Images of New Jersey tend to be of factories and the Turnpike, or The Sopranos and reality TV characters from the Jersey Shore. Please also think of Hoboken, where Sinatra was born and bands like Yo La Tengo played. The Stone Pony in Asbury Park is a place where mega-acts like Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen got their starts. Natural beauty does exist in New Jersey. Places like The Delaware Water Gap, the wetlands of Island Beach State Park, and the Cape May Bird Observatory in the southernmost part of the state have it in spades. You can stroll on the boardwalk at Atlantic City, and many locations around the city will be familiar to players of Monopoly. Some of the most popular sights in the country are Ellis Island and its famous immigration history museum, and Liberty State Park, a lovely green spot with great views of Manhattan as well as of Lady Liberty.
Today, ethnic cuisine in New Jersey goes beyond Chinese and Italian. You can find amazing Korean food, and Elizabeth and Newark’s Portuguese roots show at their restaurants. Jersey City has great Indian and Middle Eastern food, plus organic juices and vegan desserts. You can get raw vegan food delivered in the vicinity of Asbury Park. Montclair has vegan organic and non-gmo versions of mac and cheese, pot pies, and lasagna. There’s also organic Portuguese, French, Indian, Mediterranean, and Italian dishes plus salads and juices with locally grown produce. In historic Morristown, get Taiwanese food with seasonal, organic, local vegetables including Chinese greens, bitter melon, winter melon, basil, eggplant, and gourds. For a luxe brunch, try Princeton’s Elements, where you can have local white soybean soup with kimchi, sweet potato, and croquettes, or steak and eggs with beets, blueberry, black trumpet mushrooms, and purple cabbage. Makes you like your eggs on the Jersey side!