New Jersey is a northeastern U.S. state with 130 miles of Atlantic coast. Its iconic Statue of Liberty and historic Immigration Museum can be found in Jersey City, which is located across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan. The Jersey Shore is home to many notable resort towns, including Asbury Park, a Victorian-style town. It is the perfect place to relax on a warm summer day and see the sunset, but be aware of the weather in the winter – a colder day in New Jersey may mean a shorter stay.
The state is surrounded by water on three sides and has nearly 300 square miles of lakes. The state shares the Delaware River with Pennsylvania and the Hudson River with New York. Its largest lake is Lake Hopatcong, which is located in the northeast. Both states are home to many lakes and are great for recreation. However, the most popular outdoor activity in New Jersey is skiing. In addition to skiing, New Jersey offers a wide variety of activities for outdoor enthusiasts.
NJ Transit is a public corporation that operates extensive rail and bus services throughout the state. NJ Transit was created in 1979, and in the early 1980s, acquired Conrail’s commuter train operations to connect suburban towns to New York. NJ Transit now operates eleven commuter rail lines, with the majority terminating at Penn Station or the Hoboken Terminal in Hoboken. One line connects Atlantic City to Philadelphia. Commuters who commute by rail are often greeted with crowded trains and platforms.
The state is divided into 21 counties – 13 of which date back to the colonial era. By 1692, the state had fully divided into counties. The present counties were formed after splitting existing counties. Union County was formed in 1857. New Jersey also has the most freeholders in the country – the elected officials are called “Freeholders” and govern each county. Each county has three, five, or nine members of the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Before the American Revolution, Native Americans called the land of Delaware home. They lived in small communities, and were called the Lenni-Lenape. Eventually, the English sold half of the colony to Quakers from England, who settled the area as a Quaker colony. The Dutch called these native people Delaware Indians. The first European to explore Delaware was Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524. He would claim New Jersey for the Dutch in the following year.
The state is divided into four distinct physical regions. The Ridge and Valley section of the northwest is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, while the Highlands lie to the south and trend across the state from northeast to southwest. The central Piedmont area is home to a number of major cities and suburbs. The Atlantic Coastal Plain includes the coastal mountains of New Jersey and the high point of the state, just south of the New York border. The highest point in New Jersey is High Point at 549 feet (1,803 ft) tall.