17 Reasons New Jersey is Secretly the Best

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In popular culture, “New Jersey” has become shorthand for “the literal worst pile of garbage known to man, sadly masquerading as a state.” Not only is that harsh, but it’s blatantly untrue. As people from New Jersey know, the state is actually really incredible. If lazy internet commenters would actually bother to do some research, they’d quickly see what those living in the Garden State already know — that it has quite a lot going for it.

Such as…

17. Natural Beauty

The Great Falls of the Passaic River are unbelievably beautiful. As are the Pine Barrens and the Great Swamp. Yeah, even Jersey’s swamps are lovely.

16. “Jersey Breakfast”

Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese, please. Bonus points if it’s got ketchup. Good luck getting this diner staple anywhere else — and get that hoagie roll out of our faces, Philly.

15. Drive-In Movies

Drive-in theaters were born in New Jersey. So basically, New Jersey is the birthplace of American nostalgia.

14. Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, is also born in New Jersey, which means news as we know it in America would not exist without New Jersey. That’s just science.

13. Density

Step aside, New York. New Jersey is the most densely-populated state. This means, even though it gets a lot of outside criticism, there are more people packed into Jersey per square mile than anywhere else. Do you think they’re all choosing to live there by accident?

12. Cory Booker

Regardless of your political leanings, Cory Booker’s random acts of heroism are pretty impressive. He saved that freezing dog, remember?

11. Produce

Do you like salad, America? Do you like fruit? Because NJ is making a lot of it. New Jersey ranks fifth in blueberries, fourth in peaches, and third in spinach, bell peppers, and cranberries. Because, you know, Garden State and all.

10. Staying in the Car in All Weather

Thanks to a weird old “safety” law passed in 1949, Jersey residents and lucky motorists passing through get to kick it in the car while a courteous professional handles the dirty work of pumping the gas.

9. These Dudes

Sinatra. Bon Jovi. Springsteen. These guys are so legendary, they don’t even need first names. New Jersey just kind of breeds them that way.

8. Graduation Rates

Going up! New Jersey’s high school graduation rate is estimated to be nearly 88%, which is substantially higher than the national average.

7. The Jets and the Giants Can’t be Kept Away

Real-talk: MetLife Stadium is in New Jersey, not New York. The last Super Bowl? It was played in New Jersey.

6. Thomas Edison

Ever heard of him? Yeah, the granddaddy of important patents and, you know, the lightbulb was based out of Jersey.

5. “Jughandles”

Even Jersey’s traffic has its own bad-ass slang. Unfamiliar? Look it up before you hit the roads, because otherwise, you will probably get rear-ended and/or dead.

4. Diners

New Jersey has the most diners in the world, which means it has the highest number of the best kind of eatery.

3. Grover Cleveland

Not only did the Cleve have a bangin’ mustache, he was also the President TWO TIMES and led something called the Bourbon Democrats, which sounds like they really had their priorities in order.

2. The Jersey Tomato
The tomato is the state vegetable of New Jersey (yeah, it should be the state fruit, but we’ll let it slide), in large part because New Jersey is the birthplace of some of the most renowned tomatoes of all time, thanks to the food geniuses at Rutgers.

1. And About the Jersey Shore….

Everyone from New Jersey knows that the cast of the Jersey Shore is really not actually from here. JWoww? New York. Pauly D? Rhode Island. The Situation? So very Staten Island. Snookie? She was born in Chile. These are not people from New Jersey, these are just people who enjoy New Jersey’s majestic hundreds of miles of glorious beaches.

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Hanna Olsen