Lucy the Elephant- Close to Atlantic City
A fun detour from gambling and shopping in Atlantic City is a visit to see Lucy the Elephant in Margate, New Jersey. Lucy is a 15-20 minute drive from AC give or take.
You can take a tour and go inside of Lucy which is about 4 stories high!
More info at
- Family Travel
- Museum Visits
Cohanzick Zoo in Bridgeton NJ
My Aunt lives not far at all from New Jersey's oldest zoo, the Cohanzick Zoo, located in Cumberland County which is in southern NJ.. Though it isn't big, it's a nice relaxing place to spend the day. The things that stand out vivdly in my mind about it, are the many peacocks that were strutting around, and the beautiful white tiger exhibit.
(I will be digging up some photos)
Hours of Operation:
Spring/Summer - 10:00am to 6:00pm
Fall/Winter - 9:00am to 4:00pmRelated to:
The Delaware River Valley
The view to the west from High Point takes in the Delaware River Valley between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Delaware River flows 410 miles (660 kilometers) from its source in the Catskill Mountains in New York State to Delaware Bay. It forms the boundary between New Jersey and Pennsylvania for 25 miles (40 kilometers) of its length.
Just south of Port Jervis, New York, the Delaware River is deflected by the Kittatinny Mountains on the New Jersey side into the Delaware Water Gap, a deep gorge. This scenic gorge is two miles (three kilometers) long, and features 1,200-foot (366-meter) cliffs rising on both banks of the river.
The hills in the distance are the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
The Wallkill River Valley
The view to the southeast from High Point takes in the Wallkill River Valley in northern New Jersey. The valley lies between the Kittatinny Mountains to the west and the New York-New Jersey Highlands to the east. Its elevation ranges from 400 feet (122 meters) to 650 feet (198 meters).
Over the last century, much of the valley was cleared for agriculture, which consists mainly of dairy farms. Recently, residential and commercial developments have resulted in the clearing of more land. More natural habitat types in the valley include mixed hardwood and evergreen forests, grasslands, and wetlands.
The Wallkill River flows north through the center of the valley, draining most of Sussex County. It is an unusual river in that it is one of the few in the world that flows north between two south-flowing rivers (the Delaware and Hudson rivers in this case). In its 94-mile (151-kilometer) course, the Wallkill River leaves New Jersey, enters New York State, and drains into the Hudson River about 47 miles (76 kilometers) north of New York City.
The High Point Monument
The High Point Monument sits on the summit of High Point, the highest point in New Jersey at 1,803 feet (550 meters). The monument is a memorial to all war veterans and was paid for by Colonel Anthony Dryden Kruser, the man who donated the land that is now High Point State Park to New Jersey.
Built between 1923 and 1930, the High Point Monument was designed by Master Mason Michael Maddaluna. It was constructed of New Hampshire granite and Shawangunk quartz. The monument rises to a height of 220 feet (67 meters). An observation area at its top has four small windows from which visitors can see three states at once, as well as the Pocono Mountains to the west, the Catskill Mountains to the north, and the Wallkill River Valley to the southeast.
The High Point Monument was the Dark Lord's tower in the comedy film Gallstone.
High Point State Park
High Point State Park is made up of 14,193 acres (5,744 hectares) in the hilly region in the northwesternmost corner of New Jersey. It includes High Point, which is New Jersey's highest mountain, at 1,803 feet (550 meters). High Point is also the tallest peak of the Kittatinny Mountains. Looking north from the summit of High Point, the visitor will be able to see a panorama of farmland, forests, hills, and river valleys in three states at once. The hills pictured here in the foreground are in New Jersey; the town to the right of the Delaware River is Port Jervis, New York; and the town to the left of the river is Matamoras, Pennsylvania. Far off in the hazy distance are the Catskill Mountains of New York.
The land was donated to the state by Colonel Anthony Dryden Kuser, and was dedicated as a state park in 1923.
Visitors to High Point State Park will have a choice of numerous activities to help them enjoy their visit. Park naturalists conduct interpretive and educational programs throughout the year. Some of these programs include nature hikes, stream walks, and talks about various aspects of the natural history of the park and Kittatinny Mountains.
Twenty-acre (eight-hectare), spring-fed, Lake Marcia is popular for swimming in the summer. There is a beach watched over by lifeguards, as well as a bathhouse and food concession. Other water sports available in the park include boating on Sawmill and Steenykill lakes, and fishing in various other lakes and streams which are stocked with trout, bass, and other species of fish.
There are 50 miles (80 kilometers) of trails which can be used for hiking, horseback riding, and snowshoeing. The High Point Cross Country Ski Center offers nine miles (15 kilometers) of trails for cross-country skiing.
Other activities that take place in the park include hunting in designated areas, camping, and picnicking.
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Washington Crossing, PA
If you’re driving along the Delaware River in New Jersey as we were, it’s really worth the very short detour to pop over the river to Pennsylvania to check out Washington Crossing State Park. This marks the spot where on December 25th, 1776, General George Washington and a small army of 2,400 men crossed the Delaware River on their way to successfully attack a Hessian garrison of 1,500 at Trenton, New Jersey. This marked a turning point in the War of Independence, with the quick surrender of the garrison a real boost to the flagging morale of the patriots.
The various buildings and other reminders of that time are scattered over quite a wide area, in two separate sections of the park. With only limited time, and rather dull weather, we concentrated mainly on seeing the visitor centre and the actual spot of the crossing, both in the southern section of the park. There is a monument on the river bank commemorating the event and nearby you can see some replicas of the types of boats that would have been used, known as Durham boats (I don’t know why they have that name, but these were large, open boats more usually used to transport pig iron along the Delaware River). These replicas are used each year on Christmas Day in a re-enactment of the crossing. A little further along the river, just by the modern-day bridge, is McConkey's Ferry Inn, where General George Washington and his aides ate dinner and made plans for the crossing. If you cross the road here to the hotel on the opposite corner you can see another monument which as its inscription says was given to the people of the United States by “Citizens of the Bedford Indiana area and the Indiana Limestone Industry July 5, 1976”. This is a limestone sculpture of Washington and his men
We also stopped briefly to look at the historic Thompson-Neely House in the northern section, which was used as a military hospital during Washington's encampment in the area. The latter was unfortunately closed so we could only see the exterior but its pretty rural location made it a lovely spot for photos, despite the drizzly rain that was falling.
Directions: On Route 32 – if you are travelling north the Visitor Center is on the right and parking on the left.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- National/State Park
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Think of the New Jersey Shore and images of seaside fun, boardwalks and casinos are likely to spring to mind. But the area around Great Bay, just ten miles north of the bright lights of Atlantic City, is rather different. Great Bay is considered one of the least-disturbed marine wetlands habitats in the northeastern United States, and is apparently a popular birding and fishing spot, even though it’s also home to the rather less scenic Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Station, the oldest operating nuclear power plant in the US.
We enjoyed the wide open skies and marshland views, and stopped off at the quiet backwater of Oyster Creek itself, a bit to the south, looking for a more genuine experience than we’d had at Smithville. There’s nothing much to do here unless you have access to a boat but it’s a photogenic spot where you can stretch your legs with a stroll by the water’s edge and breathe in some sea air.
Directions:Turn off Route 9 at Smithville and head east towards the sea
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The New Jersey Naval Museum
The New Jersey Naval Museum is a small, kid-friendly museum located along the Hackensack River in Hackensack, New Jersey. The museum's highlight is its submarine, the USS Ling, which was built during World War II, and is open for tours on weekends. The Ling is well-preserved and is fascinating to walk through. A number of its sections are included on he tour, including the engine room, the torpedo rooms, the mess, the galley, and the crew's sleeping quarters. You definitely get an appreciation for what life was like on a World War II submarine after completing the 45-minute tour.
The museum also has a number of other vessels, including a river patrol boat from the Vietnam war, a German WW II harbor patrol submarine, and a Japanese kamikaze submarine. In addition, the museum has an outdoor display of missiles from various ships and submarines.
Finally, the museum also has an indoor display of ship and submarine models, and items from ships and submarines. The indoor section also has a number of displays about the submarines and ships in World War II, including a list of the submarines that were lost at sea.
We found the staff to be very friendly and informative, and learned a lot from our visit. Some of the tour guides were actually World War II veterans, who were very interesting to speak with.
Unfortunately, the property that the museum currently occupies is potentially up for sale, so the museum may have to move or close. See it while it is still there!Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
- Family Travel
Frenchtown and Milford
When I returned from our first venture out to Frenchtown, I was amazed by the amount of people who had never even heard of this hidden gem! It's a quaint little town on the Delaware just about 15 minutes north of it's famous neighbor, New Hope. There are tons of little cafes and galleries lining the main street, and (I suppose because it is not as well known) hardly crowded at all! Not far out of town, you can also rent kayaks, canoes and tubes to cruise down the Delaware River in. We returned the following weekend for Bastille Day festival, but the town was nearly empty. Seeing this, I thought it might be a good idea to share the wonderful secret of Frenchtown so others can enjoy this picture perfect town as much as we did.
Just 3 miles north of Frenchtown is another river town, Milford. It's a bit smaller, but it boasts a few great restaurants. The Ship Inn, an English style pub, and the Bakery (self explanatory!)
Go check it out!Related to:
- Road Trip
Fine Craftmanship At The History Home/Fort Hancock
I thought this mantle was a piece worthy of comment. The fine woodwork and style (note the rounded mirror and two pillasters at each end) gave it a commanding presence in the room.
I could imagine the family preparing for their evening meal, stopping for just a moment in front of the dancing fire to warm their hands. How many stockings hung from the mantle and how many winters did the family see here?
More details from the History House
The homes in Officer's Row were built between 1898-99, so the craftmanship and detailing in this home were wonderful! One of its finer points was this stairway leading to the second floor from the main entry way.
Midway to the top of the stairs, this fan-shaped window graced the landing. It brought sunshine into the interior of the house and accented the stairway beautifully.
The History House--Officer's Row
The tour of Fort Hancock concluded with our visit to the History House which was part of Officer's Row. The roomy yellow-brick homes were built between 1898-99 for the officers on the base and overlooked New York harbor. This base became a major hub of the military in WWII, so the decor is from that period.
The History Home was a 1940's time-capsule--a snapshot of what life in those times was like. Furnishings, Christmas decorations and ornaments and every day accessories were chosen from that era. Music from the 1940's played as we moved through the home sipping hot cider and sampling Christmas cookies, while examining leaflets and magazines from that period.
The officer had a private office in the downstairs area that was off-limits to other members of the family. It was furnished with a desk, typewriter, telephone and mimeograph machine. Posters supporting the war effort hung on the wall, while a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes sat on the desk, lending an air of reality to the scene. One expected to see the officer stride through the front door and stop to check his affairs at this desk that very minute.
The front entrance way was framed by lovely windows and woodwork that gave an indication of what could be found throughout the home.
Officer's Row--Fort Hancock, Sandy Hook,NJ
Officer's Row (located in Fort Hancock) forms a line of yellow brick homes constructed between 1898-99 which overlook the New York harbor area and were specifically intended for officers and their families. The History House is one of the former residences and was opened for tour over the Christmas holidays. In the early 20th century, 30 buildings were contained within Fort Hancock; by the 1940's there were 300 buildings comprising the military complex.
Our guide told us that cedar trees were delivered to the officer's porches as part of the holiday tradition at the military base. The trees were then taken into the homes and decorated by the family.Related to:
- Museum Visits
Ft. Hancock Barracks--Sandy Hook, NJ
Our tour of Ft. Hancock featured several buildings which comprised the military complex. This barracks was constructed in 1909 and seemingly in good condition, but inside it tells a different story.
Beautifully detailed woodwork, carved mantle pieces and hardwood floors once made this building a very nice place to stay. Now, the rusted tin ceiling, cracked floorboards and chipped paint throughout are the present reality. It doesn't take much imagination, though, to picture this building restored to its historic splendor.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
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