Science, History, Farming and the Shore in New Jersey

Our road trip is heading to New Jersey this week. The state is a favorite of one of our team members, as she grew up there. For this blog, she had a million and a half suggestions. None of which were the Jersey Shore! But, she did say, “Oh, you can visit the diner from the last scene of The Sopranos. Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionery is in Bloomfield.” So, some stereotypes might have a little truth to them.   

It will be hot and humid in New Jersey this weekend, with possible rain. And, next week is supposed to be even hotter. There are many spots you might enjoy on the Shore, depending on your interests. The breeze off the water would be nice. If you aren’t a fan of gambling or boisterous beach parties, avoid Atlantic City and Seaside Heights and head to Cape May. On your way down the shoreline of New Jersey, you might want to take a detour to say “hi” to Lucy, the world’s largest elephant, in Margate. This roadside attraction, made of tin and wood, had sisters in Cape May and Coney Island, but sadly Lucy is the only elephant still standing. She is 65 feet tall, 18 feet wide and 60 feet long and was built in 1881. You can go inside her to see a museum of her history as well as a short film. Then, head south to beautiful Cape May and see why six presidents chose to have their holiday homes there. The colorful Victorian style houses, lovely beaches and historic lighthouse are really a sight to see. The town is far more relaxing for people who don’t want the bright lights, booze, loud music and tans usually associated with the Shore.

If you’re feeling patriotic after yesterday’s July 4th celebrations, head over to Liberty and Ellis Islands. New York and New Jersey will argue as to who owns these islands until the cows come home. Officially, the islands belong to both states. But, many residents within the states disagree. On Liberty Island, you can visit Lady Liberty herself. The price of the ferry tickets includes audio tours, which are available in 12 languages, plus American Sign Language and an Audio Descriptive version for people with vision problems. Ellis Island was the hub of immigration for 50 years, processing 12,000 people a day. Now, there is the Immigration Museum located on the Island. Both islands give you beautiful views!

You can swing by the world’s largest light bulb, in Edison, NJ, which stands as a memorial to Thomas Edison near his original lab. It’s 13 feet tall and still shining! Then, head over to West Orange to visit the Thomas Edison National Historical Park. You will see his home, lab and some of his inventions. The Laboratory Complex has 20,000 square feet of exhibit space to see his work. You can also go into his grand home, Glenmont. But, the hours the house is open vary, so check before going. After you have finished, you can head to the Liberty Science Center, where science comes alive for the whole family. With a touch table for animals, climbing walls, a tunnel you must navigate through in the dark, a planetarium and more fun, learning experiences, the Liberty Science Center is sure to be a hit with any scientifically-mind kids with you!

Finally, while you’re visiting the garden state, you might want to check out a farm. You can buy delicious Jersey tomatoes, and corn that just came out of a field, at roadside stands. Driving around you will see signs that point you off the road to farms that are welcoming. Or, you may want to check out the Howell Living History Farm. The farm has operated since the 1730s and evidence of more than 250 years of farming practices. It functions as a historic farm, giving a peek into farming in the 1890s-1910s, including an ice house where ice is still stored in the old fashioned way and used to fuel to icebox in the farmhouse.

We hope you have enjoyed this trip to New Jersey and learned a little more about the state!
July 03, 2019
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