If you've formed your image of New Jersey mainly by flying over the industrial parks of Newark, it's time for a rethink.
The Jersey Shore is a 203-kilometre (127-mile) stretch of Atlantic beachfront studded with resort towns, nature preserves and, well, Atlantic City. Go to the casinos there if you must, but there's much more to this pretty seashore than the city whose streets are immortalized on the original Monopoly board.
In Cape May on the state's southern tip, for instance, you can stroll past pastel-hued Victorian houses, take a trip on the Cape May Shoreline Railroad, photograph the Cape May Lighthouse and keep your eyes peeled for migratory waterfowl at the Cape May Bird Observatory.
Across the state in Camden, which lies opposite Philadelphia on the Delaware River, don't miss the New Jersey State Aquarium. It's home to one of the largest open-ocean aquarium tanks in the U.S, as well as popular exhibits of seals and African penguins.
While it's the fourth-smallest state in the Union, New Jersey has a population of 8.7 million, making it the most densely populated one. However, you can still find lots of places to get close to nature. Outdoorsy pursuits in New Jersey include hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail in High Point State Park, camping at one of 25,000 campsites, or cycling in the 4,450-square-kilometre (1.1-million-acre) Pinelands National Reserve.
More urban amusements include photographing the Manhattan skyline from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, admiring the Gothic buildings of Princeton University in Princeton, or screaming on the roller coasters at Six Flags Great Adventure theme park in Jackson. Head to the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford for amusements of all sorts, from pro basketball and hockey games to harness racing, wrestling matches and concerts by international rock stars.