New Jersey has hundreds of years of history, thousands of incredible places to see and (maybe) millions of fun facts to discover. To learn everything there is to know, it would take much more than 26 letters, but this list is a good start.
A - Atlantic City
One of New Jersey's most popular tourist destinations, the city brings in visitors from around the world. AC is the home of Salt Water Taffy, and Fralinger's produces over 11,000 pounds per day!
B - Bruce Springsteen
The Boss. Born in Long Branch, Bruce is one of the best-selling artists of all time. He has won a whopping 20 Grammy Awards, so far.
C - Cape May
The first beachfront resort town in the United States, Cape May is known for its Victorian Architecture and award-winning beaches. Cape May was recognized as one of America's top 10 beaches by the Travel Channel.
D - Diner
New Jersey has more diners per square mile than any other place in the world. We also have the BEST diners, but I may be biased.
E - Ellis Island
In 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that 90% of Ellis Island belongs to New Jersey. This was decided based on an 1834 contract between New York and New Jersey, nearly six decades before the island became the nation's largest immigration processing center.
F - Frank Sinatra
You're probably all familiar with this Hoboken native. The singer and actor had a turbulent personal life, but apparently plenty of charm. He was once married to Mia Farrow and was the recipient of both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.
G - Grover Cleveland
The 22nd and 24th President of the United States, Grover Cleveland was the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms. Born in Caldwell, he was also the only president to wed in the White House. The Baby Ruth candy bar is named after his eldest daughter. Another fun fact? His full name is actually Stephen Grover Cleveland.
H - Hadrosaurus
This dinosaur was first discovered in 1858, in what is now Haddonfield. It was the first dinosaur species known from more than isolated teeth to be identified in North America. In 1868, it became the first ever mounted dinosaur skeleton. The Hadrosaurus is also the official state dinosaur of New Jersey.
I - InfoAge Science History Museum
Information Age Learning Center (InfoAge) is located at the old Camp Evans base in Wall, New Jersey which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The eclectic museum is a hidden gem, open just three days a week. Admission is a $5 suggested donation. Exhibits include a fallout shelter, computer deconstruction lab, and the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
J - Jersey Devil
No, not this New Jersey Devil, THE New Jersey Devil - the legendary creature that lives in the Pine Barrens. The legend dates back to when the Lenape Tribe inhabited the land, and our professional hockey team is named after the winged beast.
K - Kingda Ka
The tallest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka is located on the grounds of Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey.
L - Liberty and Prosperity
New Jersey's official state motto. Pictured above is the governor's office, across from the state legislature.
M - Miss America
The national pageant got its start in Atlantic City in 1921. The pageant was held in the city for many years before moving to Las Vegas. It is once again being held in New Jersey.
N - Newark
With nearly 300,000 residents, this is New Jersey's largest city by population. Newark is headquarters to numerous corporations including Prudential Financial, Panasonic Corporation of North America and PSEG. If you're in the city, stop and check out the Newark Museum. The planetarium is incredible.
O - Oil
Though we do not produce crude oil, New Jersey has the largest petroleum containment area outside of the Middle East.
P - Peaches
Though we are the Garden State, peaches aren't usually the first thing to come to mind. We're major producers of blueberries, cranberries, and tomatoes, but we're also the 4th largest producer of peaches in the United States.
Q - Queen Latifah
This Newark native does it all! She's an actress, singer, rapper, spokes-model and comedian.
R - Roosevelt
This planned community was originally established as Jersey Homesteads from portions of Millstone Township. It was created during the Great Depression as part of President Roosevelt's New Deal, and was renamed for him after his death. It was an experimental utopia, centered around cooperative farming. It was meant to be an ideal community, with a focus on both fun and hard work. The experiment was ultimately a failure, but it is still a pretty great place to live.
S - Shore
Also known as the beach, depending on where you are and where you're from. No Jersey list would be complete without mentioning the shore. We have miles and miles of gorgeous coastline and some of the cleanest beaches (based on water quality) in the country.
T - Trenton
This historic city is our state's capitol. It was once a major producer of rubber, wire rope, ceramics and cigars. Manufacturing jobs declined in the 1970s and the state of New Jersey is currently the city's largest employer. If you're in Trenton, be sure to check out the Old Barracks. Dating back to 1758 and the French and Indian War, the Barracks were used by both the Continental Army and British forces during the Revolutionary War.
U - Urban Population
New Jersey has the highest percent urban population in the U.S. with about 90% of residents living in an urban area. New Jersey is also the only state where all its counties are classified as metropolitan areas.
Vernon is home to New Jersey's largest ski resort - Mountain Creek. You'll also find mountain biking, a water park, zip-lining, horseback riding, hiking, and much more.
W - Washington
New Jersey was home to many Revolutionary War Battles, earning the nickname Crossroads of the Revolution. It should be no surprise that General George Washington spent a significant amount of time in the state. Ford Mansion in Morristown (shown) served as his headquarters from December 1779 to June 1780.
X - Xanadu
An ambitious retail project, Xanadu has become somewhat of a joke. Located in the heart of the Meadowlands, it has been called one of the nation's greatest eyesores. Renamed the American Dream, the project is set to be completed in 2017. The shopping and entertainment complex will feature nearly 400 shops, an ice rink, a water park, an amusement park, and the first indoor ski slope in the western hemisphere.
Y - Yogi Berra Museum
The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center is located on the campus of Montclair State University in Little Falls. It serves to honor the career of Yogi Berra, who played for the New York Yankees and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The museum contains artifacts from Berra's career including all 10 of his World Series Championship Rings.
Z - Zimmerli Art Museum
Another campus treasure, the Zimmerli Art Museum can be found on the Rutgers University campus. The museum has over 60,000 works including Russian and Soviet Nonconformist art from the acclaimed Dodge Collection, American art from the 18th century to the present, and six centuries of European art with a particular focus on 19th-century French art. You'll also find a sizable selection of rare books. Admission is FREE.
Did you learn anything new? What else would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments.