1. Going Down The Jersey Shore
Source: Sue Rosas Wallace’s Facebook
In Jersey, there aren’t “beaches.” Only “the shore.” And you go “down the shore” for the summer. With over 300 miles of coastline and multiple shore points, you won’t have trouble finding one. Everybody in Jersey has their favorite spots and knows the best way to get there.
2. Reminding The Rest Of The Country That We’re The Garden State
Source: Wikipedia user Tony Webster
If all you know about New Jersey is Newark and Jersey City, it’s easy to understand why the state gets a reputation of being nothing but factories and landfills. The truth is, agriculture is Jersey’s third biggest business. But even though the state is sprawling with farms and park no one ever really seems to believe them. So, they just keep reminding everyone.
3. Summer Days On The Boardwalk
Source: Morey’s Pier & Beachfront Waterparks’ Facebook
Winter in the Northeast can be pretty brutal, making those lazy days of summer a treasured treat. And taking a stroll down one of the many boardwalks along the shore points is just the way to do them justice. With an oversized stuffed panda from the arcade in one hand, a funnel cake that you fight the seagulls for with the other, there’s no better way to spend a summer day in Jersey.
4. Being Four Different States In One
Source: Flickr user Noe Alfaro
No one is actually from “New Jersey”, even if you’re born here and never leave. That’s because New Jersey is notoriously split into four very different regions.
You’re either from North Jersey, South Jersey, Central Jersey, or The Shore. North claims dibs on New York, South claims dibs on Philadelphia, and The Shore gets dibs on, well, the entire shore.
Central Jersey remains a bit of a mystery, though, since no one can ever agree on where it starts or ends, except the people who claim to live there.
5. Diners, Dude. Diners.
Source: Flickr user Alan Levine
New Jersey has more diners than anywhere else. Want proof? It’s the Diner Capital Of The World. A report in 2010 claimed a total of 600 throughout the state, and it’s probably grown since then. It might seem like a bit much, but the homemade breakfast served every day, all day and 24-hour milkshakes make people in Jersey wonder why everyone else doesn’t do it this way.
6. Being A Farmer’s Market Paradise
Source: Ocean City, NJ’s Facebook
All that farmland makes for some mighty fine farmer’s markets. No matter where you live throughout the state, from Hoboken to Cape May, a farmer’s market is never far away. Seasonal, local, and organic produce never gets old.
7. Knowing Their Pizza Is Better Than Yours
Source: Wildwood Pizza Tour’s Facebook
Forget New York. Forget Chicago. If you want the best slice of pizza you’ve ever had, you need to get yourself to New Jersey, stat.
Much like arguing over shore points, each region has their own opinion of what pizza joint makes the best pie. But everyone agrees that they’re all better than anywhere else.
8. Sweet Corn And Jersey Fresh Tomatoes
Source: Ocean City, NJ’s Facebook
They’re the two most popular crops in the state, so summer meals in Jersey are filled with sweet corn and Jersey fresh tomatoes. Almost everyone in New Jersey has sampled the out-of-state versions (the verdict: An underwhelmed “meh.”) But not everyone from out of state has had the luxury of a plump, juicy Jersey tomato or a cob of perfectly sweet corn in July.
But once they do, they’ll be ruined forever, because, yes, the ones from Jersey really are that good.
9. Knowing All The Locations From The Sopranos
Source: Flickr user Miguel Ariel Contreras Drake-McLaughlin
The Sopranos might have ended seven years ago, but to many areas in New Jersey it’s still very much alive. Tours will take you around the popular filming locations like the giant Muffler Man, Pizza Land, and the infamous Bada Bing!
But ultimate fans don’t need a tour guide to show them what they already know, like the location of Tony’s house and Holsten’s, the restaurant in the show’s ambiguous, final scene.
10. Bruce Springsteen
Source: Facebook user Bruce Springsteen
New Jersey is home to a multitude of talent, but no one quite captures its essence in the same way as The Boss himself. With his signature raspy voice and the amazing E Street Band behind him, Springsteen–born and raised right in Monmouth County—is Jersey royalty.
11. Getting Irrationally Irritated At Anyone Who Can’t Properly Navigate A Circle
Source: Flickr user mob mob
Drivers in New Jersey believe that circles are most definitely the superior answer to gridlock at busy intersections. After all, it always keeps the traffic flowing.
But people from out of state who aren’t familiar with the system usually get confused and end up holding everything up, infuriating everyone around them that has a NJ license plate.
Seriously though, it’s a circle, not rocket science. Hit the gas!
12. Blaming MTV For Our GTL Reputation
Source: Facebook user Jersey Shore
For the record, the cast of that MTV “reality” show (that we all wish would have never happened to begin with) weren’t even from New Jersey. They were from New York.
So, aim your GTL jokes higher north. They’re not our doing and we’re not taking this crap anymore.
13. Mapping Out The State By Exits
Source: Flickr user MPD 016065
Headed to Newark? That’s exit 15 off the Turnpike. Need to go down to Delaware? (First of all, why?) That’s all the way down exit 1. If you don’t mind paying the tolls, that is.
In New Jersey that’s how it’s done. Directions are given by way of highway exits.
14. Knowing Someone Who Knows Someone Who Saw The Jersey Devil
Source: Flickr user Reclaimednj
Popular opinions are that the Jersey Devil has a goat head on a kangaroo-like body with bat-shaped wings and flies around the Pine Barrens shrieking its blood-curdling scream out into the night.
As the way most urban legends work, mostly everyone in Jersey has a second-hand story to tell when it comes to this elusive creature, but few claim to ever have encountered it themselves.
15. Producing A Massive Amount Of Talent
Source: Frank Sinatra’s Facebook
Bruce Springsteen aside, New Jersey has produced some of the biggest stars in the industries. The list includes Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Jason Alexander, Jon Stewart, Jon Bon Jovi, Zach Braff, John Travolta… the list goes on, but I don’t think I need to.
16. Never Having To Pump Gas In The Rain
Source: Flickr user Jackie
New Jersey is one of only two states in the US (holla, Oregon!) that mandate full service gas stations by law. Residents of other states may not understand it, but that’s okay. Give us a call on a cold winter’s day when you’re pumping your gas in the freezing rain and we’ll explain it to you.
17. Making Every Weekend “The Hangover” In Atlantic City
Source: Flickr user Wasabi Bob
Who needs Las Vegas when you’ve got Atlantic City right in your backyard? With high-end and novelty restaurants like Bobby Flay’s and Wolfgang Puck’s, a revolving door of concerts and shows, museums, outlet stores, and a boardwalk of fun, AC is wall-to-wall entertainment.
18. Taylor Ham Pork Roll
Source: Flickr user istolethetv
Depending on what part of the state you’re from, you might be cringing right now because no one really calls it a “Taylor Ham pork roll.” It’s “Taylor ham” if you’re up north and “pork roll” if you’re south. But whatever you choose to call it doesn’t make it any less delicious. Everyone can agree on that.
19. Paying Extra In Gas To Avoid Paying Tolls
Source: Flickr user Ester Cervantis
Whether you’re going to Philadelphia, New York City, or Delaware, you’ll have to cross a bridge to get out of Jersey, which means paying a toll. But paying to drive to the shore? Not a chance.
Experienced drivers in Jersey will go WAY out of their way, taking the back roads to avoid even paying an extra dollar on the Parkway or Turnpike whenever possible.
20. Knowing That The Best Amusement Park Around Is Great Adventure, Not Six Flags
Source: Flickr user George.Bremer
With an amusement park, water park, and drive-through safari, Great Adventure (owned by Six Flags) is the destination of choice for Jersey thrill-seekers. The park has fun for all ages, but the extreme rides like the 21 story drop of Nitro, the standup twists on Green Lantern, and the steepest drop on a wooden coaster in the world on El Toro are what keeps the crowds lining up.
21. Stopping At Wawa At Least Twice A Day
Source: Flickr user Erica Feliciano
The convenience store that puts all convenience stores to shame, Wawa is where all the cool kids go for everything from gas to coffee to sandwiches. Although the chain is much more heavily saturated throughout the South and Central Jersey areas, it’s beginning to branch out through North Jersey now, too, due to obvious popular demand.
22. Getting The Best Of Two Cities Without Having To Live In Them
Source: Flickr user J J
With Philadelphia to the west and New York City to the north, New Jersey gets the culture and excitement of both cities without having to endure the hassles of actually living in either. Outside of the hustle and bustle, but not too far away is right where we want to be.
23. Knowing Where To Find The Free Beaches
Source: Flickr user Patrick
Just like paying for tolls, Jersey locals don’t want to pay extra for their beaches. The popular tourist beaches like Seaside Heights and Wildwood require paying for daily or seasonal beach tags in order to plop down in the sand.
But locals in the know head to where the free beaches are. More money in your wallet and less tourists to crowd your waves.
24. Making Left Turns From Right Lanes
Source: Flickr user Ryan McDonough
Jug handles are weaved throughout New Jersey highways and interstates, forcing drivers to make left turns from right lanes. It’s a system that keeps the left lanes open for passing vehicles and comes easy to anyone who has navigated the roads a while. Meaning everyone in New Jersey.
But if you’re from out of state, have a GPS handy or be prepared to turn around a lot.
25. Loving Kevin Smith As Much As He Loves Us
Source: Facebook user Kevin Smith
You don’t have to like his work to appreciate a Jersey Boy proud of his roots. Kevin Smith’s films “Clerks” and “Chasing Amy” were filmed in Red Bank, NJ and highlighted his favorite and most memorable things about the state.
His popular comic book shop Jay & Bob’s Secret Stash is located there, too, as featured on the show “Comic Book Men.”
If you follow Smith on Facebook, you’ll even see him post pictures of his travels home to Jersey to visit his mom. A Jersey boy after their own hearts.
26. The Jersey Devils Hockey Team
Source: Flickr user Francisco Diez
North Jersey always claims the New York Jets and Yankees as their teams, while South Jersey stakes out the Eagles and Phillies. But The Jersey Devils NHL team remains the only professional league sports team to actually brand itself from New Jersey, so they get everyone’s love.
27. Bagels So Good You’ll Never Want Anything But Breakfast
Source: Flickr user iirraa
Plain, cinnamon raisin, onion, popeye seed, everything… whatever your bagel of choice, Jersey’s are nothing short of amazing.
And what’s the secret ingredient that makes the bagels in New Jersey taste so much better than everywhere else? Some say it’s in the water, others say it’s just the Jersey touch.
Whatever it is, though, makes for a pretty spectacular breakfast.
28. Getting In A Game Of Skee Ball
Source: Flickr user Shutter Runner
When you head down the shore, what’s the one thing you have to do? Play a game (or 20) of skee ball, of course. This family favorite game is played on every boardwalk and in every arcade in Jersey, and there’s really no passing one without playing.
29. Dodging Deer Like A Game Of Frogger
Source: Flickr user nosha
As if there already wasn’t enough to watch out for on the roads with all of the tolls, potholes, and slow left lane drivers. In Jersey, drivers also have also to watch out for deer.
The state is overrun with estimates of over 200,000 whitetail deer that are known to dart out in front of motorists like the Flash, causing some major damage to vehicles that swerve or brake.
Any day a deer crosses your path and you both make it to the other side is a good day.
30. Being Tough Guys, Not Goodfellas
Source: Flickr user Allison Heller
When Hurricane Sandy surprised the Northeast, New Jersey got hit hard. But we didn’t take it lying down. We may have lost homes, businesses, beaches, and a roller coaster, but we rebuilt and in the end, it made us tougher than ever.
Okay, we do love “Goodfellas,” though. But come on, who doesn’t?