NEW JERSEY, the Garden State

What to see

Lakehurst Zeppelin Hindenburg 1937
Atlantic City casinos
Bridgeton historic tour
Newark Weehawken, Ferry to NY City
West Orange Edison historic site
Article Thomas Edison
Other pages other states | articles


cover new england

This is an extract of the main sights in this state, with small photos. You will find the full description and full-sized photos in my e-book View America: Mid Atlantic

In the travel series View America, this book describes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. Each state is described with its own brief historical background and its main sights, points of interest and tourist attractions.

It is not a traditional travel story, but a non-commercial and more or less objective chronicle of an in-depth exploration of these states. My book does not describe lodgings, restaurants or entertainment, except where these may interact with the narrative. It is illustrated with more than 120 full-sized photos.



NEW JERSEY is also known as the Garden State because of its still intense and rich agriculture, and the Nation's Medicine Chest because of its important chemical industry. The state takes its name from the Island of Jersey, the birthplace of Sir George Carteret, who was co-owner of New Jersey in the 17th century. It is one of the thirteen original colonies.

In 1787 New Jersey became the third state to join the US. The capital is Trenton, and the largest city is Newark. New Jersey has a population of approximately 8.5 million inhabitants, and the highest population density of the USA, with a density of 442 per km2. It also has the second most urbanized population after California, with an urbanization rate of 89%. More than 75% of the population lives within a radius of 50 kilometers around Manhattan Island.

The initial economic activity was predominantly agricultural until the 1900's, when industries such as iron, glass, cotton, clothing and leather came into being. The chemical industry is the largest in the US, and approximately 15% of all chemical products find their origin in this state. Tourism also has an important place, and in 1978 Atlantic City opened the first casino outside of Nevada.

The state has many lakes with numerous summer homes, and Atlantic City attracts many tourists with its casinos. West Orange is home to the Edison National Historic Site, with the home and laboratory of inventor Thomas Edison, where more than half of Edison's 1,100 inventions were developed. Lakehurst is the location where in 1937 the Zeppelin airship Hindenburg crashed.



Lakehurst : Zeppelin Hindenburg crash in 1937

In the Tourist Information Center we were told that Lakehurst, the site where the Hindenburg Zeppelin crashed in 1937, cannot be visited since it is a military base!

Unfortunately, nothing is left to commemorate this historic point of interest.

Lakehurst : Zeppelin Hindenburg crash in 1937

Atlantic City : casinos

Atlantic City is a seaside resort on the Atlantic Ocean, with a nice beach of fine sand. High skyscrapers, filled with sea-view apartments, tower on the outer edges of the city. In the center of the city, the hotels and casinos reign supreme, and they also take up most of the boardwalk.

During the 1950's, Atlantic City was THE vacation spot by excellence, for hundreds of thousands of Americans, as it could easily be reached by car. But after 1970, transport by air threw a spanner in the works, because tourists preferred to fly to Florida or Las Vegas, which robbed the city of its eminence.

The year 1976 brought a revival to Atlantic City, when casinos were opened. However, everything is more expensive in Atlantic City than in Las Vegas, and that goes for accommodation, restaurants, and bars! Nevertheless, the Atlantic City casinos actually make more money than those in Las Vegas, as more potential customers live nearby. The giant cities of New York and Philadelphia are located within a radius of 100 miles.

Atlantic City 3 Atlantic City 4

All kinds of people walk around, in every conceivable attire, and often even in every conceivable condition. As a matter of fact, tourists are discouraged to wander around after dark...

Atlantic City 7 Atlantic City 8

West Orange: Edison laboratories

At the corner of Main Street and Lakeside Avenue in West Orange, you'll find the laboratory of America's leading inventor, Thomas Edison. The Edison Laboratoriesis a National Historic Site, that can be visited.

West Orange : Edison labs 1 West Orange : Edison labs 2