From saltwater taffy and boardwalks to casino resorts and historic lighthouses, the Garden State has plenty for visitors to enjoy. And the gastronomically delightful gravy cheese fries? Fuhgeddaboudit. Here are five reasons to put New Jersey on your travel list.

The Jersey Shore. No, not the TV show. We’re talking about the beaches that make up the original Jersey Shore. Miles and miles of white sand and blue waves attract everyone from fun-loving families to picnicking couples. The waters are warm in the summer months, and the beaches are making a comeback from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

Boardwalks, boardwalks, boardwalks. You can’t visit New Jersey’s beaches without experiencing all the boardwalks have to offer. Midway games, carnival rides, saltwater taffy and ocean breezes are just a taste of the boardwalk experience, and you’ll find these shoreside promenades along most of New Jersey’s coastline.

Historic lighthouses. Boardwalks and beaches aren’t the only treasures awaiting you on the Jersey Shore. You’ll also find the coastline dotted with historic lighthouses, including the Twin Lights, East Point Lighthouse and Barnegat Lighthouse. If you only have time for one, though, make it the Cape May Lighthouse – after climbing to the top and taking in the sights, you can explore the wilderness and wildlife of the surrounding state park.

Dancing with Lady Luck. Atlantic City is the East Coast’s answer to Las Vegas, and you can definitely take your chances with Lady Luck in New Jersey. Twelve casino resorts – including Caesars, Tropicana and Golden Nugget – await you with your choice of slots or table games.

Farm fun. Step away from the beaches for a day and head to the Delaware River region of New Jersey, where you’ll find the state’s agricultural region. On the local farms, you can make your way through a corn maze, take an old-fashioned hay ride, pick fresh fruits and veggies or take a horseback ride through New Jersey’s pristine landscape.

(Main image: SurFeRGiRL30)

About the author

Marissa WillmanMarissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.

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