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The Wonders of New Jersey

Lying with the extended municipalities of New York City and Philadelphia, the state of New Jersey is one of the territories in the original 13 colonies and today is one of the biggest religiously and ethnically diverse states in the country; and the largest populace density. Native Americans lived in the area almost 3000 years before the Dutch and Swedish explorers arrived and made encampments within the territory, in the early 1600s. Most of the land was claimed by the Dutch, which they called New Netherlands, with parts of New York included. Although the Lenape Indians living in area, semi-agricultural/hunter/gatherers, didn't understand the concept of land ownership, the Dutch had a strict law providing for the purchasing of new lands. The first such purchase was the island of Manhattan by Peter Minuit for approximately 24 dollars in trinkets. However, in 1664, an English fleet sailed into New York harbor and rested control away from the Dutch. They changed the name to New Jersey after the island Jersey in the English channel. It became very important during the Revolution War as it sat in the main corridor between the cities of Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. It has continued that importance right through to the 20th century. Many important battles were fought there and with Trenton and Patterson sitting on the ocean, industry grew, with these ports handling much of the trade for the state.

Since its beginnings, the state has been the home of religiously different groups with Scottish Presbyterians, Dutch Reformationists and Congregationalists from New England living side by side. Most of the people coming into the state lived in the many towns and cities, with some owning farms of 100 acres or less and a handful of rich lords holding title to huge estates, mostly English Quakers and Anglicans. The state did attempt to commercialize farming occasionally, but not often. Perth Amboy and Burlington grew as they were situated near the ocean and would handle much of the goods headed for New York or Philadelphia. By the time 1775 came, the small state had a population of 120,000.

Two days before the Second Continental Congress declared independence, New Jersey passed its own constitution, and Abraham Clark, Richard Stockton, John Hart, John Witherspoon and Francis Hopkinson were representatives of New Jersey that signed the Declaration of Independence. sometimes called the crossroads of the Revolution, the state was crisscrossed many times by the armies of the Americans and the English. Morristown was the provisional headquarters of George Washington twice during the winter years. On Christmas Day, in 1776, the army crossed the Delaware River to fight the surprised Hessian troops in the Battle of Trenton. A little over a week later, Cornwallis attempted to take Trenton back but was stopped and Washington circled and attacked Princeton gaining a great victory for the Americans.

Forced out of Philadelphia by angry soldiers, the Congress met in Princeton for four months and it was here in 1783, that they learned the Treaty of Paris had been signed and the war was over. New Jersey became the third state to ratify the Constitution, and the first to ratify the Bill of Rights.
It was the last northern state to sign the bill banning slavery and grant rights to the African Americans. Over 80,000 volunteers from New Jersey fought in the Civil War, but no battles were fought there. It was also one of the minority states that did not vote for Abraham Lincoln in either election, choosing instead Stephen Douglas and then George McClellan.

From the mid 1850s until the late 1800s, iron ore was mined in the bog pits in the middle of the state, which helped the area's growth as more people and towns sprouted to support those endeavors.
Then came the early years of the industrial revolution which helped the state grow since it wasn't a large agricultural area. Textile mills and silk helped, but the inventions of Thomas Edison did more to put the state on the map than any other. With over 1000 patents, most while in New Jersey, Edison created many inventions at Menlo Park, then West Orange. Christie Street in Menlo Park was the first street in the world to boast electric lights. As steamboats and steam engines for the railroad progressed, so did the state.

Queen's College begun in 1766, contains many beautiful designs of architecture and in now called Rutgers University.  Fort Dix, originally Camp Dix was built to train soldiers for the first World War and then Camp Merritt in 1917. During the 1920s the state flourished, with the first Miss American pageant in 1921, and in 1927, the Holland Tunnel was built. When the second World War erupted, Camp Kilmer was built to help with the huge amounts of men entering the service. It became a huge ship building center with destroyer, battleships and cruisers being constructed here. The famous PT-109 was built at Elco Boatworks in Bayonne and in 1962 the first nuclear powered ship NS Savannah was launched from Camden. The New Jersey Turnpike opened in 1962 and helped millions of autos head south to Washington and the southern states, faster and easier than ever before.
While Camden and Newark are two of the poorest cities, the state has the second highest median income because it is a huge suburb to New York City and Philadelphia.


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Newark New Jersey Tours

 Tours in Newark New Jersey 

The state has many wonderful tours that will take you along the beautiful Jersey coast, including Cape May. Here the Emlen Physick Estate, built in 1879, will take you on a tour of the only Victorian house in the area, inside you will find a museum, gallery and restaurant; with a shop for any gifts you might want. This is part of the trolley tours that wind through the historic district, giving you ample time to stop and shop. The Lighthouse was constructed in 1859, has been completely renovated and you only have to climb a 199 stairs to get to the top for a gorgeous view of the Atlantic and Delaware Bay. Also part of the trolley tour.

If you ever wanted to try parasailing, then this is the place. Only during the summer months, as the Atlantic gets pretty cold here in the northeast, with jet skis and waverunners also available.  Many antique shops are located in Cape May if you are in the market for any, with quite a history behind these marvelous pieces. The Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center is here to tour with groups going out on the boats to view the mighty whales and the numerous dolphins. There are canoe and kayak rentals to take you through the Wildwood Crest's Salt Marsh and other areas along the majestic beach of Cape May.

A great tour to enjoy is the Four Sisters Winery at Matarazzo Farms, where they have been growing grapes and making delicious, intriguing wines for almost 30 years. Winning many awards since their entry into the business, this winery specializes in fruit, rose, red and white wines. The land is so beautiful that many companies and people come here for an event such as gatherings, weddings or corporate picnics. One of the best features that most people love is the grape stomping parties that are held often giving you a chance to become involved in a tradition as old as history. Many other celebrations are held here, like Mother's Day or Father's Day, mystery dinners, comedy nights and many more. During harvest season you can pick pumpkins, apples and they create a very testing maze, through the corn. A wonderful bakery and cafe is on the property and open weekends through the summer; as well as the bed and breakfast that has just opened for you to enjoy the tranquility of this gorgeous farm.

Another fabulous winery is the Brook Hollow in Columbia. Here you can enjoy the delicious wines, as well as pick peaches, pumpkins, apples and in season blueberries and raspberries. They will even customize your bottle of wine for any occasion such as Valentine's Day, weddings, birthday gifts, appreciation gifts or what have you. This special winery includes dark chocolates in many of their gift baskets and you have the opportunity to have them with your wine tasting. They have an extensive list of fine wines including their special autumn harvest reserve; which unfortunately is now sold out for this year; but indicates how fantastic this wine is. They have non-grape wines including peach (sold out sorry), cherry (also out) blueberry, cranberry, apple, and strawberry.

Since the state sits next to the ocean, there are also many tour boats that will take you out into the water for some great thrills. One company offers to teach you how to sail on their yacht or you can just relax and dream as the water streams by. Another will take you snorkeling and sailing on the ocean. For those sports minded, there are various camps that will teach or help you improve your skills in baseball, basketball or soccer.
Visit or rather stay in the some of the most wonderful bed and breakfast homes of vintage era inns, homes or mansions. A great place to start off your day and to return to at night after spending hours exploring, having fun or just relaxing on a sunny beach for your vacation.

Haunted New Jersey is a group of paranormal investigators with over 65 years combines experience and over 1400 investigations; all in the state of New Jersey. Each summer, they offer tours in Cape May; based on their investigations, and certainly a thrilling way to spend a summer evening. Many well known papers, tv shows and other authorities have commented on their thoroughness and professionalism.

There are a plethora of tours available in New Jersey that will just about satisfy and most often exceed your expectations. Tours in Atlantic City, tours to the statue of liberty, boat tours from Atlantic City and Philadelphia, dolphin tours and eco tours from Atlantic City, even helicopter tours over New York City, lighthouse tours, museum tours, lunch cruises and many more. When you come to New Jersey to visit the many wonderful and historical sights, you will be spellbound.


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Newark New Jersey Things to do

Things to do in Newark New Jersey  

A favorite spot by many, Atlantic City is a mecca for gamblers all over the New England and northeaster United States. Free bus rides from Philadelphia are available to the fabled city, with some offering to give you an extra 25 dollars to take the trip. The boardwalk is famous as well, or more so, since it has been around for many more years. Traveling to the ocean to enjoy the sun and waters of the Atlantic in summer has been the highlight of many families regardless of their incomes. Constructed in 1870, it is still the place to go to watch people, eat food and just hang out. With all kinds of shops, restaurants, game stands and food stands, there is no other place like it in the states. There are numerous casinos to try your luck, which most going don't have much of, but the sheer excitement and fun of going and being around all those high rollers attracts even the poorest. There is Harrah's, the Wild Wild West, the Tropicana, Caesars, the Resorts and many more.

The city can boast of many other wonderful family attractions that will thrill the whole family and is much cheaper than the casinos. The Atlantic City Aquarium, the outlets along the Walk with over 100 stores, outlets and shops, the Historical Museum, Central Pier, the Art Center and a Ripley's Believe It or Not.

Absecon Lighthouse is a renovated historical building from 1857, going up 150 feet and known by the red band around it middle. And more casinos like the one at the Claridge Hotel, Trump's Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, Bally's, Trump Marina Casino, the Hilton Casino and the Borgata. The Pines Course at the Marriot Seaview Resort is said to have one of the finest golf courses in the east coast and you would have to check it out to be sure. The Bay Course is also located there and is another great course to play. Great Bay Resort and Country Club is the host for the yearly LPGA championship.

In Newark, visit the Museum set within a historical house containing artifacts and art from over the years. The New Jersey Historical Society is located here and contains many years of history pertaining to the state and all related materials. Housed within is the library, archives and museum with regards to the state and it is the biggest collection of memorabilia from New Jersey history.

Bay Springs Farm is what many consider to be the last dairy farm in the county, although today it raises alpacas. These llama like animals grow some of the softest wool like hair that you could ever want to wear on a cold northern winter day. They also will sell the entire animal with guarantee and service, concentrating on black, gray and colored huacaya alpacas. They carry the yarn, sweaters, socks, scarves, and fleece in their store.

Trenton, the capital of New Jersey, is also the scene of two bloody battles between the British and American forces in the Revolutionary War. The Old Barracks Museum is the last one left of the British. This military museum is a great place to see what it was like back then and the many artifacts and weapons that were used during that time period. The city has a monument with many wonderful and surprising features that if you are a history buff, especially of that war, then you will want to visit.  The state museum is here and it entails science, art and archeology all within the same building. It is a great museum to visit and learn more about the earliest times of this area.

A really amazing area to visit is the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, a truly beautiful river flowing through the bustling state of New Jersey. Exploding with scenes from another place, this awesome river travels along forested areas within the mountain region, scarcely any homes or wisps of civilization. Coming to an area that looks like the mountain was carved out, the river turns into the Gap, an awe inspiring vista of magic and serenity. The river will continue to run another 200 miles after into the Delaware Bay and finally splashing into the Atlantic Ocean around Wilmington, Delaware. Back in the gap, you can play like a child with boats, rafts, tubing, canoes, or kayaks. You can swim, fish or do whatever your heart desires in this clear clean river. Before or after you can hike into the mountains to thrill at the beauty that God has left here and tred in the footsteps of men from our history. Mt. Minsi is in Pennsylvania and Mt. Tammany in New Jersey and between sits the Kittatinny Ridge. The Appalachian Trail runs 27 miles through the park is a hiker's dream. Visit Pocono plateau and watch mesmerized as the water gush through the hemlocks into the river below. Stop and listen to the thunder at Dingmans Falls, Childs Park or Raymondskill. And to top off the day or week or whatever, remember this area was home to many early settlers and you have the opportunity to visit some of the many historical buildings still standing as a testament to their tenacity, skill and workmanship. A truly marvelous place to enjoy.