood, New Jersey is loaded with charm.
13. The schools.
We have some of the best schools in the nation, top test scores, and the #1 highest high school graduation rate, according to the National Board On Educational Testing Policy.
14. The gas stations.
It seems like a strange think to be thankful for, but our gas stations offer something that others don't - attendants. We never need to pump our own gas. I really appreciate this during the winter months.
15. The family and friends we have here.
Because what really makes our state great is the people. We're tough, but we've got big hearts and a great sense of humor.
I could keep going forever, but it’s time for turkey. What do you love most about living in New Jersey? Let me know what you’re thankful for in the comments and have a Happy Thanksgiving!