8 Places To Visit In New Jersey This Summer

8 Places To Visit In New Jersey This Summer

New Jersey is full of hidden natural beauty and so many underrated attractions.

New Jersey is often referred to as "the armpit of America," however I disagree. I say this not just because I am a New Jersey resident myself, I say this because New Jersey has so many amazing places to visit that most people - even New Jersey residents themselves - don't even know exist! If you are looking for anything to do this summer, here are eight different places to visit in the Garden State!

1. The Shore

New Jersey is known for its 130 miles of beautiful coastline that spans from Sandy Hook to Cape May. Some of the more popular shore towns and beaches include Seaside, LBI, Ocean City, and Wildwood. My favorite beach though is Island Beach State Park because it is a preserved section of the barrier island that protects the natural shoreline and its habitats. The park has about 10 miles of sandy beaches but also a shoreline along Barnegat Bay.

2. Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture is a sculpture park and museum that spans 42-acres in Hamilton and is on the former site of the New Jersey State Fairgrounds. Visitors can enjoy over 270 sculptures made by both well-known and rising contemporary artists.

3. Absecon Lighthouse

The Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City is one of the oldest in the country and the country’s third tallest lighthouse. It is over 160 years old and offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic City skyline if you are willing to climb the 228 steps to reach the top!

4. Cape May County Park and Zoo

This park in Cape May offers a wildlife preserve, a wildlife sanctuary, a recreational area, and a forested 200-acre park that includes the zoo. Admission is completely free for the park and zoo. The zoo contains over 550 animals including many rare and endangered species.

5. Highlands Natural Swimming Pool

This is a hidden gem located in Ringwood features an Olympic-sized freshwater swimming pool that was carved out of a hillside in 1935 and is fed by a mountain stream. Aside from swimming, you can hike many trails throughout the Norvin Green State Forest for some added fun!

6. Old Barracks Museum

This museum has a unique history dating back to the 1700’s during the French and Indian War. The Old Barracks Museum is located in Trenton and is the only remaining colonial barracks in New Jersey.

7. Delaware River Tubing

While there are many places that offer to tube down the Delaware River, Delaware River Tubing located in Milford is one of the best! Not only is this inexpensive but is fun and relaxing. You can also stop and eat lunch during your trip at their famous hot dog stand!

8. Adventure Aquarium

Located in Camden, Adventure Aquarium is the only aquarium in the world where you can see hippos and the only aquarium in the country that features one of the largest and rarest sharks, the hammerhead.

Cover Image Credit: Travel Home

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9 Cultural Revelations International Students Learn In The American Deep South

From food, to social behaviors and lifestyle, a lot can change when moving to a different country.

Waking up thousands of miles away from home, then finding yourself constantly speaking a foreign language while simultaneously learning different subjects, and meeting people from a totally different background than you.

From food, to social behaviors and lifestyle: a lot can change when moving to a different country. According to The University of Alabama Demographics, 3 percent of the students on campus come from 82 different countries. After reaching out to some of those students, these are the top 9 things International Students learn in the deep South:

1. Y’all

Most likely to be the first new word learned by an international student when arriving at Alabama. I never understood why people here couldn't just say "you guys" but this is definitely in my everyday vocabulary now.

2. Smiling at strangers

Believe it or not, but plenty of places around the world are not accustomed to giving random smiles or "good mornings" when bumping into strangers on the streets. Many international students have to get used to the fact that people actually wave at their neighbors down here (and we try our best to remember to wave back). The Southerners can definitely be warm people and know how to make us feel welcomed.

3. Football

Before arriving at Alabama, many of us had no idea that college sports were such a big deal. Although in the beginning, it was a little hard to grasp the concept that athletes are basically celebrities on campus, other countries should encourage more sports like the American schools do.

4. The apologies

Something else related to the Southern hospitality: people love apologizing around here. From a bad weather to nearly (but not really) bumping into someone, hearing so many “I’m sorry's" throughout the day can be something different to us.

5. Jackets in the summer

What’s up with the really cold air conditioning around here? First lesson on the first day of class: bring a jacket with you, no matter how hot it may be outside.

6. Fast service

Coming from being the fast eater in my family back home, I seem to be pretty slow when it comes to eating here. I have found Americans to be very practical people, from having the option of pickup in many different kinds of stores, to bringing the bill in a restaurant while people are still eating.

7. Coffee to go

Also related to the fast-paced down here, people love their to-go drinks. When walking around campus, it is inevitable not to see people going to places while having their coffee cups on their hands. For many of us, drinking coffee is something done as a chill down experience and also an opportunity to catching up the talk with friends, normally done sitting down and with a small coffee mug. Also, talk about the lines out the door every time I walk by Starbucks on campus!

8. Chicken and Waffles

Before going to the South it had never crossed my mind that I would hear this two words together. It might sound like a strange combination for an international student at first, but I wouldn’t trade my Chicken and Waffles for anything now.

9. The Free Stuff

One thing us, internationals, love about the U.S.: so. much. free. stuff! Little did we know that being an international student at Alabama also came with free meals every week, endless pins and shirts given by the university. That's something we definitely don't have a hard time getting used to.

Cover Image Credit: Barbara Dias Carneiro

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8 Things All San Diegans Know To Be True As 'America's Finest City'

We're truly "America's Finest City."

San Diego is synonymous with sunshine, beaches, and awesome Mexican food. However, there are some things about "America's Finest City" that you only know to be true if you're from here. Here are just a few.

1. Our Mexican food is actually the best.

Lots of other cities around the U.S. like to claim that their Mexican food reigns supreme, but nobody can beat ours. Being so close to the border definitely gives us an advantage.

2. Everyone loses their mind when it rains.

Since our weather is always so nice, people get caught off guard on days when it isn't so great. The traffic is terrible and everyone seems confused by the water falling from the sky. You can read more about all the weird stuff we do when it rains here.

3. Our sports teams aren't the best.

Now don't get us wrong, some of us really miss the Chargers, and we also recognize that Petco Park is a cool place to visit. But we've been here long enough to know that neither of them were ever anywhere close to being the best.

4. The baby seals in La Jolla are the cutest.

Visiting the seals at the Children's Pool and perusing the cute little shops of La Jolla is a classic San Diego experience. Tourists crowd the area during peak seasons, but pupping season runs from mid-December to mid-May.

5. Balboa Park is the best place to have a photoshoot.

Balboa Park Gif via Giphy

Not only does it have the world-famous San Diego Zoo, Japanese Friendship Garden, and many awesome museums, Balboa Park also has many picturesque locations that the public can walk around and view for free! It's an awesome place to have a fun photoshoot and adventure.

6. You should stay away from Black's Beach (unless you're into that sort of thing).

For those who don't know, Black's Beach is clothing optional. It's not the best place for a family beach day.

7. We never get snow days.

While the rest of the country gets to play in the snow, we don't get days off of school unless there's a wildfire close enough to threaten our well-being. Definitely not as fun as building snowmen.

8. We really are America's Finest City.

San Diego offers so many different things to do and see. At the end of the day, no city is finer or classier than San Diego!

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Stephen Niemeier from Pexels

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