Best Of Jersey: Outdoors

Best of New Jersey Outdoors, Best of NJ - New Jersey Monthly

Indoors as Outdoors
Harrah’s in Atlantic City is making a splash with its new roof-top pool, an indoor oasis surrounded by lush palm trees. Housed in a 90-foot glass dome, the pool area is always 82 degrees, regardless of the temperature outside. Hotel guests can grab a drink at the bar, pamper themselves with a poolside massage or simply relax under one of several private cabanas, which feature plasma televisions and iPod docking stations. The dome also boasts six hot tubs for private rental.

View With a Vroom
The New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville opens this summer with multiple ovals for amateur automobile racers. Motorheads can join, just as golfers would a country club. Locals expect to add hundreds of jobs in the former Cumberland County glassmaking center, adjacent to the city’s airport, helping to lift Millville from a decade of double-digit unemployment.

Best Tribute to a Revolutionary War Setting
Batsto Village in Hammonton is tucked in the heart of the 110,000 acre Wharton State Forest. Batsto was once a major site for iron ore and glassmaking. A newly renovated visitor’s center and museum bring to life these periods in the village’s history as well as the story of the Pine Barrens. Come summer, visitors to Batsto will be able to use their cell phones to hear an audio tour of the 40 structures on the site, including an 18th Century post office (still functioning), general store, sawmill, and gristmill.

Light Show
The dancing colors of the nightly light show atop the 32-story Newport Office Center VII in Jersey City originated in small scale on Broadway in Will Rogers Follies and in rock concerts. Newport is its largest application. During holidays the shows are color-coded. Upcoming: light blue and white for Passover; yellow, purple, and white for Easter; green, red, and yellow for Earth Day; red and pink for Mother’s Day. The best view of Manhattan from our side of the river is to be had at Arthur’s Landing in Weehawken.

Highway Jaunt
Over its 130-mile length, U.S. Route 206 bisects the state from Montague in the north to Hammonton in the south, passing farms, historic towns like Trenton and Princeton, strip shopping centers, and state forests. It is New Jersey writ rambling, verdant, honky-tonk, long, and large.

Boardwalk Vehicle
Since 1949, Wildwood tram cars—those shade-hooded yellow semi-trains—have putt-putted from 16th Street to Cresse Avenue down the middle of the best honky-tonk Boardwalk anywhere. “Watch the tram car, please,” whines the recorded voice, itself inducing another summer smile.

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