New Jersey knows that it’s the butt of jokes throughout the nation, but we also know that we’ve got a great state with unique features that no other state can match. From the mountains to the shore, from the cities to the Pines, we’ve got a wealth of natural beauty, history, and culture. It’s like a well-kept secret. But now, The Fifty States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 fact-filled maps, written by Gabrielle Balkin and illustrated by Sol Linero (Quarto, 2015) is bringing some of our secrets to light.
Take a peek at the New Jersey page, and then I’ll share a few of my favorite NJ gems.
Three of my NJ favorites which are featured in The Fifty States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 fact-filled maps:
BRIGHT IDEA In West Orange you can visit inventor Thomas Edison’s lab and house.
Thomas Edison National Historical Park is a fascinating place to visit. In my opinion it beats visiting Thomas Edison Center in Menlo Park, NJ and his winter estate in Fort Myers, Florida. He didn’t just invent the light bulb, he invented everything you need to use a light bulb – from the lamp to the power grid. And of course, he invented much more than the light bulb. Not a perfect man, by any means, but a perfectly brilliant inventor!
|“Edison labs Main St Lakeside Av jeh” by Jim.henderson – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Edison_labs_Main_St_Lakeside_Av_jeh.jpg#/media/File:Edison_labs_Main_St_Lakeside_Av_jeh.jpg|
LUCY THE ELEPHANT In 1881 the U.S. Patent Office granted inventor James
Lafferty the right to make animal-shaped buildings for 17 years. His
first creation, Lucy, still stands in Margate, Atlantic City.
She’s a whopping 6-stories high and 134 years old, and she sits right next to the beach. And what a view from inside! I’m not positive but I do remember that her interior paint color is “stomach,” or something similarly intestinal.
By Harriet Duncan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Paterson, NJ, may not be your first thought when seeking tourist sites, but it’s well worth a visit. Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park is one of the nation’s newest National Parks. The falls (one of the largest in the nation) and park sit in the midst of an urban city of more than 145,000 people. The falls and the people of Paterson were powerhouses of the U.S. Industrial Revolution.
|Photo by L Taylor (c)|
If you want to know more great sites in NJ, you’ll have to come see for yourself.
Book images and quotes were provided by the publisher. I have no publisher or bookseller affiliations and received no compensation.