New Jersey – A Vibrant State With a Vibrant Culture

The northeastern US state of new jersey was among the first 13 colonies and a major manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution and both world wars. Today, it is one of the most densely populated states, with a bustling economy fueled by world-class research and science institutions, leading financial, pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology companies, and an extensive transportation system that funnels people and goods to and from New York City and other points north as well as Philadelphia and other points south. Named for the island of Jersey in the English Channel, it is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, Delaware and Pennsylvania across the Delaware River to the west, and by New York City to the north and northeast.

New Jersey’s varied landscape includes the rugged hills and valleys of its northwest section, the immense stretches of pine forest of its southeast (known as the Pine Barrens), and the rolling horse country in the southwest. The state’s climate is temperate, with relatively cold winters and hot summers.

A wide variety of natural, cultural and recreational resources can be found throughout the state, including the beaches along its 130 miles of Atlantic coastline, historic towns like Jersey City and Cape May with their Victorian buildings, and the scenic landscape of its state parks and gardens. In addition, the state is famous for its thriving arts scene, with many noted museums and performing art centers as well as numerous festivals and events throughout the year.

With hundreds of classic diners, many top-notch restaurants, and thousands of local farms that welcome visitors for a taste of artisan cheeses or ripe peaches picked right off the tree, New Jersey has plenty to offer foodies and anyone with a love for the outdoors. And history buffs will find much to explore, from the renowned collections of the New Jersey State Museum and its planetarium and eye-catching archeology and natural history exhibits to the New Jersey Historical Commission’s Old Barracks Museum, where Civil War soldiers once trained.

The capital city, Trenton, is a haven for history lovers. Free guided tours are offered at the landmark New Jersey State House, built in 1792 and still home to the state government; nearby is the New Jersey State Museum, with its impressive fine art collection as well as a planetarium and natural history exhibitions. History buffs can also tour the Old Barracks Museum, a historic site from the American Revolutionary War; or the state’s WWII Memorial and Museum in downtown Trenton.