New Jersey – The Garden State

New Jersey often gets a bad rap. It’s accused of being overpopulated with rude people, having too many freeways, and collecting some of the highest taxes in the country.

The thing is, all places have their ups and downs. While the Garden State has its fair share of drawbacks, its list of positives makes a pretty compelling argument as well.

Take its location for example. Not only can New Jersey residents play and/or work in New York, which for many is just a stone’s throw away, but they can also do the same in Philadelphia and take day trips to D.C., Boston, and dozens of entertaining destinations.

New Jersey is also a beautiful state. From its charming, one-of-a-kind shore towns and cherished diners to its rolling rural hills and farmland, its landscapes much like its inhabitants are wonderfully diverse.

New Jersey takes education seriously too. In fact, it’s famous for its award-winning public schools, which frequently rank in the top five for high school graduation rates.

As you can see, there’s a lot to like about Jersey. Keep reading to learn more about this often misunderstood northeastern state.

Newark, NJ

With its roads, bridges, subways, and light rail all leading across the Hudson to the massive metropolis of New York City, Newark may seem dwarfed by its famous neighbor but it’s still the hub and largest city in the Garden State.

With roots dating back to 1666, it’s also one of North America’s oldest cities, giving residents a medley of history, heritage, unique art, and multicultural cuisine to enjoy.

From its parks lined with cherry trees to its entertainment and bustling neighborhoods full of downtown theaters, performing arts centers, jazz bars, and unique eateries dishing out delicious cultural foods, Newark certainly has to offer.

Join the Spectacle at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center

For nearly two decades, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center has prevailed as one of the country’s largest and most renowned performance venues.

Showcasing a diverse lineup of live performances and entertainment, this Newark institution regularly hosts everything from classical ensembles and R&B groups to jazz bands, stand-up comedians, and more. People from New York and throughout the Garden State often fill the venue, creating an atmosphere and energy all its own.

If you ever want to put down the remote on a Saturday and take a break from DISH Network’s award-winning HD DVR technology and impressive lineup of 200+ HD channels, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center also hosts a number of festivals throughout the year.

Some of the center’s most notable festivals include Sounds of the City and the TD James Mody Democracy of Jazz Festival, both of which draw large numbers of festival-goers from New York, Newark, Elizabeth, Union, and surrounding areas.

Dig into the Global Cuisine of the Ironbound Neighborhood

Whether you call it Mini Spain or Little Portugal, Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood delivers delicious aromas and even more delicious tastes.

From bubbling paellas and spicy chorizo to Argentine empanadas and gaucho steaks, the flavors of the Iberian Peninsula are alive and well here.

This maze of crisscrossing streets east of Penn Station and south of the Passaic is considered by some the Garden State’s ultimate culinary hotspot. Here, you’ll find a diverse mix of multicultural eateries.

When in Ironbound, check out Fornos for to-die-for tapas, the Lopes Sausage Company for sizzling Iberian meats, and cap it off at Nasto’s Ice Cream for some of the finest Italian gelatos and sorbets this side of the Atlantic.

Walk Amidst Cherry Blossoms at Iconic Branch Brook Park

Contrary to popular belief, Newark has several pockets of greenery for walkers, runners, bikers, and nature lovers to enjoy. One of the most popular is Branch Brook Park.

Sprawling over 359 acres, this iconic park is dotted with 15 different species and thousands of individual trees. However, it’s the cherry trees that really steal the show.

During Spring, they open up in beautiful blooms of white and pink, creating a magical landscape that rivals Tokyo itself. In fact, there are so many cherry blossoms that the park plays host to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival each April, drawing thousands of visitors from Newark, New York, and beyond.

When the Spring blossoms blow away in the summer winds, visitors can explore elegant bridges winding pathways, and the beautiful Cathedral basilica of the Sacred Heart, which looms on the fringes of the eastern gardens.

While Newark is a wonderful place to explore, it’s always a good idea to have a backup. By purchasing an affordable television and internet bundle from Dish Network, you can indulge in some of your favorite programs from the comfort of your own home. As an added bonus, new customers get three free months of HBO®, Cinemax®, and Showtime®.

Jersey City, NJ

Set along the western shore of Upper Bay and the Hudson River, Jersey City is minutes from New York and boasts some of the absolute best views of the Manhattan skyline, Empire State Building, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty.

Once an outpost for colonial militias, Jersey City boomed during the Industrial Revolution as railroads, coal refineries, and train depots ruled the day.

Today, these remnants of a bygone age have become monuments and museums of a time when thousands of immigrants flocked to the city for opportunity and the promise of wealth.

Beyond its rich heritage, Jersey City is alive with energy. From Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty to science centers and the endless entertainment and bars in nearby party-hungry Hoboken, it offers a bit of everything for everyone just a stone’s throw away from the Big Apple.

Check the Statue of Liberty Off the Bucket List

No trip to Jersey City or the Big Apple would ever be complete without taking a quick trip to America’s most iconic monument – the Statue of Liberty.

Standing tall and proud in the historic waters of Upper Bay where the Hudson River flows past Union City and Jersey City and converges with Atlantic waters, this iconic landmark is instantly recognizable.

As a gift from France, it was constructed by Gustave Eiffel himself in the late 19th century. It was viewed by millions of immigrants as they arrived in the New World via Jersey City’s ports in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Today, the Statue of Liberty remains a popular destination for people near and far. You can just hop on a ferry at Liberty Park just south of Jersey City and knock it off your bucket list too.

Learn About America’s Immigration History at Ellis Island

Learn about Jersey City’s history at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. As one of America’s most historically significant sites, it was the very first federal immigration facility in the U.S. and is believed to have processed 12 million or more people looking to settle in the states during the early 20th century.

Now a national monument and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Ellis Island lies on a tiny piece of land in Upper Bay between New York and Jersey City.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for an afternoon escape, if you live in Jersey City, it’s a must-see attraction and definitely a rewarding place to spend a day.

Explore the Wonders of Science at the Liberty Science Center

DISH Network may be ranked number one nationally in customer service by J.D. Power and offer an amazing HD DVR with the ability to record and store up to 2,000 hours of your favorite movies and shows, but if you want to get out and about in Jersey City and do something a bit different, a visit to the Liberty Science Center is a must.

Despite being located within Liberty State Park, which makes it a perfect side excursion when visiting the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Science Center is a destination all its own.

Not only is it home to the largest expose of skyscraper design and construction in the world, aptly named “Skyscraper!” but its “Energy Quest” attraction unravels the truth about energy and its IMAX theatre is the largest in the country!

In the summer months, the Liberty Science Center is also home to the “Wildlife Challenge,” which is packed full of zip lines and fun physical challenges.

The Hopper - Dish NetworkWith so much to see and explore, you’re bound to miss some of your favorite shows and television specials! Fortunately, Dish Network’s Hopper is an HD DVR program that enables you to pause, rewind, and record live TV Now you enjoy the nightlife of Cedar Falls without skipping out on the newest episode of Game of Thrones or Keeping Up with the Kardashians. What’s more, with 2,000 hours of recording space, there’s no need to argue about who gets the TV during primetime hours.

Paterson, NJ

While few outside of New Jersey have ever heard of Paterson, the city of 100,000+ holds the unique distinction of having the second-highest population density of any U.S. city, trailing only NYC.

With so many people bustling within its limits and the nearby towns of Clifton and Passaic, you can bet Paterson’s history is both lengthy and notable. In addition to spearheading the American Industrial Revolution, it became an immigration hub for people coming to America from a host of countries during the late 18th and early 20th centuries.

Today, some parts of Paterson still hold on to the city’s industrial past, but much of the city is bustling with modern life, providing residents with a variety of entertainment options and things to see and do.

Enjoy Natural Wonders at Great Falls and Upper Raceway Park

You can’t live in Paterson, or even visit for that matter, without a trip to Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park. Here, you can snap pictures of the powerful falls, download the walking tour app, and enjoy a self-guided tour walking along the same paths as Alexander Hamilton and George Washington himself.

While here, make sure to check out nearby Upper Raceway Park as well. Designed by the same architect responsible for the planning and design of Washington D.C., the raceway served the community throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Despite looking a little abandoned today, it’s a really cool place ready to be explored by anyone interested in “abandoned Americana.”

Sure, DISH Network offers three free months of premium movie channels, 24/7 sports coverage with the Multi-Sport Pack, and an On-Demand library with over 20,000 movies and TV shows to select from, but if you want some fresh air and a neat urban escape, both of these parks are a must-see.

Look Around Lambert Castle

Lambert Castle was constructed by a wealthy manufacturer during the height of Paterson’s silk industry. Growing up impoverished in England, he frequently passed by the castles of the wealthy and vowed to build his own castle one day. He did exactly that and found Paterson the perfect place to lay its foundation.

During an era when the average worker only took home $1 a day, the castle cost approximately $500,000 to build, instantly making it a Paterson icon. As such, the castle’s history is rich with famous visitors, including President McKinley.

Today, Lambert Castle is owned by the Passaic County Historical Society, allowing visitors to tour the property on any given afternoon. Not only can you marvel at the building itself and the many treasures it holds, but it has a terrific view of the Manhattan skyline as well.

Catch an Event at William Paterson University

The bright lights and entertainment of New York City aren’t far away, but if you want to keep it local, check out the William Paterson University events calendar.

The university regularly hosts a number of concerts, theatrical performances, sporting events, and exhibits throughout the year. From comedic plays and jazz concerts to thought provoking lectures from the world’s brightest thinkers, there’s a little bit of everything available to enjoy.

DISH Movie PackOr, just sit back and take your pick from more than 200 national HD channels and international channels, all of which are delivered with award winning HD DVR technology. If you’re brand new to the world of Dish Network, visit the main website and become a subscriber. There are always lots of incentive packages available to new customers, like HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime free for 3 months for new customers.

Elizabeth, NJ

Elizabeth is one of the country’s oldest cities. Established in 1664, it was named after the beloved wife of one of the New Jersey colony’s original proprietors, Lord Phillip Carteret.

Needless to say, Elizabeth has plenty of history and stories to tell. In fact, following the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the first British ship was sunk off the city’s shores in Newark Bay.

Over the years, Elizabeth and its nearby neighbors of Hillside and Linden have remained popular places to live and visit. Between its history, proximity to New York City, and cultural diversity, it’s a hub of action with plenty to do and see.

Shop It Up at the Mills at Jersey Gardens

Whether you want an all-day excursion or a quick shopping trip, the Mills at Jersey Gardens is the place to go. As New Jersey’s largest indoor outlet mall, the shopping monolith offers endless retail options to satisfy the most demanding of shoppers.

Not only is it anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Michael Kors, Guess, Kenneth Cole, Coach, Neiman Marcus Last Call, and several other designer brands, but it’s also home to the largest Tommy Hilfiger store in the U.S., dozens of restaurants, and a massive 20-screen AMC IMAX Theatre.

Catch a Show at the Historic Ritz Theatre

Located on East Jersey Street, the historic Ritz Theatre is a tribute to Art Deco design and a true masterpiece to behold. Built in 1926 and featuring nearly 3,000 seats, it’s one of the oldest and largest theaters in New Jersey.

Some of the biggest names in music and showbiz history have performed on its stage, including Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Chaka Kahn, the Marx Brothers, Maya Angelou, Rodney Dangerfield, and many more. Today, the Ritz has been beautifully restored and continues to offer world-class performances by today’s top acts.

While at the Ritz Theater for any number of events, make sure to check out Boxwood Hall just down the street. Here, you can walk the same paths and stand in the exact spots where presidents, mayors, and many other influential figures have stood over the years.

Enjoy the Scenery at Veteran’s Memorial Waterfront Park

If you want to experience nature, history, beauty, and fun by yourself or with friends and family, a visit to Elizabeth’s Veteran’s Memorial Waterfront Park is sure to do the trick. With a bevy of amenities and a little something for everyone, it’s a popular spot on any sunny day.

What makes the park so special? Wel for starters, there’s the New York City skyline in the distance. There’s also the nation’s second-largest import and export center with its menagerie of cranes and containers to marvel at.

There’s also a ton of natural beauty all around, an iconic boardwalk along the harbor, plenty of open spaces to toss a frisbee or throw a football, and several spots to enjoy a picnic lunch and watch the sailboats, barges, and other ships go by.

All of this just a stone’s throw away from New York City makes the Veteran’s Memorial Waterfront Park the perfect place to spend an afternoon in the spring or summer months. However, make sure to visit Memorial Day weekend for the annual Memorial Day Weekend Waterfront Festival. With music, rides, food, and more, people from all over the state come to enjoy a fun-filled weekend and kick off the summer Jersey style.

A Great Place to Live – If You Can Afford It

With its rich history, attractions, and proximity to New York City, New Jersey is a popular state to live in for those who can afford it.

The Garden State has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. In fact, with an average property tax of 2.40 percent, it’s twice as high as the national average property tax rate of 1.19 percent. Combined with the state’s relatively high property values, becoming a homeowner in New Jersey can be an expensive achievement.

On the plus side, real estate in New Jersey isn’t as expensive as property across the bay. As prices continue to climb and reach new historic highs, it’s also a surefire investment for short-term equity or long-term growth.

Garden State Services

There are 16 internet providers throughout the Garden State, giving it 100 percent broadband connectivity and making it the second most connected state. In fact, while other states struggle with connectivity and are littered with dead spots, 100 percent of New Jersey’s population enjoys lightning-fast broadband speeds of 25 Mbps or more.

Dish NetworkThe state’s largest internet service provider is Xfinity. It’s available to approximately 50 percent of New Jersey residents.

Another of New Jersey’s largest internet and TV service providers is DISH Network. DISH services are available throughout the Garden State, allowing people from Wildwood to Paterson to enjoy endless programming options by bundling their TV and internet services into one convenient payment.

Aside from its coverage and convenience, other neat features that make DISH a popular choice for New Jersey residents include:

• Three free months of premium channels
• Award-winning HD DVR technology
• Dish LATINO and more!

With DISH, you can go explore and enjoy everything the wonderful state of New Jersey has to offer while recording any movie, show, or sporting event. There’s no need to miss out on any of the action!

Experience All New Jersey Has to Offer

The US is filled with wonderful states that are just as diverse as the people who call them home. While each state has its own unique beauty, attractions, and charm, New Jersey is right up there with the best of them for a variety of reasons.

Not only is it the mall mecca of America, which is great news for shoppers, but it’s landscapes and population are incredibly diverse, truly making it a state for everyone.

Want the latest Coach or Michael Kors bag? How about a day trip to the beach, Atlantic City, or the Big Apple? Desiring a late-night empanada? You can see, taste, and experience it all in New Jersey.

It truly is a diverse state with amazing people and endless things to do. When you factor in its outstanding internet speeds and DISH Network TV coverage, there’s a lot to like about living in the Garden State.