New Jersey October 24, 2017
10 Unbelievable Things You Never Knew Existed Right Over The New Jersey Border
Only In New Jersey is all about highlighting what the Garden State has to offer. One of those things just happens to be our location. We’re sandwiched between the metropolises of Manhattan and Philadelphia and we’re in close proximity to New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware. These states all have something special you’ll want to see, within just an hour from New Jersey or less. Today’s article focuses on some incredible attractions, just outside of our lovely little state.
1. Go spelunking in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
Kutztown, about 50 minutes from Phillipsburg, New Jersey, is home to Crystal Cave. Visitors can enjoy guided tours, mini-golf, a rock shop and more. The cave is 155 feet below the earth's surface at its deepest point and features formations that are over half a million years old. Visit on the 27th or 28th for spooky lantern tours focused on strange events that happened in the cave over a century ago. You can visit at 963 Crystal Cave Road, Kutztown.
For more on Crystal Cave, and a Pennsylvania caves road trip,
2. Relax in a medieval oasis, right in Manhattan.
The Cloisters is located on 4 acres in Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park, overlooking the Hudson River. Just minutes from the George Washington Bridge, the castle is an extension of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It features four cloisters (covered walkways) that were excavated from French monasteries and abbeys. The focus is on European medieval architecture, sculpture and decorative arts, though it also offers a very rare garden with 250 plants, flowers, herbs and trees that flourished during medieval times. Visit at 99 Margaret Corbin Drive.
For more on The Cloisters and other enchanting attractions in New York,
3. Take a scenic OR sea life cruise from Norwalk, Connecticut.
Norwalk is just 47 minutes from Montvale, New Jersey and it has a lot to offer. If you're looking for a scenic sunset cruise, visit the Norwalk Seaport Association. They also offer seasonal dinner, lighthouse and bird watching cruises. Your trip will take you on a journey through the Norwalk Islands of the Long Island Sound. The nearby Norwalk Maritime Aquarium also offers several cruises, one of which focuses on local marine life. There's even a touch tank on board! Other Norwalk attractions include a children's museum,
railroad switch tower museum and a painting studio/wine bar called Muse.
Learn more about the Norwalk-area islands by
4. Discover Dutch culture in Lewes, Delaware.
Hop on the ferry from Cape May to Lewes and head to the Zwaanendael Museum. The museum commemorates Delaware's first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch in 1631. This museum serves as a showcase for the Lewes area's maritime, military, and social history. The town also offers the Lightship Overfalls (a floating lighthouse), shopping, dining, beaches and art galleries. The Zwaanendael Museum can be found at 102 Kings Highway, just steps from the charming downtown. Visit on October 28th for Haunted History walking tours or on November 18th for Dutch-American Heritage Day.
Learn more about Lewes by
5. Marvel at the "Niagara of Pennsylvania," Bushkill Falls.
Bushkill Falls can be found just about twenty minutes from Columbia, New Jersey. It's actually a series of eight waterfalls, connected by a network of trails. The largest waterfall (pictured), cascades over 100 feet into the creek below. Park visitors can also enjoy paddle boats, mini-golf, gemstone mining and a maze. Guests with the fastest times can win fun prizes from temporary tattoos to t-shirts. Visit at 138 Bushkill Falls Trail, Bushkill.
You can learn more about Bushkill Falls by
6. Take in the beauty of Kykuit, in Sleepy Hollow, New York.
Kykuit, the former estate of John D. Rockefeller, sits on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River (only 20 minutes from Alpine). The home features four stories and two basement levels of beautiful art and architecture. Open for public tours, the grounds are just as stunning. Visitors will enjoy a variety of gardens and over 100 sculptures scattered alongside brooks, grottoes and fountains. Kykuit isn't the only amazing attraction in Sleepy Hollow, especially around Halloween. You'll find Horseman's Hollow, a haunted attraction at Phillipsburg Manor and ghost tours of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery - the final resting place of Washington Irving. Visit Kykuit at 381 North Broadway, Sleepy Hollow.
For more info on Kykuit and other New York estates,
7. Satisfy your most morbid curiosities at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia.
Just over the Delaware River, Philadelphia is home to a wide range of world class attractions sure to delight... It's also home to the Mütter Museum. Magnificent in its own way, it has been described as disturbingly informative. Part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the collection includes medical oddities, anatomical and pathological specimens, wax models and antique medical equipment. Some of its most historically significant items include slides of Albert Einstein's brain, a malignant tumor removed from President Grover Cleveland and a piece of tissue removed from the thorax of John Wilkes Booth. Be aware that this museum is not for the squeamish.
To learn more about the museum, and for some moderately graphic photos,
8. Get creative at the Crayola Experience in Easton, Pennsylvania.
Easton is just minutes from the New Jersey border and it also happens to be a perfect family day trip destination. The Crayola Experience offers 28 exciting, hands-on attractions, all about the creation of crayons, chemistry and art. Visitors can make and take a variety of crafts and learn all about the way crayons are made. Nearby is the National Canal Museum, offering canal boat rides and a special spooky event on 10/27 and 10/28. You'll also find the Sigal Museum in Easton, focused on local history, and the Nurture Nature Center, which fosters critical thinking about our earth and the environment. Shopping and dining opportunities abound downtown!
Easton also has a rich haunted history. For local ghost stories,
9. Don't throw stones at a glass house in New Canaan, Connecticut.
New Canaan is just under an hour from Fort Lee and hosts a hidden gem - the Philip Johnson Glass House. A historic house museum and former private residence, the home itself is a work of art. On the grounds, you'll find several structures (a brick house, studio, pond pavilion, and more) and sculptures (like the giant Da Monsta) along with an actual art bunker and sculpture gallery. A variety of tours are available until November 30th (before closing for the season) and there's a visitor center with a fascinating video about the area and the architecture. See (right through) the glass house at 199 Elm Street.
For more about the glass house and other hidden gems in Connecticut,
10. Forget all about the Bellagio at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
The Bellagio is known for several things including its iconic fountain show and breathtaking conservatory - Longwood Gardens blows both out of the water. A recent $90,000,000 makeover expanded on the garden's former fountain show with unforgettable results. There are now over 1,700 fountains that come alive with LED lights. Streams of water, topped with fire, sway to music with jets over 175 feet high. There are shows throughout the day and night with the main event lasting for a full 30 minutes. Visit on October 27th for a Broadway-themed show, October 28th for Beatles night, or wait until next season for new performances.
The fountain is far from the only thing to enjoy at Longwood - you'll find an orchid house, waterlily display, rose garden, topiaries, a gorgeous grotto and so much more. Changing with the seasons, the conservatory currently has chrysanthemums and glowing lanterns on display. During Christmastime, enjoy a French-inspired scene with over 50 intricately trimmed trees and lights extending to the grounds - over half a million, in total. Visit at 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square - just 30 minutes from Logan Township, New Jersey.
For more on Longwood and other Pennsylvania Gardens,
While the fountain show is something you absolutely have to see in person to truly appreciate, this short video provides a little peek into the magic you can expect:
Of course, you don’t need to leave New Jersey for an unforgettable day trip. Check out this
list of amazing attractions, right here in the Garden State. What’s your favorite New Jersey attraction? When you want to get away, where do you go? Have you been to any of the places featured? Let me know in the comments.