The state of New Jersey has been called the "most hated U.S. state," reports say. More specifically, residents in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, and Connecticut are often "NJ haters." Despite this widespread abhorrence for the Garden State, visitors from these aforementioned states and many others travel to the capital of New Jersey around the summer season to access bustling cities, shore communities, and of course the pork roll.
What is the Capital of New Jersey?
The city of Trenton is the state capital of New Jersey. Many don't know that the Trenton metropolitan area actually served as the capital of the United States of America for a brief time in 1784. In 1792, the New Jersey State House capitol building was constructed in Trenton and is still the meetinghouse for the New Jersey legislature.
This city is the seat of Mercer County and lies on the Western side of New Jersey on America's East Coast. The Trenton metro area is just over eight square miles and sits on the Delaware River. Boasting some beautiful waterfront properties, the city is right across the water from Pennsylvania. Trenton is accessible to people in the Philadelphia metropolitan area as well as other PA suburbs like Yardley and Newtown. On the Jersey side, places like Camden, Princeton, Hamilton Township, Edison, and Lawrenceville are in close proximity to the city.
In 2019, the population of this capital city was estimated at 83,000 residents and is not the largest city in NJ. Compare that to the largest towns in NJ like Newark and Jersey City which both have over 260,000 residents. This goes to show the population density of New Jersey compared to other places in the U.S.
Trenton, New Jersey is a favorite for residents across the state as well as for Americans in neighboring areas like New York City. Individuals, couples, groups of friends, and families can all come to the Trenton metropolitan area and find something they'll enjoy. Before coming out, visitors should consider the following list:
5 Reasons to Visit Trenton, The Capital of New Jersey
1. Grounds for Sculpture
Grounds for Sculpture is a museum, outdoor sculpture garden, and arboretum that can be easily accessed by residents and visitors of New Jersey's capital. Grounds for Sculpture is open to the public year-round and is always a safe bet for a relaxing stroll, picnic, guided tour, etc. Whether you're an artist looking for inspiration or just someone looking to enjoy a truly beautiful environment this is a place where manmade art meets nature's sheer beauty.
2. Old Barracks Museum
The Old Barracks Museum is the only original French and Indian War Barracks still standing in the U.S. The site was a base for Hessian soldiers at the first battle of Trenton where George Washington led a crucial victory for the Patriots of the American Revolution, according to Visit NJ. This museum hosts history lessons for the public from the time of the Native Americans, through the American Revolution. It is a living artifact of the American Revolutionary War and can be found between the New Jersey State Legislature House and the World War I Memorial.
3. Arm & Hammer Park
Arm & Hammer Park is home to the Trenton Thunder Baseball Club which is a double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. Sports fans who come to Trenton should plan to watch baseball anytime from April to September. Despite not having a pro sports team, the city has a great sports culture. Also watch out for events and concerts at Arm & Hammer Park and another nearby venue called the Sun National Bank Center.
4. The Jersey Shore
No, not the reality show—the real thing. Being in Trenton, visitors are no further than an hour to some world-class beaches. Shore towns like Belmar, Asbury Park, and Point Pleasant are some of the quickest options for day trips or for the whole weekend. From late Spring to mid Fall, the beaches along the Jersey Shore are some of the best on the East Coast for tanning, swimming, fishing, surfing, and more. Go experience the coast's culture while you're in the area.
5. Trenton Pork Roll
In addition to being the capital of NJ, Trenton should probably be the pork roll capital of the world. Since 1856, Taylor Provisions has produced the most famous, well-known pork roll brands like Taylor's Pork Roll and Trenton Pork Roll. This meat has graced some of the best breakfast sandwiches and deserves a taste when touring the town. What's more, Trenton is the host of the Pork Roll Festival every year in September. Coming to town during this time might be one's best option to experience everything on the Trenton to-do list above!
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