New Jersey: The essential guide

Our roundup of New Jersey's best bars, beaches, nightlife and neighborhoods



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Photograph: Courtesy of Shutterstock

Jersey: It’s the butt of a thousand jokes, the so-called “armpit of America.” But what if, beyond all the name-calling and already-ancient Jersey Shore references, the Garden State is actually…awesome? A land of beautiful beaches, New Yorker-friendly neighborhoods, fun bars, stunning scenery and fantastic shopping? Surprise! It is. This guide will tell you what to eat, where to go, what to listen to and how to speak while visiting our friends across the river, and even give you a handy neighborhood-to-neighborhood conversion guide for those thinking of making the move permanent. You can trust us, this list ain’t no fugazi.

Reasons to love New Jersey

Red Bank, New Jersey

Red Bank, New Jersey Photograph: Courtesy of New Jersey Tourism

The coolest places in New Jersey for New Yorkers

Trade your NYC neighborhood for its Jersey equivalent with our essential guide, featuring places where even a tried-and-true New Yorker would feel comfortable—at a fraction of NYC’s exorbitant rents.

The best things to do in New Jersey

Even jaded New Yorkers (like us) think these across-the-Hudson haunts are worth the trek. Cheaper threads, fewer tourists, beautiful old architecture... Get to it!

The ultimate New Jersey mixtape

The 15 best New Jersey songs

If you’re heading to the Garden State, this playlist—featuring the Boss (of course), Ella Fitzgerald, Yo La Tengo and er, Jay Z—will get you to Jerz in toe-tapping style.

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