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Don’t Leave South New Jersey Without Doing These 8 Things

When people think of New Jersey, they think of the mountains to the north, the big cities in the middle, and the boardwalks on the shore. But what about southern New Jersey? If you’ve visited the northern or shore areas of the state, you’ll be surprised to find out just how different the southern section is. It’s almost like an entirely different state!
If you’re seeking a little adventure, lots of history, amazing local eateries, and some spooky haunts, then south Jersey is your travel destination. When you do visit the bottom of the garden state, make sure you don’t leave without doing these eight things.

1. Visit Historic Batsto Village

Batsto Village will make history lovers swoon. Founded in 1766, most of the once-prosperous glass-making town is still standing. An old grocer, outfitted with antique products (not for sale) sits near the enormous mansion. Tours are given at specified times each day, and while the visit is free there is a small fee for mansion tours.
There is a fully operational smithy, worker’s cabins, and an old sawmill that sits on a large river. Stop for a moment before crossing the old bridge to take in the breathtaking views of the lake, and be sure to visit the preservation museum to learn about the natural flora and fauna of the infamous Pine Barrens.

2. Eat at Ducktown Taverns

Situated on a corner in downtown Atlantic City you’ll see a giant green sign featuring a duck smoking a cigar. Below that sign is one of the best eateries in all of southern New Jersey. Despite being one of the only bars open 24/7 in AC, Ducktown promotes a very family-friendly atmosphere during the daytime. In fact, you’ll see most of the ACPD if you stick around long enough–it’s their favorite place to eat.
The menu is out of this world, and the service is terrific. The wait staff makes you feel right at home. If you’re feeling adventurous make sure you order the XXXMan Burger. It’s topped with cayenne peppers, jalapenos, hot sauce, and Swiss cheese. Or if you’re looking for something a little less intense, the seafood pizza is a local favorite.

3. Shop at Historic Smithville Village

If you want an authentic local experience during your visit, shopping at Historic Smithville is a must. Set up just like a quaint village of yesteryear “The Shoppes” feature dozens of small, locally-owned businesses. Taste some delicious local honey at The Honey Pot. Experience authentic international culture at A Taste of Italy and Out of Ireland.
Besides the shops, there is also an adorable train ride for children, plus a merry-go-round and old-fashioned arcade. You can even take brightly-colored paddle boats out on the river for affordable half-hour stints.

4. Pick Blueberries in Hammonton

Hammonton is the blueberry capital of the world, and the vast fields spreading out in every direction doesn’t have anyone wondering why. There are numerous opportunities to pick your own blueberries. Check out some of the local downtown bakeries for a number of sweet blueberry treats–made with local produce!
You could pack this adventure in with your visit to Batsto. The historic village is a short twenty-minute drive from Hammonton’s downtown.

5. Sunflowers in Petersburg

A short drive from Ocean City (“America’s Greatest Family Resort”) you’ll find one of many teeny-tiny towns that make up Upper Township, New Jersey. If you manage your visit during the summer or early fall, you have to stop and grab some sunflowers.
A farmer off the side of Old Tuckahoe Road in Petersburg grows an enormous field of giant sunflowers each year. For $5 you can take pictures with the field and the old truck sitting beside it. For only fifty cents you can grab yourself one of the most beautiful sunflowers you’ve ever seen.

6. Canoe Down The Tuckahoe River

If you’re already in little-known Upper Township, make it a day trip so you can canoe down the Tuckahoe River. The dark waters make up one of the only ‘black water’ rivers in the United States but don’t let the ominous sound deter you. The views along the 27+ miles are well worth the physical exertion.
Take your canoe under the old train bridge and past tiny floating islands that are only visible when the water is at it’s lowest. Travel through the Tuckahoe Preserve and alongside vast marsh inlets. Just make sure you bring bug spray because the mosquitos, gnats, and biting flies tend to be bad in summer.

7. Visit The First Zoo in NJ

Situated in Bridgeton is the Cohanzick Zoo. It’s the oldest zoo in the state, and it’s entirely free to visit. It isn’t particularly large, but even if the animals don’t make the trip worth it for you, the beautiful layout will. A stunning lake with gorgeous native flora takes center stage along unique decorations.
The animals you can expect to see during your visit include surprisingly friendly peacocks, an emu, tigers, and monkeys. Ducks run freely about the zoo and large pot belly pigs lounge in their pens.

8. Visit The Jersey Devil’s Birth Place

Southern New Jersey is rich in folklore and superstition, among which tales of the Jersey Devil dominate. No visit to southern Jersey would be complete without a visit to the birthplace of this epic legend. You could incorporate this into your trip to Smithville, as the two are less than twenty minutes apart.
The Jersey Devil is said to be the youngest child of the Leeds family. In a moment of desperation, Mother Leeds cried out that she hoped her thirteenth child would be a devil. The legend says that the child was, indeed, born a devil and remains to haunt the Pine Barrens to this day.
The road you’ll want to find is Jimmy Leeds, located in Leeds Point, New Jersey. The road itself is something to see. Maybe it’s the legend or the general reputation of the Pine Barrens (yes, this again) but the winding road is quite eerie.
These eight items will make your visit to southern New Jersey authentic, exciting, and one-of-a-kind. With a little something for everyone, there’s no reason not to go!

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A Foodie’s Guide to the Jersey Shore

Feast Through Jersey Shore

It is like a culinary world of its own, whether you choose to have a meal at one of the many boardwalk restaurants or venture into the shore towns to find one of the hidden gems to eat at. From amazing ice cream creations to some of the best seafood you’ll ever have, the Jersey Shore truly has it all. Let’s take a look at some of the best foods that can be enjoyed at these great restaurants!

Uncle Bill’s Pancake House

2112 Asbury Avenue, Ocean City, New Jersey
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and Uncle Bill’s is the best place to enjoy it. Founded in 1962, this is an Ocean City tradition and for good reason. Here, you’ll find over a dozen varieties of pancakes, waffles, and French toast, all of them so appetizing that you’ll want everything. With cozy seating and an attentive staff, your meal will be top-notch. Come in and try the Strawberry or Hot Apple Crepes, Iowa Corn Pancakes, or perhaps the Peanut Butter Pancakes with Chocolate Chips. With all of these selections to choose from, Uncle Bill’s is an adventure in and of itself.

family_sharing_ice_cream_worldvia Shriver’s Gelato Ice Cream

Ocean City Boardwalk
Another Ocean City tradition, Shriver’s Gelato Ice Cream is an experience in itself. Whether you choose to enjoy it in a cone or cup, or perhaps in the form of a smoothie or milkshake, this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a wonderful frozen creation. With unique flavors such as Peanut Butter Chocolate, Cookie Monster, Verry Berry Sorbet, and much more, you’ll want to come by as often as you can to get a taste of it all. Don’t forget to stop next door to Shriver’s Gift Shop. Here, you can watch fudge being made, sample some great candy, or take home a wonderful toy as a memento.

Trama’s Trattoria

115 Brighton Avenue, Long Beach, New Jersey
This Tuscan Italian eatery is an absolute must when you visit the Jersey Shore. Trama’s Trattoria is known for some of the highest-quality food in the area. The chef is a native New Yorker who knows how to create dishes that give a lasting impression. Come in and try the Lemon Fettuccine, Scottish Salmon, Sea Scallops Scampi and much more. Save room for dessert, because the menu includes offerings such as Ricotta Cheesecake, Panna Cotta, and Warm Chocolate Cake. You’ll surely be remembering this meal for a long time to come.

chicken and waffles

Drew’s Bayshore Bistro

25 Church Street, Keyport, New Jersey
This delightful establishment has been serving great food for over a decade. Open by a chef who enjoys creating Cajun dishes, Drew’s Bayshore Bistro is the ultimate place to be for bistro-style cuisine. With meals such as Voodoo Shrimp, Chicken and Waffles, and Jalapeno Cornbread, the food at this bistro simply can’t be beaten.

Manco & Manco Pizza

Ocean City Boardwalk
No trip to Ocean City is complete without a slice from the famous Manco & Manco Pizza. Family owned since 1956, they offer pizzas that can make anyone’s mouth water. Guests can watch as the pizza is freshly made right before their eyes, making waiting in line part of the fun. For many, this is an Ocean City tradition. With toppings such as pepperoni, sausage, and Jersey tomatoes, there is no wrong way to enjoy a pizza at this great establishment.

lava cake

Reels at Pier 281

281 Princeton Avenue, Brick, New Jersey
Enjoy waterfront views as you savor the fine dining at Reels at Pier 281. With a variety of pasta, seafood, and steaks, the only problem will be deciding what to choose. This restaurant is relaxed and serene, and the cuisine is beyond excellent. Try the Maryland Crab Ravioli, Peppercorn Crusted Tuna, or Blackened Monkfish, and prepare to be amazed. When the time comes for dessert, choose from selections such as Maddycakes Carrot Cake, Chocolate Lava Cake, and Banana-nanas Haddon Foster. You’ll be planning your next visit before the meal is even over.

Pappardelle Pasta

Beach Tavern

33 West Street, Monmouth Beach, New Jersey
Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a meal at this fabulous waterfront location? At the Beach Tavern, you can arrive by boat, watch the glorious sunset, and enjoy some of the best food you’ve ever had. Indulge in selections that include Faroe Island Salmon, Curried Vegetable Ragout, or Pappardelle Pasta. Guests are treated like friends, and the staff goes above and beyond to make sure all friends have the time of their lives.


100 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch, New Jersey
With the intimate setting and spectacular views, Rooney’s is perfect for a cozy summer night. Events such as live music and buffets are offered, or come in for the unbeatable Sunday brunch. Try a Jerk Chicken Sandwich, Lobster Salad Sliders, Low Country Creole, and much more. You’ll want to come back every chance you get.

The Molly Pitcher Inn

Honey & Ginger Glazed Salmon

88 Riverside Avenue, Red Bank, New Jersey
For year-round dining with a touch of sophistication, head over to The Molly Pitcher Inn. As one of the most popular destinations in New Jersey, you can book a stay at the hotel in order to enjoy everything that the town has to offer. Come in for the Honey & Ginger Glazed Salmon, Molly Pitcher Seafood Pie, or the Roasted New Zealand Rack of Lamb, and be prepared to savor every bite.

The Marina at Oceanport

10 Riverside Avenue, Oceanport, New Jersey

Risotto Di Mare

The Marina at Oceanport boasts a lively atmosphere, excellent food, and great fun. You’ll find plenty of events that you can enjoy, such as trivia night, karaoke night, and much more. Make sure you come hungry because the menu is full of delicious dishes that include Seafood Risotto Di Mare, Jumbo Braised Short Rib Ravioli, and plenty of burgers and sandwiches. Socialize with friends and family, or enjoy an intimate meal for two. You’ll be glad that you did.
The Jersey Shore is so much more than a summertime beach destination. Come experience all of these great restaurants and see why the food in New Jersey simply can’t compare to anywhere else!