New Jersey is a densely populated and urbanized state with a long coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. Its crowded and bustling northeastern section contrasts with the rugged hills of its northwest, the vast pine forests of its southeast (the Pine Barrens), and the rolling horse country in its south-central region. The state is a curious mixture of urban and rural, rich and poor, progressive and conservative, parochial and cosmopolitan. Its history as a major manufacturing center has paid the price of environmental pollution and traffic congestion, but it also has yielded world-class universities and cutting-edge technology and biological science firms.
The state capital is Trenton and the largest city is Newark, both of which are home to Rutgers University. Other notable cities include quaint Atlantic City and historic Cape May.
With its many historic landmarks, museums, and natural attractions, New Jersey is a popular tourist destination. Some of its most famous sites are Liberty State Park, which offers a great view of Manhattan, and the Statue of Liberty. In the summer, beaches on the Jersey Shore attract visitors from all over the northeast.
In the heart of the state are a variety of lakes and forests. Lake Carnagie, built by the Princeton rowing team, is a beautiful lake where visitors can enjoy a scenic picnic or simply sit and listen to the calming swoosh of boats gliding across its surface. Other great lakes include Atsion Lake of Wharton State Park and the serene Lake Hopatcong.
New Jersey is the birthplace of musical legends Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi. It is also known for its fine restaurants, top-notch hotels, and one fast turnpike. New Jersey is also home to some of the best hospitals in the country.
Its many colleges and universities are nationally renowned. The state’s flagship, Rutgers University, is known for its research and teaching. New Jersey is also home to several major biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
The state’s top-rated schools are known for their academic achievement, college readiness, and student equity. Some of its top public schools, such as Newark’s Star-Ledger High School, have earned the College Success Award for graduating students ready for careers and colleges, especially those from low-income families.
New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez shattered barriers for Latinos, but federal prosecutors circled him for decades before charging him with a new and explosive bribery scheme. He has been freed on personal recognizance bonds that allow him to travel outside the US, but only on official business. He is expected to plead not guilty in a Manhattan courtroom. The man accused of bribing him, Wael Hana, was arrested in Dubai last year and has now been extradited to the US to face corruption charges. Mr Hana’s lawyers say he is innocent of the charges against him. The case is being watched closely around the world. The charges come amid growing concerns about bribery and the soaring costs of health care in the US. Many states are struggling to keep up with the demand for medical services, but New Jersey is a leader in developing ways to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes.