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Pride Journey Outdoors: New Jersey

Growing up in New York, I always had a friendly rivalry with people from New Jersey. Aside from the occasional trip to Atlantic City, I never really had the opportunity to explore other parts of the state. Here are some points of interest that you should consider hitting if you take a drive through the Garden State.

Asbury Park, New Jersey

  • Asbury Park Boardwalk: After a day on the beach, the Asbury Park Boardwalk is filled with different restaurants, shops, and games across its one-mile long stretch. Standing on the boardwalk, visitors will hear the waves breaking in one ear and the vibrance of live music in the other. In accordance with social distancing practices, the Boardwalk has been set up for one-way travel in direction. Other attractions include the iconic Stone Pony and the restored Paramount Theater and Convention Hall.

  • Asbury Park Beach: The official 2020 summer beach season began on May 22 and will continue until September 7th. Much like the whole 130 mile long stretch of Jersey Shores, the Asbury Park beach is easily accessible by NJ Transit and is within driving distance of New York City and Philadelphia, as well as Newark Liberty International Airport.

Essex County, New Jersey:

  • Branch Brook Park: Boasting the largest collection of cherry blossom trees and the oldest county park in the United States, Branch Brook Park located in Newark, New Jersey, is home to one of the nation’s best Cherry Blossom Festivals. Other activities include visiting Essex County’s Environmental Center to support awareness, understanding and appreciation for the environment as well as the historical Kip’s Castle Park, which is home to a 9,000 sq ft mansion which doubles as a replica of a medieval Norman castle.

  • Military Park: Historic Military Park, serves as the central downtown gathering space for the Newark community and its visitors to enjoy together. After many years as an underutilized space, Military Park now attracts children, adults, local residents, office workers, and students to Newark's revitalized town square.

Ringwood, New Jersey:

  • New Jersey Botanical Gardens: Located within Ringwood State Park, the New Jersey Botanical Garden features 96 acres of unique gardens bordered by 1,000 acres of woodlands with views of the Ramapo Mountains and the Skylands Manor. As summer continues, travelers can expect New Jersey to be in full bloom – from the Perennial Garden and its cherry blossom trees, to the Italianate Gardens with its historic landscaping and fountains.

Photos Courtesy of New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism

Click HERE to view LGBTQ Travel Directory

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