Welcome to Jersey Jems!

Welcome to Jersey Jems!

Discover the hidden jems of New Jersey, this blog will show famous and unknown destinations of the garden state. Learn about places you have never been or new things about your favorite destinations! Even catch up on the latest New Jersey reality TV mayhem – right here on Jersey Jems!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Scotland Run Park

I grew up in a small town directly between Atlantic City and Philadelphia. I hated it when I was younger because I felt like there was nothing to do. Now, looking back I realize I had the best of three worlds: I could experience city life (and great cheesesteaks), take day trips to the shore, and enjoy a laid back tight knit community.

One hidden secret of my hometown, Williamstown, is Scotland Run Park. Located about a mile from the house I grew up in is a lake front park with a playground, picnic tables, and sand pit. It’s a fun place to spend the day; you can even go fishing or relax on a boat on the lake.

My dad, uncles, and cousins used to take me fishing all the time, although we never once caught anything, we always had fun. The picture below is from a recent trip where I took my cousins to play at Scotland Run.

Atlantic City

When most people think of Atlantic City slot machines and senior citizens are usually the first things that come to mind. Well I’m proud to say a new day has dawned on the infamous city and thanks to millions of dollars of renovations there is plenty to do for all ages. While it is a far cry from Las Vegas, AC is a great destination – the last time I look a trip there I learned two days wasn’t nearly enough to explore all it has to offer.

Here is my “must do” list for Atlantic City:

1. The Pool at Harrah’s Resort: When I was younger Harrah’s was always a fun place to visit and now it is even better. The hotel and casino just finished renovations and doubled in size. The best addition being The Pool. The Pool is inside a large dome that is always set at the perfect temperature. You can lounge next to a real palm tree (quite difficult to do in NJ) while sipping on a topical drink or take a dip in one of the many hot tubs. After a while, you almost forget you’re inside. That’s not all, The Pool turns into one of the hottest clubs on the weekends: you can party and swim at the same time, what’s better than that?

2. The Pier at Caesars: The Pier at Caesars is another spectacular AC addition. The four level building sits directly over the Atlantic Ocean and has some of the best shopping, dinning, and views in the city. The design of the building is reason enough alone to go, each floor represents a different part of the beach. The third, my favorite, is a boardwalk, there are even seats nestled in sand by the windows where you can gaze out to the ocean or people watch. The third floor is also home to great restaurants including Phillips Seafood and Buddakan.

3. The Tropicana's Quarter: Want to take a step into a different country? The Tropicana’s Quarter will make you feel as if you stepped into the heart of a Cuba. There are plenty of shops and restaurants, even an Imax theater. The best part is the “street” performers, you know the guys who dress up like statues and move when you least expect it. Cuba Libre, a restaurant in the Quarter, is great place to watch Latin dancers and to even try some moves of your own!

4. The Walk: If the expensive shops at the Pier of Caesars are too much for your budget just walk one block over to AC’s The Walk. The Walk is a brand new outdoor outlet mall that spans several city blocks. The only downside is it can become over crowded with tourists during the summer season. But keep in mind going in mid fall or early spring are opportune times to walk outside and catch some big sales since traffic is lower.

Reality Links

Check out these updates on the most popular NJ reality shows… all in good fun of course!

Jersey Shore Starts Gearing Up For Season 2

Jersey Shore Cast Replaced for Season 3

The Real Housewives of New Jersey' Returning for Season 2

Who’s the Cake Boss?

Girls of Jerseylicious Diss Girls of Jersey Shore

Cape May

If the action in Atlantic City is too much to handle, consider traveling down the parkway to Cape May. Cape May is a small shore town that looks as if it hasn’t changed in the past 100 years. The grand Victorian homes that line the beach are purely breath taking. Although there is no large boardwalk with piers and attractions, taking a walk around the town is entertaining enough. The best way to tour the town is by bicycle. Cape May has bike rental shops that will have you cruising in no time; they even have the four-seater bikes that look like little cars (my favorite).

The Cape May County Park and Zoo is another place to checkout. The best part about it is – IT’S FREE. It may be on the tiny side, but the crowds are significantly smaller than in most zoos. You can’t beat the price and you don’t have to fight other people for a chance to look at the monkeys.

Cape May is a Jersey must see, however, I personally wouldn’t spend more than a day there. But if you are looking for solitude and relaxation it is the perfect destination.

Storybook Land

Storybook Land has been around forever – well at least as long as I can remember. It was my favorite place to go as a kid and one of my favorite places to revisit as an adult. Storybook Land is a small amusement park aimed towards young children (ages 5 and below) that brings classic stories and nursery rhymes to life.

The park is small, but great for young kids – they can conquer most of it and adults aren’t stuck there all day. There are plenty of rides, including bumper cars, trains, small roller coasters and a Ferris wheel. You can visit the shoe where the old lady and all her kids lived or find your way through Alice’s wonderland.

Storybook Land has created memories for South Jersey kids for over 50 years. I’m taking my 3 year old cousin when I return home for the 4th of July; I’m not sure who is more excited.