Let's face it, there are plenty of jokes to be made about New Jersey, no thanks in part to the cast of "Jersey Shore."

As Lauren Barnett, publisher of Lone Star Publications of Humor, once told The New York Times, "there are more mean-spirited jokes about New Jersey than any other state, even counting Texas."

But most people don't realize that, from the museums to the food to the slightly bizarre, Jersey actually has a lot to offer.

Here are 21 unique things you can only do in the Garden State.

Pig out any time of day or night at one of Jersey's many 24-hour diners (they have the most per capita in the world).

Walk along the longest boardwalk in the world in Atlantic City, the city whose streets the properties in the game Monopoly were named after.

Find a new appreciation for modern art at the Grounds for Sculpture, a public sculpture garden in Hamilton with works by established and up-and-coming artists.

Plan a visit this summer.



Feast on a "Jersey Breakfast" — Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese on a roll. The sandwich was invented in Trenton in the mid-1800s.



See a breathtaking display of hot air balloons at Solberg Airport at the largest balloon festival in North America.

Learn more about the Festival of Ballooning.



Ride the ferry out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, which actually fall in Jersey waters.

Enjoy the sticky sweet flavors of saltwater taffy, which originated in Atlantic City in the 1880s.

Go Ivy League for a day with a tour of Princeton University's picturesque campus.

Princeton ranked #5 on our list of the best colleges in the U.S.



Celebrate Portuguese culture at the annual "Dia de Portugal" in Newark's heavily Portuguese Ironbound district.

Visit the fable-worthy Luna Parc in Montague, a house that doubles as a museum and a work of art all on its own.

If you can't visit Luna Parc in person, you can take a virtual tour.



Take the Lighthouse Challenge, a fundraiser challenge to climb the stairs of all 11 lighthouses in Jersey in two days.

The challenge falls on October 18 and 19 this year.



Admire the Victorian houses of Cape May as you pedal around on a family-style surrey.

Schedule a "cake consultation" with Carlo's.



Tour Lucy the Elephant, a six-story elephant-shaped building that was once a hotel.

Lucy the Elephant has her own website.



Chow down on an Italian sausage from Tommy's in Elizabeth, one of New Jersey's many beloved hot dog joints.

Pick fruits and veggies from a produce farm in the Jersey countryside—there's a reason they call it "the Garden State."

Exercise your thumbs at the Silverball Pinball Museum and Arcade in Asbury Park. They have over 200 machines to play.

Visit Silverball and other attractions in Asbury Park (the home of Bruce Springsteen)



Sample a slice of tomato pie, the "original New Jersey pizza" that dates back to 1912 in Trenton. New Jerseyans recommend Papa's Tomato Pies.

Go birdwatching for monk parakeets, native South American birds that supposedly flocked to Edgewater in the '70s after escaping from a crate at JFK.

Take in a movie at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, which houses the nation's largest IMAX dome theater.

The Liberty Science Center is a great place to take kids.



Get your adrenaline pumping by riding Kingda Ka, the tallest roller coaster in the world, at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson.

Six Flags has multiple locations, but there's only one Kingda Ka!



Put your diet on hold for a hot, greasy sandwich from one of the grease trucks at Rutgers, where the french fries go ON the sandwich.

They were even featured on an episode of Man vs. Food.



Now here's why you should move to the Garden State

31 Reasons Why Everyone Who Lives In New York Should Actually Live In Jersey City Instead >



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