Even though I’ve been away from the Chicago-land area for quite some time, I like to think that I still know it like the back of my hand. Looking for something other than the typical tourist attractions? I’ve got a few places for you to check out. Want to go for an afternoon stroll? I can point you in the direction of some great trails. Have a hankering for some good eats? I could recommend a plethora of options for most every type of cuisine.
But I’m sad to say that I haven’t been so adventurous in getting to know New Jersey. I’ve been a resident of the Garden State for 10 years, and I think it’s about time I go out, explore and get to know my (not so new) home.
In an effort to leave no stone unturned, I’ve put together a list of A to Z things to do, see and explore over the next year. Here’s A through E for starters…
While the weather is still a little on the chilly side, I think I’ll start indoors at the Adventure Aquarium. Who doesn’t love sea turtles, penguins and sharks! Come Spring (only a few more days!), I’ll definitely grab the dog and go for a hike somewhere along the Appalachian Trail. With 72.2 miles of the trail in New Jersey, there are plenty of options in both hike difficulty and length.
It’s not shore weather yet, but the Boardwalk doesn’t deserve to be ignored. I think I’ll avoid the crowds and enjoy the ocean all to myself. If it gets too chilly, maybe I’ll head over to the Borgata and warm up with some penny slots and 3-card poker.
Who would have thought New Jersey is home to the longest running weekly rodeo? I’ve never been to an actual rodeo…so I may just have to check out Cowtown Rodeo and get some funnel cake while I enjoy the show. Speaking of sweets, did you know that the original Cake Boss bakery is right here in Jersey? Yup, Carlo’s Bake Shop is up North in Hoboken. Think I’ll take a drive and do some tasting.
I didn’t think drive-ins still existed (other than in the movies), but I was wrong. The Delsea Drive-in is New Jersey’s only drive-in theater and a must do this upcoming summer. Fingers crossed there will be some good blockbusters this year!
E is a tough one…there are just too many options. Do I try rock climbing for the first time at Elite Climbing? Or should I go with something a little less daring and check out the Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge? Perhaps I should visit Ellis Island (which I’m embarrassed to say I thought was in New York) and see if I can find any record of my family passing through. Or maybe I should I check out the birthplace of the E-Street band and visit THE E-Street? Decisions, decisions.
Whelp, that should keep my busy for a while!
I would love to hear from you where you think I should go for F through J…any suggestions?