Places in New Jersey to Visit

New Jersey is known for a lot of things but to me it's simply just home. I’ve put together a list of the best places to shop, eat, and visit. Finding activities to do here is not always the easiest thing. We aren't as cool as New York or Miami but we have gained media attention over the years. Where do I even start? Last year the MTV VMA awards were happening only 20 minutes away from my home at the Prudential center in Newark, Essex County.

The hit movie the Joker was also filmed in Newark, it was a huge thing for my small state. It brought so much traffic for a couple months Lastly, my guilty pleasure Jersey Shore. Lowkey people hated that show but I’ve always loved it. Residents of NJ were upset when this show came out eleven years ago. People believed it made the Seaside Heights (where the show was filmed) and my entire state look “trashy” but it turned New Jersey into a tourist attraction overnight. Let's get into all the fun places to visit.

Chart House restaurant in Weehawken. This is my favorite restaurant, The food and the views of the water & city are amazing! It's classy, luxurious, and expensive. My ultimate favorite part is that you are able to personalize your own menu with your name. Its the perfect place to celebrate birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries. It's currently open for outdoor dining. If you go please order the coconut crunchy shrimp, paneed chicken(with extra citrus butter) and their signature chocolate lava cake. It will cost you a lot but luxury is worth it.
Short Hills Mall in Short Hills. This had to make the list, I'm a little biased because I work there. But they have the best places to shop for luxury and designer. Im talking about Gucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Prada, Chanel and more. People from all over travel to Jersey just for this mall. Because our sales taxes aren't as high on luxury goods as other states and we don't tax on clothes!
Grammy Museum in Newark at the Prudential Center. I feel so ashamed to say I have never been there. Considering it's only five minutes away from my campus(shout out to Rutgers University-Newark). Their exhibits are filled with musical artists that have been influential in the music industry. It is currently closed thanks to Covid-19. However you can still view exhibits virtually.
Prudential Center in Newark is our own version of Madison Square Garden. I have seen so many great performances there. Such as Rihanna, Travis Scott, Drake, Future, Chris Brown, and Tory Lanez. I loved it when concerts were being held there. The venue was ALWAYS PACKED with the entire Essex County. Fun fact my college graduation was held there when I graduated with my Associates degree. I felt so honored to walk the same stage Rihanna performed on.

Bangz Salon & Wellness Spa in Montclair. It is an award winning spa that has been recognized as the premier hair salon and spa in New Jersey. This place is huge and offers so many different services at different price ranges that is suitable for everyone.
Willow & Olivia Creations a black-owned bakery located in my hometown West Orange. They have the best chocolate chip cookies ever. If you're craving anything sweet please do me the favor and go there.
Hyatt House hotel in Jersey City. Is the perfect place to stay during your visit. It's relatively close to everything on this list. The rooms are spacious and have beautiful views of the city.

Sarah Fontanges