I hope I don’t insult anyone, but let’s face it, ever since The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, New Jersey has gotten a bad wrap. It’s not all mobsters and seedy casinos. I found a few cool spots to stay and iconic sites to see all on a budget. Historic or modern, nature or city, boardwalk or beach, New Jersey has it all.
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Step into history and book a stay at the Congress Hall in Cape May, New Jersey. I’ve traveled in Europe and in Asia and never stayed in a 200-year-old hotel. Built in 1816, the Congress Hall Hotel has recently been restored, but stepping through the doors takes you back in time. With comfortable, spacious rooms and all the amenities of any modern hotel, Congress Hall combines the best of the present. Take paddle board lessons as the beach is just steps away or stroll down to the historical society and learn about the origin of America.
Natural New Jersey
Don’t let the fancy name fool you. The Wilshire Grand Hotel is a beautiful but approachable hotel near the famed Verona Park. The hotel is locally owned and a sense of pride for West Orange, New Jersey. It’s a pet-friendly hotel, so bring your dog to explore the walking or jogging trails in the nearby park. If you like water, canoe and kayak in Verona Lake. The park offers educational walks for adult and kids, so it’s a great sport for families. When the weather is good, the park offers outdoor concerts and programs in the gazebo.
Budget New Jersey
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Located minutes away from the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk sits the quaint Royal Lodge. Since your going to lose all your money in the casino anyway, the hotel offers rooms of varying sizes all at a low rate. Choose the number of beds you need, and each comes equipped with a refrigerator and microwave. With just 25 rooms to concentrate on, the staff goes out of their way to make sure the guests enjoy their stay. The rooms are clean, and the hotel is quiet. It’s near to the beach, and the excitement of Atlantic City makes this a great hotel option for the budget minded traveler.
Nightlife New Jersey
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You can’t beat the Atlantic City/Absecon area for options for a budget conscious traveler. The Superlodge Atlantic City/Absecon is a small, clean and convenient place for your stay. What makes this hotel different is the staff’s knowledge of Jersey nightlife and evening attractions. They brag on the website how they create the perfect vacation stay for any traveler. They know the best places to eat and the best places to dance, lounge or just people watch.
It may be New York’s ugly cousin, but it has some amazing places to play and to stay. Sometimes Jersey gets a bad wrap, but to me, it’s just another cool city to explore on the east coast. What do you think of New Jersey?