New Jersey has a diverse population and enjoys the influence of its two neighbors, New York City and Philadelphia. However, although it is the most densely populated state in the US, not all of it is urban. Beyond the cities and the superhighways are vast farmlands and parks.
The state's most popular city is Atlantic City, an 1800s ocean resort town that became a gambling destination in the 1970s. More than 30million visitors come each year to gamble at the world-class casino resorts, enjoy the beaches, or play golf. A major attraction is the historic boardwalk, the first in the US, with great dining and family activities.
New Jersey is home to another historic first—the site of the first baseball game in Hoboken. This city also holds the country's most number of bars per square mile. Jersey City is the state's second largest city, home to Liberty State Park. From here, visitors can take a ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
If you're traveling with children, be sure to visit the New Jersey State Aquarium, with 80 exhibits of about 500 species of fish. Another stop for the whole family is Six Flags Wild Safari, a 35-acre wildlife preserve with more than 1,000 animals. It is reputed to be the largest drive-through safari outside of Africa. The state is also shoppers' paradise, with a number of malls and shopping centers.
Victorian homes, quaint country retreats, and seaside cottages all add to New Jersey's charm. But the state has many scenic sites as well. One of these is the majestic Palisades, rising from 300 to 500 feet. The view from these cliffs is something you wouldn't want to miss. Hiking trails and campsites can be found in the northwestern part of the state, while fishing is widely available in more than 4,000 lakes, rivers, and streams. In the summer, the shoreline bustles with family fun.